Dehradun “A Journey Backwards”, By – Nomaan Khan

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Canals : The Lost Heritage of Doon
A city is defined … Sometimes by the history sometimes by its food, culture, people, lifestyle, language ,heritage and many more things . on a broader picture all these things are inter related to each other. Culture binds the people , people follow a lifestyle this lifestyle consist of the food they eat the dances they dance, the clothes they wear and it all comes by heritage. And what does heritage comprises of ?? The heritage which is overshadowed by the assumption that heritage values only constitutes to Art , Culture ,Festivals.. But when we talk about a city a heritage can also be a visual or physical matter with which the residents have been connecting themselves by touch, view, sound over a notable period of time. If by these definitions we try to define Dehradun we will start with the Clock Tower , F.R.I Building , I.M.A to Paltan Bazaar and Rajpur road. All these places can be termed as heritage of Dehradun because they are like a part of life for many residents of this foothills town. There may be people who will not easily agree to this idea, but on a deeper thought these things may seem to be correct to them. All these places have been present before many of us were born and still standing there to claim their heritage value to the onlooker.
If u now agree that the Paltan Bazaar or even a small restaurant like Lakshmi Restaurant(Paltan Bazar) carry an invaluable place in Doon and can be regarded as heritage of this town you are one step close to get more amazed. Amazing it is that a human who was created as a reflection of God himself has a very materialistic approach in terms of recognising things. We tend to value thing that exist and boldly speaks of their existence. What about the things that were once a living resources of Doon which have now vanished and still vanishing at the suburbs and we hardly care. Since the British time when the canals of Doon valley were laid they have always been an integral part of the city and its ecology. Now most of these canals lay underground in the name of development or widening of roads. And some existing canals are still being reconstructed as underground channels of water. And we don’t care.. Many of you will say that its ok that canals are now hidden under the earth and we don’t see them anymore because it was the need of time and development has to take place. For the better understanding of these people I will let them know that being an Architect and also a keen student of Urban regeneration tells me that there is no way that we cannot develop a town and at the same time conserving the heritage value of that town. There are ways to do it and if we are not doing the right thing. It only means that either we don’t want to do it the right way or we don’t bother to pay any heed to the right way of doing things.
Special thanks to Mr Nomaan Khan for sharing this on Namaste Dehradun . You can contact Nomaan on his mail id [email protected]


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