The ancestral homes of Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor in Peshawar have been approved as National Heritage sites of Pakistan. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has decided to purchase both homes for an estimated Rs24 million, which includes the cost of land and infrastructure. The price of Kumar’s house and the Kapoor haveli have been fixed at Rs80,056,696 and Rs15 million, respectively. After the purchase of these two houses, they will be repaired and restored in their original form, after which they will be converted into museums by the archaeology department of the province. Both homes are located in the Qissa Khwani Bazaar, a ‘Street of Storytellers’ in Peshawar, where Kumar and Kapoor were born and raised before eventually moving to India in 1947.
After the purchase of these two houses, they will be repaired and restored in their original condition in two phases, and in the last phase, the houses will be converted into museums under the restoration plan. #KPArchaeology https://t.co/pzfsp69uXp
— Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, KP (@KPDOAMOfficial) December 12, 2020
“We are now in the process to arrange the amount to acquire the buildings. We plan conservation and rehabilitation of the two buildings to turn them into museums to highlight the connection Bollywood has with Peshawar,” said Director Archaeology Department, Dr Abdul Samad. The current owners of the property were planning to demolish the house and build commercial centers until the KP government stepped in and halted the process under the Antiquity Act 2016 in September. “The move is part of efforts to restore Peshawar’s traditional culture which fell by the wayside due to the war on terror,” added Sarmad, while talking to BBC earlier.
Both houses will be open to the public after restoration. Previously, Kumar and his wife Saira Banu lauded the government’s decision to preserve the historic houses under the restoration project, after a Twitter user posted pictures of the current state of Kumar’s house. “Thank you for sharing this,” Kumar tweeted. “Requesting all in #Peshawar to share photos of my ancestral house and tag #DilipKumar.” The couple paid a visit to the property some years ago. Talking about the same, Banu shared earlier, “The house is of great sentimental value to my husband and I have shared his pride and happiness during a visit to the property some years ago. He was so emotional when he saw the house where he spent his lovely childhood in the comfort and security of a large, refined family.”