By Our Staff Reporter
Srinagar, 10 Mar: ‘Chinar Dharohar’, an 8th century heritage site rejuvenated in Badamibagh by the Kashmir-based 15 Corps of Indian Army, was accorded recognition by the National Monuments Authority in a glittering ceremony.
This heritage conservation project hosts several excavated figurines of 200 CE to 400 Ce origin, in the form of two large monolithic rock Shiva Lingas, seven Gandhara style sculptures and a huge rock carving of the feet of a monolithic statue. From April to July 2021, the Chinar Corps diligently restored excavated sculptures, created a heritage park themed to display them and, with technical assistance from SPS Museum, Srinagar, recreated scaled replicas of seven more stone figurines excavated from the site in 1926.
The ceremony was presided over by Tarun Vijay, Chairman, National Monuments Authority, and former Member of Parliament, who presented a Citation plaque to Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC, Chinar Corps, in recognition of the exemplary research, restoration and rejuvenation of ancient Pandrethan monolithic rock statues at ‘Dharohar’ and for conserving the ancient ‘Meruvardhanswami Temple (6th CE) in all its ancient splendour.
‘Truly the Indian Army is the defender of the Nation, its heritage, culture and faiths,’ he said.
Tarun Vijay added that invaders and terrorists try to erase the memory of their target societies and present a false history. Monuments tell the truth and their preservation is like preserving a nation’s memory. Kashmir monuments tell us about our identity and civilisational flow. The Indian Army has done an extraordinary job by preserving thousands of year old artifacts and monuments in a professional way, though this was not its primary task. “They are Archaeologists in Olive Green, Vijay said, hence for the first time post independence we are here to honour them. I will ask ASI to have more excavations done in this area to reveal the real history of Kashmir. Kashmir does not source its existence from Moghuls but to Emperor Lalitaditya and Rishi Kashyap,” he reminded.
Lt Gen DP Pandey said that the true history of Bharatvarsh must be taught to all and Indian Army, in the best tradition to protect territorial integrity of the nation also helps protect its culture.