Modi Govt keen to save Kashmir’s Hindu, Buddhist sites: Tarun Vijay

NMA Chairman Tarun Vijay during visit to Parihaspora monuments in Kashmir.
NMA Chairman Tarun Vijay during visit to Parihaspora monuments in Kashmir.

4 monuments to be named as World Heritage

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 26: First time under Narendra Modi Government, National Monuments Authority (NMA) did a detailed survey of important Hindu -Buddhist monuments of Kashmir valley.
Tarun Vijay, Chairman of the NMA who visited Kashmir valley to take the stock of these monuments and temples said that “Terrorism has not only taken the toll on human lives of Kashmir but has also impacted Hindu -Buddhist temples and monuments badly”.
Talking to Excelsior he said Modi Government is keen to save Kashmiri’s Hindu and Buddhist sites which are of cultural and religious significance.
Inspite of disabled and on wheel chair, he did extensive tour of the Hindu and Buddhist temples and monuments in Rainawari, Martand Temple ruins, Awantipora, Harvan Buddhist site, Parihaspura , Pattan the Narannag group of temples and other sites in Srinagar including Shri Pratap Singh Muesum.
Tarun Vijay said that unless immediate steps are taken to keep these monuments maintained at least at a reasonable level we will see these monuments destroyed and vanish.
He appreciated the efforts of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, who has infused new enthusiasm among officers to protect heritage and has started a new campaign for the protection of cultural and heritage in Jammu and Kashmir.
The DC Srinagar, Aizaz Bhatt has begun renovation of Vicharnag temple, he said, adding this shows present dispensation in the UT of J&K is very keen to preserve these cultural and religious monuments for posterity.
He said that special certificates of honour be given to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and J&K Archaeology Department officers who have worked hard in spite of several challenges and lack of funds and manpower. He said that more than 19 cases of encroachment and violation of law have been registered by ASI against the encroachers in Narannag only. There have been several other cases of encroachments around other important Hindu Buddhist monuments, he added.
He said Rainawari ‘s ancient Vitaal Bhairav temple was burnt and destroyed but has not been listed either in State or Central ASI list. Still today on gates of this temple anti national slogans can be seen written by Jihadis, he added.
He said that he is preparing a plan for the resurrection of Martand temple and declaring four major ancient sites as UNESCO world heritage monuments.
Maintaining that Kashmir is a treasure of world class heritage sites, he said it is sad that these have not been taken up for enlisting in UNESCO World Heritage list. The NMA will work with UT Government and ASI to see at least four major archaeological sites like Martand , Parihaspora, Narannag and Harwan are taken up for preparing their cases to be in tentative list of World heritage and consequently adding in UNESCO list of the World Heritage.
He stated that, State Archaeology Department has no Director or Deputy Director appointed and grand SPS Museum has no AC room warming facility not to say lack of curators.
Not a single state protected monument in Jammu and Kashmir region has security person or a guard for the upkeep of monuments. For all these a proper budget needs which will be done at state and central level he hoped.