Dujana caught in utter neglect

Sunit Dhawan

Dujana, a former princely state, lies in a state of utter neglect. Characterised by magnificent mosques, grand nawabi havelis, architectural marvels and heritage buildings like Khurshid Palace and Bagh Wali Kothi, majestic wells and ponds in its heyday, the place has modified past recognition.

After the final nawab of Dujana migrated to Pakistan alongside along with his household on the time of Partition, the erstwhile capital of Pathan Principality obtained lowered to a village alongside National Highway 352, between Rohtak and Jhajjar. Nevertheless, the relics of the nawabs’ havelis, some still-intact mosques, an previous baoli and dilapidated stays of some grand previous buildings remind one of many bygone period.

Founded by Baba Durjan Shah, a fakir, Dujana was given away by the British, together with different territories, to Abdul Samad Khan (1764-1825), a soldier of fortune, in 1806, as a reward for the providers he rendered. Thus, Khan grew to become the primary nawab of Dujana. He was succeeded by Nawab Muhammed Donde Khera Khan, who remained on the throne from 1825 to 1850. The tenure of Nawab Hasan Ali Khan, the third Nawab of Dujana, spanned from 1850 to 1867; Nawab Muhammed Saadat Ali Khan (1867 to 1879), Jalaluddin Nawab Muhammed Mumtaz Ali Khan Bahadur Mustaqil-i-Jan (1879 to 1908), and Jalaluddin Nawab Muhammed Khurshid Ali Khan Bahadur Mustaqil-i-Jan (1908 to 1925). The final nawab of Dujana , Jalaluddin Nawab Muhammed Iqtidar Ali Khan Bahadur Mustaqil-i-Jan, took over the reins in 1925. He migrated to Lahore alongside along with his household on the time of Partition.

Nobody’s child

After the departure of the final nawab and his household, the heritage property was handed over to the Education Department. But neither the Education Department, nor the Department of Archaeology and Museums paid any consideration to Dujana, which may have been simply showcased as a heritage village of Haryana.

Due to the shortage of upkeep, the nawabi-era buildings and different constructions are in ruins — the villagers use these heritage websites to rear cattle and put together dung-cakes. Local residents preserve that if the authorities involved had taken care of Khurshid Palace, Bagh Wali Kothi, mosques, wells, ponds and baoli of Dujana, these would have been nonetheless intact.

“People continue to encroach upon these sites and take away wooden, marble, stone and glass fittings with impunity,” laments Naveen Ahlawat, a resident of Dujana.

Apart from the federal government apathy and detached angle of the villagers, the floods in 1995 additionally precipitated a lot harm to the heritage buildings and constructions.

Of the 30-odd mosques positioned in Dujana, solely the Lal Masjid, the place some scenes of the Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film Mangal Pandey: The Rising have been shot, has been maintained effectively by the Haryana Waqf Board.

Gradual decay of heritage

“Dujana has witnessed a gradual decay of heritage-value property over the past decades. Several buildings of the nawabs’ time are on the verge of collapse. The memorial tombs of the family members of the nawabs and a graveyard located adjacent to the kachehri are in a pitiable condition,” observes Haryana’s famous cultural historian Ranbir S Phaugat.

He factors out that the Dargu Walah effectively in Dujana, which might be the biggest effectively within the state, can also be mendacity in a state of neglect. “Only the fine masonry buildings of a school and a hospital are noticeable now.”

In what may be termed ‘better late than never’, the Haryana State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums has now pulled up its socks and began the train to take over some heritage buildings and constructions of Dujana for restoration.

“We have initiated the process to take over Lal Masjid, Bagh Wali Kothi and Dargu Walah well and the adjoining baoli for restoration,” reveals Dr Banani Bhattacharyya, Deputy Director on the state Directorate. The transfer of the Haryana Government comes as a ray of hope to revive the nawabi-era grandeur of the erstwhile princely state.

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