MeerasMahal, the first of its kind,a museum of rare artifacts founded in 2001 by a well know personality in education field Late Atiqa Bano is located in Chinkipora area of Sopore town. The museum has collection of rich, diverse and artistic heritage of Kashmir which became the attractive place to discover the rare culture of Kashmir. After retiring from education department in 2010 she devote most of her time in visiting the villages of Kashmir to collect rare artifacts.
The artifacts in Meeras Mahal has been collected almost from entire Kashmir and these are immensely rare “with the team of four to five members including late Atiqa Banoji we were supposed to travel different areas of Kashmir and stay there for almost a week to collect things sometimes people are willing to donate artifacts and sometimes we have to pay or give something in exchange to get that artifact. On the other side museum has no revenue generating source the expenditure of museum was she spending from her own pocket” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, Manager Meeras Mahal.
According to Clerk Mumtaza, Late AtiqaBano has established museum to preserve the culture of Kashmir, the basic need of museum is space which we lack she had vacated a personal building and shaped it as museum many times. We have sent proposal to government for help but every time they rejected so many officials have visited to the museum but nothing is done we invite schools and colleges to visit and get knowledge about the rare culture of Kashmir”.
The Meeras Mahal displays a rich and impressive collection of artifacts and objects collected personally by Late Atiqa Bano. More than 3000 artifacts are housed in Meeras Mahal it includes old ornaments, paper machie objects, coins, traditional dresses and traditional utensils. The museum also preserves a treasure of manuscripts books Quran written in Persian, Sanskrit Kashmiri and urdu.
Recently we have made a new proposal for establishment of proper museum we have submitted the proposal to Director SPS museum Srinagar and shortly will be presented to Ministry of culture, government of India. So the rich and heritage culture of Kashmir will be preserved “we are appealing to the government take necessary action for establishment of museum”.