Digital Desk, Islamabad. The centuries-old Nandana Fort, discovered by the Archaeological Department of Pakistan three months ago, is now set to be renovated. This fort may be in neglected condition but still exhibits its unique and splendid power. The discovery of the landmark by the Department of Archeology is an important first step, which will pave the way for its restoration to become a major tourist attraction in Pakistan.
Nandana Fort was built by the Hindu king Inder Pal at an altitude of at least 15,000 feet in the village of Baghanwala in Pind Dadan Khan district of Punjab province. The Katas Raj Temple, located about 300 km from the Salt Range, and a temple built by the Hindu royal king Jaipal bear similarities in architecture.
According to the account, the royal kings ruled the Nandana fort in the 11th century until Mahmud of Ghazni expelled them from the area.
Historical documents show that the buildings inside this fort also served as study centers and it was the only fort under the rule of Mahmud of Ghazni.
The fort was also the laboratory of the Muslim Persian scientist Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, from where he used to measure the circumference of the earth. For this reason this building is also known as Al Biruni Markaz.
History also suggests that the building served as a safe haven for the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir, as they often visited the fort to hunt deer and birds.
The Pakistan government led by Imran Khan has decided to restore the Nandana Fort. According to the Tourism Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab Province, Khan has visited the area and a rehabilitation project has already been prepared in this regard.
Asif Mahmood, advisor to Punjab CM on tourism, said the restoration project will be completed by June 30, 2022. According to the plan, the Al Biruni laboratory is also being re-established, where young scientists and students will be able to conduct experiments.
The recent excavations carried out by the Archaeological Department will help in ascertaining the exact age of the building, while valuable pottery and antiquities have also been recovered from the complex, he said.
It was also revealed that Baghanwala village would also be given the status of a model village, which would help make it accessible with water, telephone lines, electricity, gas and internet services.
The overall process will have three phases, Mahmood said. First, it will be an ideal village, where tourists will be able to live in good facilities. Second, the temporary accommodation will be at the midpoint, where there will also be toilets and stalls will be set up. And the third and final point will be at Nandana Fort, where extensive parking, hotel and rest house will be constructed.