The 16th century Mughal-era garden 'Aam Khas Bagh' which is in a state of decay, is set to get a revamp as the government as released Rs 10 crore for the first phase of its restoration.
The archaeological department claims that the garden, which bears stamp of three Mughal emperors and lies in the heart of the city, will be made better than the original.
The department has chalked out extensive plans to develop the Aam Khas Bagh as a world class tourism attraction centre and restore the vintage look of whole garden in two phases. The work is expected to begin soon.
The first phase will involve the construction of a boundary wall, made in a special vintage look, around the garden and the establishment of an art and craft centre for displaying modern art.
Deputy commissioner Sangha said that under this project the 'Maulsry' restaurant in Aam Khas Bagh would also be made operational. The tourists would be provided with world class facilities at the restaurant and also a special information centre would be made operational to inform the tourists about the historical significance of the place.
The second phase will emphasise on restoration of the ancient art of Sard Khana, Daulat Khana and Hamam. A regular sound and light programme will also be arranged to make these places a center of attraction. Besides, the air cooling system used in ancient times will also be restored.
Sangha while inspecting the old historical buildings with archaeological expert Gurmit Sangha Rai said that the archaeological department of the state is going to restore significant historical buildings such as Aam Khas Bagh, Mehtabi Bagh, Sheesh Mahal, Talab Naughara, Central Chabutra.
Sangha and Rai also inspected the work of cleaning and remodeling the Sirhind choe. They also inspected the three bridges, constructed in Mughal style, situated on Sirhind-Bassi Pathana Main Road.
First Mughal garden of country
Hafiz Sultan Muhammad Rakhna of Herat, then shiqdar (revenue collector) of Sirhind, built the garden in the 16th century. It was then known as Bagh-i-Hafiz Rakhna. In 1581, Emperor Akbar, in the quest for the governor of Kabul, encamped at Sirhind and rested in this walled garden. Emperor Jahangir also used to stay in this bagh.
In 1634, Shah Jahan ordered the construction of a building named Daulat Khana-i-Khas in its premises to be used as his residence. The garden lies along the Grand Trunk Road, the imperial highway of the Mughals.