“May My Life be always under the shades of that Pine?
As the years of my dreams go by, my soul feels its freshness anew
Let this paradise Kashmir will always remain the Jewel of Land,
Where the love only shines, and that is too serene to axe.”
Floating villages, houseboats, Kashmiris still in Phiran rowing their boats where you will find that except in Kashmir.
A land of North where angels dine, it is Kashmir, a God precious indefinable gem. There might not be any poet in the world who did not decipher its beauty in its stanzas that enshrine through the tall Chinars. As autumn dawn, these very divine trees turn the whole valley into yellow and red. Silver lakes turn to gold when the light dawns on the mother earth, and the blue Jhelum sparks like jewels as the ice melt through the cold mountains. In this purity, the sight of grazing sheep melts the hearts of many.
No one knows why “Kashmir ki kali” got wounded behind the raving gunshots and bomb blasts. And blood covered the mesmerizing lofty mountain peaks. But now the dark facet is slowly erasing, and peace is restoring, and God is again reviving its original charm to keep you captivated and will make you etch in your mind for many years to come.
Its quaint houseboats and Kashmiri cuisine will lure you to keep on coming back and take you to the 1970 Kashmir, to simmer ourselves in its Kashmiriyat. Yes, those daunted years of adoring Kashmir are now over, and now what we will be getting is new beauty, peace, and purity.
But today we will talk about the nature, its forests and trees that are the Kashmir’s jewels and economically refurbished in the jargon.
You have coniferous kissed hills with many untouched terrains; while on the other hand, you have many fields of saffron and orchards of apples, which are waiting to bloom. Getting into these orchards is not to miss the opportunity as the sight of the hanging red apples will make your face red and have real authenticity and freshness. The sweetness of the fruits like plums, apricots, cherries, you will not get anywhere else in the world what you will get here. Colorful and varieties of flowers will astound you. You will be surprised to know that you will find olives in only three places, New Zealand, some parts of Argentina, and Srinagar. Uri, Banihal, and Ranban have very suitable weather conditions for the cultivation of olives.
Poplars of Kashmir
Kashmir is laden with poplars and willows, which in the Kashmiri language means Safeda or Fraest. These are the fastest-growing trees and are commercially grown as a cash crop. These trees clean the environment through carbon sequestration and hytoremediation and are useful for wastewater treatment, the building of soil, soil erosion control, and biofiltration. These Poplars appear brilliant in summers while in winters leaves turn yellow, appears naked Faquir during winters. Between Srinagar and Baramulla road, you can see rows of tall popular on other sides that add a grandeur touch to the highway. These are the oldest, and we can name them as king trees of Kashmir. There are around 16 million popular trees in Kashmir, which are the heartthrob of this valley but unfortunately, the government chopped lakhs of these varieties in the pretext of the spread of COVID 19. The government says the pollen from these trees spikes COVID 19, but scientific studies say otherwise. These trees are a source of income to the locals, with each earning Rs 9000 to Rs 15,000 per tree with a rotation cycle of 7 to 8 years. These Russian Poplars were first introduced in Kashmir in 1982 as part of a World Bank aided project.
Chinars, Indian Heritage
Different Monarchs Pathans, Maharajas, and Mughals have given Chinar importance considering these trees part of Kashmiris soul and existence. They have also considered the Buen as the Royal tree. Chinar was introduced in Kashmir from Persia well before the arrival of the Mughal. It is said that Mughal emperor Akbar planted Chinars in the valley after he annexed Kashmir in 1586. Naseem Bagh, situated near the Hazrathbal shrine, is still surviving with hundreds of these so ancient Chinars. The oldest of the Chinar tree is in Chattergam, Chadoora of the Budgam district of Kashmir. It is one of the largest trees in the world. Legend had it that the tree was planted in 1374 by the saint Syed Adul Qasim Shah Hamdani and documented by Mohammad Sultan Wadoo. Sultan Wadoo published “The Trees of our Heritage”, in 2007, which became an important work to restore the decline of Chinars. These trees adorning the Mughal Garden are the heritage trees.
The Deciduous dawns the Kashmir valley spraying it with its beauty and judicious colours. And the needles of the tall Himalayan Blue Pine that could survive even the chilliest weather condition, tall Deodars and Willows covering the snowy slopes of the Himalayas and sweeps as the wind blows. Kashmir beauty lies in its trees, and if these do not remain, nothing will remain.
These trees are rooted in our dreams, and these are our life and soul that makes Kashmir, whose beauty is expressionless. Cutting these trees means killing God, killing the peace and serenity, and the soul that marks the beauty that is Kashmir.
Second name of beauty is Kashmir and truly it is not by the virtue of any Governments tourism ventures or tourists aggressions but due to its own very nature, and it always is.