Friday, 6 April 2012

History of Uch Sharif (An Ancient City of the World), Bahawalpur Pakistan

Hazrat Baha-Ul-Halim R.A

The tomb of Bahaa-Ul-Haleem is the earliest of three domed mausoleum found on a high mound in the town of Uch, a center of Sufism under the Delhi sultanate. Little is known about him, except that he was the teacher of the saint Hazrat Makhdoom Jahaniyan Jahan Gasht, who built the mausoleum. It is believed that this tomb was constructed some 650 years back. The tomb shows the influence of the funerary style that originated around Multan, exemplified by the Tomb of Bahauddin Zakaria.

The tomb of Baha-Ul-Halim is Octagonal in shape with 3 stories in total. The roof of third story is doom shaped which is mostly destroyed. Only a small curve is left which indicates its structure was almost like that of Bibi Jawindi. 

Tomb Structure is decorated with glazed tiles of almost 20 different patterns. Whole tomb, from top to bottom was covered and water proofed with these glazed tiles. Major construction material is Mud and Hardened bricks, however, the seize of these bricks is much smaller then being used today. Inside Structure of the tomb was supported with wooden pegs with with time were worn out and caused whole tomb structure to destabilize.

(Old Bazaar, Uch Sharif Bahawalpur Pakistan)
This tomb is its an octagonal geometry, I mean it has 8 sides. In addition to that, observe its detailing, like arches, doors, look at thickness of walls, look at the doom, I think most of its architectural elements are unique. Every monument here is some what different from the others, but this particular tomb is important because it has most of the elements that we don’t find as such in other monuments around.

Another important element in the tomb, which is not of course associated with this particular tomb, but is also present in other tombs, too is use of glazed tiles. It’s the glazed tile that represents this area and is marvelous piece of art. In the tomb of Baha-Ul-Halim, this glazed tile is used both inside and outside the tomb and the design and patters used are definitely unique in it.

Unlike any other tomb of fellow design, tomb of Uch Shareef is decorated from inside as well as outside. Moreover, decorating glaze tiles used in the tomb are mostly unique in pattern and are not used either nearby tombs nor any other tomb of Uch.   

Destructive Factors
Uch’s old city was built on a small reef. It is believed that there used to be an old castle and this small mountain is actually the remaining of that old castle. Tombs of Baha-Ul-Halim along with tomb of Bibi Jawindi and Ustaad Nooria lie close to each other and at the bank of that old city. Floods further made this area delicate and now these monuments stand at the edge of the high area. Soon after floods, land underneath and near the monument slipped towards the sides and played its role in the destruction. This process is not stopped as strong concrete walls are built around the monuments in order to avoid further land sliding.

Tomb is constructed with Coal Burnet Bricks that were in common use at the time of its construction. Those bricks were fixed together with mud mixed with crop threads to make give strength. To provide strength to structure, wooden supports were placed in various parts of the tomb like in roof doors.

To protect the structure from water, it was covered throughout with specially built glazed tiles that are made in blue and white colors. These tiles covered the tomb from top to bottom and when the shine reflected from those tiles, it felt like a shining mountin from a distance. 

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