Shah Allah Ditta

Shah Allah Ditta is a centuries-old village and a union council located at the foothills of the Margalla Hills in the Islamabad Capital Territory.

Shah Allah Ditta
شاہ اللہ دتہ
Village
Shah Allah Ditta's Sadhu da Bagh caves are an ancient Buddhist monastic site
Shah Allah Ditta's Sadhu da Bagh caves are an ancient Buddhist monastic site
Shah Allah Ditta شاہ اللہ دتہ‬ is located in Pakistan
Shah Allah Ditta شاہ اللہ دتہ‬
Shah Allah Ditta
شاہ اللہ دتہ
Coordinates: 33°43′15″N 72°54′52″E / 33.7209642°N 72.9143201°ECoordinates: 33°43′15″N 72°54′52″E / 33.7209642°N 72.9143201°E
Country  Pakistan
Province Islamabad Capital Territory Islamabad Capital Territory
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Etymology

PicturesquePakistan
Shah Allah Ditta is based in a verdant setting.

The village is named after a Mughal period Dervi

History

The village is believed to be more than seven hundred years old and was used as route from Kabul to the Gandharan city of Taxila by Alexander and Sher Shah Suri while Mughal rulers and other emperors often passed through while traveling from Afghanistan to the Hindustan.

Archeology

Relics of the Buddhist era dating back to the 8th century can be found here along with burnt diyas and trees with amulets tied to them.

Shah Allah Ditta caves[1] are located on the route leading towards Khanpur. These caves are next to the shrine and tomb of Shah Allah Ditta.[2]

2,400-year-old Buddhist era murals[3] of Buddha appear on the walls of caves at Shah Allah Ditta.[4]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the caves and the platform-like formations surrounding the area were first used for meditation by Buddhist monks and later by Hindu sadhus before Muslim ascetics took over during the Mughal period.

Marked on the ground close to the caves the location where Alexander arrived and was received by Raja Ambi, King of Taxila. The road next to the caves that leads to the main top of the mountain, Shah Allah Ditta road, is said to be built on the exact path followed by Pashtun (پشتون، پٹھان) emperor Sher Shah Suri during his visit.

Moving up the mountain from the caves, there is a stepwell called Losar Baoli and a mosque built by Shahāb-ud-Din Ghori. The mosque has broken walls and the road leading to it is dilapidated.

Preservation

  • In October 2010, Capital Development Authority (CDA) finally approved the plan after realizing the importance to preserve this 2,400-year-old archeological site.[5] The plan covers conservation of the Buddha caves as well as the adjacent garden known as 'Sadhu ka Bagh'.[6] This is the second heritage site in Islamabad which has been targeted for preservation; the first was the historical Saidpur Village, also situated at the foothills of the Margallas.
  • The Taxila Institute of Asian Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, the Natural History Museum and the Department of Architecture urged the government to preserve[7] such sites of Mughal heritage.
  • Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, reportedly offered to provide funds for the preservation of Shah Allah Ditta caves.[8]

Residential land

There is approx. 23,000 kanal land located in Shah Allah Ditta village and its surroundings.[9]

As of July 2011, approx. 17,000 kanal land is privately owned, and approx. 6,000 kanal of land has been purchased by the housing society developers of sectors D-13, E-13 and C-13.[10]

The federal government has only 30 kanals of land in and around Shah Allah Ditta.

Gallery

Sadhu ka bagh

The Sadhu ka Bagh near the caves

See also

References

  1. ^ http://wikimapia.org/11599623/Shah-Allah-Ditta-Caves
  2. ^ http://pakteahouse.net/2008/04/07/islamabad-shah-allah-ditta-caves-need-immediate-preservation/
  3. ^ http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=4,6588,0,0,1,0
  4. ^ http://buddhistartnews.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/another-buddhist-site-found-in-islamabad/
  5. ^ http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\10\18\story_18-10-2010_pg7_37
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  7. ^ http://tribune.com.pk/story/23378/caves-of-mughal-heritage-fading-from-memory/
  8. ^ http://tribune.com.pk/story/23378/caves-of-mughal-heritage-fading-from-memory/
  9. ^ http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/27/woe-to-shangrila-2.html
  10. ^ http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/27/woe-to-shangrila-2.html

External links

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