Thursday 29 August 2019

098 - Nawab Sar Buland Khan And His Fort At Mankera

By 1750 Mughal power in Punjab was rapidly collapsing and within a few years, Mughals lost their control over Punjab completely to Sikhs in central and eastern Punjab and to Afghans in western and southern Punjab. The whole area between Jamuna and Indus was in anarchy and divided into dozens of petty states and Sikhs Misls. 

In 1748 Mir Moin ul Mulk, also known as Mir Mannu was appointed the governor of Lahore, his vigorous steps kept the depredations of Sikhs largely in control. He destroyed their fort Ram Rouni near Amritsar and thousands of Sikhs were captured and executed at Shaheed Ganj outside Delhi gate, Lahore. However, Sikhs were not the only problem, a bigger threat was Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. He invaded Punjab seven times, starting in 1748, and caused widespread destruction and pillage during his invasions. Mir Mannu himself was defeated by Abdali in 1752. Though re-instated as governor, his power was broken. Without any help and support from Delhi darbar, he could not resist Abdali for long. His rule lasted just a few years and after him Adina Beg, the new governor tried to establish order in Punjab. The last invasion of Abdali was in 1767, these seven campaigns totally destroyed the influence and authority of Mughals in Punjab. However, Abdali failed to stem the rising tide of Sikhs and large parts of central and eastern Punjab fell to Sikhs including the capital Lahore in 1764 (during his last invasion Abdali took Lahore for a short period). Western and southern Punjab came under the rule of Afghans. But Afghan control was weak and after the death of Abdali in 1772 it became nominal. In this chaotic situation, dozens of Muslim principalities emerged in these areas, including Kasur, Jhang, Sial, Bahawalpur, Multan, Khushab, Sahiwal, Mitha Tiwana, Salt Range, and Mankera. These all states by 1822 fell to the rising power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

One of these states was Mankera. It was a big state between River Jhelum / Chenab and Indus. The town situated in the middle of vast Thal desert, in Sindh Sagar Doab is an ancient town. Due to its strong mud fort and geography, was considered a very strong point and very difficult to subjugate. It was the capital of a big state spread on both sides of the Indus river. It was under the nominal suzerainty of Afghanistan but was practically an independent state, ruled by an Afghan clan. 

Towards the end of 18th century, Ranjit Singh of Gujranwala, the chief of Sukerchakia Misl, emerged as the main force in Punjab. He captured Lahore in 1799 and laid the foundations of a strong state. Soon he embarked upon a series of conquests, territories of other Sikh Misls and small Muslim states scattered all over Punjab were his target. By 1819 he had conquered almost the whole of present day Pakistani Punjab, Kashmir and the Bist Doab. 

