Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home stands dilapidated in Mohallah Khudadad of the Qissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar. Although the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had declared it a national heritage site in 2014, no steps have been taken to protect the property so far.
KP Directorate Archaeology and Museums Dr Abdul Samad told SAMAA Digital that the government took the possession of Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and and Raj Kapoor’s ancestral homes in Peshawar last month. KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had approved Rs23.5 million to buy the properties.
Dr Samad said that both houses will be converted into museums and opened to tourists after repairs. All cases by the owners of Dilip Kumar’s house have been concluded and conversion plans are underway. The restoration will begin under the supervision of archaeologists, he added.
There are three historic and 75 old buildings in Gorghatri, according to a survey by the archaeology department. It is working to restore buildings in Bazaar Kalan and Sethi Mohallah to attract tourists as well. Raj Kapoor’s haveli is located in Dhaki Nalbandi and needs restoration too.
Dilip Kumar, who is known to be Bollywood’s first superstar, passed away in Mumbai on July 7. Fans gathered outside his home in Peshawar and lit candles for the “Tragedy King”. Dilip visited Pakistan many times to see his house.
In his autobiography, Dilip calls Peshawar “the city of flowers and orchards”. Masjid Mahabat Khan, chilled water in winters and the summer’s scorching heat were still fresh in his memory. He recalled how everyone gathered to have tea in his Peshawar home and a big room where women used to offer prayers.
Dilip, who was named Yousuf Khan at birth, was born in this very house in December 1922. He and Raj Kapoor were childhood friends.
Dilip took on the name on producer Devika Rani’s request, who gave him his first film Jwar Bhata (1955).