Sep 20, 2011
Village. Bhaun (chakwal).
In 2007 Pakistan Railways announced the resumption of the Bhaun to Chakwal service. However, no progress has been made to this effect as of February 2009. The importance of resumption of this service and extending it to salt range in Kallar Kahar area will bring significant commercial advantages for the region as the cement factories in the area can use rail for their merchandise. The population in 2006 was estimated to be over 35,000 Since long time ago, a large portion of the Tehsil Chakwal is called Dhani tract due to its importance for production of good breed of horses and cows. Safdar Faizi writes in his booklet 'An Historical Introduction of the Bhaun Town' that General Cunningam visited the Bhaun during 1870-80 and compiled a report of Archealogical Survey of India. In his visit he recovered from here 285 old coins which provided the evidence of its oldness. The Greek Historian Herodottus wrote about a place of Aspanies where from Alexendar the Great, got innumberable horses and oxen. In Persian Language "Asp" means "Horse". It can be claimed with the proof that the Aspanies of the Great Alexender's time was this place of Bhaun. In the vicinity of Bhaun, a place still exists which is recognised as Sapanwali. It may be Aspanwali at that time. If we go into more details, then it will be seen that the both words "Aspanwali" and "Sapanwali" were being used in their own meanings. Reason for use of Asapanwali has been explained. In Hindu mythology, bhaun is name of devi ie Bhaun Devi and its second name was Nag Damni and Nag Dmani means Sapanwali ie snakes place. It seems that in the past, one name of this place of Bhaun was Nag Damni also which has been vanish but Bhaun preserved.
The Muslim Historian Al-Blazri has given a name in his book Fatuh Ul Baldan that is Asifan. He wrote that the Asifan is on equal distance from Kabul, Kashmir and Multan. At Asifan, the Arab merchants were settled and the ruler was an Hindu Raja. This arabic Asifan may be the Aspan as in Arbic language P is not used and in its place the Arab use F.
General Cunningam also wrote in his report that the Bhaun was on the way enters from North side(ie from District Attock after crossing the Sawan River) in Neela which leads to Bhaun and then Bhera.
During British rule, Chakwal was a tehsil of Jhelum District, the population of Bhaun according to the 1901 census of India was 5,340. It was among the biggest towns of the Chakwal Tehsil then part of Jhelum District, population as well as area wise. During British rule and prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the majority of the population were Muslims but economic and social hold was in the hands of Hindus. There are still Ten Hindu temples in Bhaun. Pre-partition it was centre of economic activities and though not declared yet it was a Mandi. It was centre for Dhan, Vanhar and Soon areas. A special judge with the powers of Magistrate used to hold his court in Bhaun and even it was functioning in 1857. Bhaun is one of the largest villages in Chakwal District having all type of modern facilities.
In an article titled The Bhaun losing its architectural heritage, published in Daily Dawn dated 29 Jul 2003, Mr Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro writes "About 12 kms south of Chakwal lies the historical town of Bhaun, formerly known as Bhavan, famous for its splendid temples, highly-revered shrines and Havelis with exquisitely carved doors and remarkably built wooden balconies indicating the owners’ affluence and aesthetic.
Before partition the Hindus predominantly concentrated the town. But, later they migrated to India, while Muslim immigrants from India settled in their Havelis and Kothis.
It was a very important trade centre and the Hindus ruled the roost in this town. They left behind a host of temples and Havelis, having a simple architecture, which was a blend of local and Kashmiri style, with very little ornamentation. These temples are different from those at Ketas and Malot that have Kashmiri style of architecture and are lavishly ornamented. Some of the temples at Bhaun are adorned with paintings, while some are immensely towering and conspicuous from a distance.
