Krimchi craves for a road

Kaladi Mahajan
“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies – all of the things that quite literally make us who we are.”
According to ASI, the seven temples existing here were constructed during 8th or 9th century AD in old Nagara style while having varying influences from Kashmiri architecture as well, which are colloquially known as Pandav de Mandir. . However, the most important problem here is the accessibility of these temples. Located in a valley alongside a Nullah has naturally granted the temples an inherent disadvantage as their majestic Shikharas can’t be identified unless one reaches the exact place where they are situated. Even though the main road leading from Supply Morh till the main market of Krimchi is macadamised but the last stretch that leads onto another link road on the right side of the aforementioned road is an absolute rubble (Mentioning only this section because the tourists usually avail the Google maps for these locations and the map only shows this route). This 1 kilometre stretch till the temple complex turns the entire journey into a dampener and just strangulates the zeal/curiosity with which one prepares himself to visit an historical/religious monument.
Apart from this, the last section of the road has to be traversed on foot while crossing a stony path with big boulders. I was shuddered to find animal carcasses (possibly buffalo or cow) along this pathway. The torso of the animal was barely 50 metres from the temple while the bottom half was just near the temple complex. Even though the authorities have placed Danga (stones buttressing the slopes) along this stretch but the work remains grossly incoherent, to say the least. The big stone boulders placed in front of the complex, possibly to carve stones for the Danga, render a hideous aura to the entire complex. Additionally, the place lacks the installation of proper signages for the tourists. There are no clear boards marking the route and distance of the temple
It’s important for me to expose these pertinent issues plaguing the monuments of our Jammu, for these structures which define our identity have been made to vanish into the thin air by the successive governments of the erstwhile state. Barely anyone knows about these temples, leave aside someone visiting them. A study led by some of the students of SMVDU published in the international Journal of creative research thoughts found that the majority of the respondents have known about Krimchi temple but haven’t visited there because of poor maintenance of this spot. The study also noted that almost 58% of respondents found the online content on social media as their main driver towards a historic place but in the case of Krimchi, almost 98% said that social media helped them to explore that place, signifying the failure of the Tourism department to put this area on the tourism map of J&K. These crude statistics tell a sordid tale of the governance that administers the heritage places of the Jammu region. The saga continues for the places in Ramnagar, Chenani and Dudu-Basantgarh, wherein the poor road infrastructure hinders the proper exploitation of their tourism potential.
Being someone who has a knack for travelling, I’ve seen that how Himachal Pradesh has managed its monuments. Take, for instance, the Masroor Rock cut temples of Kangra, situated at the top of a hill in a terrain much similar to that of Krimchi but the road connectivity to the former is absolutely impeccable with proper signages and maps. If the tourism potential of the Krimchi temples has to be nurtured to the brim, it’s essential that proper road connectivity with suitable parking facility is made available at this place. Unless it’s done, you can’t expect people to throng these places in beeline, despite their archaeological and historical significance. To put in place a desired infrastructure for the visiting tourists is going to be a daunting and an exacting task, for which our administration and the concerned departments have to shed their siloed approach model. Only by roping in all the stakeholders, one can expect some meaningful changes on the ground.