KURI town in Islamabad is host to many historical buildings. Each of the nar row alleys of the town boasts the havelis and kothis of the Hindus and Sikhs. Most of the buildings retain their original beauty, particularly their wooden doors. Of these, however, the Mosque Mughal emperor Akbar and baradari are quite prominent. There are two baradaris in the territory of Islamabad. Of these, one was located near Golra Sharif, which does not exist and the other is located in Kuri town, which also stands neglected. However, this structure is noted for its floral paintings that decorate the inner space of the building. This baradari is believed to have been built during the Sikh rule.
Apart from this Baradari, the territories of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are dotted with Sikh buildings. The gurdwaras, palaces, forts, all were built during the Sikh period and still grace the landscape of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
The baradari at Kuri, which is believed to have been built during the Sikh period, lies in a very bad condition. It is octagonal in shape and it is built on an octagonal platform. This octagonal plinth imparts an imposing look to the structure, which is decorated with foliated pillars.
Eleven stairs on the eastern side lead to the main chamber. There are arch entrances from four directions. There is a boundary wall around the baradari, which has now crumbled.
It is adorned with paintings. A closer look reveals paintings of Sikh gurus. However, the traces of the paintings of Baba Guru Nanak with his companions Bala and Mardana is still visible on the eastern and southern walls of the Baradari. Unfortunately, the locals and the visitors have defaced most of the paintings. Likewise, the plaster of the Baradari has begun to come off. One can see some traces of the paintings on the outer walls. A close look at some of the panels reveals depiction of some Sikh gurus. It is also adorned with paintings from inside. The ceiling of the baradari is decorated with floral designs. There is an inscription in Gurmukhi script on the western panel of the outer wall.
The mosque, which is believed to have been built by Mughal emperor Akbar, still dominates the landscape of the Kuri town. It is noted for its lofty domes and entrance gate, which has intricate carvings.
It has recently been renovated thus playing havoc with its original beauty. Formerly it was decorated with paintings.
The concerned authorities should save these precious crumbling structures of Kuri town for the posterity and the tourists.
The writer Staff Anthro-pologist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org