Heritage Mughal Sarai at Verinag turned into a ‘urinal’

Anantnag: The famous Mughal Sarai located at Omoh village of Verinag is facing apathy both from the locals as well as the officials.

Located at a few minutes’ walk from the famous tourist destination-Verinag spring, the Sarai was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Once a resting place for Mughal emperors, the monument is now a resting place for stray dogs and other animals roaming in the area.

“A portion of the monument has already collapsed and the other portion is on the verge of collapsing. The Sarai has now become a resting place for cattle and dogs and animal droppings are lying scattered all around-outside as well as inside.

An aged local said that he has seen the building in better times.

“The building had dozens of rooms and it was used as a shelter by nomadic travelers during their journey towards Jammu or Kashmir,” he said.

This Sarai had a beautiful architecture and used to attract large number of tourists who visited Kashmir.

“From outside it looked like a single long structure but this monument was having dozens of rooms inside. I remember the nomadic people who would pass by in different seasons along with their livestock, staying in the Sarai for a night or two,” a local resident said. Our elders tell us that many Mughal kings used the Sarai for both residential and official purposes, he added.

“It is a shame that the heritage has been converted into a place of wastage and a playground now. One cannot bear to go into it because of the animal droppings and human excreta lying there. At a little distance from Verinag spring, the Sarai, if preserved, could have emerged as a prominent tourist spot. But the authorities allowed this heritage to turn into a waste,” Riyaz Ahmad, a local said.

“A well maintained Hindu temple is located on the opposite side of this Sarai but unfortunately due to the bad condition of the Sarai it is not able to grab the attention of the visitors to this temple,” he added.



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