The unexplored archaeology of Soon Valley is an open invitation for the Archaeologists, Historians and Researches to unlock the mysteries of past. This area has been habited by Prehistoric Man; There are numerous caves that require scientific archaeological excavations. The ancient civilizations have been ruling this valley and left his traces behind. Buddhism had a strong hold of this valley for many centuries and thus history has been playing its role for Soon Valley either conquered or Conqueror. Very rare scientific Archaeological studies have been carried out throughout the valley and no preservation and protection of these sites is provided by the Government, however it is also the responsibility of the locals to understand the importance of their history and to play an active role for the preservation and restoration of these archaeological sites for the coming generations.
Traces of ancient man in the Soon Valley can be found even long before the world oldest civilizations. At the end of last ice age that melted down around 10,000 years ago, the northern Pakistan finally settled into its present topographic and morphological features. Soon Valley is located at the toe of northern Pakistan. The climatologically, geographical and environmental scenario of the Soon Valley has been the most suitable for the ancient man to stay here long before the advent of civilizations. It is an area that was moderate in climate, where summer seasons were pleasant and winter were not as hostile as the snow covered northern areas of Pakistan. So man evolved here during Stone Age in caves and natural shelters through all the three Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Human footprints present in the limestone formation of the valley very clearly indicate the traces of Stone Age. So for we know only about Homo Sapiens, but who knows that future deep Archaeological studies may reveal the traces left behind by Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis, Australopithecus or Pakipithecus and among these the first Soon Sakesarian may then be finally highlighted. Most of these sites are near springs and water bodies and food was sufficient because hunting was easier in mountainous landscape as compared with plain areas.
The above piece of text is written by Mr. Adnan Alam Awan
Following are some of the places which are located in Soon Valley and might interest those people who hold a passion for the old sites and places.
Written by Shah Samad Hamadani
The temples of Nurshingh Phowar
Nurshingh Phowar (Often mispronounced as nursing phowar) is the name of a place in Soon Valley where one can find beautiful temples and lovely water springs. The temples still retain their original shape although rapidly deteriorating.
Regarding its history, there was a Hindu Nurshingh Daas who came to this place to pray. The drops of the water spring falls on an adjoining mountains and that is why how this place got the name of Nurshingh Phowar. In the past, in the month of beesakh, a besaakhi mela used to be celebrated at this place where Yatrees (pilgrims) came from distant towns and villages. There is a beautiful waterfall, greenery at its best, mind blowing water springs and amazing archaeological as well as historical temples at this place.
These days, this temple is under the department of Oqaaf. It is a pity and we repeat, it is a pity and sheer callousness of our government that this temples has been turning into ruins since the last so many years. No care has been given to this place, no funds are allocated and we people are going to lose this precious historical site located in our own valley. Need of the hour is to develop and protect this place. View full gallery.
The temples of Anmb Shareef
The fort and temples of Anmb Shareef are located in tehsil Quaidabad. Most of the people consider these temples as a part of the area of Soon Valley because of its contiguity to the dhoks of Mahoriyaan but officially, it is designated in tehsil Quaidabad rather than tehsil Khushab.
The fort and temples of Anmb Shareef hold a special interest for the archaeologists. Originally, the whole of this area was a fort in which there was one palace and two temples. Nowadays, only the palace and one temple exist. There used to be different statues in this fort but nothing is left of them now. The architecture of the temple is of Kashmiri style. The palace comprises of three floors but one can only approach the ground and the first floor. Each floor has a central hall.This temple and palace is in ruins now. Government should endeavor to renovate and revive it just like they did with the temples of Katas Raj.
This place holds immense archaeological importance and can be even termed as world heritage site by UN. Excavations have been going on here since many years and many precious and priceless artifacts and statues have been taken away by the smugglers and local people. This place still possesses invaluable treasure underneath it in the form of artifacts, statues and coins etc. If robust efforts have not been made by the archaeological department officials, it will be devoid of its treasure by the smugglers and people with selfish minds. View full gallery.
The ruins of Tulaajha fort
Tulaajha is the name of a top of a mountain on which there are ruins of old palaces. This place is located near Khura in the east at a distance of about 6 kilometres. The track to reach this mountain is very difficult because one has o walk through a dense forest. Jalâl ad-Dîn Khwârazmshâh came to this place in order to find shelter while escaping from the forces of Mongols. Here, while in exile, he established this city as a temporary shelter and spent some years. The ruins of this city are still present. View full gallery.
The ruins of Akrand Fort
This fort was built by the men of Raja Tataar Khan in order to defend the areas of Soon and Pakhar. The fort is covered with thick and dense forest. Only one way leads to the fort which is along the way to Kanhatti garden. The fort had stables for horses, residential houses and weapon stores which have now turned into ruins. There is also a grave on the way to the fort which is supposed to be of Raja Tataar’s.
The fort is thought to be of immense historical as well as architectural value for the archaeologists, not to mention the marvelous scenery it holds within itself. We tried to capture the ruins from every angle but they could not be captured the same on the cam. So, anyone who has an interest in history must visit this place himself/herself. A guide is must to visit this place. View full gallery.
The ruins of Tulhaath Fort
Tulhaath fort is a place located near Her Do Sodhi (سو د ھی) Baala on Kathwayi-Jahlar road. A rocky track leads to this fort. One has to travel by foot for about 1 and a half kilometres.
According to Baba Sarwar Awan, this was a palace and there were canals for water in it. It looked more like a fort to us just like the tulaajha fort and akrand fort. The reason is because it has not only a defensive wall but it is also built on a high mountain or cliff. The stones used in the construction of this palace are of rectangular shape, lengthy and extremely heavy. There is a water spring flowing nearby and its name is ‘gabh’. A defensive wall built to protect the palace is still present along with the rock used as the gate.
Like all other places, this place has been utterly ignored by our administration and government in spite of the fact that this fort has been mentioned by the British in their archives before independence of Pakistan. View full gallery.
The ruins of Rat Rirri
These ruins are located near Bhandar Chatha, Her do sodhi (Soon Valley). The ruins are scattered over quite a large area. Perhaps the archaeologists can guess or predict the era of this population. Contrary to the ruins of Akrand and tulhaath forts, these ruins comprise of small walls and they are in fairly bad shape. It might not be interesting for a majority of people out there but those who share an interest in archaeology will find it fascinating. View full gallery.