–Tourists express dissappointment over authorities lack of interest in 17th-century monument’s maintenance
–Archaeology deputy director says department working on landscaping of tomb
LAHORE: Even though its restoration was completed by the Department of Archaeology only a few months ago, Buddhu Ka Awa [Buddhu’s tomb], located on the Grand Trunk (GT) Road, is once again in shambles amid the negligence of the authorities concerned.
As per the details, the historic site is suffering owing to the lack of maintenance and debris, filth, as well as wild growth, has taken over the entire monument.
Conducting a survey at the site, Pakistan Today observed that the place was not very well conserved either and most of the parts of the tomb were still derelict. Bricks were falling apart whereas the locals of the area could not be stopped from disposing of waste at the heritage site.
It was also observed that the authorities had placed an iron fence around the site, but due to the lack of monitoring, parts of the monument were being used as a toilet.
No security measures being taken by the Archaeology Department has also resulted in food vendors littering the site that is turned into a drug den at night. A large number of addicts and beggars were observed by this scribe seeking shelter to sleep or consume drugs at the recently restored monument.
A tourist and photographer, Zeeshaan Malik, while talking to Pakistan Today said, “I am astonished at the state of this monument and every time I come here I see it in a poor condition. One of the many things wrong is that the plaque installed at the site has spelling mistakes.”
“I don’t think any foreigners would like to visit this dump, but just think of how embarrassing would the spelling mistakes be if someone does.”
Malik added that he wondered what kind of conservation had been carried out as not many improvements in the structure could be noticed.
“No attention is being paid towards horticulture and cleanliness, and the place stinks which is creating a very bad and embarrassing impression of a heritage site,” another tourist Sadia Saleem commented.
“I read about this place a few days ago on social media and decided to visit it but can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed,” she said and asked if the government was dreaming to promote tourism with such shoddy standards of maintenance.
A tourist guide, Muhammad Javed, told this scribe that Buddhu’s tomb was a 17th-century monument.
“It was built around 1641 and is traditionally ascribed to be the tomb of Buddhu, son of Suddhu who was a local brick maker and supplied bricks for several royal buildings in Lahore during Shah Jahan’s rule. Historical records suggest that the tomb was actually built for the wife of Khan-e-Dauran Bahadur Nusrat Jang – an emir of the Mughal royal court, but later the emir himself was buried here. The site was used by Prince Sher Singh as his army’s headquarters when he invaded Lahore.”
Punjab Archaeology Department Deputy Director Malik Maqsood Ahmed said they have prepared a PC-1 for the landscaping of different monuments in Lahore and Buddhu’s tomb is among them.
“We have had a meeting with the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) as well for the landscaping of the place and it will soon be carried out,” he said.