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Mud caves provide cool environment in scorching heat.

Byline: Rahul Basharat

ISLAMABAD -- The mud caves in the northern region of Punjab are the low cost living facility for farmers, providing them a cool environment in the scorching heat.

It's 02pm and the sun is showing no mercy upon the farmers busy in harvesting of their wheat crop at Pir Madaniyala village of district Attock.

Amjad Ali also owns above 100-kanal land in the village and has converted it into a farmhouse.

His farmhouse has comprised plateau and plain lands while River Haro is passing from his fields. The elevated location distinguishes his land in the area.

Despite having a double-storey house in the city of Hassanabdal, he spends his time at his rural land as the village life fascinates him. At the farmhouse, animals are seen fastened under trees while fresh water is flowing from the tube-well. It's all giving a rural reflection as one can imagine in its thought but one different and a strange construction at his farmhouse attracts the attention of any new visitor.

The caves known as Bhura mostly constructed in Rawalpindi, Attock and Haripur

Amjad Ali has thirteen mud caves constructed on his farmhouse for living and farming purposes.

Each mud cave is in rectangular shape, around eight feet high from the floor and twelve feet long in length. The entrance doors of mud caves are of wood and iron, electricity boards are fixed, shelves are constructed. Floors, walls and roofs are also plastered with mud and white wash is done on it. Around eight mud caves locally known as 'Bhuras' are constructed in a large plateau.

However, in the intense hot weather, when one steps inside a 'Bhura' it provides air- conditioned environment without a fan.

'It's a low cost but best living facility close to the natural environment,' said Amjad Ali. He said that these mud caves are mostly found constructed in the northern villages of district Rawalpindi, Attock and Haripur. Amjad said that despite having modern constructed homes in villages, farmers have constructed these mud caves as they are more comfortable than modern construction.

'It's not about having cheap living facility, but it's the living style of the inhabitants of this area,' Amjad told. He said that these mud caves 'Bhuras' are excavated inside the land with old construction equipment like spade and pickaxe.

He said that each mud cave is constructed in around Rs50,000 and construction is completed in twenty days. He said that it's not only construction of the mud caves but their e maintenance is also important for their stable structure as hot climate and torrential rains affect its exterior.

He said that these mud caves are not only utilised for human living, but animals are kept there while wheat and other crops are also stocked here.

He said that these mud caves are not only cool in hot weather but are also cosy in winter season.

'Without any air condition the temperature in Bhura at day time is around 28 degrees while it falls to 22 at night,' he said.

'You cannot sleep with a fan switched on in summers inside the bhura,' he said.

Another inhabitant of the village Mohammad Sarwar, a labourer by profession, also prefers living in a mud cave than cemented homes. He said in this time of inflation it has become difficult to afford utility bills for a middle class man while poor have gone below the poverty line.

'It's better to live a simple life in a mud cave than paying heaving electricity bills,' he said.
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 12, 2019
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