Wednesday, June 10, 2015


                                                  ( THE GRAND SHALIMAAR GARDEN )
                           ( AVTAR MOTA    INSIDE  THE BLOOMING  BADAAM VAARI  GARDEN )
                                ( A VIEW OF NEAR TANGMARG IN KASHMIR )

                             ( SPRING TIME VIEW OF ACHHABAL GARDEN OF KASHMIR )


Kashmir finds detailed mention in Mughal Emperor Jahangir's ( 1569-1627 ) autobiography titled TUZUK I JAHANGIRI written in Persian. It is also known as Jahangirnama. The manuscript was beautifully illustrated by his studio of painters. I quote two excerpts relating to Kashmir from TUZUK I JAHANGIRI or Memoirs of Jahangir translated by Alexander Rogers.


 “Kashmir is garden of eternal spring, or an iron fort to a palace of kings, a delightful flower bed and a heart-expanding heritage of dervishes. Its pleasant meads and enchanting cascades are beyond all description. There are running streams and fountains beyond count. Wherever an eye reaches, there are verdure and running water. The red rose, the violet, the narcissus grow themselves, in the fields along with all other kinds of flowers. Sweet and scented herbs more than can be calculated; the soul enchanting hills and valley are filled with blossoms. The gates, the walls, the courts, the roads and the roofs are lighted up by the torches of banquet adorning tulips. What shall I say of these things or the wide meadows and the fragrant trefoil?
The finest inflorescence is that of the almond and the peach. Outside the hill country, the commencement of the blossoming is the first ISAFANDARMUZ ( Feb 10th ). In the territory of Kashmir, it is first FARWARDIN ( March 10th ) and in the city gardens it is 9th and 10th of that month and at the end of the month comes the blue Jasmine.
In attendance on my father, I frequently went around the saffron fields and beheld the spectacle of autumn. Thank god on this occasion, I beheld the beauties of the spring as well. The buildings of Kashmir are all made of wood; They make two, three and four-storied, and covering the roofs with earth, they plant bulbs of tulips which bloom year after year in the spring season. This exceedingly beautiful custom is peculiar to the people of Kashmir. ”

“The merchants and the artificers of this country are mostly Sunnis, while the soldiers are Imamiya Shias. There is also a sect of Noor Bakshis. There is also a body of Faquirs who are called Rishis. Though they have no religious learning or knowledge as such, yet they possess simplicity and are without pretence. They abuse no one. They restrain the tongue of desire and the foot of seeking. They eat no flesh and have no wives. They plant fruit-bearing trees in the fields so that men may benefit from them yet themselves deriving no advantage. There are bout 2000 of them in the valley. There is a body of Brahmans living from old in this country who remain there and talk in Kashmiri tongue. Outwardly one can not distinguish them from the Mussalmans. They have their books on Sanskrit language and carry weigh around 30 to 40 maunds. Then you have Kohi Maran and the Hari Parbat. My father gave the order to build a strong fort around Hari Parbat with stones and lime and the same has been completed during the reign of this suppliant ."

( Avtar Mota )

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