Ali Gohar House Restoration
Ganish, Pakistan
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

Located on the north eastern edge of historic Ganish Settlement in Hunza, Ali Gohar House was built by a village noble (trangpha) some 300 years ago. It was the residence of the principal envoy of the Hunza state, a figure with authority on the internal and foreign affairs of the fortified settlement. Ali Gohar house was considered to be the oldest surviving example of such a dwelling in Ganish and a site unequalled in its degree of decoration and the quality of its artisanship. The ornamentation in the building is visible in the carved columns, capitals and door surrounds and in the intricately decorated ventilators and the niche frames.

With the passage of time, this three storey historic structure fell into disrepair. It was in an abandoned state and was considered unsafe for visitors and local people at the time restoration was initiated by Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCS-P) with help of the local community. Restoration has not only saved this important structure but was also instrumental in regaining its significance in the community by transforming it into a centre showcasing the living heritage of the historic settlement of Ganish. This has been done by using it as a multi-purpose space housing a tourist information centre, a house museum, a centre for artists and artisans, and a community meeting hall. While restoring the building has been thoroughly documented and stabilized, and modern facilities inserted with sensitivity. The use of indigenous materials and the careful reuse of original building parts provide a noteworthy example of the continued effectiveness of traditional technologies, countering the growing fashion for imported construction materials and often inappropriate alien construction techniques.

The house has a total covered area of 238 m². Physical work on the project was started in April 2007 and completed in December 2007 with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Islamabad providing the total cost of US$ 32'000 and AKCS-P providing technical assistance. The project won Award of Distinction in the 2009 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.

Source: Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan

Ganish, Pakistan
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Associated Names
Associated Collections
restored 2007
238 m²
Variant Names
Ali Gohar House Restoration
Building Usages
private residence
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme
restoration and conservation