Monday, December 31, 2012



Photo ..Sandeep Mota 2012. 

To this photo i add lines from  poem of  noted  kashmiri poet Amin Kamil                                                                

Dil Maag Rooh Maag taa Soaruuy Zamaana maag
Vushnaavi Kuss ya sheen Kamiss vanizee jaam di…
( Amin kamil)

These hearts ,These souls and this world around is like the cold “Maagha ”
.O Heart ! Who shall warm up this ice ?
To whom should we look for a glassful of wine ? ,

( Maagha or Maagh is a month of Bikrami calender and corresponds to Mid January to Mid February )

( Autar Mota )
30th December 2012 …Time 11.58.PM…. Good Night.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012


 Photo Autar Mota
 ( 2012  kashmir series )


(Power )

Through the narrowest needle's eye
I can pull the thread of a poem,
even in the dark.
The fantasies,
even the slippery ones,
I can seize with the naked hand of a sentence,
just like this pen.
The biggest whale of the oceans
I can accommodate in a mugful of words
.But what will never find room in my heart or in my poems
is the lie,
big or small
.( Sherko Bekas Kurdish Poet)                                                                       

30TH DECEMBER 2012 ... TIME 11.55 PM... GOOD NIGHT 
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Friday, December 28, 2012



“ Thus when on the shores of the eastern ocean  he was camping with the army he,  on one occasion ordered  cherries to be brought  ”

 (From Rajtaranginin of kalhana translated by R S Pandit page  138 verse  219 Taranga IV. Verses 220 ,  222 and 223 ( at page 138 Taranga IV  )mention that Cherries were brought for the Emperor by some divine person. )

This is how  Kalhana describes king lalitaditya’s love for cherries of Kashmir .Lalitāditya MuktapÄ«da (reign 724 -760 CE) was a  Emperor of the Karkota dynasty (625-1003 CE) from Kashmir.

Though cherries can be found in Himachal , UP  and  Uttarakhand , Kashmir remains home to quality cherries  produced in the country .Cherries require cold climate and are successfully grown in areas  ranging from 2000 to 3000 metres above sea level . In kashmir the ripening time of this fruit is mid May to mid June and heavy rains during this period may  cause fruit cracking . Cultivation in Kashmir is confined generally to  hilly areas on sloppy lands of Tangmarag , shopian , Ganderbal  and Budgaam  areas . The fresh fruits are picked with stem when the outer color changes from green to red . This fruit is known as GILAAS in Kashmir.

In Kashmir the fruit is now packed in cardboard boxes with adequate ventilation  before being sent out of the state .The boxes are in the range of 1 kg to 5 kgs. Red cherries are full of  antioxidants and have a powerful pain relieving property. Cherries also contain Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Fiber  ,Manganese  and other  useful compounds that can also fight insomnia and Jetlag.

To my readers I want to say something about the varieties of cherries grown in Kashmir.


This variety is large sized and attractive with cream red colour . The flesh is firm and juicy but a little acidic. It has a shelf life of 5- 6 days ordinarily. It is good for canning ad dessert purposes.


This is the early May variety . It is medium sized light red colourd and lesser fleshy than the double Gilaas .The flesh is juicy , sweat with acdic tinge. It is a good dessert variety.The shelf life of this vaiety is also 4-5 days ordinarily.


This is the king variety. Large sized, red in colour with firm skin . The flesh is totally sweet and juicy. The shelf life of this variety is 15 days ordinarily. It is a mid June variety .

 A Popular kashmiri song goes as under :-

 "Loli Chhay lalwan poph tay Maasa
 wanwaan draayi moaj yemberzal
 Maam laal iyyee taai diyiyo Dilaas
 Paartho Gilaas kulinay tal "

Come darling let me dress you up under the shade of a Cherry tree.
 Your father's sister and your mother's sister
 are offering their laps to hold you my tiny darling .
 Your mother sings for your long life.
 Your mama( Maternal uncle) is coming to put courage in your tiny soul "

( Autar Mota )

28th December 2012 … Time 11.55 PM Good Night
( This is an old kashmiri lullabay which a mother sings to the infant in her lap. A Mama or mother's brother is a very important relation . In kashmir the bonding between a Mama and children of his sister is stronger than the bonding between father and the children. A Mama has important role to play in taking care the infants of his sister till they grow .)