A recent visit by this reporter to the town revealed that all the temples were in a shambles. Two temples in Chaddran Mohallah are in dilapidated condition. In one of the temples, Kashmiri immigrants are living. They have damaged the temple by defacing some of the figures depicted on the walls, while its western wall has caved in. A nearby temple is being used as a store where household belongings are kept. A furlong or so from these temples is the temple of Madho Sain Kalan, which is fast coming apart. Ironically, the temple has been turned into a cattle pen.
As soon as one enters the temple, he/she will find cows, buffaloes and goats on its courtyard. One also finds heaps of haystacks stored for the livestock. People have taken away the ornately carved door of the temple.
Apart from the temple of Madho Sain Kalan, two temples are located in Madho Wali Ban (Talaab). These were damaged after the Babri Mosque incident. Traces of the paintings can still be found on both temples. In addition to these, there are more than four temples in and around Bhaun.
The authorities concerned should make concerted efforts to save these fabulous pieces of architecture from further decay. They should immediately restore these temples and Havelis’ past glory.
If the authorities concerned are sincere and committed, they can make this place a stopover for tourists heading towards Kallar Kahar and Ketas. By turning this place into a tourist sojourn, the socio-economic conditions of the people will improve dramatically.
Tourism has attained the status of an industry abroad, and countries chalk out strategies for its promotion. In the case of some countries, their economies depend on tourism. But, unfortunately, it is the most neglected sector in our country(End of the Kalhoro article).
In another article Mr Kalhoro said:
Temples tell a tale of neglect Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro
Two temples situated at Madh Wali Ban (pond) in Bhaun, Chakwal, are attributed to Shri Hanuman, a Hindu monkey god.
The temple on the bank of the pond is huge and fast coming apart. It is bigger than the nearby temple, which lies behind the government primary school. Both temples were built in 1894.
According to eminent expert Prof Anwar Beg Awan, the temples were built in the same period Ram Das built a temple in Chddaran Mohalla.
The temple that is more towering was greatly damaged by fanatics after the Babri Mosque incident. Prof Awan said, first of all, the people destroyed the statute of Hanuman.
The temple was noted for its paintings, which were destroyed when the people set it on fire. Exteriorly, panels were created on each side to depict a pair of fish, which is the special characteristic of the Hanuman temples. The traces of the paintings on the each side are still visible.
There used to be a wall round the temple, which was also destroyed by the people. According to Prof Awan, there also exited a complex, which could not withstand the vagaries of the weather. The complex included the houses of the caretaker of temple and a Sadho. There was also a Mahmankhana (guest house) attached to the temple.
Apart from this temple, there lies another temple behind the government primary school. Though small in size, it is beautifully built, but is in a derelict condition. This temple also contains separate panels created for depicting a pair of fish on each of its sides. From inside, it is decorated with paintings, some of which depict Hanuman with his disciples. A closer look at the paintings shows repeated depiction of peacock and parrot. On one of the panels, parrots are seen drinking water. On the other panel, one can see Hanuman playing Sitar that demonstrates his keen interest in the music. On the same panel, one finds Hanuman sailing with his adherents. Another one shows peacocks.
