Aubbid Hussain Malik
Throughout the globe “Kashmir” the paradise on earth is the gift of nature and the craze of all eyes .The land picture of this Indian subcontinent is decorated with tall and towering mountains having snow clad peaks which surrounds it from all sides except the south where it merges with the famous plains of Punjab. The melting snow of glaciers enables the perennial flow of its famous rivers which irrigate the most fertile paddy lands of the state. In the spring the fresh water tarns and brooks with their winding sounds dot the surface area in the famous valley of Kashmir. Blue pines of dense forests, tall firs and graceful deodars delight the scenic charm and alpine grandeur of the state. The natural greenery with luxuriant growth of lush green grass and flowers of every colour and shade present a cool and serene environment .The salubrious climate of Kashmir during Spring, Summer, Autumn and winter distinguishes it from rest of the world climate.
The etymology of the name Kashmir has perplexed antiquarians. According to Welford the word Kashmir is derived from “Chasas” an ancient powerful tribe, who inhabited the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush, from the eastern limits of India to the confines of Persia.
The alpine valley of Kashmir has been the focal point for the early travelers who had left remarkable accounts of their visit to Kashmir .The state of Jammu and Kashmir occupies an area222236 Sq. kms is divided among three Asian Nuclear States i.e, India ,china and Pakistan and the state is strategically important due to its sensitive and central location. It was difficult to demarcate the absolute geographical boundaries of the state due to mountainous topography. The state of Jammu and Kashmir extends over 640 Km in length from North to South while it is more than 480 kms from the direction of east to west.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir which is referred as the paradise on earth is famous for its tall and towering mountains with snow capped peaks, the lush green margs, dense forests, undulating Karewas, smooth and fertile valleys, gushing streams and zig-zag rivers , freshwater lakes, cold and hot water springs and picturesque topography which after most beautiful scenic spots in the world .One really wonders to see the gifts of nature in Kashmir. The famous English writer with a common name in Kashmir (Lawrence Sahab) W.H Lawrence in his book remarks about the valley of Kashmir as: ”From the English point of view the valley contains nearly everything which should make life enjoyable. There is a spot varied and excellent, there is the scenery for the artist and layman, mountains for the mountaineers, flowers for the botanists’ vast field to the geologists and magnificent ruins for the archaeologists”. The valley of Kashmir experiences a totally different climate, due to encompassing mountain ranges, its seasons are marked by sudden changes. It attracts western precipitations in winter mostly in the form of snow which covers the valley and surrounding hills from December to March. January is the coldest month and August is the hottest month in the valley “Hassan Khuehami” describes the climate of Kashmir into four seasons: 1) Spring- Chhatar,Besakh & Jaith 2) Summer-Har, Sawan & Badon 3) Autumn-Asug, Katak & Maghar 4) Winter- Poh, Magh & Phagun
Kashmir is famous for its winter season, which generally lasts for four months. Low temperatures, high precipitation and highly humidity are the salient features of the winter season in Kashmir. The winter in Kashmir is calm, cold and quiet. The temperature from November begins to decrease. January is the coldest month of the season .The thermometer often record s the minus temperature during day and night. Total period of severe cold in Kashmir lasts for about 70 days starting from 21st of December till ending February as under: a) Chilla Kallan for 40 days- 22nd Dec to ending January b) Chilla Khrud for 20 days – 1st February to 20 February 3)Chilla Bacha for 10 days – last 10 days of February.
The snowfall in winter is the gift of western disturbances also known as temperate cyclones which originate from Mediterranean Sea and after cross train and Afghanistan strike the valley of Kashmir where rain pours down in the form of snow. The snowfall during winter is quite useful for the flow of perennial rivers in Kashmir. The absence of snowfall during winter may lead to scarcity of water and drought as well. On an average 120 cm of snow are received during the three months of December, January and February out of which 50 cm (41.58%) is recorded in the month of January. The rainfall in winter varies from place to place in the valley and the relative humidity is generally over 90% during this season.
During winter season the people of Kashmir use “Pheran” and an earthen firepot ‘Kangri’ to protect from the severe cold of winter and to keep oneself warm. Kashmir is famous for winter games especially “Skiing” at Gulmarg which is placed on snow. We the Kashmirs recognise six weather seasons in the valley: 1: Sounth (Spring) mid March to mid May 2: Grishm (Summer) mid May to mid July 3: Wahrat (autumn) mid September to mid November 5: Wandah (Winter) Mid November to Mid January 6. Sheshur (severe winter) Mid January mid March
The Kashmir farmers generally recognized eight seasons in view of the activities carried out during these seasons and the calendar of Kashmir is equivalent in the Indian system as; (i) Vahekh (Bisakh in Indian calendar) (ii) Zeith (Jeth in Indian calendar) (iii) Shrawn (Sawan in Indian calendar) (iv)Bhodur (Bhadoon in Indian calendar ) (v) Ashud (Asuj in Indian calendar) (vi) Kartik (Katik in Indian calendar) (vii) Mangor (Magar in Indian calendar) (viii) Tsitr (Chet in Indian calendar )
In fact Kashmir is a garden of eternal peace. During the British era, how sad the plight of people in Kashmir were Maharaja Gulab singh purchased the territories of Jammu and Kashmir along with its people, fauna and flora for a meager sum of 75 lacs from the British by virtue of a treaty called as treaty of Amritsar on 16 march 1846 A.D .On this sad and deplorable transition, the Shairi Mashrik Allama Iqbal (RA) expressed his feelings as:
BADEY SABA AGAR BA GENEVA GUZUR KUNI; HARFEY ZE MA BA MAJLISEY AQUAM BAZGOI
DEHQAN-O- KISHAT-O- JOI KHIYABAN FAROOKHTAND; QOUMEY FAROOKHTAND WA CHEARZAN FAROOKHTAND
O morning breeze if you happen to pass through Geneva; Convey these words of mine to the league of nations
People, lords, streams and gardens were sold; A nation was sold oh how cheap it was sold
– The author is student of English literature can be reached at email@example.com