Lahore: According to news reports, the Punjab government has opted to conserve and excavate a centuries-old relic, the incredible Tulaja fort, which sits on a plateau atop a hill in Khushab district.

Tulaja Fort is a collection of ancient structures built with varying sized carved or chiseled stone bricks/blocks that rest on a 22-acre plateau on top of a hill in Khora village of Soan Valley, 34 kilometers from Khushab city, and can be reached via an 8-kilometer Katcha road from the Soan-Skaisar road.

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It naturally resembles a fort, with one side resembling a fort wall due to its steepness. According to In-charge archaeological department Multan Malik Ghulam Muhammad, the Punjab government has granted PC-1 for the conservation of Tulaja fort, citing its potential to become a tourism attraction if it is maintained and tourism-friendly facilities are put in place.

The buildings department would develop a jeep-able track, nearly 1.5 kilometers long from the bottom to the top, as part of the Rs 30 million project, to enable tourists to find the amazing plateau with smaller one-room structures made of stone bricks and blocks scattered there, as well as larger structures with more than one room.

Tulaja means Indian goddess of mercy and slayer of evil, which suggests the name was given to the monument during the Hindu Shahi period, but Ali Usman Baig says nothing is certain.

According to officials, the structures department has been granted Rs 19.839 million, with the archaeology department receiving the remaining Rs 10.161 million.

The archeological investigations, which include exploration and excavation, will be carried out by the country’s famous archaeologist, Deputy Director Archaeology (South) Muhammad Hassan, and his team.

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There would be documentation of any historically significant relics discovered. For the duration of the project, a supervisor and sub-engineer would be assigned for a period of two years. At the shrine, public toilets would be built with a solar system that would pull water from the ground or a nearby spring. At the shrine and at the peak, around eight gazebos would be built. The Buildings Department will also look into the possibilities of bringing water to the plateau.

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