Lahore Memories - Haji Ghulam Rasool Tarar

Haji Ghulam Rasool Tarar (d: 1925), a businessman and Philanthropist of Lahore

Contributed and Narrated by: Ch. Muhammad Akram Tarar (grandson)

There was a beautiful five dome mosque on Data Sahab Darbar, built by my grandfather Haji Ghulam Rasool Tarar (photo: left), a well-known businessman and a zemindar, originally from Koulo Tarar village in Hafizabad. The mosque was based on Mughal Architecture and existed till 1984.

There was unusual happening which made him to build this mosque, when he lost an amount of Rs. Four lakh, while traveling in a train from Jammu to Lahore, he then decided to use if for construction of mosque if it is re-found. Miraculously enough he regained the amount and hence dedicated it to build a mosque. Initially he wanted to build mosque at the mausoleum of Miran Shah Zanjani Sahib a disciple of Data Ganj Bakhsh and even transported some building material to the site. Yet after three consecutive nights of premonition he decided to shift the project to Data Darbar. Obeying this heavenly command, and after seeking permission of mujavirs he laid down the foundation of the mosque designed by Mistri Sultan (a Nayyer Ali Dada of those times).

The Mosque was decorated with Mughal miniatures, frescoes, elegant chandelier and gold plating on its five domes. Its rhythmic hammering in courtyard still sound for the descendants who now posses merely pictorial testimony of photographs and painting (photo: center) of Ustad Miran Bakhsh, of the then beautiful five domed mosque intricately embracing the diffused heritage of centuries, which on the pretext of growing weak and hurdle in expansion was demolished. None cared for the emotional protests as I tried my level best to the authorities to preserve at least some part of it since through the world due importance was given during reconstruction to maintain the essential evolutionary stages. Yet all such requests were turned down and the present structure of the mosque was hence raised.

The contribution of my grandfather, goes beyond the construction of this unique building, he also constructed various other building like the Ghulam Rasool Building on the Mall (photo: right) in which Ferozsons having a shop as tenants. A book titled ‘India and the War’ published in 1921 remembers him and his son, Mr. Muhammad Din (my father), as “one of our best known and most respected citizen’s”. His dedication to philanthropy and common good brought him respect. Apart from the mosque at the shrine of Data Sahib in Lahore he built two mosques in Amritsar at the lofty price of two lakh fifty thousand rupees. He also gave a building “rent free” to the St. John Ambulance Association (later Red Cross) that is still being used by now Red Crescent on Fatima Jinnah Road. He and his two sons Chaudhry Din Muhammad and Chaudhry Ghulam Mustafa contributed his benign mission and contributed generously to various charitable.

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- This narative is part of "Lahore Memeries", an initiative of Project Lahore, as online archive of personal visuals from history of Lahore contributed by people. The major aim to preserve visual history of Lahore about people, traditions, social gatherings, development and heritage through pictures found in personal family albums and archives with textual/video/audio narratives. Project Lahore team welcome people contributing their Lahore memories, for detail please check here: http://on.fb.me/ZrbQoX

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