Mehbooba visits Leh; inaugurates Central Asian Museum, bridge at Khaltsi

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Leh, December 23:  Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today reached here on a two-day visit to the region to take stock of the developmental scenario. This is the first visit of Mehbooba Mufti to Ladakh after taking over as Chief Minister of the State.

The Chief Minister inaugurated a state of the art Central Asian museum in the town built by the Tourism Department in collaboration with a local community service group, Anjuman-e-Moinul Islam.

The museum has the artefacts, manuscripts and pieces of heritage collected from Central Asia, Tibet and Kashmir from 18th and 19th centuries and some are even 400 years old.

Interacting with the people on the occasion, Mehbooba Mufti appreciated the local historian Abdul Ghani Sheikh for having conceptualised the idea of the museum. She also complimented the efforts of German scholar Andre for having worked closely with the authorities for materialising the concept. She said we need to preserve our cultural roots for our coming generations so that they remain connected to the past. She announced a grant of Rs 20 lakh for adding more artefacts to the museum.

Today also marks the beginning of the new Ladakhi year and a local festival called Galdan Namchod. The Chief Minister extended her best wishes to the people on the occasion.

The museum has a rich collection of manuscripts and artefacts. Currently the museum houses pieces of rock art, ancient Ladakhi day to day instruments like weighing balance, old abacus etc., coins from several Central Asian states, old caravan water heater, utensils from Yarkand, manuscripts like Bodhi and Turkish tafseers of Holy Quran, ancient hand written chronology of Holy Prophet (SAW), copies of handwritten Qurans, copies of Sahih Bukhari and Fatwai Aalamgiri besides articles of daily use in ancient times in the region and prototype of an ancient Ladakhi kitchen.

Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar was also present on the occasion.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated a bridge at Khaltsi. Built by the Border Roads Organisation, the bridge would not only connect Khaltsi with national highway but give the tourism potential in the area a big boost. The work on the 75 metre long bridge was started in 2006 and it was paced up last year only to get completed now.

On her arrival at Leh in the morning, the Chief Minister was received by Chairman, Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali; Minister for Cooperatives & Ladakh Affairs Tsering Dorjey; Chairman, LAHDC, Leh, Dr Sonam Dawa; Executive members of LAHDC, Leh; Director General, Border Roads Organisation, Lt General Suresh Sharma; Chief Engineer, BRO, A. K. Dikshit; Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Prasanna Ramaswamy; SP, Leh, Uday Bhaskar and other senior officers.

The Chief Minister was given a warm reception at the airport. Men and women, dressed in traditional attires accorded an affectionate reception to Mehbooba Mufti amidst beating of trumpets. They greeted the Chief Minister with colourful khattaks and bouquets.

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