Developing 9th Century Hari Parbat Fort a
Heritage Tourism Site
Srinagar, June 27 - Minister for Tourism and Culture Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora has stated that the government has gone into overdrive to showcase J&K’s rich heritage so that a new window is opened for the visitors coming to the State. He said measures are afoot to bring all heritage sites on the tourism map of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr. Jora was speaking during his visit to the majestic Hari Parbat Fort, at Srinagar today.
Expressing his deep love for cross-cultural plurality of the State, Mr. Jora said artistic richness of under-renovation Mubarak Mandi Complex in Jammu, Hari Parbat in Kashmir and Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh are apt indicators of J&K homogeneity.
The Hari Parbat Fort edifice, built by Afghan Governor in 1808, Atta Mohammad Khan, is the only living fort in Kashmir, believed to be 209 years old.
Mr. Jora said several heritage sites, spread across the State, depict cultural richness of the State that could be brought on the canvas of the tourism potential.
Hari Parbat Fort, a state protected monument, is being developed as a heritage site and since 2006, work on its conservation and development has been going on. Out of an estimated Rs 2.13 crore, Rs 1.39 crore has been spent on its development so far.
The conservation work includes restoration of pristine glory of the monument so that it emerges as an epitome of Kashmiri heritage magnificence. Firmly entrenched in the past, the fort can attract large number of domestic as well as international tourists.
Reemphasizing his commitment to link Kashmir’s past with present by persevering heritage sites and working on their upkeep, Mr. Jora said instructions have been issued to concerned authorities to fast-track conservation and protection of historical monuments and sites. He said fillip in state’s tourism economy is embedded in linking it with cultural distinctiveness of the State, which can attract domestic, foreign and Indian diaspora to the State.
The Minister went round the heritage fort and took on-spot-assessment of renovation works. He issued instructions for ensuring completion of remaining works and regular upkeep within and outside the fort premises. He directed for early renovation work of all ponds for harvesting rainwater.
Mr. Jora also issued instructions to the concerned authorities to initiate necessary measures for taking up works like landscaping, development of open space, public facilities, illumination in and outside the fort, installation of light and sound system and upgrdation of approach road from main road to the fort.
Director, Archives and Museum Mr. K. A. Qadri briefed the Minister about various conservation and renovation works taken up on the fort. He apprised the Minister that this fort is spread over an area of 200 kanal with nine watch towers and numerous battlements. He said about 80 per cent conservation work of the fort has been completed and assured the Minister that the remaining work would be completed by the end of September.
The Minister also inspected renovation work of Sultan Dara Shuko Hamam at Muqdoom Sahib. He was apprised by Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah that the conservation work of this heritage site has been taken up at a cost of Rs 22 lakh and would be completed by the end of this year.
Other senior officers of Archives and Tourism departments also accompanied the Minister.
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