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Colonial architecture and a sprawling garden

Colonial architecture and a sprawling garden

Pakistan’s national poet and philosopher, Allama Iqbal (whose 136th birth anniversary was celebrated yesterday on November 9) spent the last few years of his life at Javed Manzil, a house located on Allama Iqbal Road, which was later converted into the Allama Iqbal Museum.

The making of Javed Manzil… Allama Iqbal purchased the plot on which Javed Manzil was built in 1934, in the name of his son, Javed Iqbal, who was six years old. The colonial style house he built there boasted of an airy verandah, an extended vestibule and plenty of arches – all overlooking a sprawling garden. Today, this pristine white structure remains magnificent in its simplicity. Interestingly, since the property belonged to his son, Allama Iqbal entered into a legal contract with him in 1935, according to which he rented three rooms of the house for Rs 50 a month.Memorabilia at the Museum

Memorabilia at the Museum

From Javed Manzil to Iqbal Museum… In 1977, the Government of Pakistan acquired Javed Manzil along with Allama Iqbal’s personal belongings, and hired a Japanese team to restore the building before the establishment of the Museum. A tall, white monument was erected in the garden to commemorate Allama Iqbal’s centenary and the inauguration of the Museum.A monument marking Allama Iqbal’s centenary

A monument marking Allama Iqbal’s centenary

A window to the past… The Iqbal Museum comprises nine galleries displaying over 600 items which Allama Iqbal used during his lifetime. These include personal effects such as his clothes, medicine box, shaving kit as well as documents, degrees and even the rental agreement between father and son. Of all the items on display, perhaps the most inspiring are Allama Iqbal’s handwritten letters and drafts of his poetry.

In a nutshell… The Museum provides a wonderful glimpse into the private life of a man who is respected for his mystic poetry, philosophy, and, of course, his dream of the creation of Pakistan.

– Syed Wajeeh-ul-Hassan Naqvi
First published in the Real Estate section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 10, 2013.