Sunday, January 13, 2013


PHOTO Autar Mota  

If you visit Bijbehara and cross Jhelum to go to Pahalgham via SriGufwara , you notice a beautiful garden just on the right side immediately after crossing the bridge . This garden with lofty chinars, Green turf , beautiful flower beds , Fruit trees and Central water canal makes you to believe as if you are in Shalimar garden of srinagar. The garden at Bijbihara was laid sometime in middle of 17th centuary . Infact Shah Jahan wanted  to build two gardens on each sides of  river Jhelum. Accordingly ,extensive plantation of chinars was done in the area  the  opposite to this Dara shikoh Garden by Mughals . In layout , this garden resembles Shalimar Garden of srinagar Yes the Garden is not terraced and the paucity of water in the Central Canal is noticeable . Some people call this Garden as Wazir Bagh .Perhaps many in kashmir do not know details about this well maintained Garden . Kudos to Dr Haseeb Drabu Ex. CMD J&K Bank Limited for taking over the maintenance of this Garden from Floriculture Department . Men like him have revived the glory of some of the forgotten parks and gardens of the state .Walk way on Jammu canal is a shining example .

Dara Shikoh( 1615-1659 AD ) , the unfortunate Mughal prince , son of Shah Jahan and his queen Mumtaz Mahal ,built some memorable gardens and buildings in kashmir . Dara was gifted builder , thinker and patron of fine Arts .Dara Shikoh is also credited with building some of the most impressive buildings and parks with unique Mughal architecture - among them the tomb of his wife Nadir Banu in Lahore, the tomb of Hazrat Mian Mir also in Lahore,the Dara Shikoh Library in Delhi, the Akhun Mullah Shah Mosque in Srinagar, Pari Mahal garden in Srinagar and the beautiful garden in Bijbihara in Kashmir are worth mentioning . Dara was a follower of Hazrat Mian Mir a Qadiri sufi saint of Punjab . It is pertinent to add that Mian Mir was invited by sikhs to lay the foundation stone of Golden Temple at Amritsar.

Dara was a personal friend of sixth sikh Guru. He got 50 Upnishads translated into persian in an effort to find common ground between Islam and Hinduism , the two great religions of India. Dara was defeated by Aurangzeb and Murad at a battle field near Agra some time in 1658. Subsequently Aurangzeb took over Agra fort and deposed emperor Shah Jahan . Dara was brought to Delhi, placed on a filthy elephant and paraded through the streets of the capital in chains. Kept in dark cell for some time ,He was beheaded on the night of August 30, 1659. How Painful! . No less painful is the history of kashmir .I conclude this post with lines from a poem of Bulgarian poet  Nikola  Vaptsarov…….

‘History, will you mention us
    In your faded scroll?’……….

For the hardship and affliction
    We do not seek rewards,
    Nor do we want our pictures
    In the calendar of years.

    Just tell our story simply
    To those we shall not see,
    Tell those who will replace us –
    We fought courageously.
( Autar Mota )

13th January 2013… Time 11.40 PM  Good Night                                                                         

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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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