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Umer Hayat Mahal
Umer Hayat Mahal

Umer Hayat Mahal

Print PDFThe reason behind this decision was that  Fatima Bibi did not wants that the Umer Hayat palace to be occupied by their relatives who ever hate and felt jealousy for Umaer Hayat and because this palace was built for Gulzar Muhammad so she wanted to make it his lasting residence. Fatima Bibi could not ...

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The reason behind this decision was that  Fatima Bibi did not wants that the Umer Hayat palace to be occupied by their relatives who ever hate and felt jealousy for Umaer Hayat and because this palace was built for Gulzar Muhammad so she wanted to make it his lasting residence. Fatima Bibi could not maintain herself after this dreadful accident and died few months after her son’s death. She was also buried in the side of her son in the same palace because of her will. Young widow of Gulzar Muhammad had already gone, so all the relatives of Umer Hayat distributed his wealth and property among themselves. They left this grand palace thinking it ominous.

Ahmad Ghazali, author of “Sandal Bar”, gives some new informations after a log struggle. He says, “This palace of Chiniot describes the story of past in present time. There was a beautiful garden. The son of Umer Hayat, Gulzar Muhammad, happened to pass from here on a beautiful moon-night. He founded a beautiful young girl busy in dance. He became the victim of her beauty and lost his heart. The young girl belonged to a poor family, But Gulzar Muhammad did not feel disappointed at both were engaged. Soon after the engagement, his father Umer Hayat was to face the loss of one lakh and he took this engagement as a bad ominous. Umer Hayat wanted to refrain his son of the marriage, but Gulzar Muhammad did not change his mind. At last their marriage was fixed. During this period, Umer Hayat died. On the night of wedding, there was a large number of guests and people, and none of them know what was going the happened in the wedding room. In the morning, when Gulzar Muhammad awoke and went direct to bathroom. After passing much time, Gulzar Muhammad did not come out of the bathroom, his newly-married wife become worried. The mother of Gulzar Muhammad knocked at the door. They called Gulzar Muhammad but there was no Response. At last, the door was broken and they found Gulzar Muhammad dead. His mother could not face this and also died on the spot. Both mother and son were buried in the same building. The widow of Gulzar Muhammad shifted in a near by castle and passed her whole life there. Twenty years ago, when author was collecting the details, the widow of Gulzar Muhammad was alive but no one could see her. As it was a custom, an aged maid came out the castle after many days and again went into the castle after buying necessities of life. She told the author that her mistress never shut her eyes and kept on staring at. Sometimes, she started weeping and never talked to anyone. The author was also told that even a female could not go inside the house but only the maid.”

The author of “Loke Punjab”, Mazhar-ul-Islam described Sheikh Umar Hayat in following words. “it is said that Umar Hayat was the only son of his parents. When his father died, he sold the jewellery of his mother and went to Calcutta. There, he started gambling. He dealt in ships of leather, but often faced loss. After sometime, he started drinking. He used to go to “Red Light Area” and visited a singer. He just listened the music and never tried to make any relation. They fell in love. She gave him money for business. This time he became very rich and prosperous. He returned to Chiniot. His relatives did not accept him. He got built this palace in a small place which he bought with much difficulty. During this period he became the father of a son. He married his son in the family. But the very next morning of his marriage he was found dead in the bathroom. The death of young son proved so fatal for Umar that he also died. His son was buried in the same house but he was buried in graveyard. After sometime, his widow also died was buried in the side of his son where she has already got her grave built. There are two reference for Umer Hayat son.”

1. His wife gave him poisonous betel.
2. He was died due to the gas of stone coal.

 The writer of the “Romantic Stories of Jhnag”, Bilal Zuberi says that Noor Bux was the name of Umer Hayat’s father. Umer Hayat went to Calcutta for trade and earned a lot of wealth. He had a daughter too besides Gulzar Muhammad, his son. She died at the very young age two years after her marriage due to illness. Umer Hayat got this palace built for his son and gave it the name “Gulzar Manzil”. Manzil mean storey or house. Umer Hayat died before its completion. His widow engaged his son with the daughter of Umer’s brother. But Gulzar Muhammad was found dead in the bathroom very next morning of his marriage. He was buried in the same palace. After sometime, the widow of Gulzar Muhammad was married to a relative and was sent to Calcutta, but she gave birth no baby. The mother of Gulzar Muhammad died four year after the death of his son.

By these different stories, we can’t say what is real fact. These are good additions in the history of mystery of Umer Hayat Mahal. But all stories are connected with one point that this family became a victim of jealousy. The whole family dispersed like autumn-leaves and this palace is still shedding tears. Due to the negligence of the relatives of Umer Hayat, the servants of this building made it their residence and this grand piece of art started to destroy. In 1940, Anjuman-e-Islamia Chiniot wanted to get Umer Hayat Palace for a girl’s school but their advice did not accepted and this masterpiece of art was changed into an orphanage under the custody of same organization. This decision was a worst addition in its destruction. No one was interested in its beauty of art and this building lost its charm. During the decade of 1970 A.D, Tehsil Municipal Authority of Chiniot gave it an unbearable shock by collapsing it highest story. It was foolish decision without any reason. They had claimed that building is not in condition to bear its own weight but it was false statemet. Only the neighbours claimed that one can easily watch into their houses through it windows. So the most beautiful story of this building was collapsed. Some people store the beautiful carved almirahs, windows and doors which, later on, was seen in the houses of Islamabad. Many times, the local people have tried to make authorities attentive towards this rare piece of art, but in vain. 1990 A.D. is the second phase of the life of Umer Hayat palace. It was the time, when there was the reign of dust, mud, termites and negligence. The great heritage of Chiniot was going to change into rubble day by day. There were numberless nests of birds and bats used to live here. It was called a “ghost house”. It was said soon this building will collapse and there would be no more sign of Umer Hayat Palace. We may easily get the idea of its condition through following lines. “Don’t touch me as I am so weak, if you try to support me, I will dash to ground”.

Bur now, Umer Hayat Palace is a public library & local authorities have shown some concern about this palace. the palace is renovated recently. Despite ot its tragic story, it is a great place to visit. The beauty of Umer Hayat Palace will mesmerize you.

We welcome you to come chiniot and visit this marvelous architecture.

Chiniotcity Team 

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