Tomb of Jesus (Khanyar Rozabal)

According to a few scholars and many Kashmiri inhabitants, the Tomb of Jesus is situated in Srinagar, Kashmir within Khanyar Rozabal. Worshippers would often visit Khanyar Rozabal to place candles around this tombstone as a mark of respect to the last resting place or memorial of Lord Jesus often referred today as the Tomb of Jesus.

Several years ago, a layer of century-old wax was removed to reveal a pair of footprints seemed to have been carved into a stone, an incredible discovery indeed. Carving a pair footprints on a slab of stone was a common practice in Asia especially in the Shrines or Memorial sites of the particular Saint; however, it is still unknown as to how these carved footprints came about here and that too under a thick layer of melted wax dating centuries old.

According to ancient tradition and culture, footprints were usually carved on stones to indicate the identity of the former Saint as we would have fingerprints to indicate our individual identity. Evidence to state that these set of footprints may belong to Jesus Christ is the clear visibility of scars of the crucifixion wounds. The wounds also indicate the left foot had been nailed over the right according to the visible position of the wounds. Another startling discovery with the finding of the crucifixion scar wounds on the footprints is the Tomb itself that is oriented in a typical Jewish style of mannerism unlike an Islamic or Hindu Shrine.

According to these scholars, there is a strong deal of historical write ups and physical evidence inclusive of the Holy Quran that suggest the visit of Jesus Christ to India between the age of 13 to 29 years of age, which one has often referred to as the ‘Lost years of Jesus’. It is also suggested that Jesus returned to India again after his crucifixion and resurrection, and continued preaching the word of God up until his demise in Kashmir.

There is evidence of a number of roads taken by Jesus Christ during his journey to Kashmir as named after Him inclusive of the town of Murree near Kashmir, where a supposed Grave of Our Lady lies. The Grave, named as Mai Mari da Asthan that translates to ‘the Final Resting Place of Mother Mary’, showcases an east to west oriented tomb which is typical of the Jewish style and identical to the Tomb of Jesus in Srinagar. The Grave of Mother Mary is highly revered by the local inhabitants of Kashmir who often call this site as the Tomb of the Mother of Issah or Jesus in the Islamic term.

As you carry on from the town of Murree on the road to Kashmir, you will pass through a broad open valley named as ‘Yus Marg’, or the ‘Meadow of Jesus’. This is where the local shepherds referred to as Bani-Israel or ‘the Children of Israel’ reside. They tell tales of the fact that Jesus once preached here during his lifetime in Kashmir and hence they named this valley in his honour. All these facts make a mention in a Book by Holger Kersten.

People, who pass through the Khanyar Rozabal Street, where The Tomb of Jesus lies, would always stop by to say a short prayer at the window before they continue on their journey. They would peer into the window to catch a glimpse of the Sarcophagus of Yuz Asaf, also known by different names such as Youza Asouph, and Issah to Persians and the Kashmiri people.

The Tomb of Jesus is known to have been tended by the same family for generations since 112 AD with the position of a tomb attendant passed on continuously from father to son while a few journalists state that the attendants of the Tomb of Jesus is watched over by people who were hired by the ancestors of the original family members.

The Tomb of Jesus within the Khanyar Rozabal features a rectangular structure which is enclosed by large-sized chiseled stone blocks. The ancient decorated stone walls seem to have been plastered with cement quite recently; however, the original upper portion of the door that provides access into the crypt is fairly visible. The interiors of this Tomb are now off-limits to all foreigners but local worshippers are allowed to enter and offer their prayers and obeisance to Lord Jesus Christ.

While there is a lot of dispute with reference to this Final Resting Place of Jesus, a few still feel that this is a Grave of none other than Jesus Christ, who is suggested to have survived the crucifixion and migrated to Kashmir, where he stayed with the Bani-Israel tribes, also known as the ‘Lost Shepherd Tribes of Israel’. It is also noted that several Kashmiri inhabitants do share their DNA of their Israelite brethrens and also tell tales passed on by their ancestors of how this Holy Saint was highly revered by all people and known for preaching love, peace, and brotherhood throughout his lifetime up until his demise in Kashmir.

All said, the mystery of the actual Tomb of Jesus in Kashmir is still shrouded in mystery and remains in high dispute. This so-called Tomb of Jesus has intrigued the globe creating an instant interest amongst tourists worldwide who throng to this place just to catch a glimpse of this ancient historical and religious site in Kashmir.

The Tomb of Jesus does make for an ideal heritage site and a major tourist attraction in Jammu & Kashmir that must be taken over by the Indian Government and should be well preserved and protected by the Kashmir Tourism Department and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Association. Apart from the Footprint carvings of Jesus, you will also notice the Holy Rosary [Prayer beads] and the Holy Cross established within this Tomb.

Places to Visit in Kashmir