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In this picture taken on October 6, 2018 Pakistani villager Ameer Ullah Khan (L) stands next to his father and his cave home in Nikko village, about 60 kilometres from the capital Islamabad, near the highway town Hasan Abdal. - Bomb-proof, earthquake-resistant and cheap: thousands of Pakistanis are choosing to hunker down in caves northwest of Islamabad, snapping up the hobbit-like homes amid a nationwide housing shortage. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP) / To go with PAKISTAN-ENVIRONMENT-LIFESTYLE-HOME, FEATURE, by Khurram SHAHZAD — AFP or licensors

Bomb-proof, earthquake-resistant and cheap: Modern-day caves near Hassanabdal

These caves are located in the heart of the city near Cadet College Hassanabdal, Mohallah Irshad Nagar and Green Town.
Published Nov 20, 2018 10:03pm

Thousands of villagers are choosing to hunker down in caves northwest of Islamabad, snapping up the hobbit-like homes amid a nationwide housing shortage.

Caves have served as one of the earliest dwellings for human beings, but today cavemen are thought to be a thing of the past. However, in the city of Hassanabdal, only 40 kilometres from the capital, entire families continue to live in caves locally known as ‘Bhoary’.

Many of these caves are located in urban areas, in the heart of the city near Cadet College Hassanabdal, Mohallah Irshad Nagar and Green Town. Other cave dwellers live in rural areas such as Nikko, Bai etc.

These people may live like cavemen, but their homes are equipped with all modern amenities, such as running water, electricity and cable television. The caves have also been lovingly decorated and furnished by the families who call them home. Shelves have been created in the freshly painted walls and beds, tables, books and utensils fill the rooms.

Ameer Ullah Khan washes his hands outside his cave home in Nikko village, about 60 kilometres from Islamabad. —AFP
Ameer Ullah Khan washes his hands outside his cave home in Nikko village, about 60 kilometres from Islamabad. —AFP

Haji Abdul Rasheed combs his hair at the entrance to his cave room in Nikko village near Hasan Abdal. —AFP
Haji Abdul Rasheed combs his hair at the entrance to his cave room in Nikko village near Hasan Abdal. —AFP

A child sits in a cave room in Nikko village near the highway town of Hasan Abdal. —AFP
A child sits in a cave room in Nikko village near the highway town of Hasan Abdal. —AFP

Faqeer Gul offers noon prayers in his cave room in Nikko village. —AFP
Faqeer Gul offers noon prayers in his cave room in Nikko village. —AFP

Thousands of villagers are choosing to hunker down in caves northwest of Islamabad, snapping up the hobbit-like homes amid a nationwide housing shortage. —AFP
Thousands of villagers are choosing to hunker down in caves northwest of Islamabad, snapping up the hobbit-like homes amid a nationwide housing shortage. —AFP