A wonder in ruins

Aruditya Jasrotia
Many articles have been written about Jasrota, the capital city of the Jasrotia Rajputs, founded by Jasdev, a descendant of The Royal House of Jammu and Kashmir, in past few years. The Jasrota Fort which is situated on the banks of river Ujjh, around 60 km from Jammu, is crying for help but no one tries to actually do something to save this heritage. The local community have been asking the Government for help but no one knows when the help will come. The fort which is now covered by vegetation is still a treat for artists. The colours of the paintings are still fresh as if they were painted yesterday and the architecture is magnificent.
The locals have also failed to understand that they are the one who can save this beautiful fort and their annual meetings won’t have any effect unless they will take action. Jasrotia Rajputs visit the Maha Kali temple often and meet there once a year to remember their great history and organize a Yagya for the temple which has been built inside the palace but the fort have always been neglected. The castle which was raised to safeguard the kingdom from the attacks of Sikhs and other external threats is itself in dire need of safety. It’s very difficult to enter the castle as plants have taken over almost all of the fort. One can only move around the periphery of the fort and that’s also not a piece of cake for the tourists. The deteriorating condition of the Jasrota fort has exposed the true approach of the Tourism Department towards the upliftment of the spot while it has been often claimed by the tourism department that they are investing lakhs of rupees by the state government in order to develop Jasrota as tourist spot in district Kathua. While having the enormous tourism potential the Jasrota spot has been ignored in tourism upliftment point of view by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
The area is popular among the people of the district as well as across the state for its natural green beauty along with varieties and species of birds and wild animals and many thousands tourists pay their visit every year to enjoy the beauty of the area. School picnics are conducted in Jasrota almost every month, but there is no toilet facility and no fencing is made around the parks which poses the threats of dreadful animals all times. According to the locals many letters and reminders have been given to the authority, but no action is taken by the authorities. This beautiful fort can be converted into a Heritage site by maintaining it, providing basic infrastructure, creating awareness among the people and most importantly involving them into the policy making by the governing bodies.
It is highly unfortunate that no description of these places have been found in the books. Either this important part of our state has been ignored or gone unnoticed by the Archaeological Department. This old historical Dogra heritage needs immediate preservation.
The Department of Tourism, J&K should pay attention now to save this crumbling heritage because it’s now or never. Sooner or later this architectural wonder will vanish with time, if attention will not be paid by the Government. The palace of the Jasrota is a reminder of Jasrotia history and if it goes we will be left without roots and a culture without roots cannot survive for long time.