Kasur Museum: a captivating corridor of cultural history


Historically speaking, the name of Kasur city, according to one tradition, was a distortion of the word “Kussu Pura”, the ancient name of this town which was named after “Kussu”, the son of Ram, the legendary hero of the great Indian Mythological epic “Ramayan” Lahu, the other son of Ram, laid foundation of the city of LahuPura that is known as Lahore today. Another tradition suggests that Kasur is the plural of Persian word “Kasr” that stands for a palace or a big chamber. As this city had a great variety of palaces and Havelis, it was named as the city of palaces.
Brimming with treasures of a long cultural history, unique festivals and traditions and delicious Punjabi and oriental foods, Kasur, known to be City of Afghans, was, decidedly, one of the best sites to establish a museum and this long-cherished dream was realised in 1999 and Kasur Museum was established in the historical colonial-era building, once used to host magisterial offices and residences, on main Ferozpur Road. The galaxy of five impressive and fascinating galleries provides the visitors, from all walks of life and age groups, with a memorable exhibition.
The Coins Gallery presents a vast range of rare coins of the period stretched from Indo-Greek era to Kashan and Indian rulers’ age, Initial Islamic rule, Mughal era, Sikh period and the British Raj. A unique and chronologically organised collection of Pakistani coins issued from 1948 to the current year is also a mention-worthy asset of this gallery that provides valuable information to our students about their country’s coin history.
It’s a special treat for coin collectors and coin lovers although they can not get this collection. When we think about a Museum, the first thing strikes our mind is the archaeological history. So the Archaeological Gallery is there to fascinate the visitors with its rare samples of fossils, which have been discovered from the district Chakwal’s area Bin Ameer Khatoon. Besides this, gallery displays ceramic pottery, sculptures, utensils and weight balances retrieved from the archaeological sites of Harrapa and Chakwal. Gandhara period statues of Buddha and other Hindu gods are other attractions here. It provides a peep into diversified knowledge.
There is no doubt in the fact that Islamic history and culture has been famous for its rich publications and scripts. To orientate our youth with this valuable treasure, The Islamic Gallery has been established. It comprises three portions; first one displays handicrafts, wood-carved items, ornaments and other domestic objects, the second one offers a spectacular variety of calligraphic arts including Hafiz Murtaza Afghan Kasuri’s (1179 Hijra) hand-written Holy Quran and Aziz Khan Kashmiri’s hand-written account ‘Makhtuta Dalayal Al-Khairat’ from the period of 1290 Hijra, the third and the last portion of this gallery boasts of armours, daggers, pistols, guns, knives and other arms and weapons related to Muslim era and onward. In addition to that, various specimens of ‘Khat-e-Nasta’aleeq’ are also exhibited here.
Next comes the Kasur Craft Gallery that welcomes the visitors with a broader assortment of exclusive leather garments with carvings, Khaddi Cloth, Rugs, special Char-Khana Kasuri Khais (a form of light blanket). Kasur has always been very famous for these very delicate and colourful products and people come from far away to buy such valuable items.
And the last but not the least, The Pakistan Movement Gallery portrays the whole story of the freedom movement and apprises the students of the significant characters of this struggle for independence through the domino of the pictures. It is a great treasure for the students of the History and Pakistan Studies in particular. Besides, the arranged presentations of the artifacts, the premises also enjoys the privilege to house a historical tomb of Wakeel Khan, a senior minister of Sher Shah Suri, in one of its halls. It is really a monument of great importance that was already there for centuries and proved to be a gift for the Museum.