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37 heritage sites declared protected monuments in Kashmir

By Abdul Nisar

Srinagar, Sep 7 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir government has declared 37 heritage sites as protected monuments to encourage pilgrim and heritage tourism.

These sites will be protected and conserved by the Archaeological Department of Jammu and Kashmir.

The state government has included a dome of the newly explored sites like Kutbal, Lethpora, Sheikh Abraham shrine, Hari Parbat Fort and a medieval wall build by the Mughal rulers. Other heritage sites are the royal Palace Mubarak Mandi, SPS Museum and Bahu Fort.

These heritage sites will link with heritage tourism promotion at a cost of Rs.1.5 billion. Scientific measures will be taken for preservation and conservation of these sites.

Shafi Zahid, Deputy Director of Archeological and Museums Department, Jammu and Kashmir said that the government has taken this decision for the conservation and protection of all state monuments.

"The tourists who visit from Southeast Asia, they are interested in knowing how the old culture and tradition of India is protected. We recently found some remains of a monument in Pahalgam and we received information that those remains date back to third century. So the restoration of these historical monuments will increase cultural tourism to the state," he added.

The authorities are trying to provide basic civic amenities like toilets and parking facilities at every historical site for the convenience of the visitors.

The authorities are also planning to provide brochures and booklets with historical background of the monuments for the knowledge of visitors.

Meanwhile, locals are pleased with the step, as they believe after restoration of these sites, tourism flow will increase and more employment will be generated.

"This step will increase employment and will help many poor families survive," said Shabir Ahmad. (ANI)

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