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Buddhist history

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Kashmir has a rich heritage of Buddhist period and most of such relics of past have not been explored either by the Government or by the history lovers. Kashmir has a huge treasure of rich Buddhist heritage starting from Harwan and such remains are scattered throughout Kashmir in many places. They have a lot of tourist potential and there are tourists in bulk available in the East especially from Japan who wants to know about the Buddhist period of Kashmir.

In Kashmir there is a strong Buddhist circuit available for the heritage tourism ranging from Harwan remains to Ushkura Buddhist monastery in Baramulla where it is believed that Chinese traveler Huen Tsang had stayed when he traveled Kashmir during peak of Buddhist glory.

According to recent revelation of Muhammad Yousuf Teng that he knew the place, where that rare bronze shield of Kanishka period (127 AD to 157 AD) is buried, shows the urgency of the matter. Successive governments in J&K State have accorded a very low priority to research of ancient Kashmir antiquity. That is the reason that rare treasures of past have either remained unpreserved or have not been researched well. Two doctors of a Srinagar hospital during their research on springs in Zalangam village of Kokernag in South Kashmir came across 1500 year old Archeological site. They stumbled on the site where artifacts, bricks, Neolithic age rocks, stone sculptures and coins were present, believed to be of Buddhist era dating back to pre-5th century.

While Archives Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government and Archeological Survey of India have said that they will take over the site and initiate excavations, but nothing has been done so far. Similarly, there is very little interest being shown by Governor’s administration in such matters and in most of the cases, the treasures of past from Kashmir have been taken to New Delhi and never returned back. The need of the hour is that New Delhi should return back all the important connects of our history back and should also start exploring all those rich treasures of past which can be of great use for the tourism potential of Kashmir.

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