Envisioning the Architecture of Pre – Partitioned Punjab
As one delves into the history of Undivided Punjab, strikingly with each and every page one turns of their history, their inheritance. One can not help themselves, but conjure up a picture of sprawling villages of then Punjab.
With the horizons of skyline meeting marvelous architecture of high havelis, standing with pride midst many adjoining humble mud houses, encompassed by sections of land of green fields and forests of dull, prickly
and neem — along these lines opens the novel Dusk over the Mustard Fields with a finely drawn painting of a town of Punjab.
While talking about the architecture of Punjab, one cannot look away from the bloodshed and the ravages brought to these towns by the exodus during partition. But within the essence of architecture of Punjab, it is still hard to distinguish the old from the new. The strength of its architecture lies in its adverse times for what has not changed in its foundation even after some seventy to a hundred years.
What the architecture of pre-partition Punjab signifies are the splendors of mosques and gurudwara sprinkled around the town, where Hindus and Muslims reside in amicably and gas-lamps are lit in each family, with individuals participating in Diwali just as Eid celebrations.
Corroboration of the same can still be manifested through the account of Kulwant Singh, from Andlu district of Ludhiana Punjab. Sitting in an old looking Veda, which does not match with the modern architecture of his house, he tells about a Gurudwara of his neighbor built on what used to be mosques land till 1947.
As per him, "I have been accountable for the Gurdwara for a long time; I take as much consideration of the mosque as of the Gurdwara." He added, "A year ago, my nephew who lives abroad sent eight lakh rupees for renovation work; I spent four lakh rupees on the gurdwara and four lakh rupees on the mosque. All things considered; they are both a place of the one true god."
India's side of Punjab does not have sole ownership of the heritage of this medieval architecture of Punjab. Similar beautiful recounts of old Punjabi haveli and its architecture can be streamed in the “Punjabi Leher” YouTube channel from Pakistan.
Talking about the streets and towns of undivided Punjab, Hamid Ali Shah from Firozpur India recounts “We were a middling family with a small house and were living well,” “The striking brick streets, jamun tree in front of my house, and the scent of tamarind in our veranda – I still can recall the flavor and how fulfilling it was,” he said with a smile. He is now settled in Bhabhra Bazar in Pakistan after partition.
The physical unity of the undivided Punjabi village is immediately obvious from its architecture. The architecture and the actual solidarity of the Punjabi town is quickly self-evident. Houses of Adobe bunch intently together framing a smaller unit. Roads are lined by the "kand" of adjacent house compounds and join the different parts of the town. Where shops bunch and where the open gathering spot of the town is arranged. Tanks may happen inside or then again on the edges of towns. Since agriculture is by irrigation system, the fields tan out from the wellsprings of water, regardless of whether wells or waterways. In the more furthermore, and less populated districts, the town is encircled by its fields which progressively peter out into desert. 'This example is obviously apparent from the sky.