SRINAGAR, Jan 15: A tomb dating back to the era of Ghiyas-ud-Din Zainul Aabideen, who is popularly known as Budshah, has been discovered by locals in Maharaj Gunj area of historic Old City here.
The tomb structure was discovered during road widening work by Roads and Buildings Department in the area. The locals said that the red-coloured soil was visible at the site and when they informed R&B Department officials it caved in, exposing the tomb structure beneath.
Zainul Aabideen was the 8th Sultan (King) of Kashmir, whose reign saw peace and coexistence. His policy of religious tolerance and public welfare activities earned him immense respect among his subjects, including non-Muslims, and even today he is referred as ‘Budshah saheb’.
Following the discovery of the tomb structure, the locals informed Archives, Archaeology and Museums who today sent a team of officials for survey. The team led by Director Muhammad Shafi Zahid visited the spot. As per preliminary information the tomb structure is 600 years old (15th Century AD). “It requires archaeological investigation of the architectural features,” Director told Excelsior.
Another senior official, who was part of the team, explained: “It dates back to Sultanate period of Sultan Zainul Aabideen Budshah. It has the similarity with Budshah Tomb (where Zainal Aabideen is buried) and the construction material is also similar. There are only seven tomb structures of that period and this could be one of them. As you know, so far there are only two known tomb structures of that era: one is the Budshah Tomb situated along River Jhelum near Old Zaina Kadal Bridge and another is at Soura on the outskirts of the city. About others we don’t have any information but this could be the third one”.
As the structure becomes centre of attraction for people over the past few days, the local residents alleged that the Archaeology Department is not taking any steps to safeguard the structure and negligence. “The officials of the Department visited three days after it was discovered. They should have on urgent basis sent a team of officials and also started excavation. The Budshah Tomb is already in shambles and we fear same for this new structure,” they alleged.
The senior official, however, rejected the allegations of locals and said that they will approach their higher-ups for future course of action.