SRINAGAR, Mar 10: ‘Chinar Dharohar’, an 8th century heritage site rejuvenated in Badamibagh by the Kashmir-based 15 Corps of Indian Army was accorded recognition by the National Monuments Authority in a glittering ceremony.
This heritage conservation project hosts several excavated figurines of 200 AD to 400 AD origin, in the form of two large monolithic rock Shiva Lingas, seven Gandhara style sculptures and a huge rock carving of the feet of a monolithic statue.
From April to July 2021, the Chinar Corps diligently restored excavated sculptures, created a heritage park themed to display them and with technical assistance from SPS Museum, Srinagar, recreated scaled replicas of seven more stone figurines excavated from the site in 1926.
The ceremony was presided over by Tarun Vijay, Chairman National Monuments Authority and former-Member of Parliament, who presented a citation plaque to Lt Gen D P Pandey, GOC Chinar Corps in recognition of the exemplary research, restoration and rejuvenation of ancient Pandrethan monolithic rock statues at ‘Dharohar’ and for conserving the ancient ‘Meruvardhanswami Temple (6th CE) in all its ancient splendour.
Tarun Vijay said that invaders and terrorists try to erase memory of their target societies and present a false history. “Monuments tell the truth and their preservation is like preserving a nation’s memory. Kashmir monuments tell us about our identity and civilisational flow. The Indian Army has done an extraordinary job by preserving thousands of year old artefacts and monuments in a professional way though this was not their primary task,” he said.
Terming Indian Army as Archaeologists in Olive Green, Vijay asked ASI to have more excavations done in this area to reveal the real history of Kashmir. Kashmir does not source its existence to Moghuls but to Emperor Lalitaditya and Rishi Kashyap, he added.
Lt Gen DP Pandey said that the true history of Bharatvarsh must be taught to all and Indian Army in the best tradition to protect territorial integrity of the nation also helps protect its culture.
He thanked Tarun Vijay, Chairman of the National Monuments Authority for recognizing this humble effort of Chinar Warriors and reaffirmed the Indian Army’s pride in our glorious civilisational ethos and heritage.