Saturday, 28 May 2011

Man`s bad smudge on Punjab heritage

The condition of Khizri or Sheranwala Gate — one of the three gates that once opened on the river Ravi’s front north of the Walled City, has become pathetic.

At present, only the façade of the structure built over it to oversee the ferry service has survived the neglect of the authorities concerned. The lime plaster and the paint of the remaining structure have depreciated completely while a number of cracks, billboards and advertisements on the walls have ruined the once magnificent structure.
Historian and Lahore Conservation Society’s Information Secretary Dr Ajaz Anwar said the gate was named after Hazrat Khwaja Khizr, a great saint of the times, also known as Amirul Bahar or commander of the waters.

People started calling it Sheranwala Gate when Maharaja Ranjit Singh kept two domesticated lions in a cage near its entrance after getting hold of Lahore. An Italian traveller, Niccola Mannuchi, visited Lahore in 1667 and called it Qadri Gate without mentioning the logic.

“Commercial activity has been the biggest enemy of heritage inside the Walled City. An emergency plan to carry out major repairs could only save the structure,” maintains Dr Ajaz.

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Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui, LAHORE, May 26: The Dawn,

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