JAMMU – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in collaboration with Archaeological Survey of India celebrated World Water Day at the historic Chenab River Front Akhnoor. Held under the aegis of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the event was aimed at celebrating the natural resource – water, and inspiring actions towards sustainable future. It witnessed an enthusiastic gathering of students, historians, administrators, and academicians. On the occasion, a Heritage Walk was flagged off from the famous Buddhist Site Ambaran by Padma Shri Prof. (Dr.) Ravindra Kumar Sinha, VC, SMVDU. It culminated at the revered Jia Pota Ghat.
Heritage walk covered Chandian park, Parshuram temple, Baba Sunder Singh Gurudwara, Pandav Gufa, Kameshwar Temple, Raja Virat ka Kila and the spot where Maharaja Gulab Singh was anointed as the King Of Jammu at Jio Pota on the banks of the mighty Chenab. 2022 is the two hundredth anniversary of the epoch making event.
The participants were provided a detailed insight about the Vedic River Asikini, now known as Chenab, that holds centrestage in fostering the prosperity of civilisations transcending from ancient history to the present. Dr. Izhar Alam Hashmi, Superintendent Archaeologist ASI, Jai Karan Singh and other experts from ASI, J&K Circle, briefed everyone about the historical, architectural and cultural aspects of prominent sites such as Akhnoor Fort and Harappan Site that are being maintained by ASI. “Ambaran is a major Buddhist site in North India,” Dr Hashmi asserted.
VC SMVDU appreciated the initiative undertaken by the University. He highlighted the importance of ground water recharging, preservation of wetlands for the survival of the rivers. “Depletion of ground water in North India for irrigation is alarming and will have negative impact on drinking water availability,” he said. Nagendra Singh Jamwal, Registrar, SMVDU, threw light on how the water bodies are held sacred and respected in Dogra culture and Jammu region. OP Sharma, environmentalist, Sharda Potukuchi, Dean Academics, Mohan Singh, journalist and heritage expert, Rakesh Thussu, President Board of Cultural Studies, Dr Indu Bhushan also spoke on the occassion.
Students from School of Biotechnology, SMVDU, performed cultural items on the occasion. Later, the participants were served authentic dishes from Dogra cuisine in leaf plates (pattal) and cups (doona).