Khuram shafi mir

High-Density Apple Orchard Inaugurated in Kashmir

“Waqt lagta hai, par ho jata hai.”
says the protagonist, Shahid, of the Bollywood movie Shahid. Read the article to find out why I have opened my article with the above quote.apple orchards 

The apples of Kashmir do not need any introduction. The stories of the taste of its divine fruit are popularly spread across the globe and thus, are in high demand, especially, in South Asia. Jammu and Kashmir is famous for producing a wide variety of apples which serves as a direct or indirect source of income for farmers. It is in the apple-picking season, which is from late July to October, that the actual joy of farmers can be seen. The green apple orchards, the dew drops on the fruits, and the sun kissed trees magnify their happiness with the beauty of Kashmir.

To keep the craze of apple farming intact and to nurture the productive growth of apple plantation, an US-educated Kashmiri born engineer, Khuram Shafi Mir, has taken revolutionary actions towards it. He is the son of a farmer from Penjoora village, district Shopian, who from an early age of 17 has been making efforts to enhance the plantation of world-class apples that ripen in the arms of Kashmir. His achievements begun from establishing a Control Atmosphere Store (CAS) in 2009. After working hard for 9 years to revive the apple industry of Kashmir, he finally set up a high-density apple orchard in June 2018 in Leh region.

 

high density orchard

 

Khuram, for a very long time, wanted to set up a high- density apple orchard, which is different from traditional orchards. A high-density orchard gets sunlight from all directions which helps the apples to ripen in same colour from all sides. The dream has finally taken a shape with the help of Ladakhi engineer, innovator and education reformist, Sonam Wangchuk, whose vision has served as a guiding star for Khuram’s ideas.

The high- density orchard, initiated by Khuram, has been set up in Phyang village of Jammu and Kashmir, 19 kilometres away from Leh at the university campus of Sonam Wangchuk’s initiative, namely, Himalayan Institute for Alternate Learning (HIAL). The plantation began with planting 264 trees of Gala Redlum, Red Vilox, Fuji and Golden Reaindeep apple varieties. Khuram mentions that they have changed three layers of barren soil successfully to ensure healthy plantation. And, thanks to Wangchuk, as his innovation of irrigating the orchard with the strong trellis system that receives water from “ice stupa”, has added more motivation to the initiative.

 

ice stupa

 

Nazi Ahmad, the horticulturist and head of the task force for high density plantation, has estimated that by 2050 the demand for apples in the world will reach up to 160 lakh metric tons. The current production is of 35 lakh metric tons. As per Ahmad, this is the perfect time to choose contemporary technique of high-density orchards over traditional orchards. Even the locals have begun to realise the importance of high-density apple orchard and have already adopted to it.

 

apples

Khuram and Wanchuk are two Kohinoors (Diamond) of Kashmir. They continuously remind the youth about the necessity of education, the resulting economical and national growth that comes from it and the hard-work that eventually pays off. Khuram becomes an inspiration to generations for his vision as he takes revolutionary steps towards the development of his state and country altogether.
New Age Kashmir happily represents gems like Sonam Wangchuk, the great engineer who inspired the character of Phunsukh Wangdu in “3 Idiots”, and introduce sprouting personalities like Khuram Shafi Mir, who have over and over taught the lesson of hard-work and dedication.

Kashmir International Film Festival, in the valley without a cinema hall.

Kashmir International Film Festival, in the valley without a cinema hall.

 

The 1st Kashmir International Film Festival of short and documentary film took place in December, 2013 at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the banks of Dal Lake. I might sound a bit too excited but in reality how many of you were even aware of this event? Not many, I can bet.
I would like to tell you why, but before that let me quote a spectacular soliloquy by Mark Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, after Caesar had been murdered: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.

Quoting the line is self-explanatory.

Young people resent the fact that when some masked youth take to the streets to pelt stones or brandish flags, national news channels flash the footage for days together. However, the same media ignores any positive developments happening in Kashmir.

We the people from the Valley of Saints and Reshis have had enough adverse publicity through a cynical prism that is challenging our warm ‘Kashmiriyat’ that still defines the Valley.

New Age Kashmir will not let the good of the Kashmiris be lost amidst today’s prime-time TV debate.

