Magnificent Mahals of Jammu region

O.P Sharma
Prof Shiv Nirmohi is a prolific writer who has more than two and a half dozen books to his credit and mostly related to the social, historical, cultural – linguistic aspects and also places of visitors’ interest in Jammu region of J&K State. Two things are significant: First, Prof Nirmohi often comes out with one or another aspects of Duggar region  almost every year and secondly, at the same readers are always eagerly awaiting for him to bring to light some of the urgent topics related to this part of the country.
In fact, he is one of the top writers who has explored and elaborately penned his in-depth thoughts concerning the Jammu region.
His latest 154-page book entitled ” Duggar Ke Rajmahals” in Hindi is a vivid and detailed description of old palaces built by different “rajas of small states” and most of which are crumbling due to vagaries of time and clime .
But the author of this book has gone through the historical accounts, written documents or other concrete evidence. He has done a painstaking job in writing this book. A mention of  all the big and very small palaces of different rajas and jagirdars  have been sketched in this book. It must have been a difficult work undertaken by the author to tap some of the historical records, visit places and assess  their importance as well as present condition.
Pictorial Sketches
Most of the old palaces are in a dilapidated condition or completely wiped out   due  to neglect   and few of them stand in  urgent need of proper upkeep due to their historical,  cultural  and even  tourist  importance. The magnificent Mubarak Mandi complex, Jammu, the crowning glory of the Dogra Rulers of J&K State, has been neglected for many  years. Its crumbling structure is still craving for attention and early restoration to its pristine grandeur  for attracting visitors.
Mubarak Mandi
Prof Nirmohi has given a detailed account of Mubarak Mandi complex and stressed the urgency of restoring this beautiful old palace to  its pristine glory to attract visitors. He has given meticulous details about the architectural features and also depicted as to which portion belonged to which member of the Royal family from Maharaja Gulab Singh to Hari Singh who later on got built Hari Niwas and the Mubarak Mandi complex was used for the legisture, High Court and other major offices. But now the present picture is gloomy and an effort was made to repair and restore this structure. The restoration work is moving at snail’s pace and must be given a big push both by the Central and State Governments.
Other Palaces
The book has interestingly made detailed mention of most of the important palaces like Poonch,  Ram Nagar, Rajouri, Basohli,Kishtwar, Jasrota and many other buildings of historical value.
The Central and State Governments must pay immediate attention to such monuments and preserve them for attracting thousands of visitors and keeping our rich heritage intact for the future generations. Prof. Shiv Nirmohi has done a great service by highlighting the importance of these buildings and need to protect them.
Worth Reading
Prof Nirmohi has nearly 25 books mostly devoted to different social, cultural, religious and literary aspects of Duggar and is still working on various other matters of urgent public importance. Hailing from Painthal, he is shining on the literary scene with lot of contribution and service to the society.
The 152-page book by Shiv  Nirmohi in Hindi makes the readers sensitive about their rich historically significant structures and remind them of their glorious history. This book is a must reading for all the people to know about the hidden treasure of history which need to be explored and properly exploited for attracting visitors. It should be kept in the libraries across not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in the country.
(Starline Syndicate Service)

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