Thursday, July 16, 2009


Weir is an English word which literally means a dam across a river to raise the level of water upstream or to regulate the flow of the stream. It also means an enclosure of stakes set in a stream to trap fish.

It was in 2009 that Govt decided to restore round the year water level in river Jhelum by renovating the existing old Weir near Chattabal . The weir had lost its usage and  was badly damaged .The  Deodar Logs at many places had turned useless with the passage of time.

In 2009 , I spent almost a full day at the Weir and talked to some officials present at the site . I clicked some photographs of the Weir and the connected spill channel.

“ Very soon you shall see a new Weir with modern structure . It shall restore the age old Glory of river Jhelum. We intend to maintain and raise the present water level by 10 feet and the river shall be fit for navigation round the year. The new design has designed by our own  engineers and we shall no longer be using Deodar wood but   43 Steel Trusses across the entire  width of the river which is arount  150 meters.”

Said an official present on spot.

Not many among us remember that the Weir at Chattabal had its Golden period. There used to be a Guest House near the weir and Jawahar Lal Nehru had also stayed inside  that Picturesque  Guest House .Even  top Russian leaders were entertained with a cup of  Tea at this Picturesque spot  in November  1955  when they visited kashmir .

Designed by British Engineers , The Chattabal weir as constructed during the rule of Maharja Partap Singh in 1906. The Primary aim at that time was to  make Jhelum river  fit for navigation   by maintaining water level round the year and also  save  damage to  so many wooden base of  Houseboats and Doongas parked on Ghaats along the river as River bed turned dry at ,any places due to low water level . It was also meant to trap fish  round the year  in Jhelum River .

  Associated with our painful and also  Grand past  , This river Vitasta   has  been a witness to the rule of   many Kings and  emperors . It has been privy to   many  calamities and Moments of happiness brought by them  . Inspite of  moments of Joy and misfortune ,   It has  kept its pace and never stopped yearning for a peaceful future..  It has been privy to the  march of Civilizations that have  have flourished   and Vanished . Crowds have  walked past its banks  for centuries .

Is it a Highway of our existence ?

  Whenever I see VITASTA I am reminded of a poem SHAHH-RAAHE- HAYAAT by Ali Sardar Jafri . Sardar proudly calls India as SHAAH-RAAHE- HAYAAT or The Highway of Existence . I add some lines from this Great Poem……

Yeh Aadmi ki Guzar Gaah Shahraah e Hayaat
Hazaaron Saal Ka Baar e Garaan Uthaaye Huye
Guzarte Waqt Ke Gardo – Gubaar ke neeche
Haseen jism ki Taabandagi Chhupaaye huye
Guzashtaa daur ki Tehzeeb ke Manaazil ko
Jawaan Maa ki tarah Ghod me sulaaye huye
Idhar se guzrein hain Changezo Naadir o Taimur
Lahoo Me Bheegi Huyee Mashaalein Jalaaye Huye
Safeid Qaum ke Ayyaar Taajiron ke Giroh
Farebo Makr se apni Dukaan Sajaaye Huye
Yeh Aadmi ki Guzar Gaah Shaahraah e Hayaat

And the Chattabal  Weir is now  serving the purpose that was aimed at in its renovation in  2009………

( Autar Mota  )


  1. Namskar Autarji

    Your pitures of Baramulla brought back childhood memories. The best years of my life were spent there. Keep up the good work.

    Dr. Raj Pandita
    Los Angeles, CA

  2. Dear Doctor sahib
    Thanx. More shall certainly follow. Kashmir is unforgetable .
    Regards and good wishes
    a k mota

  3. Namaskar Autar ji,
    I native place is Chattabal. I was eight at the time. Thanks for sharing these photographs! These used to be an ancient Bharav temple there. It's in ruins now. I tried to take a picture during my visit in 2008. We were in a van and it is fuzzy. Please do post a pick of the temple if you have one. Thanks again!

  4. dear vinayak ji
    i shall try what u want . any way what is ur email.
    a k mota

  5. the weir is compelted u should come and visitit is looking even beautiful


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