Soft Inauguration of ‘Meeras Mahal Museum’ Building Held
Sopore, Nov. 25: The 40-year dream of the late renowned educationalist, Atiqa Ji, has finally come true with the soft inauguration of the Meeras Mahal building in north Kashmir’s Sopore town.
Meeras Mahal is the first-ever private museum in the Kashmir Valley, curated by Atiqa Bano herself, that showcases the life and customs of rural Kashmir in the 18th and 19th centuries.
As per Kashmir Despatch Correspondent, the museum collection includes a wide range of artifacts such as terracotta, woodwork, wicker and grass ware, metalwork, jewelry, manuscripts, ancient ornaments, coins, traditional dresses, and utensils have been displayed in five galleries, two of which were activated during the soft inauguration today.
The event was attended by dignitaries including the Additional Deputy Commissioner Sopore Shabir Ahmad Raina, Former Chief Secretary J&K State Mohammad Shafi Pandith, Bar Association Sopore Advocate Faisal Amin, Jaspreet Kaur President Span Foundation, Nighat Shafi (Help Foundation President), Mohd Amin Bhat President Adbi Makaz Kamraaz, Former Secretary Cultural Dr Rafeeq Masoodi, Former MC President Masrat Rasool Kar, Chairman Traders Federation Sopore Haji Anaytullah Hajini, Trade President Haji Mohammad Ashraf Ganai, Industrial President Javeed Bhat, and others were present on the occasion.
Speakers at the event, as per Kashmir Despatch, shed light on the life and achievements of Atiqa Bano, emphasizing her role in preserving the identity and rich history of Kashmir. They also highlighted the efforts made to renovate the museum building and expressed their commitment to activating the remaining galleries in the future.
The Meeras Mahal Museum contains over 7,000 artifacts that provide insights into the cultural heritage of the Kashmir valley. These artifacts were part of daily life in Kashmir until the end of the twentieth century.
ADC Sopore, talking to Kashmir Despatch, expressed his pride in having this museum in the town and emphasized its potential to attract national and international tourists. He said I assured the museum team of the administration’s support in making the museum successful.
Jaspreet Kaur, CEO of the Span Foundation, talking to Kashmir Despatch urged the community to adopt the museum as a cultural house and work towards making it a major tourist spot.
She mentioned the strategic location of the museum, situated between Kupwara, Gurez, and Uri, and its potential to become a tourism hub.
Former MC President Masrat Rasool Kar expressed gratitude for her close association with the family of the late Atiqa Ji. She acknowledged the significant role she played in strengthening the education sector in Sopore and her efforts towards the development of Meeras Mahal, which she believes will be remembered as commendable achievements in the future.
Masrat also extended her heartfelt thanks to the CEO Span Foundation for their generous financial support, which made the soft inauguration of this building possible. She recognized that without their assistance, this project may not have come to fruition.
Masrat emphasized her personal attachment to the museum, as it holds immense value for the town, particularly for future generations.
Former Secretary Cultural, Dr. Rafeeq Masoodi, expressed his joy in finally realizing Atiqa Ji’s dream after 40 years. He explained the significance of the soft inauguration and expressed gratitude for making the dream come true.
The soft inauguration of Meeras Mahal marks a significant milestone in preserving Kashmir’s cultural heritage and fulfilling the long-held dream of the late Atiqa Ji.
Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.