 

 

Let’s present to you today, Kashmir’s only independent and non-commercial film festival, Kashmir International Film Festival.

Founded with a mission to celebrate the cinema & work of aspiring, young, independent & professional filmmakers. Its aim is to recognize the informative, entertaining & progressive new age cinema of youth & experienced filmmakers.

In Kashmir, where there are no cinema halls, in a bid to revive the dwindling theatre and film culture in the Valley, the first four day Jammu & Kashmir International Film Festival was held in October, 2014, here in the SKICC auditorium in Srinagar.

The purpose of this film festival is to promote new movie makers, exchange of knowledge, information, ideas & culture between different nations in context of their social and cultural ethos. Film is the most democratic art, thus film festivals can help maintain democracy, peace and freedom.
The purpose of our KIFF is sharing. It helps promote friendship and cooperation among people of the world through the medium of films & documentaries.

 

 

Our aim is to organize this Film Festival just to get Filmmakers from across the world to Kashmir and show them what Kashmiriyat really means
Aamir Rafiq Peerzada – Festival Chairman

While the festival is open to filmmakers of all age, it becomes a great meeting place for all film-makers and audiences who are interested in film as a medium and a tool of social expression. Film festivals create dialogue between people and encourage cultivating the future members of this creative industry.
Besides screening films, a workshop is also organised to make students aware about aesthetics of film-making.

In this hope to revive the dying culture of cinema in the valley a Five-day-long international film festival ‘Kashmir World Film Festival’ kicked off in November, 2017, with the screening of ‘Meanz Raat’ Kashmir’s first full-length feature film made in1964. It has even screened 30 films of different International languages.

The Kashmir shown in news channels and newspapers is just a projection of through a pessimistic glass which is being countered by the youth of the Valley. It’s a source of angst for them that the national media consistently plays to a negative stereotype where Kashmir is concerned.

Kashmiri youth are not all violent stone-pelters, they all-encompassing achievers.
The world media hardly ever mention that.

BANEER

Scope and Opportunity to a better Life in Kashmir

“Do you know what my favourite part of the game is? The opportunity to play”,

says American football coach Mike Singletary. The statement honors the opportunities given to individuals, who grow up to be successful in different fields. We’d like to add to the statement that any opportunity holds its importance only when people are more responsive towards it. Kashmir is known for its scenic beauty, lush green lands, snow-capped mountains, Pashmina, Art, Culture, Food and of course the extremely talented Kashmiris. The state provides ample opportunities to everyone especially youth of Kashmir to study and work in different fields. While state takes steps towards creating a platform, people have to generate the will to give themselves a chance.

Making a change through Sports

 

Creating the opportunity to play is one of the most important contributions by the army as it inculcates sports as an essential means to a sustainable life for the young and enthusiastic generation. A few days back, army made an effort to uphold the love for cricket among children by providing them with sports kits. The event took place in the arms of Baramulla and Sangri and is marked memorable by the following T-20 match between two schools.

It is both indoor and outdoor games that help students to assess their talent. A small initiative to organise a carrom board match depicts the presence of strong intellectual capabilities among youngsters at Chinar English Medium School. Children must seek inspiration from ideal like Afshan Ashiq, the captain of J&K Football team, who chose to avoid violence and pursue her passion that ultimately lead her to a better life.

While talking about sports, how can we forget that three girls from Kashmir proved that taking a step ahead can change your life? Manar Mushtaq, Momina Manoor, and Mehsoon Fatima won Taekwondo championship in Macau, China. Their achievement has roared from Macau to the lands of Kashmir that made every single person proud.

Sports have been used to bring a social change over the time. It promotes brotherhood and friendliness among children that help them to identify the chance of making their lives different.

Making a change through Art

Kashmiri Arts

Art plays a major role in developing the personality of an individual by bringing hidden thoughts and perspective to the surface. For example, if someone is good at painting, they must take a step ahead and participate in competitions, reach out to more audience, and learn more about it to make it a challenge for others. In fact, multiple workshops and competitions are organised to help children access their hidden talents.

An inter-school painting competition was organised at Youth Centre in Lunahare, Kupwara; about 123 students from 15 different schools participated in it. On the other hand, to improve the competitive spirits of students, a cultural programme was organised in Krusan. And as the list goes on, these initiatives are triggers to the availability of opportunity and one should explore and grab them to take their art forward.