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Monday, December 24, 2012







The optimistic note from Farooq Nazki 's poem NAAD LAAYEY ( I shall Call you Back ).The poem appears in his Book Naar Heutun Kazalwanuss ( Kazalvan is on fire )

"Me Yuth Na Rokukh Me Kuth Kaerin Chhum
Golaab Sholan Sareib Vakhtas
Shinai Baaghas Pagaah Pholun gul
Timan Gulan chhum Vonun Kanas Tal
Achhun achhun manz Volur Diwaan Guth
Timan Vonun Chhum Kunuy Chhu Aalav
Timan Vonun Chhum Zi Sonth bulbul Chhu Az ti Volaan
"Chhu Naavi Vaavai Nivaan Bathis kun "
Timan Vonun Chhum zi Pranvarun ander chhu Jismus Alaav Praraan
Me Yuth Na rokukh me Kuth karein Chhum"
(Farooq Nazki)

( Don't stop me , i have to outpour my heart.
  Roses shall   bloom  in this desert ,
Tomorrow  flowers shall also  blossom in the  abandoned Garden,
I need to talk gently to those flowers ,
My eyes are as turbulent as the water of Lake WULAR,
I need to convey them that  common is the call for us  .
I need to tell them that the spring Bulbul is still singing the melodious song
It is the storm again that takes a boat to safety of  the shore. "
I need to convey them that
deep inside this body ,
a volcano is about to erupt,
Dont stop me
I have to outpour myself ."        

( Autar Mota )

 23rd December , 2012 ....Time 00.05 AM ... Good Night                                               

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Saturday, December 22, 2012


            .                              ( Sacred spring of Mattan, Kashmir  )

                                                     (Page from Jonaraja's Rajtaringini)  




“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity.”……..Kofi Annan



As per “Tarikh-e-Hassan”, Emperor Akbar entered the Kashmir valley via Pakhil in the year 1586 AD. He came from the Rawalpindi side. This was his first visit to Kashmir. He spent some days in Baramulla town which was decorated like a bride. Later, the Mughals built a permanent route for travel to Kashmir from Delhi or Lahore. This route passed through Gujrat (Punjab), Kotla Arab Ali Khan, Bhimber, Jhangar, Nowshehra, Chingus, Rajouri, Thanamandi, Surankot, Bafliaz, Noori Chamb, Chandimarh, Poshana, Pir ki Gali, Shopian, Khanpora Sarai and Srinagar. They built more than three dozen Serais ( rest and halting structures ) on this route that came to be known as Mughal Road. The biggest Serai at Chingus near Rajouri is still erect.


Akbar is believed to have visited Kashmir three times although many historians believe that he paid four visits to Kashmir. On one of his visits, he ordered for creation of fencing around Hari Parbat fort. The new city was fenced ( 5 km in circumference) with a high stone wall all around that had three gates; Kathi Darwaza, Sangeen Darwaza and Bachhi Darwaza. All these entrances were erected with heavy stones. However, some additions, alterations and renovations of the fort were later done during the period of Afghan rule in Kashmir. Tuzuk I Jahangiri  also mentions that the fort and the fencing around Hari Parbat were got done as per orders of Emperor Akbar in 1598.On page 60 of the book " Kashmir Through Ages " we read this:-


"Akbar brought Raja Todar Mal with him to Kashmir. He fixed his camp at Pattan, measured the whole land around Hari Parbat and settled the revenue. The labourers who were employed in the construction of the new city were paid at the rate of six Annas a day if married and four Annas if unmarried. He maintained an army of 4892 cavalry and 92400 infantry. He visited Kashmir three times. "


It is pertinent to mention that Raja Todar Mal, as finance minister of Akbar, introduced a new system of revenue known as Zabt and a system of taxation called Dahshala. His revenue collection arrangement came to be known as the ‘Todarmal's Bandobast’. He was one of the Navratnas in Akbar’s ‘Darbar’. The other eight Navratnas were Raja Man Singh, Raja Birbal, Abul Fazal, Faizi, Mullah Do Piaza, Fakir Azizud din, Abdul Rahim Khan e Khana and Tansen. 


