The Oonth Kadal project has made its entry into UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.

Germany sees Valley’s Mughal-era bridge unifying cultural heritage.

German deputy chief of mission to India Jasper Wieck, who on Monday signed an agreement on conservation of 17th Century Mughal-era bridge in Srinagar, said the move is aimed at reclaiming the part of our common identity.


“Cultural heritage unites us in admiration to the beauty. It has unifying impact despite diverse religious, ethic and nationalist identities,” said Dr. Wieck.

He signed the pact with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Kashmir chapter, next to the Black Pavillion at Shalimar garden, which was restored with German help in 2015. An amount of ₹32 lakh will be granted for the conservation of 17th Century Mughal-era Oonth Kadal, hump of a camel-fashioned bridge, located at the middle of the picturesque Dal lake.

“Germany has taken up 50 projects under the conservation programme in India at the cost of ₹ 8.5 crore. Such projects have a great socio-economic impact. From restorers, to up-skilling of artisans to attracting tourists, it generates a positive conditions,” said Dr. Wieck.

The Oonth Kadal project has come as a shot in the arm for the six Mughal gardens located near the Dal lake, which has made its entry into UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.

“Oonth Kadal is part of the Mughal gardens. It’s the buffer in the lake and the bride would be used by Mughal nobles to reach the gardens. It opens up like a book towards the Zabarwan hills with Mughal gardens in its lap,” said INTACH, Kashmir chapter chief, Saleem Beg.

The entry of Mughal gardens into UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites reflects the acknowledgement of the creative genius, said Mr. Beg.

Built in 1670s, Oonth Kadal attracted foreign photographers and Bollywood directors, who shot many songs around it. Of late, it was crumbling due to the apathy shown towards conservation by the local authorities.

Meets Governor

Dr. Wieck also called on Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan and "discussed matters relating to further strengthening of the Indo–German understanding and about various political, economic and social issues relating to J&K".

"The two discussed including the development of modern infrastructure in various sectors like tourism, energy, aviation etc, launching of welfare schemes for old aged, widows, disabled and other disadvantaged sections of the society," said a Raj Bhawan spokesman (Source: Livemint)

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