Shah Allah Ditta

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Shah Allah Ditta
Union Council
Shah Allah Ditta is located in Pakistan
Shah Allah Ditta
Shah Allah Ditta
Coordinates: 33°43′15″N 72°54′52″E / 33.7209642°N 72.9143201°E / 33.7209642; 72.9143201Coordinates: 33°43′15″N 72°54′52″E / 33.7209642°N 72.9143201°E / 33.7209642; 72.9143201
Country  Pakistan
Province Islamabad Capital Territory Islamabad Capital Territory
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Shah Allah Ditta is a centuries-old village and a union council located at the foothills of the Margalla Hills in the Islamabad Capital Territory.

Etymology[edit]

The village is named after a Mughal period Dervi

History[edit]

The village is believed to be more than seven hundred years old and was used as route from Kabul to Gandharan city of Taxila by Alexander and Sher Shah Suri while Mughal rulers and other emperors often passed through while traveling from Afghanistan to the Hindustan.

Archeology[edit]

Relics of the Buddhist era dating back to the 8th century can be found here along with burnt diyas and trees with amulets tied to them.

Shah Allah Ditta caves[1] are located on the route leading towards Khanpur. These caves are next to the shrine and tomb of Shah Allah Ditta.[2]

2,400-year-old Buddhist era murals[3] of Buddha appear on the walls of caves at Shah Allah Ditta.[4]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the caves and the platform-like formations surrounding the area were first used for meditation by Buddhist monks and later by Hindu sadhus before Muslim ascetics took over during the Mughal period.

Marked on the ground close to the caves the location where Alexander arrived and was received by Raja Ambi, King of Taxila. The road next to the caves that leads to the main top of the mountain, Shah Allah Ditta road, is said to be built on the exact path followed by Pashtun (پشتون، پٹھان) emperor Sher Shah Suri during his visit.

Moving up the mountain from the caves, there is a stepwell called Losar Baoli and a mosque built by Shahāb-ud-Din Ghori. The mosque has broken walls and the road leading to it is dilapidated.

Preservation[edit]

Sadhu da Bagh
  • In October 2010, Capital Development Authority (CDA) finally approved the plan after realizing the importance to preserve this 2,400-year-old archeological site.[5] The plan covers conservation of the Buddha caves as well as the adjacent garden known as 'Sadhu ka Bagh'.[6] This is the second heritage site in Islamabad which has been targeted for preservation; the first was the historical Saidpur Village, also situated at the foothills of the Margallas.
  • The Taxila Institute of Asian Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, the Natural History Museum and the Department of Architecture urged the government to preserve[7] such sites of Mughal heritage.
  • Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, reportedly offered to provide funds for the preservation of Shah Allah Ditta caves.[8]

Residential land[edit]

There is approx. 23,000 kanal land located in Shah Allah Ditta village and its surroundings.[9]

As of July 2011, approx. 17,000 kanal land is privately owned, and approx. 6,000 kanal of land has been purchased by the housing society developers of sectors D-13, E-13 and C-13.[10]

The federal government has only 30 kanals of land in and around Shah Allah Ditta.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]