Thursday, May 15, 2014

KASHMIR'S SAFFRON AND MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH OF LAHORE


                                                                         


 DRIED KASHMIRI SAFFRON 
Photo Autar Mota 


SAFFRON OF KASHMIR AND MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH OF LAHORE

Kashmir ‘s saffron was a much sought after commodity by Rajput , Sikh and Maratha Royals and rulers . In Amber Fort of Jaipur , I was informed by the guide that Rajput kings tried to grow Saffron in the Garden known as KESAR KYAARI . Kesar Tilak , Kesri dyed Turban and dress is linked with history of Rajput warriors . Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s fascination for Kashmir’s saffron was exceptional .


I quote From the Book “ THE RESOURCEFUL FAKIRS: THREE MUSLIM BROTHERS AT THE SIKH COURT OF LAHORE.”..

“Once On a Holi day the Darbar had baskets heaped one above another, full of small, brittle balls filled with red powder, and alongside them large bowls of thick yellow saffron and long gold squirts. Ranjit Singh broke the ice by taking a large dish filled with saffron and pouring it on Sir Henry’s bald head. Dhian Singh rubbed the Commander-in-Chief with gold and silver leaf mixed with red powder. ”

I quote  noted Author Journalist  Late Khushwant Singh ..

"On the 1st of Baisakh (April 12) 1801, Sahib Singh Bedi daubed Ranjit Singh’s forehead with saffron paste and proclaimed him Maharajah of the Punjab. ”

“ Maharaja Ranjit singh personally came to apply saffron Tilak to Ghulab singh in his Raj Tilak ceremony performed on the bank of river Chenab at Jeo Pota Ghat at Akhnoor on June 17, 1822.

“The Treaty between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Raja Fateh Singh of Kapurthala is in Persian and bears the palm impression of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in saffron and also his seal in Gurmukhi Script .”

I quote the concluding Para of the SANAD or PURWANA given to Ghulab Singh  (  Dogra Rajput Ruler  of J&K State ) in Persian and signed by Maharaja Ranjit singh ( Translated into English ) as it appears at page 79 in the Book “ KASHMIR THROUGH AGES ” by Gwasha lal kaul.

“ ….In witness of this , I grant this Purwana of mine with my own hands together with a bunch of saffron this 4th day of Ashad 1879 ( Bikrami )”

 History   tells us that Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra used to take her bath with saffron water . Alexander the Great also  used saffron water Baths to heal his Battle Wounds.




( Autar Mota 15.05.2014 )

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