Blossom returns to Madine Sahab rooftop after 10 years

Srinagar: Sultanate-era monument Madine Sahab in old Srinagar is all set to regain its crown of blooming flowers after ten desolate years. With great effort, the J&K archaeology department has refurbished the monument’s roof by laying a new layer of soil and planting the blue bulbous flowering plants that have traditionally grown on it.
The site that has great historical significance is the only mosque in the city that has a well-preserved soil roof top planted with various varieties of flowers that bloom in the summers and add to the beauty of the mosque.
This roof had suffered severe damage along with the adjacent Hamam ten years ago. The archaeology staff has worked long and hard to retrofit the mosque’s spiral and to remove the old soil to plug any leakage. Now water-proof aluminium sheets have been laid below the fresh soil.
Deputy Director of the J&K Archives, Archaeology and Museums Department, Mushtaq Ahmad Beg, told Kashmir Reader that for centuries, this heritage monument remained a centre of attraction for not only the people in Kashmir but also many visitors and tourists from India and abroad.
Given the frequent damage this monument has witnessed in the past, what could have possibly become a lost treasure of Kashmir has been saved and restored somewhat to its original state. All this has been possible due to the vigorous efforts of the Archaeology department, Beg said.
“We have already started renovation of Madine Sahab and we are protecting the roof and other parts of the shrine. The protection work has started after more than 10 years,” Beg said.
When asked why it took more than ten year to start the work, he replied, “We have many monuments which are in need of renovation. Year by year we are protecting every monument and this year we have started work on two monuments, one of them being Madine Sahab. It will just take a couple of more days to complete the work.”
It has been believed that some parts of the Madine Sahab shrine were removed and are preserved in a museum in London. The shrine is said to have been built during the reign of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, popularly known as ‘Budshah’ by Kashmiris, in the year 1444 as a tribute to his teacher Muhammad Madani.
Locals of the area are very happy at this positive step by the government. “The renovation of this heritage site will not only add to its beauty but also protect this important monument,” said Ghulam Mohammad Goo, a local resident.
The historic Madeen Sahib shrine has been closed since long and no one is allowed to enter the premises except for those who carry official permission.
As per locals, in 2002 a rumour spread in Srinagar that some miracle has happened inside Madine Sahib. The rumour spread like wildfire and a large number of people rushed to the shrine to check what exactly had happened.
Following the incident, the Department of Archives, Archaeology & Museums sealed the shrine and since then, no one has been allowed to enter the premises except those with official permission.

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