The Pakistani capital Islamabad is known to be a center of multiculturalism where people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds live in peaceful coexistence. Saidpor, a village in the region, built on piedmont of the Margala hills, represents a prototype of multiculturalism and receives thousands of tourists every year.
Built in the beginning of 16th century by the Mughal Empire (Babur) the village was named after the founder Gakarli Sadi Han and called Saidpor.
In this little village, visitors can find traces of several civilizations including Gandara, Greek, Babur and Ashoka throughits unique historical artifacts and ruins. Especially at dawn and sunset, the landscape of traditional homes give the impression that one has traveled back in time. With a project strated in 2006, old houses were restored in an attempt to unearth the village's rich history.
Attractive wood handcrafts on doors, windows and signs belonging to various cultures transform the village into a art gallery. Juxtaposed to a mosque at the center of the village, temples of Hindus and Sikhs offer a peaceful portrait of the coexistence of different cultures. While the Sikh temple is closed for visitors, visitors are allowed to go into the Hindu temple
Temple turned to orphanage
The Hindu and Sikh population in the village were forced to immigrate in 1947 when the population exchange was carried out after Pakistan's independence from India. For this reason, only Hindu tourists pray in the temple. Between the two temples, another historical building attracts attention with its magnificent architecture. This was used as a Hindu orphanage and later turned into a school. Today it is used as a museum.
As one of the indispensible parts of a village tour, traditional cuisine is offered by the restaurants in the yard in front of the temples and orphanage. Combined with historical structures, different cultures and traditional cuisine, mystic music and spice smells generate an exotic atmosphere.
Suheyl Shezad is among those who were amazed with this striking environment. Shezad said "In my last video clip, I am trying to reflect all aspects of a love story and I think here is the most suitable place for shooting it. We travelled many places but finally concede Saidpor because we need a place giving strong messages. As you may see the view is amazing here."
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