The Kabul Times.
Culture

Estalef Palace; from ruin to reconstruction

By: Karima Malikzada

KABUL: Reconstruction of Takht-e-Estalef Hotel was carried out by the Construction Department of the National Development Corporation with the financial support of the Presidential Operations Office and according to officials, the project costed 78 million Afghanis.
Sayed Nasim Khaliq, head of the construction department of the National Development Corporation told the Kabul Times reporter about the hotel background, saying the plan for establishing of Takht-e-Estalef hotel was brought to Kabul by Shah Amanullah Khan, the then king of Afghanistan, from the United Kingdom.


“The Estalef Hotel was destroyed due to lack of care and the construction department of the National Development Corporation has rebuilt the building while preserving its originality and historical antiquity. Also, in the renovation work of the mentioned hotel, materials of domestic products such as Archeh Kunar (special wood with high quality) home-made stones (Maidan Wardak marble, white marble of Nangarhar and black stone of Gazak) have been used,” he added.
“Decades ago, the Palace Hotel hosted many guests, both domestic and foreign, day and night, but after the war and insecurity, this recreational place like other historical places and like another recreational areas in Afghanistan was destroyed and lost its beauties and became a ruin and remained in such a state for years until finally two years ago (in 2019) by a decree of His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic republic of Afghanistan, was rebuilt and is now ready to receive domestic and foreign guests, and was inaugurated about a week ago by President Ashraf Ghani,” he went on to say.
Regarding on how much the palace suffered during the battles, Khaliq said: “In the past years, due to the wars and the lack of care, this recreational place had become a ruin and only 15% of its previous glory remained.”
“The hotel, located in northwestern Kabul in the Estalef district, was built during the reign of Shah Amanullah Khan according to a plan he had brought from the then Britain,” he said.
“The Takht-e-estalef Hotel has a total area of ??3000 square meters and has two floors with a green area. The first floor of the building has an area of ??1240 square meters and has 8 rooms. With an area of ??320 square meters, a living room with an area of ??313 square meters, a room for cattle with an area of ??80 square meters, a complementary kitchen with an area of ??130 square meters and a second floor with an area of ??720 square meters with 5 rooms with an area of ??360 Square meters, a room for cattle 85 square meters and a complementary kitchen with an area of ??102 square meters, saddle and vestibule 175 square meters.”
He added: “This historic hotel can accommodate about 150 people at the same time. Also, the palace has 1760 square meters. The square also has a green and recreational area that is ready to be used by domestic and foreign guests.”
According to him, during the reign of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the last king of the country, the hotel was built on a mountain slope, which was called Takht-e-Estalef among the people, which is the reason why this hotel was named “Takht-e-Estalef Hotel”.
It is worth mentioning that Estalef district is one of the green and beautiful districts of the country where most citizens go for picnic during holidays.
“Our serious expectation from our dear people is to pay due attention to the preservation of historical monuments and the country’s waterways, so that one day these historical monuments will push thousands of tourists to visit these magnificent places,” he asked.
“In addition, the release of waste in the heart of nature by visitors is one of the problems that our beautiful nature has been witnessing every year. Clearly, our request to the people is to observe cleanliness in the areas of Takht-e-Estalef Hotel and other beautiful areas of the country and to put an end to this unbelievable culture, and we thank those who observe the criteria of travel and entertainment and behave within the framework of principles and ethics of behavior” he went on to say that.
He said that under the guidance of the President, this historic building is to be turned into a hotel, museum and recreational park.
“It was the first time I went to Estalef, and it is a beautiful and spectacular place, and has better security compared to other provinces and districts. It’s a safe place and the people are very cultured. Other compatriots should see this beautiful place.” said Romal Hayat, a Kabul resident.
Another resident Faridullah, who does not always see the resorts of Kabul, said: “As far as I can see in most of the provinces the resorts and tourist places, each province has a special beauty.”
Every reconstruction and renovation that takes place in the recreation areas, on the one hand, makes the country look beautiful and amazing, and on the other hand, is a good omen for domestic and foreign tourists.
While Estalef is one of the districts of Kabul province in the north of the city, many people of Kabul go to this beautiful valley for fun on hot summer days. It is noteworthy that this beautiful area was set on fire by Taliban during their rule while most of the people’s gardens and houses were destroyed, but today it has been rebuilt by the people of this region and welcomes guests from all over the country.

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The Kabul Times.