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Kargil Bazaar PDF Print E-mail

The Kargil Bazaar, located within the heart of Kargil town pulsates with life and activity even today. Historically, the bazaar evolved as a significant trading centre along the important silk trade route where travellers and traders would stop to rest, buy and sell. Portions of the bazaar, even today, retain the old world charm and reflect the rich Central-Asian influence in its architectural character. The part of the market known as Balti Bazar is representative of the unique mud and wood architectural style associated with Ladakh, Western Himalayas and Karakoram. Among other commodities, precious stones, Ladakhi artifacts, spices and condiments are sold here even today. Therefore, the market denotes;

  • A significant feature of the socio-cultural landscape of the region;
  • Marks a confluence of Ladakhi, Balti and Central Asian Architecture;
  • Rich settlement pattern around the bazaar.

Today, major portions of the market are exposed to vandalism, encroachments and inappropriate construction practices of modern day as witnessed in other parts of this culturally fragile human habitat. It was therefore imperative to prepare a conservation strategy for the market and salvage its rich historicity and ensure that it is preserved for posterity. In 2006, the proposal was invited by the Jammu & Kashmir Government which entailed the preparation of a Conservation Plan with a view to preserve the bazaar. The Plan also takes into account the need for restoring some structures to a functional re-use which will help in generating awareness about the rich socio-cultural heritage of the region.

There is a tremendous tourist interest in old world charm, life style, ethnicity and cultural traditions of this geographical region spread from Gilgit Baltistan to Ladakh and adjoining areas. The Conservation Plan has been developed to entail the following: Surveying of the entire market area.

  • Measured drawing of at least two typical structures within the market that are representative of its architectural character.
  • Restoration/preservation and revitalization proposal for the entire market area. Detailed estimates pertaining to recommended items of work.

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