 Well known archaeologist and prime Minister of Kashmir ,  R C Kak writes this:-


Quote  " The Kathi Darwaza seems to have been the principal entrance, judging from the fact that the inscriptions have been put up only here. It is a very simple structure, comprising a domed chamber in the middle with two side recesses. Its only external decorations are rectangular and arched panels and two beautiful medallions, in high relief, on the spandrels of the arch. Akbar's inscription runs as follows:


Bina-e qila'-e Nagar-Nagar bud

Ba 'ahad-e padshah-e dad-gustar

Sar-e Shahan-i 'alam Shah Akbar

T'ali Shanahu Allah-u Akbar

Shahanshah-e ki dar 'alam misalash

Na bud ast-o na khwahad bud digar

Karor-o dah lakh az makhzan firistad

Du sad ustad Hindi jumla chakar

Na kardah hechkas bigar anja

Tamami yaftand az makhzanash zar

Chil-o char az julusi padshahi

Hazar-o shash zi tarikh-e payambar.


Translation: The foundation of the fort of Nagar-Nagar was laid in the reign of the just sovereign, the king of kings, Akbar, unparalleled among the kings of the world, past or future. He sent one crore and ten lakhs (of rupees) from his treasury and two hundred Indian master builders, all his servants. No one was forced to work without remuneration. All obtained their wages from his treasury. (In the) forty-fourth year after the accession of the Emperor (and) 1006 after the prophet."Unquote 


There are two inscriptions on the top stones of Kathi Darwaza. The other inscription gives the name of Mir Muhammad Hussain who supervised the entire construction activity ordered by Akbar for this new city known as ' ‘Naganagri '. The ‘Sangeen Darwaza’, or "the stone gate," differs from Kathi Darwaza in being more ornate. The exterior is decorated by two corbelled windows, and there are two stairs, one on each side, which give access to the roof. The ‘Bachhi Darwaza’ has been built new as the old entrance had crumbled down.


About ‘Naganagari’, the new township built by Akbar inside the Hari Parbat fortification, Rajatarangini of Jonaraja mentions this:-


“ Then the illustrious Jylaldina ( Akbar ) sent his two servants who drove away injustice from Kashmira as the sun and the moon drive away darkness from the earth. They ascended the hill near Sharika in the neighbourhood of Prvarapura, and there, under the orders of King Akvara ( Akbar ) built a fort with the inappropriate name ‘Naganagari’ Men after performing various kinds of religious austerities go to heaven in their second birth after death; but when the people saw this Naganagari, they did not attempt to ascend to this heaven. The King’s followers stayed in the new town, and any one of them who harassed the people was made guilty of an offence. The Muggulas ( Mughals ), after King Jyalaldina had thus ordered, lived in the new town. It was whitewashed with lime and was situated on the Sharika hill, and it looked as if it jeered at the old capital in its neighbourhood .”


Emperor Akbar also visited Martand Teertha in Kashmir. He came to the Teertha with his trusted Hindu courtiers which included Ram Das, the well-known miniature artist in the Mughal court. Akbar respected him and also  brought him to Kashmir . Ram Das painted illustrations for Emperor's biography or Akbar-Nama. The Rajatarngini of Jonaraja  (updated up to the 16th century by Shrivarara, Prajyabhatta and Shuka)  mentions this visit as under:-


“ He came from the city of Lahora( Lahore ) to see the country. On the fifth bright lunar day of Ashaadha, he arrived with his army in the capital of Kashmira.On the seventh bright lunar day of that month, he pleased the Brahmin boys with gifts of gold and they blessed him. He then went to Martanda ( Mattan Teertha ) and gave cows adorned with pearls and gold to Brahmins. Jaylalldina (Emperor Akbar) was a great benefactor of the Brahmins. Truly a  VikramadityaRam Dasa, his servant gave one hundred pieces of silver and also pieces of gold to every house of Brahmin. He also distributed fifty thousand pieces of silver among poor Brahmins. The emperor then ordered Shikhaphaija to take one thousand pieces of silver and distribute it among Brahmins and beggars who dwelt in villages and woods respectively with various kinds of flowers. He was glad to see Kashmira with its vines, walnut trees, and high and charming woods of Tali trees. He stood on the banks of the Vitasta and saw the position of the city and was greatly astonished. He saw the tank near Jyeshthrudra ( Zeethyor presently ) adorned with various kinds of flowers, and was greatly surprised. Even Yakobha ( Yakoob Chak ) came to the feet of Jyalaldina (  Akbar ), by whose shoes, Yakobha’s head was hallowed. The king made him an attendant of Mansimha ( Raja Man Singh ) ” 


