Naranag Fails To Attract Tourists

SRINAGAR, NOV 23: The ancient Naranag temples, dating back over 1400 years, are crumbling and sadly overlooked, failing to draw tourists allegedly due to authorities’ indifference.
Nestled in a picturesque hamlet known for its meadows and snow-capped mountains, Naranag, situated 60 kilometres from Srinagar, holds historical and religious significance.
Built in the 8th century by Lalithdatiya Muktadiya in dedication to Lord Shiva, the temple cluster spans 100 metres, showcasing 8th-century architectural prowess. Despite being declared nationally important by the Archaeological Survey of India, these monuments lie in ruins.
Locals, relying on the streams for drinking water, point fingers at the tourism department, claiming negligence in promoting the site to tourists. Naranag, famed for its scenic beauty, serves as a base camp for Mount Haramukh and Gangabal Lake trekking. The Wangath River, a tributary of Nallah Sindh, flows along the village’s left bank.
Locals blame the tourism department for its failure to attract tourists to this heritage site. They articulate that tourists are not informed about this place and are kept away from it.
“Despite these temples being the 8th century old, very few Hindus are paying a visit to these temples. It is unfortunate the government is making no effort to preserve these historical monuments for future generations. The Naranag temple would have been the main attraction for the tourists as it is one of the important archaeological sites of the country,” said Abdul Hamid, a local resident of Naranag.
Locals believe that the promotion of this place would attract tourists and would generate employment opportunities for the youth of the area.
“If tourists start coming to this place, hundreds of people will be self-employed. Authorities have many times made tall claims that Naranag will be developed as a major tourist destination, but till date, these tall claims have remained only a word of mouth,” said a group of people residing near this place.

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