BAHAWALPUR: A masterpiece of its kind, Queen Victoria’s fountain popularly known as Fawara Chowk, stands in the midst of Bahawalpur city. In 1880, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom commissioned Allen and Company in London to construct two fountains one of them was installed near Buckingham Palace, while the other one was shipped to Karachi from where it was carefully transported to Bahawalpur as a gift to former Bahawalpur State Nawab Sadiq Khan Abbasi-IV.
The fountain was inaugurated by Viceroy of India Lord Curzon. The plaque at the fountain’s base was built by WT Allen and Co. in Upper Thames Street, London.
Initially, the fountain was installed in front of the royal residence ‘Sadiqgarh Palace’ at Dera Nawab Sahib. It remained there for the next few decades as it was considered a symbol of respect between the queen and the Nawab of Bahawalpur.
The fountain has multiple layers for water fall and a jet water flow which was later changed to a modern water pumping system.
In 1899, Nawab Sadiq Khan IV died and Bahawal Khan Abbasi took charge as the Nawab of the city. In 1903, he ordered reinstallation of the fountain from Sadiqgarh Palace to the centre of the city and personally supervised the whole operation.
The historical queen’s fountain served the people of Bahawalpur and used to run on all the state and national occasions. It became one of the main attractions and landmarks of Bahawalpur City.
However, it remained nonfunctional for a few years and in 2016, it was restored to its original shape. Later, the local government handed it over to the horticulture authority for its proper maintenance.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2016.
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