A national unprotected monument

A visit to the heritage site revealed that the illegal house owners had also got water and power connections with impunity.

The serai was famous for its ornamental gateway and glazed tile decorations. However, the elegant structure situated in a small village, south-west of Amritsar, is a picture of utter neglect these days. Heritage lovers say the serai has a beautiful gate constructed in Mughal style of architecture. The tomb of Amanat Khan is surrounded by four minarets. The que near the tomb is decorated with Persian verses. However, one of the majestic minarets is in a shambles and may fall any time. The restoration efforts by the state government are not up to the mark. Some of the portions have been renovated with modern tiles instead of Nanakshahi bricks, which are easily available at the village.

During the Mughal period the Badshai Road passed from Attari to Goindwal via serais Amanat Khan, Nurdin, Naurangabad and Fatehabad. These were of the same design and dimensions.

Serai Amanat Khan was constructed 29 km from Amritsar and 4 km from Attari during the reign of Shah Jahan. The outer walls of the serai have already fallen, whereas its two gates still stand, though in a dilapidated condition. Outside the serai, there is the tomb of Amanat Khan, which is now in ruins.

There is a small tank near the premises of the national monument. A beautiful “bouli” attached with a well in this border village is in ruins. However, the authorities concerned seem to be so indifferent that could not even protect the hydraulic engineering of the Mughal period, which could have become an attraction for tourists.

Interestingly, big hoardings installed on both sides of the serai reads, “This national monument has been declared to be of national importance under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. Whosoever destroys, removes, injures, alters, defaces, imperils or misuse this monument shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months or with fine that may extend to Rs 5,000 or both”.

The local population has violated all instructions mentioned on the board. They have destroyed the monument by keeping animals, cow-dung cakes and altered and destroyed the majestic portions.

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