Tehzeeb Mahal: Kashmir culture’s exotic future address
Rising Kashmir News
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s rich art and culture will soon have a new and exotic address in the multi-facility Tehzeeb Mahal, the foundation stone of which was laid by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah near Tourist Reception Centre recently.
With this, the uncertainty dogging the construction of Tehzeeb Mahal for decades has finally come to rest. A modern cultural centre to showcase rich art, cultural and literary heritage of the State was being planned since 1970s and in 1982, foundation stone of Tehzeeb Mahal was laid in the Emporium Gardens. However, the project did not move any further until recently when the Chief Minister approved its construction adjacent to the Tourist Reception Centre.
Tehzeeb Mahal is Rs 64.89 crore project of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL). Another Rs 23.47 crore will be spent on relocation of the State Road Transport Corporation at Nowgam and cost difference of the land to be paid to the Corporation as former owner of the present site.
Secretary JKAACL Khalid Bashir Ahmad said the ground floor of the three-storeyed building will have auditorium with a seating capacity of 600, Folk Replica Centre, Art Gallery, Administration Space and Intimate Theatre Studio with seating capacity of 200. The first floor, he said, will house Auditorium Balcony, Exhibition Hall-1, Handicrafts Display Room, Library and Conference Hall while the second floor will have Exhibition Hall-2 and Heritage Museum. An Open Air Theatre and Sculpture Garden will be other facilities available at the Tehzeeb Mahal, he said, adding, the basement of the building measuring 46,123 sq ft will be used for parking and housing services. The building, Khalid said, will have special architectural finishes in tune with local heritage architecture including maharaji bricks, daji dewari look, devri stone cladding, khatamband ceiling, pinjra and jaffri work, paper machie and sozni work on walls and log bridge and heritage fort wall.
Pertinently, the Academy has a rich collection of manuscripts, paintings, miniatures, sculptures, artifacts, reference books, photographs etc. which due to present limited space could not be displayed for public viewing except occasionally by holding limited exhibitions. Tehzeeb Mahal will resolve this problem and make possible round-the year display of the State’s magnificent heritage besides turning into the permanent and colorful address of the State’s culture. The project to be completed in 39 months and is being executed by J&K Projects Construction Corporation Ltd (JKPCC).
Srinagar: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that the heritage of Jammu and Kashmir denotes a civilization of par excellence with pluralistic ethos and amity in diversity. “Preservation of heritage, culture, art, literature, history and memorabilia serves as authenticated credentials for present and future generations to study and learn about a people and their life style”, he said.
Laying foundation of Tehzeeb Mahal (Heritage House) here this afternoon, the Chief Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages is a complete treasure of such memorabilia which can be properly displayed in the coming up Tehzeeb Mahal for all to witness and get educated. The Chief Minister said that recently Cultural Academy unveiled a bit of its treasure by displaying historic, rear and ancient works of Quranic calligraphy in an exhibition here which mesmerized the visitors. “There are numerous such works of art, culture, literature, languages and heritage preserved in Cultural Academy. Tehzeeb Mahal would be most appropriate for displaying these for public”, he said adding that this complex could also serve as an important centre for literary conferences and meetings.
Omar Abdullah said that his government is extending all support to the Cultural Academy to expand and strengthen its activities for development, preservation and showcasing of State’s rich cultural heritage. “I told the Secretary Academy, Khalid Bashir that the government would be with him in his efforts to groom writers, poets, artists, painters, sculptors and others associated with State’s art, culture and languages”, he said adding that the Cultural Academy has also been asked to showcase the State’s rich cultural heritage in various parts of the country. He referred to the holding of heritage conference by Tourism Department at Goa in which a group of people from various fields of art, culture and literature from the State were facilitated to participate.
The Chief Minister also referred to the newly constructed Museum at Srinagar and said that he has asked the concerned agency to complete its internal requirements pertaining to the display of historic valuables in a befitting manner and making the security foolproof. He said the Tourism Department has already taken measures in this direction. He expressed the hope that the Museum would be shortly opened.
Omar Abdullah said that he has asked the Tourism Department to formulate a calendar with Cultural Academy for holding various events of cultural programmes utilizing the already completed amphitheatres across the Valley. “This would provide added attraction to the visitors visiting the State during tourist season”, he said and directed for printing broachers, leaflets and posters in this regard and keeping these available at Airports, Railway Stations, Tourist Information Centres and other such places for tourists. He said over 13 lakh visitors visited the State this year which is expected to grow further. “In order to make them aware of the State’s rich cultural heritage and make their stay more eventful, Tourism Department and Cultural Academy should formulate such programmes jointly”, he emphasized.
In his welcome address Secretary Cultural Academy, Khalid Bashir said that blending tradition with technology, the Rs. 64.89 crore 3-storeyed Tehzeeb Mahal project will be a modern cultural complex in traditional architecture and state-of-the-art facilities related to art and culture. The Secretary Cultural Academy said that the building will have special architectural finishes in tune with local heritage architecture including maharaji bricks, deji dewari look, devri stone cladding, khatamband ceiling, pinjra and jaffri work, paper machie and sozni work on walls and log bridge and heritage fort wall. He said that the Ground Floor will have auditorium with a seating capacity of 600, Folk Replica Centre, Art Gallery, Administration Space and Intimate Theatre Studio with seating capacity of 200. The First Floor will house Auditorium Balcony, Exhibition Hall-1, Handicrafts Display Room, Library and Conference Hall. The Second Floor will have Exhibition Hall-2 and Heritage Museum. An Open Air Theatre and Sculpture Garden will be other facilities available at the Tehzeeb Mahal. The basement of the building measuring 46,123 sq ft will be used for parking and housing services.
Khalid said that J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages has a rich collection of manuscripts, paintings, miniatures, sculptures, artefacts, reference books, photographs etc. Due to the limited space available with the Academy, this treasure trove could not be displayed for public viewing except occasionally by holding limited exhibitions. The Tehzeeb Mahal will resolve this problem and make possible round-the year display of our magnificent heritage besides turning into the permanent and colourful address of the State’s culture. It will also serve as a major attraction for tourists interested in knowing about the heritage and culture of the State.
Noted writer Padam Shree Rehman Rahi presented vote of thanks and highlighted the significance of Tehzeeb Mahal project for the growth, development and preservation of State’s rich art, culture, languages and heritage