Exploring Saidpur’s Architectural Heritage
One of the oldest villages in Pakistan, Saidpur, is tucked away near the foot of the Margalla Hills in the federal capital. It holds a rich history of cultural and religious heritage from Muslim, Hindus and Sikh eras.
The wide spectrum of quaint buildings showcasing ancient civilisations has made the village into an excursion point for many. Today, the Fynch will take you on a tour through this little village, which also found its way to being mentioned in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri. Jahangir stayed in Saidpur while he was on his way to Kabul. Back then, the village was a garden resort.
Founded in 1530 AD, by Mirza Fateh Ali, it came to be known as Fatehpur Baoli.
Also known as Ram Kund Mandir, it was constructed by a Hindu commander Raja Man Singh, in the 16th century, the temples and the ponds were dedicated to the Hindu diety Rama. Legend has it that Rama lived in the area with his family during 14 years of their exile.
The apron of the temple where once upper-class Hindus used to take Parsaad now serves as a dining place of Des Pardes and Andaaz, two open-air restaurants tucked away in heritage.
The onset of terrorism resulted in the temple being converted into a museum in 2008, and the statues being removed over the fear of terrorist attacks.
Alongside the temples, around four centuries later, a Gurdwara was also built by the Sikhs, in the 20th century. Attached to the gurdwara is a big-sized room, which served as a school for teaching the philosophy of Guru Nanak.
After Sikh rule, the village came to be known as Saidpur, after the area was given to Said Khan Gakhar by the Mughal Emperor Akbar for his services in the fight against Afghan warrior Sher Shah Suri.
It was named Saidpur after Sultan Said Khan; son of Sultan Sarang Khan, Lord of the Potohar region, during the rule of Mughal Emperor Babar. Later, Said Khan gifted this place to his daughter who was married to Mughal emperor Jahangir.