FALLING MONUMENT, RELUCTANT RUINS, AND GOVT APATHY | Mughal-era Ganderbal monument in ruins

Issue of its restoration, preservation taken up with concerned deptts: DC Ganderbal
The monument stands in the midst of a few hundred kanal land of orchards owned by the Waqf Board, which is also the custodian of the monument.
The monument stands in the midst of a few hundred kanal land of orchards owned by the Waqf Board, which is also the custodian of the monument.Author

Ganderbal: A Mughal-era monument in Ganderbal district that should have been looked after by the Archeological Survey of India, Waqf Board or the administration is in shambles.

Popularly known as Malshahbagh Masjid at Malshahibagh area in Ganderbal, the monument is believed to have been built by Dara Shikoh in the memory of his spiritual master and saint Mullah Shah Badakhshi.

The place was used for prayers and gatherings during the Mughal era.

The monument stands in the midst of a few hundred kanal land of orchards owned by the Waqf Board, which is also the custodian of the monument.

The income generated from the sale of the produce from the orchards goes to the Waqf but, according to locals, the board has not paid any attention to its preservation. Locals said that this was despite the claims of preservation by successive governments and the concerned authorities.

They said that during the Mughal regime, the place was taken care of by the Mughal rulers but after the Muslim Waqf Board took it over for its upkeep and preservation, it had been left in ruins. An on-spot visit to the monument gives a picture of how the Archaeological Department and the Waqf Board had failed to preserve it.

The condition of the monument is deteriorating with each passing day.

Locals said that if preserved and maintained, the place could be a spot of attraction for the visitors and the tourists.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ganderbal, Shyambir Singh told Greater Kashmir that he has taken up the matter with the concerned department regarding its restoration and preservation.

He said that the administration in consultation with ASI and Waqf Board would take appropriate steps for its preservation. Singh said that he visited the place and asked the concerned officials to make a plan for its maintenance and preservation.

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