Saturday, 1 January 2022

148. Kallar Kahar Museum

Chance discoveries often prove to be very important or interesting. The most famous example is the discovery of America. Anyway, on 19th December, I was passing through Kallar Kahar when I took a little detour to check something about Kallar Kahar resort. As soon as I turned towards it from the main road, my eyes luckily caught the sight of a small building on my right. I had no idea that Kallar Kahar had a museum. I turned towards it, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me. I was informed by the staff that museum was opened just a few months ago in March, 2021. 

Kallar Kahar is a popular tourist destination in the Salt Range, district Chakwal. It is famous for its beautiful lake, lush green hills and peacocks. Now this museum is an addition to many attractions of Kallar Kahar. Before taking you on the tour of the museum, it is pertinent to write something about the history of this region. Potohar region was home to some of the earliest civilizations of human history and artifacts of very old inhabitants have been unearthed, especially in the Soan valley. Besides human settlements, in prehistoric times it was home to dinosaurs as well. Fossils of these now extinct creatures are frequently found in the hills and deep valleys of this region. Being on the main highway from India to central Asia, this region has always played an important part in the history of south Asia.

Now, something about the Kallar Kahar museum. Although it is not very large in size, it has a wide range of items in its collection, which shed light on the history and culture of this region. It is located close to the resort at 32°46'14.0"N, 72°41'59.0"E, about 125 kms from Islamabad.  

It has three galleries. The first galley is dedicated to the Indus Valley and Gandhara Civilizations. As you enter the galley you find a very beautiful stupa, displayed in the centre. In the shelves earthen pots related to Mehargarh and Indus Valley civilization are displayed. The most interesting items are small earthen toys of animals. Definitely a big attraction for children. Some very beautifully made Buddhist statues can also be seen in the gallery. Definitely the most prized items of the museum. The coins collection of the museums is also very impressive. You can see coins from the Ghaznavid period to the Mughal era. This galley also has some very beautifully carved doors, an old tradition of Punjab.

A Buddhist Stupa. (19.12.2021.)

A view of the main gallery. (19.12.2021.)

The pictures given below are depicting the image of Buddha and aspecting of Buddhist culture. 

Toys of the Indus Valley Civilization. (19.12.2021.)

The museum has four beautifully carved wooden doors on display. These doors show the traditional woodworks of the region. 

Coins from the Ghaznavid and the Mughal eras. (19.12.2021.)

The fossils gallery, as the name suggests, displays a large number of fossils of prehistoric animals that roamed about millions of years ago. Their teeth and fragments of bones can be seen here. A huge fossil of an elephant especially attracts the attention of visitors. Some parts of fossilized plants are also part of this interesting collection

Fossil of an ancient elephant. (19.12.2021.)

The third gallery has been described as miscellaneous. Here you can see weapons of the Mughal  and Sikh era, like swords. Metal pots of daily use are also part of this gallery. Items of daily use and some musical instruments are also on display. Small beautifully made stone statuettes of Hindu deities, Hanuman and Ganesha also draw your attention.   
A spinning wheel. 

An intricately carved wooden table. 

Statues of the Hindu deities Ganesha and Hanuman. 

The Mughal and the Sikh era swords. 

The collection of metal untensils ia also quite large, showing the local handicrafts. The beautifully engraved artistic designs are testament to the exprtise of the local artisans. 

Some musical instruments. 


Shoes and waterpipes (Huqqa).

An introduction to the Kallar Kahar Museum. 

A view of the building. 

A view of the Kllar Kahar lake. 

It was difficult for me to imagine that a small town in Pakistan could have a museum with such a wonderful collection of precious items, both historically and artistically. So I strongly suggest not to miss a visit to this museum, if you are visiting Kallar Kahar resort or even just passing by.

Tariq Amir

January  1,  2022.