Emperor Akbar is believed to have camped at Nagbal in Mattan town for a night’s halt. At this spot, one can see a Gurdwara at present. At this spot, Guru Nanak Dev had also addressed a large gathering of Brahmins under the shady Chinars. He also had a discourse with Pandit Brahm Dass who belonged to the Datt family of Mattan. Later, Pandit Kripa Ram Datt from this family headed a delegation of 500 Kashmiri Brahmins to Amritsar and thence to Anandpur to meet Guru Teg Bahadur during the dark days of Afghan rule in Kashmir.


There are two temples in Mattan. The first is the spring temple in the town where Shraadha is performed. The water of the spring gushes out and comes to a bigger pond with fish. No Kashmiri would eat fish from this sacred pond. People from North India would perform Shraadha at this spring. Like Haridwar, Varanasi and Nasik, the local Purohits maintained a Bahi or written record of their Yejmaans ( patrons). There is another temple ( in ruins at present ) up above the hill. It is just 2 km from Mattan town. Located on the Ranbirpora plateau, this world-famous Martanda Sun Temple was built by the illustrious King Lalitaditya of Kashmir in the 8th century. It is in ruins at present but listed as ‘Heritage Monument’ by UNESCO. This grand temple faced demolition during the rule of Sultan Sikander Butshikan. About Ram Das, the miniature artist who accompanied Emperor Akbar during his visit to Kashmir, Rajatarangini of Jonaraja mentions this:-


“Ram Dasa, who always served Jylaldina ( Emperor Akbar ) was a great benefactor of Brahmins. This celebrated person saw their condition and gave them gifts of gold and silver, and he was like a second Karna. Nirmmala and all other Brahmins well versed in Vedas and the Pandits blessed him. On another day, Prahlada, Nirmmala and all others were honoured by the speech of the King ( Ram Das ) which was as sweet as nectar. Even the illustrious Jyalaldina was gladdened to see the Brahmans being recommended to him by Ram Dasa. The emperor bestowed villages on the Brahmans and they looked graceful, even as the forest, which had been burnt by fire, does when the clouds begin to rain . Jyalaldina( Akbar ) was himself a sea of kindness, and he satisfied the mendicants with his gifts of gold and silver. "




 When told about the levying of Jaziya on Hindus by the Chak rulers of Kashmir, Emperor Akbar gave orders for its immediate abolition. Rajatarangini of Jonaraja mentions this :-


“ Formerly the kings of the house of Chakka used to exact an annual fine from the Brahmans, owing to their animosity towards the people of that caste. In every house, a Brahman of good family and character, who maintained his caste, used to pay an annual tribute to the King ( Chak ). For the preservation of his sacred thread, a Brahmana annually paid a tribute of forty panas to the king. The good Brahmanas had left the country which was polluted by the Maleechchhas; those of the middle class had become shameless and the low Brahmanas had given up their caste. When the Mlechchhas remained like ‘Clouds in the country’, and obscured it, the Brahmanas went to other countries, even like swans that go to the Manasa lake. Now when king Jyalaldilna learnt of the condition of the Brahmanas, he repealed the practice of levying fines on them, which had prevailed since the time of the Kings of the house of Chakka. He announced that he would without delay reward those who would respect the Brahmanas in Kashmira; and that he would instantly pull down the houses of those who would take the annual tribute from them. The Brahmans, versed in the Vedas, whose fear of the payment of an annual tribute was removed by this order, blessed the king, saying, that let king Jyalaldina who had repealed the annual tribute live for 10,000,000,000 years. One thousand cows used to be killed every day, without any opposition, under the orders of the kings of the house of Chakka( Chak), and for them. The Brahmanas had been overpowered by the Mlechchhas, even as by darkness. They were unable to see their friends, and like lotuses, they mourned at night. The means of their livelihood were consumed by the Mlechchhas who were even like the forest fire; they did not remain in the country, even as deer do not stay in the forest which is burnt. As they left the country, they sometimes, like jackals, felt alarm in the way, and sometimes they were the objects of laughter and reproach. ”




( Avtar Mota )