Oldest shrine discovered in city

A local architect on Thursday claimed to have discovered the oldest surviving architectural monument in Hinjarwal near Multan Road.

Talking to journalists at the Lahore Press Club, Prof Rizwan Azeem Rizwan, the architect, also briefed about his research findings of 382 villages around the city. Indus Foundation and Asaan arranged the press conference.

The architect corroborated his claims by presenting a slide show of the said shrine. He said that Hinjarwal was the oldest shrine in the city as one could discern 200 -year -old architectural design and patterns on it.

"It is generally believed that Tomb of Musa Ahangar on McLeod Road or Newen Masjid in the Walled city are the oldest buildings", he said.

He said that name of the village 'Hinjarwa'l was derived from a Seraiki word 'Hinjira', meaning tomb or shrine. "Hinjira, on the other hand, remains deserted as it is located in remote graveyards", he said.

He said the collected architectural evidence showed that the building was constructed somewhere between 1320 -1413 AD, when Tughlaqs were ruling the sub-continent.

He said the architectural building proved that the original structure was constructed much earlier than the dates mentioned in the customary statements made available from oral traditions and revenue record. He said the predominant frame structures of the doors, cut-brickwork decoration on walls, octagonal drum for the round dome, lattice work in wood (Jali) for interior illumination, elaborate woodwork with geometric patterns on the three entrance doors and decorated mehrab towards the ka'aba (south-western) side added credence to his claim.

"It is perhaps not possible from the surface of the structure to reveal the entire original characteristics", he Sid, adding that the sloping walls were, however, obvious and were clearly seen in the pictures taken recently", he said, adding, " one of the wooden doors has been salvaged and kept by the custodians".

He said the doorframe was made of sturdy pieces of wood-in cross section. He said the frames could become a prized collection of any museum.

Answering a question, he said that he was interested in cultural heritage research, as it was up to the scholars to create awareness among the masses regarding preservation of cultural and historical monuments. He said the government should be pressurized to save the monuments for future generations. "Saroon Ka Maqbara in Begumpura, another ancient building, is in derelict condition owing to the apathy of the government", he added.

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