Ranjit Singh was a very energetic man and relentlessly launched campaigns in all direction to extract tributes from different chiefs or reduce their states altogether. Famous historian Syad Muhammad Latif, in his History of Panjab, published in 1889, gives the following account of the Ranjit Singh's first campaign again Mankera in his book, this campaign started in 1816: 
The Maharaja, being joined by Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, moved in the direction of Multan and Bahawalpur, at the head of his troops, collecting tribute and exacting nazranas from the zemindars on the way. At Pakpattan, Dewan Sheikh Muhammad Yar, the Sajjada Nashin of the great mausoleum of that place, presented the Maharaja with a fine horse and a sword set with jewels. The district was at first placed in charge of Jemadar Khushhal Singh; but out of consideration for the sanctity of the saint, whose remains are deposited there, it was restored to the Sajjada Nishin, on condition of his agreeing to pay a tribute of Rs. 9,000 per annum. Sube Rae and Kishan Das, vakils of the Nawab of Bahawalpur, having then visited the Maharaja, a fresh agreement was executed by the nawab to pay a nazrana of Rs. 80,000 and an annual tribute of Rs. 70,000. The Maharaja, marching by easy stages, next reached Harappa, where he was joined by Daya Singh, Qutub-ud-Dina Khan Kasuria and Missar Dewan Chand, who were returning with their advanced division from Bahawalpur, after the new agreement made with the nawab. Maharaja ordered them to Tolamba, where he himself arrived on 15th Chet, 1873, Samvat (1816 AD). Here Sayad Muhsin Shah, vakil of Muzaffar Khan, nawab of Multan, brought presents of horses, shawls and carpets for the Maharaja, who demand a lakh and twenty thousand rupees as nazrana. The agent asked for time to pay subsidy, offering to pay Rs. 40,000 in cash and the balance after two months, but the Sikh ruler, becoming impatient, laid siege to Ahmadabad, which was reduced without difficulty by the artillery of Missar Dewan Chand. Then, crossing the Chinab at Trimu Ghat, the Maharaja encamped at Salar Wahan with his troops. An advanced column of Sikhs reached Multan to enforce payment of tribute; and Phula Singh Akali, intoxicated with bhang, suddenly stormed the town, at the head of a band of fanatics, with such impetuosity that the storming party gained possession of the outworks of the citadel. The nawab, seeing that the Sikh ruler was determined to proceed to extremes if the subsidy was not soon paid, remitted Rs. 80,000 through Dewan Bhawani Das, and promised in a short time, to pay the balance of Rs. 40,000. The cupidity of the Lahore ruler being thus satisfied, he marched onto Mankera. The van of the Sikh army, under Sardar Sundar Singh Ahluwalia, proceeded down the Indus to beyond the Sindh border. Muhammad Khan, surnamed Moin-ud-doula, the chief of Bhakkar and Leia, whose family had been expelled by the present Mirs of Sindh, dying about the same time, the succession devolved on Sher Muhammad Khan, with the consent of Khuda Yar Khan, younger brother of the deceased nawab, and Hafiz Ahmad Khan, his son in law. Negotiations for a nazrana were opened by the Maharaja, through his agent Sujan Rai, the agents on behalf of the nawab being Raizada Pindi Das, Sundar Singh and Mohan Lal. The Maharaja made a demand of Rs.1,25,000, while the nawab offered only Rs. 20,000. The Maharaja, considering himself affronted, ordered Mankera country to be devasted with fire and sword. The forts of Mahmud Kot, Khangrh and Muhammadpur were closely besieged and subjected to a heavy cannonade. Phula Singh, the notorious Akali fanatic, committed the grossest atrocities on Mussalman population, and the garrisons, on coming out of the blockaded forts, were subjected to insults of a revolting description, notwithstanding the solemn pledges given that they would be secure from maltreatment. At length, Rai Pindi Das having arranged to pay fifty thousand rupees in cash, through Jamadar Khushhal Singh, and heat of the weather being severely felt, the Sikh forces withdrew, leaving Sher Muhammad Khan to govern the country. 
Nawab Sar Buland Khan was a Nawab of Mankera, who died in 1230 AH. i,e, 1815 AD. His mausoleum is located close to the city walls. It is a simple building with a boundary wall and no roof. Which has collapsed with the passage of time or perhaps never existed. I could not find many details about this chief. Syad Muhammad Latif, in his book mentions one Sar Buland Khan, a military commander of Ahmad Shah Abdali, who appointed him administrator of Jalandhar after the third battle of Panipat. Anyway, we can only assume that he or his family was given to administer Mankera on behalf of the Afghan government and he was ruling as the nawab of Mankera at his death in 1815.

Mausoleum of Nawab Sar Buland Khan, Mankera. (12.07.2019.)

A plaque above the door of the mausoleum.  (12.07.2019.)

 بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
(With the name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful)

لا الہ الا اللہ محمد الرسول اللہ
(There is no god but the God, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah)

رحم کر، نہ اپنے آئین کرم کو بھول جا
ہم تو تجھے بھولے ہیں، لیکن تو نہ ہم کو بھول جا
Be merciful, do not forget Your ways of graciousness,
We indeed have forgotten you, but You do not forget us.

نام نيک رفتگان ضايع مکن 

تا بمانـد نـام نيکـت برقرار 

1230 AH. (1815 AD)

Different views of the Nawab's grave. (12.07.2019.)

At the entrance of the mausoleum.  (12.07.2019.)

