Monday, October 26, 2009


Kashmir history reveals visit of many important Christian missionaries or travelers .Some stayed for moths together and some made Kashmir as their permanent home. The missionaries opened schools and Hospitals and did excellent work amongst poor kashmiris.Who can deny the fact that these missionaries , assisted by Pandits brought modern Education to Kashmir ?. No kashmiri can ever forget the great work done by Tyandale Biscoe ( 1863-1949 ) for spread of Education in Kashmir . Presently Parvez Samuel Koul ( Principal Tyandle Biscoe school Srinagar ) is carrying forward this legacy . Similar good work is being done By Church for spread of quality education in Kashmir through Burn Hall school , Mallinson’s Girls School , Presentation Convent and St.. Joseph School Baramulla . Obviously these Christians built some of the beautiful Churches in Srinagar ( 3 )and Baramulla ( 1 ). St Luke Church in Dalgate ( Drogjan Locality presently closed and no Sunday Mass or Prayers are held ), All Saints Church Ram Munshi Bagh and Holy family catholic Church , Maulana Azad Road srinagar are three prominent churches of srinagar city .

Saint Luke’s Church lies in the South west slope of Shankara Charya hill near the Old TB Hospital . It was built in 1896AD under the supervision of two christians doctors Dr Earnest and Dr Arthur Nev . Both these doctors served poor and helpless kashmiris through their Hospital.One can approach it through the road either from Dalgate or from UNO office in Kashmir . The Church is mostly locked .
All saints church was also built in 1896 in Ram Munshi Bagh in the midst of majestic Chinars . Sizeable Christian population lived in this area in olden Days .This is a well maintained Church .The third Church known as Holy family Church is located in Maulana Azad Road just opposite Gee Enn Bakery House .This is also a well maintained Church of Kashmir . It is a pleasure to talk to Rev Chander Mani Khanna of All saints church .Pastor Leslie Richards is also known for his excellent social work In the valley especially amongst the poorest of the poor.Enjoy the views of these churches of srinagar city along with the poem SHAAM or EVENING of FAIZ translated ably by Agha Shahid Ali .

EveningThe trees are dark ruins of temples,
seeking excuses to tremble
since who knows when–their roofs are cracked,
their doors lost to ancient winds.
And the sky is a priest,
saffron marks on his forehead,
Ashes smeared on his body.
He sits by the temples,
worn to a shadow, not looking up.
Some terrible magician,
hidden behind curtains,
has hypnotized Time so this evening is a net
in which the twilight is caught.
Now darkness will never come–
and there will never be morning.
The sky waits for this spell to be broken,
for history to tear itself from this net,
for Silence to break its chains
so that a symphony of conch shells
may wake up to the statues
and a beautiful, dark goddess,
her anklets echoing, may unveil herself.
( Poem SHAAM translated by Agha shahid ali )