Making a difference altogether

 

Mere heedfulness in producing opportunity is not enough, it is rather more important to address them. It is through the availability of education, regular guest lectures, and goods distribution that state stretches a helpful hand to the people while supporting them with regular medical facilities. People have to give the priority to education and development over misguidance and exploits.

Recently an interactive session on Health Education was organised for the students of Government High School, tutoring them on the importance of cleanliness and suggesting precautions for preventing diseases. In Bandzu, Pulwama, army distributed medicines to people of all age groups and conducted a health check-up. Also, to inspire students to involve more in education and sports, a wheelchair was gifted to the differently-abled girl and sports kits were distributed to students in Radbouga.
The J&K government recently launched a weekly cultural festival at Dal Lake called “Culture of Cruise”. It brings writers, musicians, poets and academics together that serve as a wide source to explore beyond geographies.

With firm beliefs and effective methods, state has been able to promote a better future for the population of Kashmir. It is time that their actions are given a response and more people step forward to make a change in their life. Kashmir is a land that gave birth to Sufism and taught us to bring everyone together using pillars of Insaniyat (Humanity) and Kashmiriyat (Spirit of Kashmir).

New Age Kashmir focuses on the opportunities that are available for people at different platforms and evoke a sense of development by creating an awareness about them. For a progressive Kashmir, we Kashmiri have to take steps forward to grab opportunities for our own good. The motive is to guide the youth to take action when given a chance because there is never a next time.

Ace Tennis Star- Ankita Raina, The Pride of Kashmir

Ace Tennis Star- Ankita Raina, The Pride of Kashmir

Nothing is more satisfying to see our own Kashmir people reaching to the heights in every field especially the sports.

Did you know that India’s No 1 tennis star, right now, is none other than a Kashmiri Pandit girl, Ankita Raina? Yes, you read it right!

Raina is ranked number one in Women’s Single rankings in India. Don’t get confused! (Sania Mirza was ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings). Besides, Raina has won six singles and seven doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career.

Young Ankita Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit who has lived in Gujarat since 2007, has become the third Indian woman tennis player to make it to the top-200 rankings in singles.  

 

 

Aged only 25, Ankita has reached 197 ranking in the World Tennis Association (WTA) chart on April 9, 2018.

Previously, this record was held by only two Indian female tennis players – Sania Mirza and Nirupama Vaidyanathan. Tennis star Sania Mirza had reached rank 27 in singles in year 2007 and Nirupama’s rank was 134 in the year 1997.

 

 

Great Young Achiever from Kashmir, Pulwama

The ace tennis star belongs to South Kashmir’s Tral town in Pulwama district. Her father is from Pinglish village while mother belongs to Drussu village.

Born on 11 January 1993 in Jammu; Raina’s family migrated from Kashmir to Jammu and then to Gujarat, Ahmedabad, where they settled in 2007.

A very talented and promising tennis player; Ankita was introduced to the sport at a young tender age of four. She credits it to her mother, Mrs. Lalita Raina, who herself was a table tennis player and college level athlete in her times.

Ankita Raina is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce in Pune. Besides, she is employed with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

 

 

The Turning Point

Despite being ranked number one in India, Raina was unable to get the required funding. The turning point in her career came when Prime Minister Narendra Modi (the then Chief Minister of Gujarat) stepped in to ensure that the necessary funding is provided so that she could focus on the game. Since then, Raina has been sponsored by the Sports Authority of Gujarat under the Shaktidhoot scheme.

 

Target Olympic Podium!

Being India’s top-ranking female player; Ankita Raina has now been included in the Government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

“I am happy to be in the TOP scheme and would like to thank SAI, AITA, and SAG for all their support. My best performances have always come when playing for the country and I will definitely not fall short of giving my best effort to achieve my aim,” Ankita said.

 

 

The Future Ahead!

Raina has gained an entry into the main draw of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros after being included in the list of qualifiers released recently by the WTA. Calling it a childhood dream, Raina said, “I think words don’t do justice to feelings. My dream has come true, it’s been my dream since I was little. I always used to watch the Grand Slams on the TV and Serena Williams playing and used to ask when will I play there.”

