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Sher Shah Suri-era step well to be restored in Mianwali


Work on restoration of a Sher Shah Suri-era ‘Baoli’ (step well) Wan Bhachran in Mianwali is in progress with hopes to provide recreation opportunities to local people and promote tourism in the region.
The well was built by the known ruler of the subcontinent, Sher Shah Suri, in the 16th Century. He built similar structures on every route that his army followed.
The Baoli was the source of freshwater not only for humans but also animals. It was built in a way that animals as big as elephants could go down to drink water directly from the well.
People started settling in the area due to the availability of freshwater, said Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) for Archaeology Ghulam Muhammad on Sunday.
The diameter of the well is 20 feet and the stairs go down 210 feet, the official said.
He said local people used to throw trash in the well and damaged the beauty of the historic site.
Now, the government is spending Rs10 million on restoration of the well to its original form.
The official expressed hope that the unique step well would boost tourism in the region.
He said the word Wan means well in the Punjabi language, whereas Bhachran refers to the Bhachar clan that inhabits the locality.
Ghulam Muhammad said Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the Sur Empire in the northern part of the subcontinent, with Delhi as its capital. Among many of his achievements, the construction of Grand Trunk Road from Kabul to West Bengal, introducing civic and military reforms, issuance of the first ‘Rupiya’ coin and a speedy postal system in the subcontinent were a few.
Apart from being a military strategist, the ruler had been gifted with excellent urban and civic capabilities demonstrated in a short tenure of his reign spanning five years (1540-45) over united India. The facilities along the GT Road for travellers speak volumes about his farsightedness and futuristic vision.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2021.

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