The slow death of Mubarak Mandi

Gol Ghar

Dogras have a long history in Jammu and Kashmir, and particularly after the formation of the state by Maharaja Gulab Singh a large number of monuments, forts, and structures were built in Jammu, Kashmir and other parts of the state which represented the glory, and wealth of the state. Dogra kings such as Maharaja Ranbir Singh, Maharaja Pratap Singh, and their descendents worked hard to build the heritage of the state, and the most important contribution made by them was the royal palace at Mubarak Mandi in Jammu.

The seat of power in Jammu has multiple palaces, halls, temples, coronation halls, private chambers, security rooms, ponds, baolis, and parks meant for the Zenana. The palace has been built at a height from which a beautiful view of the Tawi can be seen, and also during the night cool air from the hills and rivers would have brought the temperature down significantly. This heritage of the Dogra nation should have been preserved suitably but unfortunately neither the state government nor the civil society of the state has done anything to save the history of the state which is now crumbling like never before.

Despite the formation of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society, big announcements by the government, and the intervention of the ASI the monument is in permanent state of neglect. Despite Rs 50 crore for restoration given by central government, and ten years the state of this monument is in absolute shambles. It is time that alarm bells start ringing because if nothing happens now then this heritage is likely to get destroyed forever. And that would be a major loss to the people of the state, and the Dogra race.

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