After a gap of few years, Ranjit Singh again turned to western Punjab and launched his second and the final campaign against Mankera in 1821. The following account is given of this campaign in the same book:
After the Dasahra the Sikh army was ordered to rendezvous at Amritsar, and the Maharaja, taking the command in person, marched to the Indus, with the object of finally reducing the countries south of Multan. The resources of Hafiz Ahmad Khan, the nawab of Mankera, had been annually drained by extortions and forced contributions, as well as by the ravage and waste of his country, so that Ranjit Singh had hoped that his territory would fall an easy conquest. Having crossed the Indus at Mitha Tiwana, he was joined by Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa,  and sent Missar Dewan Chand and Kirpa Ram, who had joined him at Khushab, to reduced the Bhakkar fort and town. Syad Imam Shah and Hakam Shah, agents of nawab of Mankera, fled from Bhakkar on the approach of the Sikh troops, and the place was reduced without resistance. From this place, Sardar Dal Singh and Jamadar Khushhal Singh were sent, with a detachment of 8,000 troops to reduce Dera Ismail Khan. Manak Rae, the Nawab's governor at Dera Ismail Khan, offered resistance; the city was besieged by the Sikh troops and, the governor having been seized, the Nawab's forces dispersed. The whole of the property and war munitions belonging to the Nawab fell into the hands of the Sikhs. Khangarh, Leia, and Maujgarh were next successively reduced without opposition and the whole Sikh army then marched to Mankera. The Nawab, having paid the arrears due to his troops, made preparations for a determined resistance. The city of Mankera was surrounded with a mud wall, and the fort was of brick; but the invading army had to struggle against natural difficulties. The citadel and the town were situated in the midst of sandy deserts and on a cluster of sandhills. The entire absence of waterworks and wells in the country invaded, reduced the Sikh army to great straits. A detachment was advanced to invest the stronghold, and the place was blockaded. A supply of water was brought for the besieging army on the backs of camels, bullocks, horses and ponies from Maujgarh and other places, by land, at great trouble and expense. The Maharaja had heavy guns with him, and with these a continual fire was maintained against the besieged. But the Mankerian troops had effectively secured every gateway and bastion, and provided the rampart with means of defence. They poured a hot fire of musketry and cannon on the besiegers, who had carried their works close to the ditch. In the meanwhile, the followers of the Sikh army, under the personal supervision of indefatigable Maharaja, had succeeded in digging twenty wells in their camp, and a supply of fresh water was not at hand, to the great relief of the invading army. A further division now moved forward to complete the investment, Ranjit Singh himself superintending the conduct of the whole. The siege lasted for twenty two days, during which Nawab held his own. But desertions now commenced on his side, and some of his principal sardars, having secretly come out of the fort, joined Ranjit Singh, and pointed out the spots at which an attack could be successfully made. The dispositions for attack were accordingly changed; but the Nawab, seeing treachery on all sides and conceiving that he had done enough to preserve the honour of his ancestors, sent his agents, Kazi Gul Muhammad and Ali Jah Sikandar Khan, to Ranjit Singh, to propose terms of capitulation. These were that the Nawab should be allowed a safe conduct from the citadel to his camp, bringing with him the whole of his family, men, arms and property, and that he should be allowed to retain possession of Dera Ismail Khan, and receive a suitable jagir. The Maharaja agreed to these terms. The Nawab had studied well the Sikh character, and knew the Sikh ruler's ideas of good faith. He therefore wanted him to put the impression of his hand, with the fingers extended, on a blank piece of paper, with saffron, as a solemn pledge for the due execution of the agreement; and Ranjit Singh, anxious to give a new example of the Khalsa faith, no less than to close a costly campaign in a country so ill provided with the means of prosecuting it, went through the formality. Rich dresses were sent to the Nawab, who his suspicions having been thus allayed, surrendered the fort, and came out with 300 followers, bringing with all his property and arms. His camp was pitched within the lines of the Sikhs, and he had an interview with the Maharaja on the 20th. The Maharaja half stood up to receive him, and was seated close to him on the same masnad. The Nawab implored his conqueror to save the city from plunder, and to provide his troops, who had proved faithful to him, with suitable employment. Both these requests were granted by the Maharaja, who as a further proof of his friendship for the Nawab, discarded those who had joined him as deserters from their now vanquished sovereign. The Nawab made over twenty-two guns, with a large quantity of ammunition, to the Maharaja and with the whole of his harem, family and attendants, was sent to Dera Ismail Khan under a sufficient escort. The country of Nawab Hafiz Ahmad Khan, annexed by Maharaja, was worth annually ten lakhs of rupees, and its acquisition was the source of intense pleasure to Ranjit Singh, who ordered the towns of Lahore and Amritsar to be illuminated in honour of the occasion. Sardar Amir Singh Sindhianwalia was appointed governor of Mankera, while Bhakkar and Leia were farmed to Raj Kour Khatri. The Biluch Mahomedan chiefs of Tank and Sagar having been then reduced to subjection, the Sikh army marched to Daera Din Panah. From this place the army was sent by land to Multan, The Maharaja himself embarking on Indus for Dera Ghazi Khan. Here five lakh of rupees exacted from the Bahawalpur Nawab, under pain of an invasion of his territory, and the rent of Dera Ghazi Khan and Mithankot, held in farm by him, was increased. Joining then his army at Multan, the Maharaja returned to his capital on the 27th of January, 1822.

