LAHORE: Pakistan plans to conserve and restore a Sikh ‘Samadhi’ and a Hindu temple, two important historical monuments located near the Lahore Fort, at a cost of Rs 22 million, a media report said.
The Samadhi of Bhai Vasti Ram, a spiritual guide to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the temple of Jhingar Shah Suthra, a Hindu mendicant of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s time, are the two monuments which are planned for restoration, the Dawn reported.
Quoting officials of Punjab archaeology department, it said work on both the projects would start in January next year to be completed in 2016.
The Samadhi of Bhai Vasti Ram, entirely built in marble, is a beautiful and unique monument of the Sikh period.
According to officials, during the war of independence in 1857 and the British period, the British soldiers destroyed the ‘Pietra Dura’ of the Samadhi by extracting semi-precious marbles and stones from inlay works.
Later, when the Muslims attacked the Samadhi, they destroyed the elevations by crushing the marble tiles, columns as well as the marble platform on the structure’s edges.
All the wall paintings and intricate carvings were completely destroyed and some pieces of the precious carved work could be seen lying on the floor of the Samadhi even today, the report said.
The temple of Jhingar Shah Suthra also has historical significance.
The archaeology officials said the conservation work would be carried out through experienced artisans and craftsmen, using traditional material methods under the supervision of the directorate general of archaeology.