Preserving Heritage: The Plight of Dilip Kumar’s Ancestral Home in Peshawar

Dilip Kumar, one of the most revered actors in Indian cinema, has left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions worldwide. Born in 1922 in Peshawar, Pakistan, then part of undivided India, Kumar’s legacy transcends borders. His ancestral home, nestled in the historic Mohallah Khudadad near Qissa Khwani Bazar in Peshawar, stands as a symbol of his roots and cultural heritage.

Historical Significance:
Constructed in 1880, Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home is not just a building but a testament to the rich history of the region. Its architecture reflects the cultural amalgamation of the era, showcasing influences from Mughal, Persian, and British colonial styles. Over the years, it has witnessed significant historical events and served as a sanctuary for the Kumar family.

National Monument Status:
In recognition of its historical and cultural importance, the Government of Pakistan declared the house a national heritage monument on July 13, 2014, under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This designation was a tribute to Dilip Kumar’s contribution to the film industry and his roots in Peshawar.

Current Condition:
Despite its esteemed status, Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home is now facing an uncertain future. Recent torrential rains have exacerbated existing structural issues, pushing the house to the brink of collapse. The negligence of authorities, particularly the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archive Department, has been glaringly evident, with promised rehabilitation efforts remaining unfulfilled.

Local Concerns:
Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, Secretary of the Heritage Council KPK province, has raised alarms about the lack of action to preserve this national treasure. Despite pledges of grants, no significant steps have been taken to protect the property. The disappointment among tourists, who travel from far and wide to witness the historic site, echoes the sentiment of local communities who fear losing a vital piece of their heritage.

Preservation Efforts:
Efforts to preserve Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home must extend beyond mere rhetoric. It requires a concerted effort from governmental bodies, heritage organizations, and local communities. Immediate steps must be taken to stabilize the structure, conduct thorough assessments, and devise a comprehensive restoration plan.

Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Peshawar stands as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Its potential collapse not only represents a loss for fans of the legendary actor but also undermines the collective heritage of the region. Urgent action is needed to safeguard this historic landmark and ensure that future generations can continue to connect with their roots and cultural identity.


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