The Mankera fort was a large fort, with huge mud walls, encompassing an area of more than 40 acres. Now it is completely in ruins. Only some portions of the wall on the western and southern side can be seen. Which give a good idea that how imposing those walls would be when Ranjit Singh was battering them in 1821. 

Ruins of a gate on the north-western corner of the fort. (12.07.2019.)

A bastion of the fort. (12.07.2019.)

A view of the western wall. (12.07.2019.)

Another view from the west. (12.07.2019.)

A round bastion in the wall on the west side. (12.07.2019.)

Another view of the wall.  (12.07.2019.)

Looking towards the south-western corner. (12.07.2019.)

A huge bastion on the south-western corner of the fort. (12.07.2019.)

The wall in the south. (12.07.2019.)

Another view of the ruins of the wall. (12.07.2019.)

A segment of the wall on the south side. (12.07.2019.)

Inside of the fort is populated but nothing old exists. Except for the door of a Hindu temple. The building has completely vanished and the compound is an empty place.  

The door of the Hindu temple. (12.07.2019.)

मन्दिर श्री महाबीर जी
مندر شری مہابیر جی منکیرہ
(Temple of Shri Mahabir ji, Mankera)

मन्दिर श्री महाबीर जी मंकेरा 

مندر شری مہابیر جی منکیرہ) )
(Temple of Shri Mahabir ji, Mankera)

A view of the location of the temple. (12.07.2019.)

As noted above nothing old of any historical significance exist inside the fort. The mosque of Sar Buland Khan existed in a good condition until very recently. But unfortunately, it was demolished by whatsoever reasons and thus an important piece of history and architecture was lost permanently. 

The new mosque inside the fort. (12.07.2019.)

Following are the two pictures of the old mosque of Nawab sahib. Now demolished.

As we read above the area around Mankera is a desert. But not like the deserts which I have seen in the middle east. It is much more green and populated. Its landscape is beautiful and captivating. 

A road in the desert. (12.07.2019.)

Towards Mankera. (12.07.2019.)

A view of the desert, with green patches here and there. (12.07.2019.)

A wetland at the banks of river Jhelum, near Sahiwal (Sargodha). (12.07.2019.)

A map of Mankera State (Wikipedia). 

Mankera is a historic town and its stand against the Sikh army is an inspiring story of our history. Now there is not much left to preserve. Even the mosque of the Nawab has been demolished. All that is remaining is fragments of the old walls and the mausoleum of the Nawab Sar Buland Khan. If possible that should be preserved for being a part of our history and heritage. 

Tariq Amir

August 29, 2019.

Doha - Qatar 

Tuesday 20 August 2019

097 - Haveli of Diwan Amar Nath Chopra (Eminabad, district Gujranwala)

If you visit an old part of any town in Pakistan it is certain that in the narrow winding streets you will find some old houses with beautiful wooden doors and balconies hovering over the narrow lanes. And it is quite probable that a few of them are so big and imposing in their size and grandeur that they will captivate your attention and you cannot pass by them without praising their beauty or feeling curious about their past and present. One such haveli is of Diwan Amar Nath Chopra in Eminabad city. I visited this haveli on 8 August 2019. While searching for the haveli in the city I met Syed Waseem Ali, who is one of the many residents of this haveli. He was happy to know that I was looking for their haveli. He took me to the haveli and soon I found myself in front of the magnificent main entrance of this haveli, the view spellbound me for a few moments. But an unpleasant surprise was also waiting for me. I soon found that it was actually a cluster of at least five or six huge havelis and none of them has survived. Only a few remnants exist as a testament to past glory. The haveli under our discussion exists at  32° 2'35.69"N;  74°15'38.40"E. 

