by Hammad Hussain

KHANEWAL- The remnants of two historic monuments - Talumba mount called “Mammon Ka Pir” and Fort of Talumba - are speaking volumes about the government’s apathy regarding preservation of historic places in the country.

The remnants of the armies of Sikandar, known as Alexander the Great, are also present here. According to Archaeologist Dr Rafique, these mounts are of 500 BC. When River Ravi had changed its direction, the people shifted from here. According to archaeological excavations, there are five historical eras, Moi, Greek, Sasani, Budh and Muslim.

The coins of several ancient governments are found here. When Alexander the Great invaded Indian subcontinent, he also came to Talumba. And he was hit by an arrow which became the cause of his death. Baba Guru Nanak Dev Jee also came here during his travels. The place from where Muhammad Bin Qasim reach India is called as Qasim Bazaar.

The ruins of the old city are one kilometre away from the current city. They are in poor condition due to rain and neglect, although their bricks are still visible. These ruins include a walled fort with a high tower and a trench around the fort. According to archaeologists, Sher Shah Suri built a fort in the 16th century in the centre of the city. The boundary wall and some parts of the original building are still present.

There is a Girls Higher Secondary School and the offices of town committee in the fort. The wall which surrounds the fort has 8 posts to guard it. There are holes in the posts to attack the enemies. The size of bricks used in it is 12-8 inch and 2-1/2 inch. The outer rampart is of earth faced with large bricks. Inside the outer rampart, there is a ditch. 100 feet in breadth, surrounded an inner fort 400 feet square, with walls 40 feet in height, and in the middle of this is a square tower or castle, 70 feet in height.

According to historians, Raja Ranjeet Singh renovated this fort and a “Bara Dari” was constructed of the white marble stone. Whenever Ranjeet Singh came here, he used it as his court. There are no signs of Bara Dari but road is still known as “Bara Dari Road”. Government is not serious or keen to preserve this heritage.

According to the Archaeology Department, this fort is not handed over to it, Former DCO Khanewal Usman Moazam was interested in its renovation and he ordered for the estimate of the renovation of this fort but after his transfer, the demand of Rs60 million for its renovation could not be met. If serious efforts are not made to preserve it, after a few years, we will not be able to find any signs of it the heritage.