By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to preserve the centuries-old Masjid at Malshahi Bagh in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and declared it as a protected monument.
The department of Culture has issued a notification to declare the Masjid built in the 17th century as a protected monument.
“In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section 1 of section 3 of The Jammu and Kashmir Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, Samvat Act-1977(1920 AD), read with amendment Act -2010, the Government on the recommendations of Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums hereby declare the “old Mughal era Mosque, Malshai Bagh, Ganderbal, along with the land measuring 16 Kanals and 10 Marlas falling under Khasra No. 192 as “ protected monument” within the meaning of the said Act,” read the notification.
The Masjid stands in the midst of 360 kanals of orchard owned by J&K Muslim Wakf Board. The Board looks after Muslim shrines and properties in J&K.
As mandated under the law, the government has also asked people to file objections, if any, against the notification before the Secretary, Department of Culture within a period of two months.
“On the expiry of the said period of two months, the government after consideration of the objections, if any, shall confirm or withdraw the notification,” read “The Jammu and Kashmir Ancient Monuments Preservation Act”.
The 17th century mosque is in shambles due to apathetic attitude of successive regime of the State and Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Waqf Board.
The Masjid was built by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan. It is said that Dara Shikoh constructed the Masjid for his spiritual master and saint Mullah Shah Badakhshi.