Kargil (J-K), Nov.6 (ANI): A museum here is hosting an exhibition of Central Asian trade-related artefacts,which is attracting both tourists and local residents.
The aim of the exhibition was to boost tourism in Kargil and make people familiar with the rich cultural heritage of the region, which once served as an important trading and transit centre in Central Asian Trade network.
The Director of the Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum, Gulzar Hussain Munshi, said that the museum will make people aware about the history of Kargil and also attract visitors from abroad.
"As this place was the main centre for the traders who used to come from Xinjiang, China, Baltistan and Kashmir. This was the main stoppage centre for them; they used to sell their products and items of their own countries. As far as from the tourism point of view, we have preserved this museum in the way that people should visit the museum to know the history, culture and tradition of Kargil by these preserved artifacts. This can boost the tourism in Kargil," said Munshi.
The exhibition showcased hookah pipes from Yarkand County in China, rugs from Kashgar in China, fabrics, dyed and raw silk from Khotan in China, natural dyes, costumes, jewellery, coins, shoes, utensils, ammunition and a few old photographs.
Kargil was in news after an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the district and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC).
The conflict, which claimed the lives of more than 500 officers and soldiers, many of whom were posthumously given gallantry awards, is also referred to as Operation Vijay, which was the name of the Indian operation that cleared the Kargil sector.
The town of Kargil is located 205 kilometres from Srinagar, and faces Pakistan's so-called Northern Areas across the Line of Control.
Visitors said this exhibition presents the glimpses of history of Kargil region with its rich culture of centuries old civilization.
"Whenever people talk about Kargil, they presume it as a war zone. People are not aware that this is a centre of culture, art and tradition. This place has its own cultural heritage. When the tourists will visit this museum, they will realise and see the glimpses of history of Kargil. This is not just limited to Central Asian artifacts but we have incorporated the artifacts of Kargil also. They have preserved the costumes, utensils and other things of centuries old civilizations. Even we have the utensils of stone and woods, when people were not aware of metals like copper and iron," said a visitor from Ladakh, Eijaz Ahmad.
Tourism is one of the biggest means of earning for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Kashmir was once a top Asian tourism destination, popular among honeymooners, skiers, trekkers and anglers, and attracting about a million tourists a year until 1989, when a simmering anger against New Delhi's rule burst into a violent rebellion. And the numbers of visitors shrunk to only a few thousand a year.
However, with peace being restored in the state, the influx of tourists has increased. (ANI)