Syed Waseem sahib's maternal grandmother's family now lives in this haveli. He has a diploma of Associate Engineer in architecture. His maternal grandmother's family migrated from, Salwan, district Karnal, Haryana, who is still alive. His maternal grandfather's name was Syed Shaukat Ali, who died a few years ago. And they have been living here ever since 1947. As mentioned earlier, according to Mr Wasem, it was a cluster of several havelis, where the extended family of Diwans lived side by side. There were dozens of rooms and the system of ventilation was so great that fresh air reached all nooks and corners of the havelis and even in hot weather the atmosphere inside was always pleasant.  

The main entrance of the haveli Diwan Amar Nath: (08.08.2019.)

The main entrance of the haveli Diwan Amar Nath: (08.08.2019.)

Two adjoining havelis. (08.08.2019)

Another view of the havelis. (08.08.2019)

A large empty plot, where once a large portion of one of the havelis existed(08.08.2019)

The haveli on right side still has some old room. (08.08.2019)

A few remnants of a third haveli, in front of the haveli of Diwan Amar Nath. (08.08.2019)

Syed Waseem Ali. (08.08.2019)

A demolished section of the haveli, behind the main entrance. (08.08.2019)

The writer. (08.08.2019)

Now something about Diwan Amar Nath and the family, who owned these magnificent havelis. Following account of this family is given in the book "Chiefs and Families of Note in Punjab, 1939":
This family is well known all over the northern India by reason of the close connection for years past of many of its members with the Jammu and Kashmir State. Frome the commencement of the Maharaja Gulab Singh's reign until the death of Diwan Amar Nath in 1917, they practically monopolized the office of Diwan of Prime Minister, and thus incurred responsibility for much of the good or evil repute attaching to the rule of the Dogras in Kashmir. 
The family history goes back to Rai Ugarsen of Bikaner, who was Peshkar or Secretary to the Emperor Babar, whom he once accompanied on a visit to Punjab, and, marrying amongst the Kanungo Khatris of Eminabad in the Gujranwala district, settled there. Bishan Das, great-great-grandfather of Diwan Amar Nath, was employed as a writer under Sardar Mahan Singh Sukarchakia. His son, Amir Chand, became the Karkun or managing agent of Raja Gulab Singh in the Bewal ilaqa, made over to him by Maharaja Ranjit Singh; and he was afterwards designated as the Madar-ul-Maham of Jammu when that terriroty fell into Maharaja Gulab Singh's hands.  He died at Kidarabad (probably Qadirabad) in 1836 when on tour with his master, and was succeeded as head of affairs by his son, Diwan Jwala Sahai, who for nearly thirty years remained the confidential minister of the Maharaja, rendering important services to the British Government as the Mahraja's accredited agent. His loyal services during the Mutiny received the special acknowledgements of the Viceory. In 1865 Jwala Sahai was obliged by a stroke of paralysis to give over the Diwanship to his son, Kirpa Ram; but he continued to serve the State in the capacity of Governoer of Jammu. He was made a Companion of the Star of India in 1875. Diwan Kirpa Ram held the office of Diwan till his death in 1876. He was an oriental scholar of some repute, and was the author of several Persian books, including a history of Kashmir and the Gulab Nama or History of Maharaja Gulab Singh. he was slightly less conservative than his father, and was zealous in encouraging education, establishing hospitals, opening up thoroughfares, introducing silk and other industries, and improving the system of revenue collection. But his death at the early age of 44 prevented his undertakings from being brought to a satisfactory finish. Kirpa Ram was followed as Diwan by his son, Anant Ram, who kept the office for ten years. He was attacked with a brain affection, and was obliged in 1885 to resign his Diwanship in favour of his cousin, Gobind Sahai, son of Diwan Nihal Chand. 
 Mention must, however, first be made of Diwan Hari Chand and Nihal Chand, the younger sons of Amir Chand. Maharaja Gulab Singh gave the former the command his troops in 1836, and in this capacity he served the State usefully for many years, extending and consolidating the Mahraja's authority northwards beyond Ladakh, and to the west as Yasin and Chilas. When the Mutiny broke out he was sent to Delhi in charge of the Jammu contingent of one cavalry and four infantry regiments and a battery of artillery. He died there of cholera in 1857. Diwan Nihal Chand worked for several years as an assistant under his brother, Jwala Sahai, and was always a favourite of Maharaja Gulab Singh. In 1885 he was appointed confidential agen of the State with the Lietenant-Governor of the Punjab. He hastened to Delhi in 1857 on hearing of his brother's death, and took over the command of the troops, rendering useful service later on in connection with the trial of the Nawab of Jhajjar for participation in the rebellion. He died in 1872. His son Diwan Gobind Sahai, had been, from his earliest days, attached to the