Tuesday, April 12, 2016



Meditating inside a Cave was prevalent in kashmir. Hindus believe that mountain caves more specifically Himalayan caves to be abode of SHIVA. Many Yogis , Saints , Hermits, Sadhus and later highly revered holy men of Reshi cult practiced it . Shaiva scholar Acharaya  Abhinavgupta along with more than 1200 followers is believed to have marched inside the Bhairva cave in kashmir for meditation and never returned thereafter .

Nund Ryosh or Sheikh Noor Ud Din Alamdaar e kashmir of Tsraar sharief or Baba Zain Ud Din Wali of Aishmuqaam also meditated inside caves .Baba Shukar Din ( His shrine overlooks wular lake in Kashmir ) is also reported to have meditated inside a cave.

During BUDDHIST period, Monks meditated inside caves. Cave meditation was also practiced by Buddhist Monks in Ladakh and Tibbet.

You can see a khraav or wooden sandal as well in this Photo. A Khraav is nothing but a PADUKA used by Rishis of Vedic period. A Khraav was also Popular with Kashmiri Saints and Rishis . Rishis believed in peaceful coexistence, humanism and non violence. The evolution of a Khraav or wooden sandal in Kashmir is a proof if it. The lower surface of the Khraav had minimum contact with ground so that no creatures would be put to harm upon it's use.The followers of a Reshi would give due respect to the Khraav or wooden sandal of their Guru. No Reshi walked with bare feet.Even to this day, the Khraav of Reshi Peer (Ali Kadal) or Swami Ram Ji of Fateh Kadal   is preserved and revered by his followers.

For a kashmiri Reshi, Saint, Faquir or Darvesh, a cave provided an ideal environment for meditation. No worldly material attractions .Just focus on one creator and total submission.
There is a common saying in kashmiri for a person whom you don’t see for some time.
‘Kyaa sa Tche Maa Tchaakh Chillus / Goeffi”meaning “ It looks as if you have gone inside a cave.”


Samuel Bourne (1834-1912 ) was a British photographer who spent more than 7 Years in india. In 1863, He arrived in calcutta and along with Charles Shephard set up a Photographic Studio in Shimla . While Shephard remained at Shimla , Bourne travelled to North , south , east and west of India. He also spent 9 months in kashmir.

Bourne was essentially a Landscape photographer . He Captured more than 2200 Pictures of Buildings , Landscapes and Life scenes in India before he sailed back to England in Januray 1871. Some historical and earlier photographs covering Life and landscapes relating to second half of 19th century kashmir have been clicked by Bourne only.

( Avtar Mota )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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