Pakistan to save ruined homes of Bollywood greats in Peshawar

Raj Kapoor's house in PeshawarImage copyright
Shahbaz Butt

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The 100-year-old Kapoor haveli came close to being demolished by its current owner

The ancestral homes of two Bollywood greats are to be saved from crumbling into ruin in northern Pakistan.

The houses belonged to the families of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar who migrated to India in the years before Pakistan was created from British India in 1947.

Officials in Peshawar say the dilapidated homes are to be bought, restored and turned into museums.

The city has a vibrant cultural history, and a host of Bollywood’s greatest stars trace their roots there.

Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar were born and raised in Peshawar’s oldest and most famous road, Qissa Khwani – or Street of Storytellers – later moving to Mumbai where they became leading actors of their generation.

A host of current and former top Bollywood stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, have roots in the same area of Peshawar’s old city.

Five-star Bollywood connection

Kapoor and Kumar started acting in the 1940s and went on to become two of the biggest stars of the film industry that would eventually become Bollywood. They even starred together in one of their early successes – Andaz, a 1949 film.

Kumar’s gentlemanly roles and Kapoor’s antics captivated generations of cinema-goers. While Kumar was known as the “tragedy king”, often essaying sober and melancholic roles, Kapoor, nicknamed “the showman”, was a performer – joyful, cheeky, charming or pensive, whatever the role demanded.

Kapoor died in 1988. Kumar, who is 97, lives in Mumbai with his wife, Bollywood actress Saira Banu.

Image copyright
Getty Images

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Dilip Kumar was a beloved Bollywood hero in the 1950s

Since the 1970s, Peshawar’s cultural heritage has suffered. In recent years, the city became known for militancy and conservatism and the rise

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