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news details
Govt fails to preserve 100 year old monuments
Naranag temples stare at decay
1/11/2017 10:43:55 PM

Saqib Ahmad

Early Times Report

srinagar, Jan 11:Centuries old stone temples at the Naranag in Ganderbal district are in shambles and have failed to attract the tourists allegedly due to indifference of the authorities.
In a small hamlet, which is known for its lush green meadows, snowcapped mountains, this area has its own historical and religious importance. The Naranag is around 60-kilometres away from the Srinagar city.
Historians believe that the stone temples at the Naranag were dedicated to Lord Shiva by the 8th century ruler Lalithdatiya Muktadiya.
The site consists of a cluster of temples facing each and their architecture trails back to the 8th century. It is now left in ruins, despite the Archeological Survey of India's declaration that these monuments were of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Reins Act 1958.
The Naranag also houses various streams and the locals collect drinking water from them.
Locals blame the tourism department for its failure to attract tourists to this heritage site. They articulate that tourists are not informed about this place and kept away from it.
Noted for its scenic meadows, lakes and mountains, Naranag is also a base camp for trekking to the Mount Haramukh and Gangabal Lake.
These ancient monuments are in ruins and it seems the authorities have forgotten to preserve these historical monuments that has its religious importance.
The stones of many of these ancient temples are lying on the ground in a haphazard manner. Locals claimed that the authorities are not bothered to restore these ancient monuments which crave for attention.
"Government is making no effort to preserve this historical site; despite it has been declared to be of national importance," they said.
"Despite the fact that these temples are of 8th century, no Hindu organization has harked back on these temples. It is unfortunate that government is making no effort to preserve these historical monuments for our future generations. The Naranag temples would have been the main attraction for the tourists as it is one of the important archaeological sites of the country," said Abdul Aziz, a local said.
Locals believe that promotion of this place would attract tourists and would generate employment opportunities for the youth of the area.
"If tourists start coming to this place, hundreds of people will get self-employment. Authorities have many a times made tall claims that Naranag will be developed as a major tourist destination, but till date these tall claims have remained only a word of mouth," said a group of people residing near this place.
A senior official of tourism department on the condition of anonymity said, "Once the construction work of road get completed, more and more tourists will like to visit the place, which has its own religious, heritage, and tourism importance. But, government is making no effort to protect the stone temples that are in pathetic condition."
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