Disaster in the waiting
HARI PARBAT FORT
After all why do we need a cable car to reach the shrine?
S M ANDRABI
The urge to Travel –to open our minds and move beyond familiar – is as old as man himself. It’s what drove the ancient Romans to visit Athens’s Acropolis; it’s what sent Marco Polo off on his momentous journey east. We have examples like this in front of our eyes and yet we are so ignorant. I am directly coming to a concern I have that our future generations are going to curse us for. Can we instead leave behind something our future generations remember us and praise us for. My focus is the beautiful Fort of Hari Parbat and its adjoining areas – the Darbar of Hazrat Sultan (RA) and the people around it. After all why does one need to have a cable car to reach the shrine? What if tomorrow some powerful person says let us make a helipad there as well, does it mean we will let it happen. Why can we not let it be the way it is, and instead pay attention to the upkeep and cleanliness around?
My visit to this holy shrine came as a big shock when I saw columns of concrete on top almost ready and I was told it is the cable car project. The most ugly structure at the foot of this beautiful monument is a reflection of our mind. And to my surprise no one has raised a voice till date. May I ask those involved, have they ever travelled outside of the valley; do they know what preservation means; do they care about how much mess we will generate once it is operational; and do they know how to add new things to existing old structures! Time demands that we as the people of Kashmir get together raise and voice against this and stop the project from going ahead.
And I have a plan to go forward and to save this disaster from happening. Kashmir is a paradise and to enhance its beauty is to bring it to the level of international standards. On my travels I have been to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. If I have to copy that is what I would turn this place into. We have an edge over Cape Town as that mountain is like a table top and we have a beautiful Fort. If we move this cable car from where it is located now to a place that will attract tourism we will create a new place for the tourists to visit. The focus should be the breath taking panorama, unspoiled wilderness, species of Flora which bloom on different seasons, a visit to the fort, professional lighting that it is visible from miles and the cable car system as beautiful as Cape peninsula.
We have already damaged the gate of the outer wall almost twelve years ago from Nowhatta side; instead of restoring it we removed the old beautiful stones and put new ones in. What a shame, no one has ever said a word about it. I would like these people involved to go and travel and see how restoration work is carried away in Acropolis, Ephesus, and Persepolis. On the Travelers’ list these places are of top priority and here we are spoiling what could be an added attraction to our paradise.
We can see some restoration work being carried out by the ASI, hats off to them but even that is without a plan in their hand. Look at the mosque Dara Shikoh built – no one seems to have appreciated this building; it is vandalized and neglected. In 1906-07 ASI report says of it as being “unsurpassed in purity of style and perfection of detail” by any building in Agra and Delhi. What have they done to preserve it? Have they thought of relocating the people who have built shanty houses around the wall, they need to be given now a sensible and attractive package to leave that place.
What we want in the city is more attractive sites but of some high standard now. We have seen tourism sector rebounding like never before but to keep the hopes up for those who are working day in and day out to revive tourism the government needs to involve people who have capabilities of identifying potential places.
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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