Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barood Khana of Fort Kohna Multan

Barood Khana of Fort Kohna Multan was used as storehouse of gunpowder and weapons. It was badly damaged during siege of Multan by British in 1848. Pakistani government converted into a Nigar Khana or art house for selling handicrafts.

Barood Khan Fort Kohna Multan exterior ruins

Barood Khan Fort Kohna Multan interior

Barood Khan Fort Kohna Multan converted into Nigar Khana
Location Map
It is located inside Fort Kohna Multan near Damdama



     













BAROOD KHANA

Monument
BAROOD KHANA
Location
QASIM BAGH INSIDE OLD FORT.
Status
NOT LISTED
Owner
City District Government, Multan
Use
FORMER: POWDER MAGAZINE TILL THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY.
PRESENT: MUSEUM & CURIO-SHOP CALLED NIGAR KHANA
Period / Date
CIRCA 1720.
HISTORICAL NOTES
This subterranean domed chamber is believed to have been built in 1720, probably by Sher Afgan, the Naib Nazim of Multan during the rule of Muhammad Shah (1719-1748). A map prepared during the reign of Nawab Muzaffar Khan Shaheed (1778-1818) and later on copied by the officials of Nawab of Bahawalpur shows the location of this building situated between Jamia Masjid and Sard Khana and on the south of the Mausoleum of Rukn-i-Alam and quite close to De Darwaza (today’s Qasim Bagh Gate). Both the Barood Khana and Sard Khana are shown as identical buildings each having a dome above ground surrounded by an arched veranda all around. The Sard Khan and the Jamia Masjid have disappeared now however the Barood Khan is still there although its arched verandah has also disappeared. The single entrance is on the northern side which has a staircase that descends into the crossed shaped spacious room some 20 feet below the outside surface. The light is filtered down through the main entrance and the three windows fitted in the neck of the dome on the remaining sides. This structure survived the devastating powder magazine explosion that destroyed almost all buildings in the fort in 1848. The Barood Khana has been converted into a souvenir shop prior to 1972. It was further renovated but without any regard to the integrity of the historical character of the building and has been covered entirely by industrially produced ceramic tiles with an addition of a verandah in front of its entrance.
Description / Main Features
It is currently being used as a souvenir shopand except for the dilapidated dome and a subterranean chamber nothing worthy of mention survives.
Access / Environs
It is located in the garden immediately to the east of Damdama. Despite its location inside Qasim Bagh, its has very unimpressive environs with the intrusions of the huge TV Station pylons constructed adjacent to it.
Present Condition
Present condition of Barood Khana is a picture of neglect and dereliction with the peeling plaster of the dome and poor application of modern ceramic tiles on its facade.
Interventions
The building which survived the devastating explosion of 1848 and subsequent neglect for more than hundred years is now being used as a souvenir shop without any regard for the historicity of the monument In spite of the parks and gardens developed within the fort, the environment of Barood Khana and the road leading to it are completely neglected by the city developers. The poor quality of fa├žade tile embellishment has already started showing signs of wear and tear. The interior of the Barood Khana has been plastered and white washed which is continuously affected by dampness more visible in the soffit of the dome and its adjoining area.
Proposal
The building is in need of immediate repairs and restoration works.
References
Zubair Shafi Ghauri, map at. 71, building no. 15; Ikramul Huq, p. 130.
Plans



Elevations



Sections



Photograph



Environmental Notes

  • Vehicular Access / Parking
    Vehicular access is available and limited parking.
  • Use of Space
    The structure is currently used as a craft shop.
  • Visitor’s Facilities.
    Shade from an umbrella; drinks vendor.
  • Electricity
    The monument is electrified and has a meter.
  • Drainage
    Run off water flows towards the east.
  • Sewerage
    None.
  • Solid waste
    Garbage collects in the area behind the monument which also functions as a toilet area
  • Pavement and surfaces
    Tough tile paving around the building; marble interior steps; floor is PCC
  • External threats
    None noted.
  • Condition
    Front of the building is covered with new tiles but un-tiled portion at rear shows numerous deep cracks and rising damp. Interior shows dampness and minor cracks.



    barood khana or nigar khana of multan fort

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