Role of Libraries & Information Centers in Promoting Culture and Architecture in Cholistan Desert, South Punjab Pakistan

By Hayat, Mazhar; Bhatti, Rubina et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, October 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Role of Libraries & Information Centers in Promoting Culture and Architecture in Cholistan Desert, South Punjab Pakistan


Hayat, Mazhar, Bhatti, Rubina, Mukhtar, Sarwat, Library Philosophy and Practice


The Cholistan Desert: Introduction

Cholistan is the largest of four main desserts in Pakistan UNESCO, (2009). Cholistan Desert is in the South of Bahawalpur, South Punjab, Pakistan is, locally known as Rohi which covers an area of about 16,000, square km and extends into the Thar Desert of India. The word Cholistan is derived from Cholna which means "moving". The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. It is said that Cholistan has not always been a desert. It flowed a river between 4000 and 1000 B.C, the area was fertile and also populated as the various remain of its settlements show. All through the Punjab, North West Rajistan and Sind thee are civilization of rivers which suddenly close down to flow or changed their rout. This ancient river once irrigated Cholistan usually identified Hakra River, known as the Saravati in Vedic times, considered sacred by the Aryans (Mares, M.A., 1999). At one time there were 400 forts in the area and archaeological finds around the Darawar Fort, the only place with a perennial waterhole, indicate that it was contemporaneous with the Indus Valley Civilization. The average annual rainfall is only 12 cm, and the little cultivation there is made possible by underground wells, drawn up by the camels. The water is stored in troughs, built by the tribes, between sand hills and din waterholes called tobas, (Auj, N., 1991).

Objectives of the Study

* To divulge information regarding Cholistani culture and architecture.

* To provide awareness about Cholistan desert's life, festivals, local, regional arts and crafts.

* To identify the possible role of libraries, information centers, documentation and survey centers for the preservation and promotion of Cholistani cultural heritage.

* To encourage and promote study and research in the field of architecture and culture

Research Methodology

This study is based on review of literature; (books, newspaper articles, research theses in the Department of Saraiki and material from the Internet were consulted. Informal interviews were conducting with intellectuals and native academicians of the area. Special information was provided by well known poet and writer, ex- programme manager Pakistan Radio, Bahawalpur station and Chairman, Department of Saraiaki (a native language), the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Prof. Dr. Nasrullah Khan Nasir. Discussion with library science specialists was made in order to identify the role of libraries and information in promoting the Cholistani culture and architecture.

Uch Sharif

Uch Sharif, is 75 km away from Bahawalpur. Historical facts show that in the beginning of the second century of Hijra, the name of the city was not Uch but Askandra (or Alexandria). According to a traditional estimate, Uch existed before the arrival of Bikarmjit when Jains and Buddhists ruled over the sub-continent. It is believed to be the town mentioned by Rashid-ud- Din as the capital of one of the principalities of Sind under Aynad, the son of Kafand, who ruled after Alexander leftthe country (Auj, N. 1991). The present name of Uch was given to the town most probably sometime during the second half of the thirteen century A.D. Some historians state that Alexander came to Uch after conquering northern parts of India and spent over a fortnight in they city and renamed it Alexandria. Some researchers revealed Uch by the name of Sikandara or Iskalanda. It showed to be the most flourishing and beautiful town near the convergence of the Chenab and Ravi rivers (Ahmad, N. Z., 1997).

The Cholistan Forts

Cholistan proliferates in ancient forts and historical landmarks as well as impressive culture & architecture of Cholistan. Most of the forts have lost their original condition but still have some footprints of its presence. The detail of forts in Cholistan is as under:

WANJHROT FORT

Wanjhrot is an old and ancient fort, structurally an impressive and constructed with solid bricks. …

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