Friday, December 28, 2012



“ Thus when on the shores of the eastern ocean  he was camping with the army he,  on one occasion ordered  cherries to be brought  ”

 (From Rajtaranginin of kalhana translated by R S Pandit page  138 verse  219 Taranga IV. Verses 220 ,  222 and 223 ( at page 138 Taranga IV  )mention that Cherries were brought for the Emperor by some divine person. )

This is how  Kalhana describes king lalitaditya’s love for cherries of Kashmir .Lalitāditya Muktapīda (reign 724 -760 CE) was a  Emperor of the Karkota dynasty (625-1003 CE) from Kashmir.

Though cherries can be found in Himachal , UP  and  Uttarakhand , Kashmir remains home to quality cherries  produced in the country .Cherries require cold climate and are successfully grown in areas  ranging from 2000 to 3000 metres above sea level . In kashmir the ripening time of this fruit is mid May to mid June and heavy rains during this period may  cause fruit cracking . Cultivation in Kashmir is confined generally to  hilly areas on sloppy lands of Tangmarag , shopian , Ganderbal  and Budgaam  areas . The fresh fruits are picked with stem when the outer color changes from green to red . This fruit is known as GILAAS in Kashmir.

In Kashmir the fruit is now packed in cardboard boxes with adequate ventilation  before being sent out of the state .The boxes are in the range of 1 kg to 5 kgs. Red cherries are full of  antioxidants and have a powerful pain relieving property. Cherries also contain Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Fiber  ,Manganese  and other  useful compounds that can also fight insomnia and Jetlag.

To my readers I want to say something about the varieties of cherries grown in Kashmir.


This variety is large sized and attractive with cream red colour . The flesh is firm and juicy but a little acidic. It has a shelf life of 5- 6 days ordinarily. It is good for canning ad dessert purposes.


This is the early May variety . It is medium sized light red colourd and lesser fleshy than the double Gilaas .The flesh is juicy , sweat with acdic tinge. It is a good dessert variety.The shelf life of this vaiety is also 4-5 days ordinarily.


This is the king variety. Large sized, red in colour with firm skin . The flesh is totally sweet and juicy. The shelf life of this variety is 15 days ordinarily. It is a mid June variety .

 A Popular kashmiri song goes as under :-

 "Loli Chhay lalwan poph tay Maasa
 wanwaan draayi moaj yemberzal
 Maam laal iyyee taai diyiyo Dilaas
 Paartho Gilaas kulinay tal "

Come darling let me dress you up under the shade of a Cherry tree.
 Your father's sister and your mother's sister
 are offering their laps to hold you my tiny darling .
 Your mother sings for your long life.
 Your mama( Maternal uncle) is coming to put courage in your tiny soul "

( Autar Mota )

28th December 2012 … Time 11.55 PM Good Night
( This is an old kashmiri lullabay which a mother sings to the infant in her lap. A Mama or mother's brother is a very important relation . In kashmir the bonding between a Mama and children of his sister is stronger than the bonding between father and the children. A Mama has important role to play in taking care the infants of his sister till they grow .)

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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