The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration is all set to conserve the six Mughal gardens in a bid to empanel them as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) mandated world heritage sites.
A meeting was held recently to formulate a plan for renovation and restoration of the Mughal gardens.
The restoration work of these culturally significant landmarks needs continuous attention because of their fragile nature, said Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, commissioner secretary, floriculture, gardens and parks, J&K.
“The originality of the structures needs to be maintained in a bid to ensure recognition of these gardens as world heritage sites,” he added.
All critical interventions that are necessary for restoration of these cultural monuments should be sent to the archives department for their suggestions and guidance, said Zubair Ahmad, commissioner secretary, tourism and culture, J&K.
“The restoration work should be in line with the UNESCO standards. The archives department has been asked to provide their expertise and guidance while keeping the Mughal gardens’ cultural and historic ethos intact,” he said.
The authorities have decided to form a committee of officers from all the departments concerned and consultants would also be roped in for the restoration project.
At present, the six Mughal gardens — Nishat, Shalimar, Cheshmashahi, Pari Mahal, Achabal and Veerinag — are under UNESCO’s tentative list of heritage sites.
Baseer Ahmad Khan, advisor to Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of J&K, recently directed the floriculture, gardens and parks department to prepare a white paper for the preservation of the six Mughal gardens in the Kashmir valley.
The J&K officials said a consultant has been hired to prepare a dossier for submission to UNESCO.
Officials exuded confidence that the UNESCO honour would attract international tourists to the Kashmir valley and put these historic places on the global tourism map.