Ankita Raina

 

Hats Off to the Undying Spirit of the Kashmiris

Raina has become the first Kashmiri Pandit woman who has been able to make a mark in the field of sports at an international level, that too at such a young age.

Here is wishing the pride of Kashmir, Ankita Raina, all the best for her bright future! Her story will serve as a source of inspiration for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to pursue their dreams; no matter what the vagaries of life are!  

Pashmina- A Declining Legacy of Kashmir

“It starts like a beige tuft of fibre, protruding from a large burlap sack. As we pull it from the hidden source,  it gradually reveals itself.”

What’s soft and cuddly, has a touch of class, and is guaranteed to bring a warm glow to even the most unromantic? A pashmina shawl. No wonder it is donned as a family treasure and passed down through generations the world over. The “Soft Gold” or Pashmina as we call it is a prized possession since time immemorial, not just for the household or Kashmir but for the entire nation.

Kashmir has a rich and ancient heritage of craftsmanship. The land of unique motifs and design techniques that have been transformed and perfected over centuries. Mastering Kashmiri craftsmanship takes years of training and designing Pashmina shawls is an art that has been carried forward through generations of craftsmen. To your surprise, a pashmina shawl can take up to 6 months to a year to be made. The legacy is intricately handwoven and embroidered to craft perfection. As a matter of fact, until the 1940s, this precious silk yarn produced in this Valley was exported all over Europe. But to our sorrow, today the craftsmen are fighting the battle of the pashmina. The enemy in this war — inexpensive, imitation pashmina wool that has caused its sales to plummet.

Pashmina is fighting an existential battle. The pashmina industry of Kashmir is a crucial economic contributor to the state and to the country as well. It is one of the largest economic activities providing direct employment to the majority of artisans and traders. This sector also plays an important role in the development and welfare of artisans. The pashmina sector makes the conspicuous contribution in sustaining export trade of the state. However, the industry has seen a decline since late 90‘s. The industry is facing a lot of challenges, some reasons of this are an intervention of modern machinery, lack of information regarding market trends and also increased competition from various countries. The artisans, as well as the traders/manufacturers, are suffering in this struggle of keeping this legacy alive.

 

Having raised the problem now it’s time for India to fight for pashmina and its market position globally. Artisans and the traders/manufacturers who are related to this trade faces many obstacles like rising cost of raw material, decreased demand due to the introduction of fake pashmina shawls in the market, lack of information regarding market trends and labor rights etc. Artisans face labor problems as well, as they themselves are ready to work on low labor because they don‘t have any other source of earning their livelihood. Also, a majority of the artisans are from the poor economic background and therefore, they mainly face economic problems.

As per traders, arts emporium have lost its glory and haven‘t played the role for which it was meant. As per traders, there have been the cases of arts emporium selling products of angora, toosha, etc in the name of pashmina products. Fake selling of shawls in the name of pashmina products are one of the dreadful threat for customers, due to this reason the perception regarding pashmina in the minds of customers has changed and hence the market situation too.

 

As mentioned earlier there is an immediate need to reshape our domestic market of Kashmir in order to enhance the pashmina business activities so that the local artisans would themselves know the trend being followed in the market in order to be on top of the market and customer minds. We need to believe and consider the artisans as the backbone of this business and wish for them to be very informative and creative in their work which can be achieved if the gap between market and artisan is reduced. The government has identified pashmina a product with high export potential. It’s high time we put in every possible effort to fight the troubles our Pashmina industry in facing and revive its beauty for generations to follow.

Kashmir Rugby Team

Unrest. Turmoil. Tension. Protests.

This is what one normally hears when it comes to the valley. But lesser do they know that the forces trying to dominate evil over good are never stronger than the ones who do the opposite. New Age Kashmir is one such platform where we bring the real essence of what the valley carries and this picture, believe me, is ethereal.

Today, we have a unique story of how a group of girls under the sky when wrap themselves in dedication, hard work, perseverance and talent break all odds and win over stereotypes. We are talking about the girls Rugby team of Jammu and Kashmir who have been in the news for their miraculous victories and unbending attitude towards anyone who has tried to stop them.

