Pakistan is a country with a rich culture and history, yet many historical sites are abandoned or not explored. These sites hold religious, cultural, and architectural importance but have been lying in a state of neglect. The archaeological sites in Pakistan have a lot of potential to attract tourists. One of the cities, Gujranwala, carries a historical site of religious significance for both Sikhs and Hindus and is also the birthplace of Baba Sai Das who was a contemporary of the founder of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak. One of the oldest tourist attractions of Gujranwala is an ancient temple, popularly known as Tombri Temple. The temple has been lying abandoned since Pakistan was founded, as there is no caretaker or anyone well-versed in the history of this temple.
Many heritage sites such as temples, monuments, ancient ruins, or historical structures are not well-maintained and must be restored. The refurbishment of the Tombri temple will benefit the community, visitors, real estate sector, and tourism industry. The temple’s restoration will bring peace and harmony among minorities. The urban developers can take inspiration from the temple’s design as the architects of the Mughal Era were known to be the experts. They need to know the history to innovate new sustainable ideas that will reach the future. Moreover, developers can estimate when the heritage needs redevelopment, conservation, or a starring role in the heritage, tourism, or entertainment industry. It will spread a good and positive image of Pakistan.
When the rich history comes in front of the public, foreigners with similar religious or cultural values will also be interested in visiting the country while attracting people who want indigenous experiences. It will boost tourism in Gujranwala and surrounding areas that are currently not popular enough. Heritage conservation can lead to higher property values due to recognition and a rise in the value of the area. On top of that, there will be a rise in job creation as amenities around it will increase in the number that will revitalise communities, eventually adding to increased tax revenues and economic growth.
Funds must be invested to restore and recreate such heritage sites. The real estate sector can also play its role by developing international hotels and resorts around heritage sites to attract international tourists while providing safe and quality accommodations for domestic tourists. Land value will automatically increase due to a better environment, and development will be encouraged more in the surrounding areas. Moreover, the younger generation can expand their knowledge of the historical sites in Pakistan. School visits and field trips can be arranged to gain further knowledge and learn more about building materials and methods. It will incline people towards boosting the real estate sector, which already has a lot of potential in the country.
Since the heritage site belongs to the Sikh and Hindu cultures, the government can engage their community for proper conservation according to their values and needs. They usually provide food and shelter to poor people and travellers in their culture. It will end the discrimination against minorities and help the poor in Pakistan while conserving a historical site. People from different regions and religions will be encouraged to travel to such sites and surrounding areas, promoting tourism.