A Chinioti marvel!

Omar Hayat Mahal is a testament to the art and craft of 20th-century artisans

By: Mahmood Sadiq      Published: 07:30 PM, 19 Jan, 2020
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!
A Chinioti marvel!

Omar Hayat Mahal is an amazing haveli built in early 1900 by the artisans in Chiniot at a cost estimated between 2 and 4 lacs, a hefty amount by the standards of the time.

Also known as Gulzar Manzil, this early 20th-century wooden mansion was got constructed by Sheikh Omer Hayat – a businessman of Chiniot who made his fortune in Calcutta.

The construction started in 1923 and the mansion was habitable by 1930, but the construction work continued until 1935.

Sheikh Family could not live for long in this beautiful creation though.

Sheikh Omar died in 1935, shortly after his dream residence got completed. Two years later, a grand marriage ceremony for his only son, Gulzar, took place at the mansion. And, he died the very next day. Gulzar’s mother also died and was buried beside her son on the ground floor of the haveli.

Considering the mansion haunted, Sheikh Omar’s relatives abandoned it. The mention was turned into a school and then into an orphanage before finally going into the government’s control in 1989.  

The building is situated in old Chiniot Bazaar and worth a visit. The haveli now houses a library and serves as a cultural center.

The wood and stucco work of the mansion is simply out of this world. Browse all the images and I bet your jaws will drop to see the rich colours and their brilliant use as well as the wonderful carving!