Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Rainawari comes to my mind quite often . I can not help it . Today again  , i have uploaded some photographs of this area .You can see the jogi lanker bridge photographed from Shiva temple ( Boad Mandar). I also went inside Vishwa Bharti Women's college where my immediate family members  studied  and photographed an inner view of this college .A view of Kraal Yaar chowk  and  Shiva Temple gate ( Boad Mandar )  has also been uploaded . I also want to pay my tributes to three great men of this area who have done exceptional work in their respective  fields .

Pandit Keshav Bhat Jyotshi( 1873 -1946 )

This learned pandit was a profound scholar  and astrologer . He lived near Jogi lanker bridge and  did pioneering work in collecting , correcting and updating  old  texts of kashmiri  Pandits and  documents  relating to their  religious practices   .    He   visited almost entire kashmir valley to collect some rare manuscripts  .He brought out cheap and affordable  books like Nitya karam Vidhi , Shiva puja , Ganesh Durga strotavali , Soundarya Lahiri , Panchastavi , karm kaand , Veda kalpadrum , Mekhala samaskara puja , Parthishewar Puja , Bhavani Sahstra Naama and many more thriough his printing press established   for this purpose only at Regal chowk srinagar  . After his death his elder son late Prem nath Jyotshi continued with the work started by his learned father while  Pandit Tika lal Jyotshi  younger son of pandit keshav Bhat worked in Broca Press lal Chowk  srinagar .  Pandit Shamboo Nath ( S/o Pandit  Prem Nath Jyotshi ) too continued for some time with this work but the later generation abandoned the printing press and converted the premises to stationery shop( Simon Stationers ) which they ultimately sold  and shifted to Jammu. Pandit keshav Bhat  edited the Panchaang ( Jantri or Almamac ) for circultion amongst pandits of kashmir printed from Krishna Printing press only.  . His panchaang ( jantri ) had a seal of authenticity .

Clad in Pheran  with a Pulhor ( Grass shoe) in his feet ,Pandit keshav Bhat would daily go to Nunar on foot   where he worked as a teacher .Incidentally two great grand children  of this learned  pandit namely Autar krishen and Tej krishen were my friends as they studied with me in DAV Rainawari. .

Pandit Taba Ram Turki ( 1776-1847 )

This learned pandit was a persian poet of exceptional quality . His poetry reached as far as Central Asia  . He wrote under the pen name 'Betab '.Pandit Taba Ram lived in jogi lanker area .  Three or four  families of Turkis  continued to live in this area till  January 1990. Pandit taba Ram  was a Personal friend of Mulla Mohd Taufiq who lived in Jamia Masjid area of srinagar city . Mulla Taufiq and Taba Ram would share ideas and poems by  seeing each other or through exchange of letters .Betab also visited lahore and wrote Masanavis . He was a witness to defeat of Afghans and arrival of sikh forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore . Defeat of Azim khan the Afghan governor has been vesified by him in his Jangnama.Betab  also composed Ranjit Nama and Akbar Nama .He also visited Afghanistan and met his patron Prince Mohd Akbar Khan. Gwasha lal koul eminent historian and author writes that " Jangnama of Betab stands at same footing as Shahnama of firdousi ". Reportedly some of his Great Grand children now live in Jammu and MumbaiSome friends amongst   Turkis  living in Rainawari   whom i knew personally , had nothing to do with literature or fine arts . I happened to know some of them closely.

Pandit Samsar Chand koul Ganhaar ( 1883-1977 )

                                           ( Pandit Samsar Chand Koul and his wife )

This learned pandit lived close to Vaitaal Bhairava temple of Motiyaar Rainawari.Masterji as he was affectionately known in Rainawari,  was a teacher in CMS  school fateh kadal  srinagar . Apart from being an erudite scholar , he was a bird watcher , a trekker , a historian and an authority on flowers and plants of kashmir . Masterji was a member of National Geographical society USA, Royal Geographical society canada  and society of world watchers UK . He authored some exceptionally informative books on birds, flowers and plants of  kashmir  and ladakh. . Perhaps none was so close to Missionary teachers  like Tyndale Biscoe or Eric Biscoe or or Dr Smyth Morrris as this learned pandit from Rainawari. Conseqquently he imbibed many missionary traits .Masterji taught many poor boys absolutely free   . Samsar chand ji fondly known as Sama kak,  was a widely traveled Man and had profound knowledge of astronomy as well. His students included Dr Naseer , late Bakshi Ghulam Mohd , Agha Ashraf Ali ( father of poet Shahid Ali ) and Prof Mohd Sultan want (  Ex HOD Department of English university of kashmir ). It  is satisfying to see that  almost all  his grand children   Particulary Surrinder Koul and Utpal koul carrying forward their illustrious Grandfather 's legacy .

He was a personal fiend of Dr Vikram Saarabhai with whom he was in regular correspondence . Viram sarabhai was also a Bird Watcher and a regular visitor to kashmir since 1940. I am informed that Master ji had also invited Gurudev Tagore to his house in Rainawari during Gurudev's visit to kashmir.

About Master Ji Dr B L kaul Writes :

" In 2015 I dedicated my book titled" Advances in Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Biology Vol.6" to Master Samsar Chand Kaul Ornithologist. Master ji deserves all praise and respect for his love of nature. The well known physician Dr. Nasir Ahmed Ex Principal GMC Srinagar showed me a book " Birds of Kashmir " presented to him by his revered teacher at CMS School Fateh kadal. He was all praise for Master Ji. I wrote an article in Greater Kashmir in October 2010 titled" Feathers are ruffled with winds of change in Kashmir" and mentioned Master Ji's contribution in the field of Ornithology.”

I end this write up on Rainawari with english translation of the  poem  Bright are Thy tresses, brighten them even more  from Baal-i-Jibreel composed by Allama Iqbal ( 1877-1938 ) .This beautiful translation is by Naeem Siddiqui. 

Bright are Thy tresses, brighten them even more,And ravish my eyes,
ravish my mind, ravish my heart and soul.
That love should be concealed, and beauty should be veiled!
Reveal Thyself to me, O Lord, or reveal me to myself.
Thou art the eternal ocean; I am a rivulet.,
Make me a part of Thee, O Lord, or make me fathomless.
If I possess a pearl within, give it a starry lustre,
But if I am a piece of brick, give it a diamond's sheen.
If of spring I cannot sing as a bird of paradise,
Make this half-enrapturcd soul a skylark of Thy spring.

Mr surrinder Turki whom i did not know in Rainawari  and who reports to belong to a family of Turkis living in karan Nagar has sent a mail  to me  on 12.01.2010 saying that he happens to be a direct descendent Of Pandit Taba Ram Turki. Nabi Hadi's book titled "Dictionary of Indo-Persian literature" specifically mentions   name  of this learned pandit at page 134. I have personally checked this aspect  on the Internet version of this book as conveyed to me by Mr surrinder Turki. That is an addition to my knowledge .That is for all readers to share.
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