Visit Tomb of Bulley Shah (R.A) from Lahore

Bulleh Shah lived after the Pashto Sufi poet Rahman Baba (1653-1711) and lived in the same period as Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai (1689–1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722–1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahab (1739–1829), better known by his pen name Sachal Sarmast. Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) of Agra. Bulleh Shah practised the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan Bahu (1629–1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640–1724). The verse form Bulleh Shah primarily employed is called the Kafi, a style of Punjabi, Sindhi and Saraiki poetry. Bulleh Shah's poetry and philosophy has never questioned the Islamic religious orthodoxy of his day but he did sometimes use metaphors to express his frustration towards the rigidity of Muslim clerics of his time.

Bulleh Shah's writings represent him as a humanist, someone providing solutions to the sociological problems of the world around him as he lives through it, describing the turbulence his motherland of Punjab is passing through, while concurrently searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual voyage through the four stages of Sufism: Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). The simplicity with which Bulleh Shah has been able to address the complex fundamental issues of life and humanity is a large part of his appeal. Thus, many people have put his kafis to music, from humble street-singers to renowned Sufi singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pathanay Khan, Abida Parveen, the Waddali Brothers and Sain Zahoor, from the synthesised techno qawwali remixes of UK-based Asian artists to the Pakistani rock band Junoon.In the 1990s Junoon, a rock band from Pakistan, rendered his poems Bullah Ki Jaana and Aleph (Ilmon Bas Kareen O Yaar. In 2004, Rabbi Shergill turned the abstruse metaphysical poem Bullah Ki Jaana into a rock/fusion song that gained popularity in India and Pakistan. The Wadali Bandhu, a Punjabi Sufi group from India, have also released a version of Bullah Ki Jaana in their album Aa Mil Yaar... Call of the Beloved.

Another version was performed by Lakhwinder Wadali and entitled Bullah. Dama Dam Mast Qalandar, a qawwali composed in honour of Shahbaz Qalandar, has been one of Bulleh Shah's most popular poems and has been frequently rendered by many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi singers including Noor Jehan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Sabri Brothers, Wadali brothers, Reshman, Runa Laila, and Arieb Azhar. Other qawwali song by Shah, include Sade Vehre Aya Kar and Mera Piya Ghar Aaya. Bulleh Shah's verses like Tere Ishq Nachaya have also been adapted and used in Bollywood film songs including Chaiyya Chaiyya and Thayya Thayya in the 1998 film Dil Se.., and "Ranjha Ranjha" in the 2010 film Raavan. Released in 2004, Rabbi Shergill's debut album Rabbi featured Bulla Ki Jana; the song was a chart-topper in 2005, helping the album to eventually sell over 100,00 copies.

The 2007 Pakistani movie Khuda Kay Liye includes Bulleh Shah's poetry in the song Bandeya Ho. The 2008 film A Wednesday, included a song titled Bulle Shah, O Yaar Mere. In 2009, the first episode of the second season of Pakistan's Coke Studio featured Aik Alif performed by Sain Zahoor and Noori, while a year later, the first episode of the third season featured Na Raindee Hai and Makke Gayaan Gal Mukdi Nahi performed by Arieb Azhar. In 2013, Rabbi Shergill performed his composition of Bulla Ki Jana (originally released on his debut album in 2004) at the Hum TV Awards in Karachi, Pakistan. Bulleh Shah's verses have been an inspiration to painters as well, as in the two series of paintings (Jogia Dhoop and Shah Shabad) by an Indian painter Geeta Vadhera inspired by the poetry of Bulleh Shah and other Sufi poets and saints. Recently"Chal Bulhya" song is being incorporated into Indian Movie "Total Siyapa 2014" starring Ali Zafar.

Visit Chauburji from Lahore

In the historic city of Lahore, on the road that led southwards to Multan, the Chauburji gateway remains of an extensive garden known to have existed in Mughal times. The establishment of this garden is attributed to Mughal Princess Zeb-un-Nisa, 1646 AD, which appears in one of the inscriptions on the gateway. The gateway consists of four towers and contains much of the brilliant tile work with which the entire entrance was once covered.

Architecture

Chauburji represents a strong blend of Mughal architecture with ancient Muslim style of building. Its distinguishing features are the minarets which expand from the top, not present anywhere in the sub-continent. Some, however, believe that there were cupolas upon these minarets which collapsed with the passage of time. Arches are of the so-called 'Tudor' style, adapted to Islamic architecture, particularly in Mughal mausoleums and mosques. The red brickwork is typical of the Muslim buildings of the sub-continent; the doorways and windows running through the interior corridors are examples of the living style that characterised the Mughal buildings. However, the main purpose of building Chauburji appears to be strictly monumental. The decrepit building, which has not lost its elegance, stands alone surrounded by hoardings and bustling traffic on the busy Multan Road.

Resemblance to Charminar of Hyderabad

Dr. Ajaz Anwar wrote in an article published in The Pakistan Times in April 1985: "But the real prototype of Chauburji is the Charminar (meaning: four minarets) of Hyderabad Deccan constructed in 1591 by Muhammad Quli as a triumphal arch at the junction of four roads, leading to the four quarters of the old city. Octagonal minarets were later used along the corners of the Tomb of Jahangir itself. This became a motif and was incorporated in the Taj where the minarets flank the corners of the platform... The Charminar, though it comes closest to Chauburji, has a striking contrast and a sense of negation between the very simple lower portion and the heavily decorated upper portion. In the tomb of Akbar, the white marble and variegated stone give the feeling of having been added later... Chauburji, because of the colour of the brick adorned with glazed tiles having the look of flowering creepers, retains a distinctive unity."

Lost Garden of Zeb-un-Nisa

Originally it was gateway to the Garden of Zeb-un-Nisa or Zebinda Begum, the accomplished daughter of Aurangzeb. This garden is believed to have been extended from Nawankot in the south to the main city of Lahore towards north. However, no traces of such an expansive garden are now available. A fragmentary inscription on the eastern archway records that the garden was built in AH. 1056 i.e. 1646 AD. Although most of the inscriptions have been lost, on the upper-most part of the construction Ayat-ul-Kursi can be seen in Arabic script in blue and worked in porcelain.

Located at: Chauburji, lahore, Pakistan
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