Farooq Shah for preserving heritage structures in old city

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Secretary Tourism, Mr. Farooq A Shah today said that Tourism department would promote all the heritage structures and buildings in the old city Srinagar for heritage lovers.

He said Kashmir especially Srinagar’s old city has huge potential to attract travellers in this segment.

He was speaking at a flag off ceremony of the heritage walk at Badamwari in Rainawari as part of its 3-day ‘Kashmir Fort Festival’ under the theme of ‘Celebrating Heritage’.

The Secretary Tourism who was flanked by Deputy Director Tourism Kashmir (Publicity) Peerzada Zahoor flagged off the heritage walk at Badamwari in which scores of the students, morning joggers, senior citizens participated. Shah along with other tourism officials also participated in the walk. During the walk the participants wore Kashmiri turban and some of the artists had worn t traditional pheran which attracted attention of the onlookers.

Shah said heritage is a lucrative segment of tourism which needs to be promoted. The Srinagar’s old city which features centuries’ old structures like Hari Parbat Fort (Kohi Maran), Jama Masjid, Ziyarat Hazrat Naqshband Sahib(RA), Budshah Tomb, Ziyarat of Hazrat Shah-i-Hamdan (RA) also known as Khanqah e  Moula, besides river Jhelum, old bridges including Zaina Kadal, Fateh Kadal etc. This route in the downtown is being promoted by the Tourism department for heritage walks as most of the heritage buildings fall enroute.

Shah also urged participants to give heritage look to their houses.

“We need to design our houses beautifully depicting our local heritage. Kashmir is a tourist place and our structures should gel with surrounding mountains, flowers, huge pine trees, chinars and gardens. Every house in Kashmir has snow capped mountains at its backdrop. Only heritage-like structures would suit here,” he said.

On the occasion, the morning joggers at Badamwari urged Secretary Tourism to keep the fort open in the morning hours.

“Badamwari is open from 5 am to 8pm for joggers without any entry ticket. It has attracted hundreds of youth and elderly people for jogging which is a healthy sign. We wish Tourism department to also come forward and open fort for joggers in the morning without entry ticket,” suggested the people at Badamwari.

Farooq A Shah appreciated the suggestion and said Tourism department would also follow the suit.

“This is good suggestion and we would discuss about it. If it is feasible for us, we would throw it open for joggers in the morning,” said Mr. Shah.

The 3-day festival culminated today evening with the certificate and award ceremony at Nigeen Club. Peerzada Zahoor Ahmad, who was the chief guest at the function distributed prizes and certificates among the participants of photo exhibition and painting competition. During the ceremony, heritage photographs and paintings were also displayed and exhibited in the lawns of Nigeen Club.

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