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  • Uchchh History and Architecture

  • Author:  Dr. Ahmad Nabi Khan

  • Price in Pak Rupees: Rs.

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 About Book  About Author 

Among the several ancient cities of Pakistan, Uchchh stands out more prominently whose birth, adolescence and climax is identified with religious ferver and spiritual piety. It was eehoed In the hymns of the Hindu Vedas sung in veneration of Ushas, the beautiful young goddess of Dawn who ushered with the Sun god from the East every morning to announce the day dawn: Soon thousands of sacred bells rung, in chorus chrils from her abodes. the shadowy temples located In far and near corners of the city. Uchchh is a corrupted form of Ushas, they say! Also Uchchh is associated with the visitation of Alexander the Macedonlan. He is known to have founded an Alexandria around here In the name of his beloved Queen. This is a romantic story yet to be testified by sober history, or by the spade of archaeology.


Later still Uchchh was found under the sway of a petty chief, Buddhist or Brahman (?) under the powerful yoke of the Ra'is of Sindh. It would have been spotted by the Arab army under Muhammad Bin Qasim and later. formed part of Arab Eremite of Banu Sama or of t he I sma'i1ls. However, no mention of it is found In the annals of early Islam And then suddenly the all-forgotten Uchchh springs up as a metropolis of the Kingdom of Nasir u'd-Din Qubacha whose rule lasted for well over twenty-two years.
Although he had to face and thwart onslaughts of Mongols, Khwarazmis and lastly of his own father-In-law. The twilight of power and prosperity ended turning our historic Uchchh a land of dust and ruins.
However. saints and religious luminaries made it a centre of spiritual excellence. The great unique services of Jahaniyan Jahangasht are too well known. He trained and sent from here his devoted disciples to t he nook and corner of the Subcontinent to propagate I slam The efforts succeeded in bringing thousands to the fold. While Qubacha, and elite of his court built numerous religious and secular edifices to adorn the city, the saints and their admires created mosques, Khanqahs, madrasas and tombs. They were significant examples of brick-cum-wood architecture clad with colourful tilery, evincing all-abiding influence of Central Asian art, but possessing their own characteristics.


The present work attempts at covering these aspects In details, based on original or authoritative sources. The description of architectural monuments accompanies monochrome and polychrome photographic plates as well as line drawings of plans, elevations and sections of more prominent undertakings.
 

 

Born In 1933, archaeologist and architectural historian, Dr. Ahmad Nabi Khan was educated at the University of the Punjab and the Department of Architecture of the Rome University. He received training in the field of archaeology. museology. numismatics and epigraphy, and preservation and restoration of archaeological sites and historic monuments in the Pakistan Department of Archaeology. the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. and the International Centre for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome (Italy). He has been participating in archaeological excavations and explorations, and heading projects of conservation and restoration of historical sites and monuments. He has attcnded numerous national and international conferences. symposiums and deliberations on history. culture and archaeology. He was elected Rapporteur to the International Symposium on the Preservation of Moenjodaro (Moenjodaro: 1973). and International Symposium on Preservation of Islamic Architectural Heritage (Lahore 1980). Both organized under the auspices of the UNESCO 'and the Government of Pakistan. He has been Fellow of several national and international learned and scientific societies like Royal Asiatic Society (London). International Institute of Conservation (London), Royal Numismatic Society (London). Socictie Asiatique (Paris).

His main interest has been Muslim Archaeology and Muslim architecture to which he has contributed numerous research papers and monographs. His published works include: Iran and Pakistan: The Story of Cultural Relationship Through tho! Ages (1971); Uchchh: History and Archito!ctllre (1980): Maryam Zamani Mosque: Histmy and Architecture (1972); and Multan: History and Architecture (1982). Throughout his career. he has been working in the Department of Archaeology, Government of Pakistan, with a brief period of two years when he worked as a Principal Research Fellow in the Institute of Islamic History. Culture and Civilization of the Islamic University, Islamabad (1980-82). He also worked as Director of Conservation Projects in the Auqaf Department of the Government of Punjab (198386). and Director-General of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan (1978-1994).

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