A repository of around 6,000 centuries-old rare manuscripts in 17 languages encompassing varied fields is available with J&K Administration.

Srinagar: Kashmir has a rich heritage and a treasure trove of rare manuscripts, books and miniature paintings. In connection with Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations, the Jammu and Kashmir administration organised a one-day exhibition of such rare things here on Thursday.
This exhibition, jointly organised by Oriental Research Library (ORL) and SPS Library, attracted a lot of researchers and also people in general, who hailed the exhibition. With Omicron cases rising, the Covid protocol was implemented and only selected media persons and very keen visitors were allowed to visit the exhibition.
Talking to the media, Assistant Director (Research & Publications) Zahida Bano said that they have a repository of around 6,000 centuries-old rare manuscripts in 17 languages encompassing varied fields. Such exhibitions will make people aware of the rich culture and heritage of Kashmir, she added.
She said that in the exhibition, they have displayed oldest manuscripts like Qarabai-Din, Sadh Pand Luqman and Shahnama Firdousi. Some of the rare books include Rajtarangni by Kalhanna, Tareekh-e-Rasheedi, Gazetteer of India and Kashur – a history of Kashmir.
Kashmiri language is enriched by Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu as this local language of Kashmiris has a lot of influence from these languages and in the exhibition, the manuscripts on display including the historical books only mirrored this reality of the local language.
Zahida further said that they have among the thousands of books and manuscripts also in the classical languages like Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic. “These languages have left a deep impression on Kashmiri language by conditioning its growth in terms of forms and scope, Sanskrit, language of court and culture in 9th and beginning of 10th century in Kashmir contributes number of religious, aesthetic and poetic articulations and are preserved in ORL here,” she further said.
She said that the collection can prove valuable to the literary, religious and scientific scholars to outgrow from small circles into wider circumferences of socio-cultural interaction. “Some manuscripts on Geometry and Medicine could also help in research being conducted across the globe,” she stated.