July 28, 2009

Sights and Bites in the Valley

Filed under: F&B,J&K — loggers @ 7:45 pm

We stopped at a village called Salian en route from Pehelgam to Shopian, where we were warmly hosted by Dr. Jaleel Ahsan, Professor of Philosophy at the Government College for Women in Anantnag. We traveled the locality with the professor, and were amazed by some of the things we saw.

Our first stop was Hutmurah, one of the few villages in Kashmir with a substantial Hindu population. Hindus here mingle actively with the Muslim and Sikh population. This is one of the only places in Kashmir where Hindu Brahmins did not flee for mainland India during the militancy of the early 1990’s. Symbolically, we visited a complex that housed a Temple, Gurudwara, and Mosque– a living example of communal harmony in Kashmir.

The second interesting stop was the ruins of a sun temple in the village of Kehribal in Martand district. This temple is known to have been built by the Pandava rulers, and dates back a couple of thousand years. Carvings on the wall are still visible, and speak greatly of the architecture of the time. Interestingly, none of us had heard about this place in our independent Kashmir research. Given the historic and possibly mythological significance of the site, we recommend every tourist to check it out.

The Pandava Temple Ruins

The Pandava Temple Ruins

We visited a second Temple-Mosque-Gurudwara complex in the town of Anantnag, before heading to Professor Ahsan’s house, where we were fortunate to experience true Kashmiri ‘mehman-nawazi’. We had our dinner in true Kashmiri fashion, and relished the richness of authentic Kashmiri food.

Typical Kashmiri Dinner

Typical Kashmiri Dinner

Kehwa (saffron tea) and Kulcha (flatbreads)

Kehwa (saffron tea) and Kulcha (flatbreads)


1 Comment »

  1. interesting, this.

    Comment by Karan — July 29, 2009 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

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