WE THE SRINAGARITES
We forget our responsibility as citizens of this land towards protection of the centuries old monuments that reflect our glorious past and have many stories to tell. One of the reasons for being unconcerned of our past glory is the lack of Kashmir history in the curriculum of our schools. History is a great teacher of the past experiences and as Thomas Carlyle says: History is the essence of innumerable biographies. But our children aren’t taught Kashmir history.
And in our historic City of Srinagar, monuments are neglected. Take the case of Kalai(Mughal City Wall). The construction is of local stones in rubble masonry in lime mortar that gains strength with the passage of time. The wall is wide enough with buttresses at intervals and small openings plus main gates of Kathi Darwaza, Batchi Darwaza etc.
The shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) and the historic Masjid of polished lime stone, constructed by Dara Shakwah for his teacher Mullah Akhoon are located on the southern slope while the Sharika temple is on the western slope. The Jewel in the crown is the fort atop the Koh-e-Maran.
The landmarks inside the Kalai remind me of my childhood days when we used to go for morning walks around the fort area. Those days it was all surrounded by almond gardens covered with green grass al around. The scene is still fresh in my eyes. There was hardly any house abutting the fort wall.
It has been only during past three decades that the encroachments have taken place and seem to have been regularized. and now the constructions have been raised to the wall height and even extended right on the top of the wall, when looked from Malakhah road. This is height of disrespect to the age old monument. It also reflects our callousness and needs to be attended to on top priority.
We the Srinagarites like to draw the attention of the concerned departments with an appeal to the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand to save the Kalai and restore its glory.
Er. Muhammad Ashraf Fazili
Chief Engineer (Retd)
( The ideas expressed are author’s own)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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