Khan Club: An iconic building losing architecture, woodwork

Peshawar     -    Khan Club, a historical building in Peshawar City constructed by Mughal rulers in 1800, has started losing its eye-catching ancient architecture and woodwork after it was converted into floor godwons and general stores for monetary gains.

Located at Hashtnagri bazaar near Balahisar Fort and Chowk Yadgar, Khan Club’s four-storey building built on five marla land was in shamble currently with no facilities for tourist and art lovers for which it was once famous far and has required immediate reconstruction and conservation work before it falls.

A visitor while passing on Ashraf Road near Rampura Gate would remain extremely disappointed after seeing the deteriorating boutique-style primitive building with dust of floor, fodder and materials of daily use commodities everywhere.

“Khan Club is neither a hotel nor a guesthouse or Havelli, but it is a home of centuries-old civilisation reflecting Mughal era architecture and traditional craftsmanship and its conservation was need of the hour being an identity of Peshawar,” said Bakhtzada Khan, senior research officer KP Archaeology and Museum Department while talking to APP.

“Khan Club was the most preferred choice of foreign tourists and dignitaries for stay at Peshawar due to its peaceful environment, architectural significance and close proximity with historical buildings including Balahisar Fort, Mohabat Khan Mosque and Qissa Khwani Bazaar,” he said.

“Before 2,001, booking of a room was a herculean task for foreign tourists, ambassadors and missions, who stayed here due to its pleasant atmosphere, mouth-watering cuisines, cultural music and closed location with other historical buildings including Qisa Khwani Bazaar, Ghanta Ghar, Mohabat Khan Mosque, Chowk Yadgar and Sethi House,” he said, adding its main halls were flooded with tourists where they enjoyed the traditional Peshawari music including ‘Rubab with Tabla’.

The tourists explored the historical Chowk Yadgar monument constructed in 1892 after it was dedicated to General Hastings and were highly impressed by the historical Mahabat Khan Mosque’s architecture built in 17th century by the Mughal Governor Mohabat Khan.

Peshawar Museum, which is the lone museum of Ghandhara Art with complete life story of Lord Bhudda housing around 30,000 artifacts and statues had drawn Ghandara art lovers and enjoyed the traditional Peshawari Qehwa at historical Qissa Khwani Bazaar in the company of the international storey tellers.

Bakht Zada said Khan Club had been formally converted into a full-fledged hotel by a local influential Inayatullah Khan with support of an Irish American Martin Jay Davis in 1995 and has soon become the most ideal choice of foreign and domestic tourists.

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