* WCLA in collaboration with Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan completes renovation work * Project was funded by US Embassy
LAHORE: Following the removal of encroachments and completion of its reservation work by the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), Chowk Wazir Khan is once again ready to amaze tourists with its new expanded and encroachment-free look.
For the past three decades, Chowk Masjid Wazir Khan was facing heavy encroachments especially shops, which were rented out on nominal rates. However, the WCLA initiated the project of rehabilitation, restoration and renovation of this historic chowk. Officials said the historic forecourt adjoining the Wazir Khan Mosque has been undergoing a thorough rehabilitation and conservation effort since October 1, 2015, funded by the US embassy, and is in its final stage of preparation for its opening on March 16.
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Chowk Wazir Khan ready to receive visitors — The News com Pakistan
The clearing out of the chowk and its restoration to something more closely resembling its original form will present locals and visitors both with an open vista where they can stop and fully take in the splendor of the surrounding monuments.
The Chowk will also now be able to resume its historic function as a space for social interaction, where people can meet before prayer, hold Mahafil-e-Na’at, or peruse handmade religious merchandise sold in the eastern facade’s embedded chambers (hujras), Tanya maintained.
As such, it is a momentous occasion, as it signifies a milestone in the resurgence of the Shahi Guzargah and the wider context of the Walled City, as a focal point in the itinerary of tourists and locals keen to get a more intimate feeling for this historic city, she concluded.
Director General WCLA Kamran Lashari said it would be one of its kind of conservation projects and would give a whole new sight for the tourists.
“The opening of this square will once again provide the public to have an open space to enjoy the ambiance of the jewel of Lahore, the Wazir Khan Mosque,” he maintained.
“We will make sure that this place is restored to its original glory and brought back to life. I am proud of the partnership with Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Their assistance in all the projects has taken the walled city to a new dimension of conservation and restoration,” he concluded.
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More on: http://www.walledcitylahore.gop.pk/
Walled city of Lahore conservation — AKDN org
Lahore, the capital of the province of Punjab, and the second most populous city in Pakistan, is also known as the “Gardens of the Mughals” or “City of Gardens”, after the rich heritage of the Mughal Empire (1524 to 1752).
This once fortified city has a concentration of monuments and buildings that reflect cultural diversity in architecture, and despite a dynamic and tumultuous past spanning several centuries has retained much of its historic urban form. Upon the completion of the Shigar Fort project in 2005, the Government of Pakistan requested the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) to make technical contributions to a World Bank funded area development “pilot” Shahi Guzargah (Royal Trail) project in the Walled city of Lahore.
The Walled city of Lahore is famous for several historic monuments including the Lahore Fort – a World Heritage site, the Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques. Close to 2,000 buildings within the Walled city display a range of architectural features that mark Lahore’s centuries old cultural landscape. A majority of these buildings and the mohallas (local neighbourhoods) in which they are situated form a unique heritage footprint.
The work consequently carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP) was initiated under a 2007 public-private partnership framework agreement with the Government of Punjab. The first phase of the project, completed in 2014, comprised of the design and improvement of infrastructure services and the documentation of major Mughal period monuments. An important social and economic dimension aimed at poverty alleviation and the creation of economic opportunities for local residents was facilitated through participation in the projects. The area of the ongoing project comprises some 11 per cent of the 256 hectares of the Walled city. The technical engagement of the AKTC continues currently on the basis of a MOU and the AKTC assistance programme is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
More on: AKDN org
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