Original layers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh era found

The team of conservationists, led by Ms Gurmeet Rai, Director of the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI), has also come across vital evidence at the garden as recorded in the “Gulgashat-e-Punjab”, manuscript of Tota Ram.

After the digging operation, conservationists have confirmed that there are foundations and other layers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s period buried under the soil.

The original foundation of the boundary wall housing the “Char Bagh” has been found near one of the “chhatris” of the garden.

The CRCI has engaged Ms Priyaleen Singh, Professor, Department of Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Mr Rawal Singh Aulakh, project manager, Mr Rachan Puneet Singh, Mr Ajaideep Singh Turna, Ms Gitika and Ms Tripta, all project architects, for the conservation and revitalisation of projects here.

The total cost of the conservation plan is Rs 2.50 crore, which has already been released by the state government.

The team has noticed the traditional roofing system of the summer palace after removing the false ceiling.

The heritage building had suffered damage during British rule and in independent India by way of unscientific alterations.

Fenestrations in the first floor, that overlooked the double-height central hall of the summer palace, was filled with additions.

Such additions might be removed during the conservation drive with a view to reviving the pristine glory of the palace.

A total station survey, prepared by Delhi-based surveyors, would be a guiding force during the restoration plan.

The total area of Ram Bagh was nearly 75 acres as compared to the popular belief that it measured 84 acres.

The “protected” monument, constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the pattern of Shalimar Bagh in Lahore, remained in a pitiable condition for long due to indifference.

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