According to Prof Awan, the distinctive features of the Hanuman paintings are the depictions of the peacocks, parrots, lions and fish that could be found on all the temples located in the Bhaun. It is also interesting to find the illustration of the palm date tree. Barring the figurative representation, the temple also features floral design. Dawn Daily dt 25.08-03
In another articlel published on Sep 27, 2009(Name of the author could not be traced however, his e mail address is mentioned at the end. It is titled"Bhaun’s fading vestiges of its Hindu past Bhaun" Formerly known as Bhavan (meaning house) was predominantly a Hindu town before Partition. Its temples, Gurdwaras, shrines and havelis with their exquisite doors and wooden balconies bear testimony to its religious past that Muslims, who moved in after the Hindus left, tried to disown by defacing and damaging the vestiges of a past which is part of our history. Bhaun, 12 kkilometers south of Chakwal, used to be a very important mandi (market) town dominated by Hindus. They built temples and havelis of great architectural value presenting a blend of local and Kashmiri style, with very little graphic decoration. These temples are different from those at Ketas and Malot that in pure Kashmiri style are rich in adornment. Some of the temples are adorned with paintings. There are 10 temples in and around the town of which eight are attributed to Hanuman, a Hindu god. Two temples located in Chaddran Mohalla date back to 1894 and are in a shambles. One of the temples, built by Ram Das, is now occupied by Kashmiri immigrants who have defaced some of the figure paintings on the walls. Its western wall has caved in. The facade of the temple bears the image of Hanuman. A nearby temple is being used as a store where household belongings are kept. A furlong or so from these temples is the Madh Sain Lokan temple that is in a poor condition. Apart from these, there are two temples at Madh Wali Ban, both devoted to Hanuman. One of them is a very tall one. When the Babri Mosque was felled by Hindu fanatics, our local fanatics set it on fire damaging its painted interior completely. The temple used to be famous for its paintings. On its exterior panels depictions of a pair of fish showed its Vishnuite attributes. The traces of paintings on each side are still visible. There used to be a wall around it that was also destroyed by people venting their anger on brick and mortar. There is another temple behind the government primary school. Though small in size, it is beautifully built but, like the temples discussed above, is in a poor condition. It contains separate panels created for depicting a pair of fish on each of its sides. On the inside, it is decorated with paintings, some of which depict Hanuman with his disciples. A closer look at the paintings reveals repeated depiction of peacocks and parrots. On one of the panels, parrots are seen drinking water. On the other panel, one can see Hanuman playing the sitar and sailing with his disciples. It is also interesting to find the illustration of the date palm tree, an essentially Muslim feature. These temples also have floral designs. Like the temples, the havelis and kothis belonging to the Sikh and Hindu communities still dominate the landscape of the town. Almost every narrow alley in the town boasts of buildings of historical significance. One such building near the Qazian Wali Mosque, locally known as Marri, is noted for its elegant balconies. This three-storey building was built by Rai Bahadur Sardar Jai Singh who worked as a contractor in Iranian city Zahidan during the rule of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi I from 1925 to 1941. One can safely say that it could have been built in 1930. Architecturally, the building is divided into three storeys or parts, of which the ground floor was used as veranda with a row of richly carved columns running all around it. In front of the veranda there is a courtyard mainly used by women for dishwashing, laundry and drying grain? Men used it as a place for sleeping in dry weather. The first floor was reserved for junior members of the family and some visitors. The second floor was used by the senior members of the family or by married couples, while the third floor was occasionally used whenever there was a long spell of dry weather. It had a pavilion for enjoying the evening breeze. Marri housed a total of 14 small and big rooms, some of which were discreetly decorated. The remarkable feature of Marri was its balconies, one each on the western and southern faces. In addition to this magnificent structure, there lies another one behind the Ram Das temple in Chaddran Mohalla known as Janj Ghar (a building reserved for marriage gatherings). A person called Bikarma Jeet built it in the early 19th century. Janj Ghar had about 18 rooms. There is a need to preserve and renovate these fading vestiges of glorious past. The writer is Staff Anthropologist at PIDE and Ph.D Scholar at Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He may be contacted at: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org at Sunday, September 27, 2009(END).
Acoording to a historical book named Chach Nama originally written in Arabic language and then translated into English, Sindhi and Urdu languages, It is believed that this town is named after Raja Bhaun, who was the grandson of Raja Dahir, after the defeat by Muhammad Bin Qasim in Sindh. Name of son of Raja Dahir was Jai Sina. After death and defeat of his father he fleed to Kashmir with his family.He wa relative of Raja Kashmir whose name was muktaped or lulta Datt as per a book Raj Tirnjni on Kashmir History. There he complained to the King of Kashmir about severe cold unbearable for Sindhis then the King given him a Jagir in area of lower Kashmir. At that time lower Kashmir meant for present Rawalpindi Division in Punjab Pakistan. From Kashmir Jai Sina son of Raja Dahir came in Dhani area with his family and other relatives in which one of them was Raja Bhaun. The book "Ratta Romal by Safdar Faizi" describe the whole details of that event which also include the other important historical events of the town i.e. about the reigns of Mehmood Ghaznavi, Jalal Ud Din Khawarzam Shah, Shamas ud Din Altamash and Saif Ud Din Hassan Qarlugh.
