Admitting that the department faced hardships in maintaining the historical places in Jammu and Kashmir due to years of violence, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Friday said it will restore every such monument in the state to its pristine glory.
"We will try to restore every historical monument to its pristine form. We faced difficulties during the years of violence, but now we are focusing on it," Director (Epigraphy) for Arabic and Persian Inscriptions, ASI G S Khwaja told reporters at a function.
The function marked the commencement of the first ever 10-day travelling photo exhibition on the theme of 'Islamic Calligraphy through the Ages' at Lal Ded Memorial Cultural Centre, Ganpatyar locality of Habba Kadal in downtown Srinagar.
"There is a need to make the new generation aware about the rich cultural heritage of the state," Khwaja said.
He said calligraphy has taken the place of pictures, which are forbidden in Islam, to beautify the places of importance.
"It reflects our literal history and the coming generation have to save this art. The new generation should adopt calligraphy as a hobby," he said.
Kashmir University Vice Chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad inaugurate the Photo Exhibition, being jointly organised by the ASI, Nagpur and J&K Chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Ninety panels showcasing four to five art forms each are on display at the exhibition which attracted hundreds of visitors within minutes of its inauguration.
"It is a treasure trove of our rich cultural heritage. Mughal coins are the most famous all over the world because of Islamic calligraphy," Khwaja said.
He said the exhibition is part of the 150th year celebration of ASI and will also be mounted in New Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal and Hyderabad.
The exhibition showcase Arabic-Persian and Sanskrit-Dravidian Calligraphy on monuments, papers and coins.
Separate panels have been devoted to calligraphy on stone inscriptions, in holy Quran manuscripts, on paper and coinages of Sultans of Delhi and Mughal Emperors.
The Lal Ded Memorial Cultural Centre has been set up jointly by Jammu and Kashmir
chapter of INTACH and Department of Kashmir Tourism.