When Irfan Aziz Botta, a Srinagar-based industrialist took the decision of introducing rugby to the state, everything went smoothly. He contacted the Indian Olympic Association that organised a camp at Islamia College of Science and Commerce in Srinagar in 2004. But hardly any women participated back then. But today, 4000 girls in the state have enrolled for the game with the State Sports Council.

The fearless, bold women from Kashmir are defying all odds and coming out to play rugby in the Gindun Sports stadium, every Sunday, without fail, to follow their passion and make a name for themselves and the state. They fight everything including the fear of what is happening on the streets, to play for their state. And their efforts are finally paying off. The State’s Women’s Rugby team won the 3rd National Snow Rugby Championship held in Gulmarg recently.

 

Once considered to be a man’s game, rugby is exponentially gaining popularity amongst young women in the valley. The girls’ team played their first competitive game in 2006 but who could have thought that eleven years later, these rugby players from Kashmir will play at national and international levels.

Salihah Yusuf, captain of the team, narrates her story saying her PT teacher pushed her to participate when Botta went to her school for a training camp since she was active in the school’s sports circuit. And now she says “I am glad she did it, because I live for the game now!” Such is the journey these women have travelled.

Different faces, different circumstances, different stories, different cultures but one spirit of Rugby keeps them unwavered and unstoppable. While some were asked to quit because of studies, others were not allowed to travel outside the state, some were even dissuaded on the grounds of being a girl but as they say “There is no force equal to that of a determined woman”, they had chosen their path.

These girls have been breaking stereotypes around the women of Kashmir. They are not shy. They are bold. They are women with ambition. They are highly motivated by their want of making Kashmir proud.

 

And when asked where do they see themselves in five years from now? They all echoed the same thought…

Representing India in international rugby matches.

Kashmir’s rugby team has received a lot of support from several quarters. Looking at their determination former Sri Lankan rugby captain and Member of Parliament, Namal Rajapaksa from Sri Lanka have come to help teach them the tricks of this game.

Namal Rajapaksa said, “Kashmir has a window of opportunity. The kids should be guided and an apolitical willingness should be there to bring that change. Sports is a key alternative in that process.” We welcome Mr. Namal Rajapaksa and thank him for his support to promote sport’s culture in Kashmir especially in Rugby.

Kashmiris who don Padma Shri with pride

If life was binary; Kashmir would be one, if victory or loss we are victorious and if good or bad we are always the best. That is not our arrogance but reassurance in the culture we exhibit. Our legacy runs beyond great and so does our genius.

Kashmir has always been glorified as the most beautiful land where heaven meets earth but lesser do we talk about the other accolades we have won over the years through our talent and our sheer GENIUS. So, today, let us take you touring around some of the Padma Shri awardees from Jammu and Kashmir in the past 8 years to show you the people investitured with India’s fourth highest civilian honours from India’s best state- Well, yes that maybe a little biasedness for my homeland!

Starting with Hamidi Kashmiri who is a celebrated Urdu poet and a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir. Kashmiri is credited with 50 books. The Government of India honoured him in 2010, with the Padma Shri.

Our very own Muma Kana or Ghulam Mohammed Mir for the world, is a social worker who also runs a band saw business in his native Magam in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. In 2010, he received the Padma Shri award, for his public service works.

Jitendra Udhampuri is the next in line. He is a writer of Dogri, Hindi and Urdu literature. He is credited with 30 books and two Dogra treatises in these languages. He is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981 while was honoured in 2010, with the Padma Shri.

Riyaz Punjabi, is a former Professor and Vice Chancellor at the University of Kashmir. He has written extensively in the field of Kashmir Studies. Through his publications, public lectures and discussions he has been projecting the syncretic culture of Kashmir Valley. Riyaz Punjabi has authored six books, contributed chapters in 12 edited volumes, and authored more than 20 occasional papers and monographs on diverse themes and subjects. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2011.

Nilamber Dev Sharma is a scholar and writer of Dogri and English literature, best known for his work, An Introduction to Modern Dogri literature, the first publication in English about Dogri Literature. The Government honoured him in 2011, with the Padma Shri.

Rameshwar Nath Koul Bamezai is a scientist in the field of human genetics and cancer biology. He is the coordinator of the National Centre of Applied Human Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 2012 by the President of India for his contributions to the fields of science and technology.

