Jammu, November 20
An exhibition of rare documents, including books, manuscripts, royal albums and historical records of undivided Jammu and Kashmir, organised by the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, has not been able to pull the crowds.
Only a few people, mostly scholars, local residents of Mubarak Mandi area where the office is located and some scribes visited the exhibition, which started on November 19. The exhibition has been organised to mark celebrations of World Heritage Week from November 19 to 25.
Even as the entry for the exhibition is free, the tepid response has disheartened the department staff managing the exhibition.
With some of the rare documents including first census of J&K in 1891 during Dogra rule, performance of religious ceremonies by the then rulers, details about sanction of Rs 36,50,000 for construction of Ranbir Canal in 1910, the exhibition gives an insight into the royal decisions of the time.
A letter on interest shown by two Buddhist priests to study Gilgit manuscript is also on display at the exhibition. In the letter on May 30, 1933, the then Revenue Minister informs the Prime Minister of J&K that two Buddhist priests have arrived in Srinagar and want to study the Gilgit manuscript.
Another rare document on floods in Kashmir in 1903 states: “From time immemorial, Kashmir has been liable to floods but that of July 23-24, 1903, was probably the highest and most destructive flood ever recorded. At the city it appears to have been about two feet above the flood of 1893. In the Dal Lake about 4 or 5 feet above that flood.”
An official present at the exhibition said that despite advertisement and publicity, there seem to be no interest among the people of Jammu to know about their own history.
“We have not seen an overwhelming response to the exhibition as it should have been as there are many rare documents which should interest not only locals but people from across Jammu and Kashmir,” the official said.
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