“Reviving History: Walled Cities Authority Set to Restore Majestic Sikh Haveli near Gujar Khan”

LAHORE: The Punjab Walled Cities and Heritage Areas Authority (PWCHAA) will preserve and restore the Haveli Bhai Sardar Bakhshi Ram Singh, 15km from Gujur Khan. It was built in 1886.

According to the dawn news, The Punjab government has entrusted the PWCHAA with the task of preserving and restoring the haveli, which is in a deteriorated condition and needs immediate consolidation works. Next month, the authority plans to commence the work, including the conservation and restoration of structures, restoration of the internal gateway of Haveli Bakhshi Singh, leveling the surfaces, wooden roof restoration, metal plaster work, window restoration and the construction of a public service washroom.

PWCHAA Director General Kamran Lashari told Dawn, “The restoration and rehabilitation of Haveli Bakhshi Ram will soon be implemented. Through diligent efforts, the original beauty of the haveli will be restored. Preserving such historically significant structures of the minorities is a priority of the government”.

Restoration of Haveli Bhai Sardar Bakhshi Ram Singh in consultation with the Evacuee Trust Property Board is amongst several high-merited buildings in the area of Gujur Khan, which had a great number of Sikh and Hindu population before the Partition in 1947.

Bakhshi Ram was a renowned and wealthy merchant and he was considered among the affluent personalities of the Rawalpindi district. He got the haveli constructed as his residence. This 138 years old haveli survived the 1947 riots. It was used as a school until 1975. Today this abandoned haveli has a four-storeyed building, 32 rooms, a basement, and two view towers. The haveli’s entrance beam bears the inscription, “This haveli in honour of Bakhshi Ram was erected in 1886”.

The portico, adorned with intricate wood carving, features a balcony with remarkable carving. The double wooden balcony before entrance of the haveli is attention-grabbing, with beautifully carved wooden ceilings. Sadly, the fretted panels of both balconies are now broken.

The outer façade has exquisite Jharokas. The intricate wood carving on the Jharokas and balconies is among the most beautiful in the Potohar region.

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