The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) and Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) began collecting documents for the restoration of the Shahi Hammam, Delhi Gate, on Monday.
A survey team took digital measurements of the bath’s dimensions and took photographs. A survey of previous restoration work was taken and historic documents on the Royal Bath gathered.
WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said, “This is a wonderful initiative... The project will take about a year to complete,” he said.
WCLA Communication Expert Tania Qureshi said, “A proposal will be drawn on the basis of an analysis of presentation, display and reuse. It will record details of the condition of the 400-year old monument.”
The Shahi Hammam was built around 1634 AD by Hakim Ilmuddin Ansari, governor of Lahore in the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58 AD). It was designed as a public bath for travellers as well as inhabitants of the city. The Hammam is a single-storey building covering 1,000 square metres. Built on the design of Turkish and Iranian baths of its time (which had hot, warm and cool plunges and sweat rooms), the Shahi Hammam is a collection of 21 connected rooms which includes a prayer room.
The total cost of the restoration is estimated to be Rs39.5 million. Most of the funding will be provided by the Norwegian Embassy.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.