Srinagar: The Jalali ‘Haweli’ that hosted Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1936 has been found fit to be declared as a heritage building by a committee constituted by Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums.
If all goes as proposed by the Directorate, this would be second building after Sadder Court to be secured by the government where Jinnah visited in Valley.
Quaid-e-Azam, as he is known among many, Jinnah is said to have appeared in the case titled State v/s Haneefa Begum and Maher Ali at the court.
Jinnah is said to have impressed then Chief Justice Saberjor Lal, Justice Abdul Qayoom and Justice Seini so much that they decided the case in his favour in the very first sitting.
The house was constructed by Syed Hussain Shah Jalali, a prominent noble of the 19th Century.
Elder Jalali played an important part in the socio-cultural life of the region and remained associated with the freedom struggle against the Dogra rule, said the committee comprising of department’s Assistant Director Mushtaq Ahmad Beigh, Peer Mohammad Iqbal (curator SPS Museum) and Ehsan-ul-Haq (junior engineer).
“Amongst the prominent political personalities who were hosted by the owners within this building include Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan,” the panel, constituted on October 16 this year, said.
The house situated at Zadibal in downtown Srinagar constructed about 125 years back also served as the ‘Dewan khana’ or meeting place for men.
The house consists of a rectangular three storey twelve tag building oriented along the east-west axis with the main entrance located to the right of the centre along the main southern facade.
The building mainly consists of huge halls on all three floors with a smaller side room located on the other side of the staircase lobby. Khatamband ceiling has been used in almost all the floors.
In addition, it has side room (Koother) and a long narrow gallery (Shah-nasheen) by means of varusi. Exposed wooden joists at all the floor levels help to emphasize the horizontal nature of the building. Khatamband ceiling and painted Naqqashi-work used internally in most of the rooms stand out as the most distinct decorative feature of the building.
A regular arrangement of pointed arched window openings with Pinjrakari work gives the building an impressive appearance.
‘Dharshandher’ flanked by rectangular lattice work screens and two octagonal dubs with intricate detailing on the second floor lend a rich tone to the building.
“The opinion of the committee is that the building can be declared as heritage building under the heritage Conservation and Preservation Act 2010 and can be used as site museum also. It is recommended that the case may also be processed for declaration,” Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Mohammad Shafi Zahid said.
He said the process for declaration has been processed and the revenue papers of the Jalali Haweli have been collected from revenue department.
“The requisite documents are being forwarded to the government (department of culture ) for consideration of declaration of heritage,” he added. If the Haweli was declared heritage building, it would the second structure to be declared historic after Saddar court which witnessed Jinnah’s arguments.

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