Mubarak Mandi gets a facelift in Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu, Oct 3 (ANI): Mubarak Mandi complex, a group of palaces, in Jammu is getting a facelift to restore its past glory.

The 150-year-old palace was used by Dogra royals as their residence. It's an iconic building associated with Dogra culture and heritage.

The restoration work, started by the Jammu and Kashmir Government, is a joint effort of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), which is preparing the Detailed Project Reports, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is heading conservation work, and the Public Works Department (PWD), which is looking after maintenance and protection works.

"Mainly we are looking after the maintenance and the protection work. From time to time experts, including the ones coming from outside, inspect the heritage site. And based on their recommendation, we do propping, supporting and protection work. We have erected mud masonry pillars to support walls. We are taking care that no part of the palace caves in during rainy season," said Pooja, Assistant Engineer, PWD.

About 165 masons, carpenters and workers have specially been called in from various states to create replicas of motifs and designs on the palace walls and repair the palace, dilapidated in various places.

Plaster of Paris and local stones are being used for carving miniature flowers, roofing and pillar designing.They have especially called me for the restoration of the palace, for detailed art like carving out minute motifs of flowers and water pots. We are making exact replicas," said Pratap Singh, a worker who has come from Punjab.

Tourism Ministry of Government of India has provided an aid of about three billion Indian rupees for the restoration work.

The restoration of Mubarak Mandi complex is being heartily welcomed by the Dogra community in Jammu who see the palace as their cultural heritage.

"Mubarak Mandi has a grate importance. It is such a wonderful treasure. If Mubarak Mandi is restored, I'm sure millions of tourists will not go without stopping by it," said Gulchain Singh Charak, President, Dogra Sadar Sabha Jammu.

Mubarak Mandi complex is unique in its grandeur and certain architectural aspects of the buildings have not been seen anywhere else.

The architecture of the palaces reflects a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and Baroque European influences.he state government is restoring monuments and forts of historic importance to promote heritage tourism in the region. (ANI)

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