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February 3, 2010

Kashmir to boost tourism by renovating monuments

     Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Government is aiming to boost tourism by renovating heritage sites. From the world famous Dal Lake to the slopes of the Himalayas, the State Government now hopes it can attract tourists to the centuries-old monuments of Jammu and Kashmir. M. S. Zahid, the Deputy Director of the Archives and Archaeology Department has welcomed the move. "Our government is being very helpful. At the top of their agenda is to promote cultural and heritage tourism. For that, we are taking the necessary steps," said Zahid. One of the monuments set to benefit from the government's initiative is the Badshuhnun Dumat, in Srinagar. The relic is the tomb of the mother of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abideen(1420-70) from the Shahmiri period (1339-1561). Locals hope that the makeover will bring more business. "It's a very good thing. What the department is trying to do is a very good thing. Tourists will come and the shops around here will benefit from that," said Showkat Ahmad, a local resident. In 2009, despite the region's volatile reputation and security advisories, 25,000 foreign tourists visited the state. Tourism, once a flourishing industry, has been badly hit by the ongoing conflict in the state.
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