Friday, June 13, 2014



This *photo clicked in 1949 ,shows a group of kashmiris Outside a Mosque in Shimla . The Mosque is located just below the Ridge and was known as Kashmiri Masjid . Dr Zakir Hussain had come to the mosque to offer his Idd Ul Fitr Prayers . Kashmiris have been coming to Shimla since long for Labour. Gradually some of them decided to stay at this hill station and looked for other available jobs. They are stll much sought after on account of their Honesty and truthfulness. They also enjoy goodwill and respect of locals for these qualities .

I visited shimla in 2010 and also visited this mosque area Below the Ridge . The Mosque is in excellent condition but is also being partly used as accommodation by some poor kashmiris of the town. Some more mosques in Shimla are also being partly used as accommodation by people from Saharanpur and other areas of UP. I was informed that The HP waqf Board looks after about 1100 properties in the state  . Imams of mosques are also being paid salaries by Waqf Board .

I had booked a Deluxe room on Mall through a friend @2100 per night . Incidentally the manager of this Hotel turned out to be a Kashmiri Muslim from Kulgam. The moment he came to know that I too was a kashmiri , he brought the tariff down to Rs1400/ per night that also included a complimentary Breakfast .He also informed me that kashmiris are known as Khans in the town and some of them have been peacefully living with their families since last so many years .

I came to know that Late Pushker Nath Kher , Father of Bollywood actor Anupam Kher also lived in the town and would come daily to Mall for his evening stroll. He would meet kashmiris and enter the Hotel where I was staying to gossip with the Manager in chaste Kashmiri . Kasmiris called him Nath Ji affectionately. Nath ji was otherwise popular and friendly with every Trader on Mall Road .He had some Government Job in Shimla and retired from Shimla only. I also came to know that Anupam had studied in DAV school Lakkar Mandi in Shimla .
A kashmiri Tailor Master at Shimla told me that Nath ji would also sit under the **Chinar Trees of Ridge and sometimes sing old Film songs or kashmiri songs .

( Autar Mota 12.06.2014 )

*Photo shows Dr. Zakir Hussain (with goggles on), Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh University and a former Principal of the Delhi Jamia Milia, along with Mr. Aziz Ansari (wearing black Achkin) and other Kashmiri Muslims at the main gate of the Mosque after the Id prayers. A reception was organized by the Kashmir Peoples’ Association Shimla inside Kashmir Emporium.

**It was Dr L S Negi Director Agriculture cum Horticulture H. P. who planted two chinar trees on ridge long back. Both the trees have grown and look majestic now . I saw them on my visit to Shimla . Three more have now been added. That makes them Five in toto . The large one is inside the ridge park while the other one is just outside it . Two more medium sized chinars are also inside the park while another small sapling is growing fast near the statue of Dr Y S Parmar .So lovely to see the Chinars spreading .

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