Srinagar: The cruise on River Jhelum started by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department as part of heritage tourism gives an insight into Srinagar city, its history and glimpses of its monuments and shrines along with the ravages of militancy.
    
The cruise is for the younger generation to acquaint themselves with the history of Srinagar and appreciate the beauty of the historic houses, shrines, temples and mosques dotting the landscape along the banks of Jhelum, the lifeline of Kashmir.
    
The temples and mosques next to each other at many places bearing testimony to the coexistence of communities in Kashmir and the traditional amity between them can be experienced by the passengers of the cruise launched on Saturday.
    
The Hanuman Mandir, Vishnu Temple, Shiv Temple, Raghunath Mandir, Ganpatyar Temple and the Roopa Temple are interspersed by the Shrines of Shah-i-Hamdan and Syed Sahib, the tomb of Kashmiri king Zainul Abidin Budshah and the grave of Rinchin Shah.
    
Earlier due to eruption of militancy, many of these historic sites were vandalised or just deteriorated due to lack of care.
    
The dilapidated wood-and-brick houses with gables literally hanging over the river are a reminder of the good times Srinagar witnessed before turmoil gripped the city in 1990. Most of these houses belong to Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from the Valley in 1990.
    
In between one can, however, see new concrete buildings erected with scant respect for the heritage of the city.

(Agencies)

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