The National Monuments Authority (NMA) has conducted a detailed survey of Important Hindu and Buddhist Monument sites of Kashmir Valley.

The survey was carried out by Chairman NMA, Tarun Vijay along with the officials of Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chairman in spite of being disabled and wheel chair bound did an extensive tour of the Hindu and Buddhist temples and monument sites like Rainawari, Martand Temple, Awantipora, Harvan Buddhist site, Parihaspura, Pattan, the Naranag group of temples and other sites in Srinagar including Shri Pratap Singh Museum.

During the survey, Tarun Vijay said, this first of its kind exercise in Kashmir valley is result of hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision to revive and restore the cultural glory of J&K while promoting the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. He also observed that immediate steps need to be taken to conserve and preserve these monuments.

While highlighting about the presence of several heritage sites across Jammu and Kashmir, the chairman said that NMA is preparing a well-crafted plan to achieve UNESCO world heritage site status for several monuments here.

“Martand, Parihaspora, Naranag and Harwan are among the major sites which deserve the status of UNESCO World Heritage sites.”

“Jammu and Kashmir is sitting on a treasure of world class heritage sites and the NMA will work hand in hand with J&K Government and ASI to ensure that these sites are taken up in tentative list of World Heritage sites and consequently into UNESCO list of the World Heritage sites,” NMA Chairman observed.

The Chairman also appreciated the efforts of Lieutenant Governor, Sh. Manoj Sinha, who has infused new enthusiasm among officers to protect heritage and has started a new campaign for the protection of cultural heritage in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shri Tarun Vijay also complimented the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Aijaz Assad for initiating the renovation process of Vicharnag Temple.

He also applauded the efforts of central and local officers who have worked hard in spite of several challenges. He added that special certificates of honour will be given to them for their dedicated services in preserving these rich cultural treasures.

The Chairman while acknowledging the work of ASI officers, said that more than 19 cases of encroachment and violation of law have been registered by ASI against the encroachers in Naranag only.

During his survey of Rainawari’s ancient Vitaal Bhairav Temple, the Chairman asked the officials that the process should be initiated to list the site on Central and local ASI list.

Shri Tarun Vijay also asked the officers that adequate staff be deployed for upkeep and protection of these cultural heritage treasures and in coming days proper budget and funds will be allocated for same.

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