CHINAR, an integral part of our Heritage, Kashmiri Pandits our Souls

By: Syed Karar Hashmi

Srinagar: Shadipora have always been of immense religious importance due to confluence (Sangam) of two rivers here, chinar tree that stands on a small island in the middle of the confluence spot known as Prayag Chinar. T

his magical tree neither becomes taller nor shorter nor does bigger, remained of the same size for centuries. Migrant and non-migrant Pandits have gathered at Shadipora , some 21 Km from the summer Capital Srinagar , for the “Dashar Maha Kumbh” held after 75 years in June, 2014.

The devotees besides taking a holy dip in the river, were seen praying before a ‘Shiva Lingam’ under the Chinar tree , which they believe never sinks and even rises during floods.

They used to consign the ashes of their loved ones to the holy waters of Prayag at Shadipora.

According to Hinduism DASHHAR at Shadipora takes place when there is a celestial configuration of 10 planets and this unique combination takes place after every 75 year.

The volunteers of concerned Villages like Tulmulla, Dab, Naranbagh, Rabitar, Shalhar, Waskhura and Wakura during such auspicious days always remained on toes to provide, first aid, drinking water, tea and other facilities to devotees.

Islamic Scholars travelled to Kashmir four centuries ago also praised Chinar Trees, it is believed that oldest chinar tree around 700 years, was planted by the sufi saint Syed Qasim Shah in Chattergam, in central kashmirs budgam district. Alama Sir Muhammad Iqbal well said, “the dust that carries in its conscience the fire of the Chinar, it is impossible for that celestial dust to cool down.”

The chinar Trees can be found in most of the prominent religious places like Khir Bhavani temple tulmulla Ganderbal, Sultan-ul-Arifeen, Hazratbal and so on.

The gigantic Chinar tree is considered very sacred because it is associated with Goddess Bhawani.

In Jammu and Kashmir, its growth range is between 50 and 200 metres rpt 50 and 200 metres. They have been an important part of Kashmiri tradition, that is the fact , a Chinar tree is found in almost every village in Kashmir.

The famous Chinar garden at Shadipora in Ganderbal is historical. The landscape near the garden at Narayanbagh in past was a sight of serene.

The garden used to be a favourite Tourist as well as religious destination.

It is situated on the banks of river Jhelum and houses 215 Chinar Trees Covering areas from Village Narayanbagh till Shalhar End.

In the middle of the garden there is the famous Prayag Temple, On the other side, famous Shrine of Hazrat Syed Danyal Kazmi, decedent of Mir Shamsuddin Araqi Situated.

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the district administration has completely failed to protect this garden so for. The beautiful lack is just behind the shrine , area should be covered on tourist map and under tourism plan.

The garden has become the dwelling place of local people. The people of the locality have done a lot of destruction to the rich cultural heritage and have illegally occupied a large quantity of land of this garden.I have registered a complaint in the Grievienc Cell of Honorable Chief Minister Omar Abdullah titled ‘ ‘Awam Ki Aawaz ‘couple of years before but nothing happened on the ground.

The Chinar Trees in Narayanbagh and Dab Chowk are in a great threat.The said Garden and other Chinar trees falling in the area need to be protected and preserved. The administration should take a note on it and must engulf the said Chinar Garden with a strong fencing, so that Sacred trees Will be saved from destruction by the hands of killers.

UNESCO has been engaged in the process of preservation of historic gardens; on the other hand, INTACH initiated the process of bringing focus on these gardens as well. The Jammu and Kashmir reservation of specified trees Act 1969 is in place, law is being increasingly violated by the government officials and in rare cases by people as well.

“Syed Karar Hashmi”
Social Activist and Political Commentator from Central Kashmir Ganderbal District at Contemporary studying at Al Mustafa International University Qom Iran.
Author Can be Contacted on : kararhashmi5@gmail.com

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