Tourism officials in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir have announced plans to restore several Buddhist sites in an attempt to attract pilgrims to the region on holidays.
A proposal to install basic facilities at sites such as Parihaspora, Harwan and Kanispura-Ushkura have been submitted to the Archaeological Survey of India under the pilgrimage tourism initiative.
Historians claimed the Buddhist monastery in Parihaspora town, which is located around 16 miles from the state capital Srinagar, could generate huge interest if the local government backs the renovation plans.
Professor Mohammad Sultan claimed tourists visit the region to see "the old heritage" and described the current state of the Parihaspora ruin as a "shambles" that "nobody recognises".
"People do not come here in Kashmir to look only to the scenic beauty," said Professor Sultan. "They also would like to see the old heritage and how the civilization has developed here.
"The need of the hour is not just to preserve them, not just to put fence around them but to also bring people here to look, so that they will themselves see and develop the area around the vicinity."
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