Bhaun remained the capital of seven kings of Qarlagh line. A native of Bhaun Mr Iqbal Malik son of Nawaz Mlik presently residing at Farooqpura(Dhuk Malikan)in westren side of Bhaun has traced and collected several coint of the Qarlugh Kings Qarlagh sultans(Kings) also built here a strong fort. Until the end of Sikh regime that fort remained functioning and till date traces of the fort walls can be found.
During the period of Qarlugh Kings a great Sufi Hazrat Shah Mir Gillani the grand father of hazrat Shah Muhammad Ghaus buried at Uch Sharif in Bahawalpur District and was the ancestor of present Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Yousaf Raza Gillani, visited and stayed here. His stay site is called now-a-days as Pir Sahaba situated near the old railway line running between Chakwal and Bhaun. He stayed there for over than three years and then returned to his native country Syria (Halb City). For reference see Urdu book "Punjab Ki Sufiana Tehriken" Written By Dr Abdul Majeed Sindhi.
This village also remained centre of revenue collectors during Mughal period. It was just capital of Dhani Area. The Mair Minhas Rajput tribe became dominant here since later Mughal kings. Name of Mair Minhas Chaudhry Budha Khan is preserved who was hanged by the orders of Ghakhar Ruler Sultan Muqarab Khan with a tree of 'Bair' during the kingship of Ahmed Shah Abdali. This tree was in the court yard of the house of Chaudhry Budha Khan. That tree still exist in Mohallah Kote. This incident happened during the year of 1761. Partly story has been narrated in a Persian Book titled "KEGOHAR NAMA". Bakhshi Ajaib(A Sheikh of a Qanoongo family of Bhaun) was murdered by Chaudhry Budha Khan who hitted a heavy stone on the head of Bakhshi Ajaib who was doing the work of Revenue Collection(Malguzari) while sitting in the Fort. Due to this incident Sultan Muqarab Khan attacked the Bhaun to chastise the Chaudry Budha Khan Minhas.
The great Sikh ruler Ranjeet Sing himself came at Bhaun during 1810. Here he made some arrangements for collection of Revenue from Dhani area's Chaudhries. He also got a good lot of horses.
During Sikh period, several names of the Muslim Ulema are found who had the domicile of Bhaun. One of them was the great Muffassir of the Holy Quran but unfortunately his book could be preserved. In an incident of fire burning caused by the Sikh Dacoits, the holy book in Persian language was burnt. His name was Qazi Mohzam.
When the Sikhs and then British governments chosen the Chakwal as Tehsil Headquarters, the Bhaun village has lost his due importance.
