Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Achabal is just about 8 Kms from Anantnag town  and well connected by all types of transport. Kalhana records the name of the village as Akshavala . A beautiful Mughal garden lies just below the dense Deodar Forest covering the Thang Mountain near village Achabal. . It is a typical Mughal Garden , Terraced and having a central water Canal( With a spring inside the Garden as its source ) with fountain display. Mughals built this garden in 1620 as a retreat for NUR JAHAN.The garden is has good number of sprawling , lofty , green and shady Chinar trees .Water of the central canal flows through three cascades . The lawns of the garden are well decorated with flowers of various hues and colours .The garden is presently Maintained by Floriculture Department . At present , the garden is undergoing extensive repairs . An entry fee of Rs5= per person is being charged from every visitor to this garden.
During a casual discussion recently , Mr Hamid Bakshi ( Younger brother of late Bakshi Ghulam Mohd Ex Prime Minister of Kashmir ) told me that a Musical event was organized in Achabal garden during Bakshi sahib's time wherein Crowds thronged to listen to Radio Kashmir Artists singing songs joined by their composer late Mohan lal Aima, the magical musician of yesterdays. In this particular event at Achabal, Aima sahib played the Traditional NOET (while the singers sang the popular song of Mehjoor Az Roz Saane Dilber Myaane meaning Listen o loveliest sweet heart of mine ! Stay here today! ) in such a beautiful manner that Bakshi sahib got up in the middle of the song and embraced Aima sahib in full public view . That was a memorable function at Achabal garden added Mr Hamid Bakshi with deep nostalgia . From a Producer in radio Kashmir Srinagar ,Aima sahib moved out of kashmir to Mumbai in 1964 . He also headed Radio Afghan as its director General on deputation from AIR. . Bombur Te Yemberzal (" Bumbro Bumbro Sham Rang Bumbro" )the musical opera was the creation of this great son of the soil. He brought in Ghulam Mohd Rah , Pran Kishore , Gh Rasool santosh , Aziz Haroon ,Pushker Bhan , Girdhari Dass , Moti Lal Kemu, Dwarika Nath Bakaya and zoona Begum for performing various roles in this Kashmiri Opera written by Naadim sahib. Nadim sahib had created characters having names of local flowers like IRIKEUM, MASWAL, ARAWAL,TEKABATANI YEMBERZAL , GULALA and GILTOOR. The opera was witnessesd by Russinan president Kreschov and Marshal Bulganian his defence minister on a visit to kashmir . The Russians gave standing ovation to the artists for this superb musical creation and continued to cheer them for full 10 minutes after the opera was over. Later on While awards poured in for all , Aima Sahib ( the composer of this opera ) remained unsung .Concluding this write up I would also add incidentally that every Kashmiri should read poet Mehjoor to know more about birds , flowers and rivers of Kashmir . Through his poems I have personally learnt that

ARVAL _ is a wild variety of rose that grows in Kashmir .

ACHHI POSH – is a white spring flower growing on barren lands . This flower resembles the pupil of an eye.

MASWAL_ is iris flower .

ASHKA PECHAAN _ is a species of Ivy flower that grows in Kashmir and bears red or deep blue colour . Rehman Rahi the Janpeeth awardee popet of Kashmiri has also quoted this flower in one of his popular songs “ Kathi Myaani Mashooq Mateh Ditta dhol . Ye naa chhunna Duniya Rozan Voal . Ashka Pechaanan Reizi paan khoal . ye naa chunn Duniyaa Rozan Voal. “Meaning My Love ! Don’t take my words Casually . This time is not going to last long . See the Ivy going up and up but falling to dust too thereafter.”
HEEMAL AND NAGRAI – Heemal is the heroine of the famous kashmiri folk tale Heemal and Nagrai . Serpent king Nagrai was her lover .As per folklore in Kashmir Heemal lived in village Balapur in Shopian area of kashmir.

SONPOSH_ is a wild fragrant flower mostly found in meadows of Kashmir more specifically in Yusmarg area .

SANGARWAN _is the forest range in Yusmarg area .

ZABARWAN _is the mountain range in the east of srinagar city .

YEMBERZAL _is Narcissus flower . It is grown from a bulbous plant and is heavily scented with undivided corona.

KOUNSER NAG_ is a lake Pours out as river Veshav and falls from Aharbal waterfall to join vitasta at Bijbihara Sangam.

NILA NAG _ Verinaag spring which has deep blue water is also known as Nilnaag while the other Nilnaag is bigger blue water lake in the valley in descending Pir PanTchal near village GogjiPather near Yusmarg.This lake is about 100 metres wide , and 10 to 12 metres deep.According Neelmat Purana Nil Nag is also the son of Kashyapa who approached his father for help against the water demon Jalodhbhava in Satisar ( Land of Parvati ) lake .

KOTHAIR NAG. _ is a spring about 10 kms from Achabal garden near Kothair village .

POSHINOOL _ is a bird known as golden oriole.

I conclude this post with lines from a Gazal of  noted urdu poet and film lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri 

Tu Aey Bahaar e Gurezaan Kissi Chaman mein Rahay
Meray junoon ki mehak teray Pairahan mein Rahay
Zubaan Hamaari na samhjaa yahaan koyee "Majrooh"
Har ajnabi ki tarah Apnay hi wattan mein Rahay..
So long so much .

( Autar Mota )

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