Court at Jammu. He acted as Mehmandar, or host, in the Maharaja's behalf on the occasion of visits of ceremony by high Indian officials. In 1868 he was employed in settlement work, and was instrumental in abolishing payment of revenue in kind in the districts of Jammu and Naushehra. He succeeded his father in 1872 as confidential agent with the Lieutenant Governor, and received the appointment of Motamid with the Governor-General in 1878. For his special services in this capacity he received a grant of fifteen hundred acres of culturable land in Tahsil Hafizabad, Gujranwala, during the viceroyalty of the Earl of Lytton. He succeeded to the Diwanship as already stated in 1885, shortly after the accession of Maharaja Partap Singh, but was soon afterwards dismissed and his office made over to his firsr cousin, Diwan Lachhman Das, younger son of Diwan Jwala Sahai. But he too summarily dismissed in 1888.
 Of the older branch, the most important member in recent years was, Diwan Amar Nath, who was appointed Governor of Jammu in 1893 and held that post till 1905, when he was made the Foreign Minister of the Kashmir State. He was given the title of Rai Sahib in recognition of his services in Jammu in 1905. He was made Prime Minister in 1910 and he held that post till his death in 1917. In recognition of his valuable services he was made a Diwan Bahadur and also granted the C.I.E. He owned upward of 10,000 acres of land in Gujranwala and the surrounding districts and enjoyed a share of large jagir from the Kashmir State which had been conferred on his grandfather, Diwan Jwala Sahai and his descendants in perpetuity. In addition, the Diwan received an allowance of four rupees per thousand of the collected revenue of the State. Diwan Amar Nath spent considerable sums in establishing a High School with an hostel and a dispensary in Eminabad, his native town. His son, Badri Nath, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar. He also held the LL.D. degree of the Glasgow University. On his return to India he served as Private Secretary Maharaja Pratap Singh, but died in 1919 of cholera, leaving no male issue. 
Diwan Sheo Nath, son of Diwan Lachhmi Das, was also a large land-owner in Eminabadand the neighbourhood. Lachhman Das' share of the Kashmir jagir was confiscated on his dismissal from the post of Diwan in 1888, but was subsequently restored to him by the Darbar, when he regained the favour of the Maharaja and is now enjoyed by his grandson, Diwan Dhanpat Rai. The latter had also a distinguished career in the Kashmir State. After being educated at the Government College, Lahore, he was sent to the Punjab by that State to gain training and experience in judicial and settlement work. He received his training in the Hissar and Ferozepore districts and was appointed an Honorary Extra Assistant Commissioner by the Punjab Government. For a time he was attached to the office of the Director of Land Records, Punjab. In 1912 he was appointed as a Wazir-i-Wazarat in the Jammu State. During the Great War he rendered valuable help to the administration by providing a large number of recruits and large sums of money. In 1930 Diwan Dhanpat Rai was appointed Governor of the Jammu Province, which post he held for more than a year before his retirement. 
Of the younger branch, Diwan Gobind Sahai was the best known member of the family in British India, and owned upwards of eleven thousand acres of land in the Gujranwala district. He paid Rs 8,000 per annum in land revenue. He enjoyed a jagir of Rs 4,000, per annum granted by the Kashmir State to his father, Diwan Nihal Chand, as well as a jagir of Rs 3,500 from that State. He also owned property in Jammu yielding a handsome rental. His eldest son, Diwan Lakhpat Rai, was Secretary to the late Maharaja Ranbir Singh, for some time. Later he became Tahsildar and still later Wazir-i-Wazarat of Governor of Gilgit where he died in 1908. His younger brother, Narayan Das, died in the same year. 
Diwan Lakhpat Rai left two sons, Brij Lal and Daulat Ram. The former is now the head of the Diwan family in Eminabad. After studying in agriculture and being called to the Bar in England, Diwan Brij Lal returned to India in 1915 and has since been managing his own property. Daulat Ram is looking after the commercial business of the family. But the two brothers are living in a joint family. Brij Lal has been President of the Municipal Committee of Eminabad for twelve years, and has also been an Honorary Magistrate. In 1935 he was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal.
As we noted earlier, it was not just one single haveli, but at least five or six havelis existed close to one another. At least three of them have some sections still standing. All these pictures given below were provided by Syed Waseem Ali sahib, which he took in October, 2009, when his maternal family started demolishing the main haveli, in which they were residing. It is to be noted that the havelis were allotted to different migrant families.  And they kept on altering or demolishing them according to their needs, resources and circumstances. 

