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Havelis of Walled City To Be Opened For Tourists

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Image Courtesy: Nusair Rehman/Flickr

Lahore: Walled City is all set to open Haveli Asif Jah and Haveli Nau Nehal Singh for tourists this month. The decision comes as the provincial government of Punjab and Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA) has taken an initiative to promote tourism by introducing heritage sites that were previously not accessible to the general public.

According to Pakistan Today, the tourists will be able to visit these havelis on Sundays only and the tours will be conducted by the trained tourist guides of Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA).

The decision was made in the session of a committee constituted for the conservation of these havelis. Minister for Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology, and Tourism (YASA&T) Raja Yasir Humayun, who heads the committee, directed WCLA to make the necessary arrangements.

Pakistan Today quotes WCLA Deputy Director Media and Marketing Tania Qureshi said, “At present, the Haveli of Asif Jah is housing the Chunna Mandi Girls College whereas the Haveli Nau Nehal Singh is having the Victoria School inside its premises.  According to historical references, the Haveli of Nau Nehal Singh was the private home of the Prince Nau Nehal Singh the son of Maharaja Kharak Singh. The Haveli was taken over by the British Government when Punjab was annexed in 1849 and converted into the first public school for girls which was named as the Victoria School and the school has been used in many Pakistani films and dramas because of its beauty and decorative elements.”

What was known as Govt Fatima Jinnah College or Chunna Mandi is the Haveli of Asif Jah.

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“The site where now stands the haveli Chunna Mandi which includes the havelis of Jamadar Khushal Singh, as well as that of Teja Singh is said to be among one of two sites where originally stood the haveli of Asif Khan the brother of Empress Noor Jahan and father-in-law of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

According to historians, it was the place where Mughal emperor Akbar also stayed before the Lahore Fort was rebuilt by him with burnt bricks. Looking at its structure and built some of the architects also claim that this Haveli dates back to the 17th century in the period of Mughal Emperor Jahangir when Asif Khan also is known as Asif Jah was appointed as Governor of Lahore by Jahangir in 1625. There are various references in history about the construction of this Haveli, some of them relate to Asif Khan while some of the historians also documented Dhiyan Singh and Khushal Singh,” reports Pakistan Today.

In another quote Pakistan Today, WCLA Director Marketing and Tourism Asif Zaheer said, “These are the two most beautiful havelis of Lahore and were never a tourist spot. It is a good initiative by the government to open up these majestic havelis for tourists and it will also help in the sustainability of the place. WCLA team is working on the guided tours of these havelis and we will soon launch a plan for the tourists on WCLA social media. We have been receiving many queries regarding the tours of these havelis and I am sure that once the public gets to know about the opening of these havelis for tourists there will be a good response to us. The ticket money for the havelis is not yet decided but we plan to launch these tours in the mid of July 2019. We will be conducting the tours on Sundays so that the school and college activity is not disturbed”.

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