In British era, Raja Ghulam Hussain born during 1885 was a great freedom fighter. He was son of Mufti Muhammad Shah who was the founder and first Head Master of the Village Primary School. Raja Ghulam Hussain studied at Aligarh College during 1903-07. In those days Chaudhry Jahan Khan alias Baba Jhana was quite young. He was an former and fond of oxens. During 1907 Baba jahana visited Aligarh with his couple of oxen. Actually he was invited by the then UP Gvernment to attend the exhibition. He informed the Raja Ghulam Hussain who was his Mohallah Fellow and also the best friend of childhood. Raja Ghulam Hussain attended the exhibition with his several friends out of students to show them the beautiful breed of the Dhani cattles. Here when Raja Ghulam Hussain jumped from a wall of the exhibition ground, a police man shouted on him but Raja Ghulam Hussain could not tolerate and beaten him with his stick. It became a burning issue and the Deputy Commissioner wrote a letter to the Principal of the Aligarh College and in consequence Raja was expelled from the College. But matter could not be stopped here and the Students at Aligarh gone at strike. In short, the Raja was permitted to sit in the annual examination and passed his B.A from there. This incident is very famous in the Aligarh history as it was first strike in Aligarh College and it was purely lead by Raja Ghulam Hussain. He became the member of Old Students Association of Aligarh College and visited there afterward with Mohammad Ali Johar and Shoukat Ali. He was married with the daughter of Maulana Ahmed Din Chakwali and a son born named Anwar Ul Haq Nasim but due family differences he divorced his wife. He was again remarried in Sir Syed Ahmed Khan at Dhali and a daughter born named Munawar Jahan. Raja Ghulam Hussain is not only the prominent son of the village but he was an important figure of the Muslims struggle movement for the independence of the India. He was best friend of Sir Muhammad Iqbal the great poet of Urdu and Persian. Both were admirer of each other. He attended with Sir Iqbal the first annual meating of the All India Muslim league held at Karachi during December 1907. There he worked for integration of the Primary Muslim Leagues from Punjab separately headed by Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazal Hussain. Sir Fazal Hussain described this story in his Dairy publish by Punjab University. Raja Ghulam Hussain and Allama Iqbal had delivered lectures during 1908 at Lahore through the platform of the Ahmedia Anjuman on Islamic topics. Allama Iqbal was regular contributor of a column under the heading of Stray Thoughts in the Raja Ghulam Hussain News paper named New Era, Lucknow started during 1916. Raja Ghulam Hussain was also a good fried of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Mr jinnah successfully brought together the Muslim League and Congress and got signed the Lucknow Pact during 1916.This all success was due to the hard work of Raja Ghulam Hussain. Chaudhry Khaliq Uz Zaman, an Muslim league's leader wrote in his book, Path way to Pakistan that the speech delivered by Mr Jinnah was actually drafted by Raja Ghulam Hussain. Once, Raja planned to found a Sultania Collge with the help of his friends. Remember,he was an admirer of the Turki Sultanate/Khilafat. Once, the Lord Cirson, the Viceroy of India had visited the Aligarh College and hostel rooms. There he found the Portrate of Sultan of Turkey hanging with the wall and it annoyed him badly. It was the room of Raja Ghulam Hussain. His other romate was Mr Ghuma Muhammad Malik who afterward became the third Governor General of Pakistan. Raja Ghulam Hussain often call him with his nickname of Nose Bury due to his special type of nose. However, it is a long story, Insha Allah you will read it in my book 'THE COMRADE'. Raja Ghulam Hussain died at Lucknow on 25 August 1917. The death was caused in a road accident. We should celebrate his death at village. The second great son of the village was Mohan Sing Obroe. He born in 1898 in Sikh family at Bhaun. After matriculation he started private service and then purchased a Hotel. It was beginning of his business. He became the owner of Ciccel Hotel Rawalpindi and then Flatties at Lahore. During 1947 he migrated to the India but remained in the same business. He established world wide a chane of seven and five stars hotel. Oberoi hotel Bombay was of him bombed by Ajmal Qasab. He became the member of Lok Sabha and Rajia Sabha. Died during 2003.
During British rule, Chakwal was a tehsil of Jhelum District, the population of Bhaun according to the 1901 census of India was 5,340.Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 10, p. 126 It was biggest town of the Chakwal Tehsil, population as well as area wise. During British rule and prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the majority of the population were Muslims but economic and social hold was in the hands of Hindus. There are still many Hindu temples in Bhaun. Pre-partition it was centre of economic activities and though not declared yet it was a Mandi. It was centre for Dhan, Vanhar and Soon. A special judge with the powers of Magistrate used to hold his court in Bhaun. Bhaun is one of the largest villages in Chakwal District having all type of modern facilities.
at 9:02 AM Posted by malik