The facade of the haveli of Diwan Amar Nath in October, 2009.

The above three pictures show the main gate and the beautiful wooden balcony above it. 

A wooden bar was used to close and secure the door from inside. 

The pictures given below are of havelis existed close to each other. These pictures were also taken in 2009.

The pictures given below were also taken by Syed Waseem Ali in 2009. They show the interior of the haveli. Different rooms, niches, doors, windows, stairs and floor. 

The walls of the rooms of the haveli were very beautifully painted. Though after many decades the paintings and colours had faded and damaged, even then the beauty was quite visible when the following pictures were taken in 2009.

As was the style and custom in the past, wood was extensively used in the construction and decoration of these havelis, as you can see in these pictures of beautifully carved wooden doors and windows. 

Due to issues of maintenance etc. the family decided to demolish this haveli of Diwan Amar Nath in October, 2009. These pictures show the saddest part of this story and that is the demolition of this huge haveli. 

Diwan Amar Nath besides some other public works, also built a school in Eminabad. The main entrance still carries a plaque, mentioning his contribution. 
The main entrance of a school, which Diwan Amar Nath had built in Eminabad. 
(Photo by: Syed Waseem Ali)

انگلو سنسکرت ہائی سکول ایمن آباد

تعمیر کنانیدہ دیوان امرناتھ صاحب فارن منسٹر ریاست جموں و کشمیر

An old temple in Eminabad. 

The above three pictures show two temples in Eminabad. (Photos by: Syed Waseem Ali)

For the subsequent history of this family and to see some pictures of this haveli taken in 2004, during the visit of Mr Mehirr Nath a member of this family; you may visit the following link:

It is interesting to know that one member of this large family Mr Mehirr Chopra son of Joginer and Kusum Chopra, came to visit their ancestral home in 2004. Luckily he visited this haveli before it was demolished and saw the glory of his home with his own eyes. He also took some pictures. The details of this visit can be seen on the above-mentioned link. At present the descendants of the Diwan family are scattered in many countries like India, Britain, Canada and USA. You will find many details about them on the link given above.

The following pictures were taken by Mr Mehirr Chopra during his visit to Eminabad in 2004. I took the pictures from a website maintained by his mother Ms Kusum Chopra. Whom I contacted during my writing this post.

Mehirr Chopra with the current residents of this haveli. (2004)

Mehirr Chopra with late Syed Shaukat Ali. (2004)

This was the facade of haveli of Diwan Amar Nath. Now the top two layers are gone, so is the building behind this imposing door. 

This haveli on one side of the main haveli does not exist anymore. 

This haveli is still partially standing. 

This is the main haveli, which does not exist now. 

A view of a haveli which was in front of the haveli of Diwan Amar Nath. It is mostly gone. Except for a few remnants on the right side. 

Syed Waseem also informed me that all these havelis were internally connected with one another and doors opened in verandahs and courtyards. For the easy passage for all the extended family who lived in different havelis. Together there were dozens of room (the link given above gives the number as 120). But no source mentions the date of construction. His family reached several months after the partition and at the time of their arrival already some refugees were living there. They allowed them to share a floor of this vast haveli. Later on they moved out after selling their share of the haveli.

Keeping in mind the circumstances it is probable that Diwans left most of the furniture and household things behind. But Waseem told me that when their family arrived there, the havelis were empty and people already have plundered them of any valuables left behind. However, they found some utensils with Diwan Kirpa Ram written on them. Which they sold long time ago. Two heavy wooden tables were there which are gone now. However, luckily a few items are still there, recent pictures of which are given below:

A wooden cupboard of Diwans. (Picture by: Syed Waseem Ali)

The front view of the cupboard. (Picture by: Syed Waseem Ali)

A wooden chest. (Picture by: Syed Waseem Ali)

A surma dani, used to keep Kohl. (Picture by: Syed Waseem Ali)

While looking at the splendid main entrance, one cannot help feeling sorry at the loss of such a magnificent piece of heritage. Even Syed Waseem sahib regrets losing such a masterpiece of architecture. But this is our collective failure. I wish we could still preserve the remaining such buildings and turn them into a tourist attraction.

Tariq Amir

August 23, 2019.
Doha - Qatar.