Moti Lal Kemmu is a contemporary playwright from Kashmir. He was born in Srinagar a student of Jammu and Kashmir University. Several of his plays have also been translated and produced in Hindi. He won the Padma Shri award in 2012 for his work in the field of Arts and Literature.

P. Varma is a social worker and a peace activist from the valley who has made exemplary contribution by spreading the message of peace in trouble-torn areas of the Kashmir valley. He left his job to dedicate himself to the Gandhian Movement. He led the Gandhi peace mission to Europe and other parts of the country. In 2012, Govt of India recognized his selfless services towards country with Padma Shri award.

Ghulam Mohammad Saznawaz was the last known master of Kashmiri Sufiyana Music in the world. He opened a school to teach his genre of music. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013. Sadly, he passed away in 2014 in Srinagar at the age of 74 ending the rich legacy he was heir to.

Balwant Thakur is a renowned theatre personality and scholar, known for bringing Dogri theatre to international notice. He was honoured in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the field of theatre.

Rajendra Tiku, is a sculptor and art teacher, known for his outdoor stone sculptures. He was honoured in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the field of art.

Next in line is the renowned Ice Man of India, Chewang Norphel, a civil engineer from Ladakh, who has built 15 artificial glaciers, solving all the water crisis and its troubles in the valley. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2015 for his unforeseen contribution for the people of his land.

Latest additional in the list is Pran Kishore Kaul. He is a stage personality. In addition to acting, he has directed and written screenplays. He was bestowed from the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Sheen Tu Watu Pod. He was one of the founders of the Miltsar Kashmir Music & Dance Group, a group that travels widely with the goal of supporting Kashmiri and Indian arts. Pran Kishore Kaul is best known as the creator of 1991 Doordarshan television serial Gul Gulshan Gulfaam. In 2018, Kaul was awarded with the Padma Shri.

We could go on and on sharing about our Kashmiri gems, the list is endless. These people have not just shone brighter but also illuminated the path they have travelled. We not just admire and adore them but also take inspiration from their exemplary lives. May more and more of us grow to be them!

 

A GARDEN OF YOUR DREAMS

Let’s do this small exercise this season of spring. Close your eyes and imagine Kashmir. What do you see?

We believe, you felt a whiff of cool breeze, see snow clad mountains competing with the sky, elegance of the majestic Dal lake and the sweet smell from the exuberance of thousands and thousands of tulips. Feels really like a dream, isn’t it? Well believe us friends, the valley is your most beautiful dream personified. And this picture was not just the figment of your imagination come to life, but the beauty of Asia’s largest tulip garden.

We often talk about the development, growth, betterment, talent, cuisines, hospitability and a long list of other attributes of Kashmir. But today let’s take you on a ride to its most celebrated Tulip Festival.

Only of its kind in India, the Tulip Festival in Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Kashmir celebrates the blooming season of the magnificent Tulips that adds to the ethereal beauty of Srinagar. Nestled on the foothills of Zabarwan Range, the largest tulip garden in Asia presents a stunning view of the Dal Lake. This seven terraced garden was built with the intention to promote tourism and floriculture in Kashmir.

A smooth cruising drive of a mere 9 kilometres from Srinagar along the Dal Lake towards the south brings us to the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden. Antiquity and an ambience of timeless regality are bestowed by Lord to this Tulip Garden. An entry into this garden is akin to savouring paradise as God intended it to be. The eye then gets riveted to the numerous parallel running rows of more than a million multi-coloured tulip flowers spread over an astounding five hectares of land on the shores of the lake – creating a riot of reds, yellows, pinks, whites and the most spectacular of blues and purples. These are colours of beauty, shaped to perfection. When viewed from a distance, it appears as if a rainbow has descended on the Earth. Hence, the universal dream of philosophers around the world, to reach the end of the rainbow gets symbolically satiated here.

Well, let’s now tell you what’s new this year for you in Tulip Garden. Visitors in the Asia’s largest Tulip Garden on the banks of Dal Lake can enjoy free Wi-Fi access, in addition to many other new facilities like more washrooms, fountains, and drinking points, when the garden opens to public later this month on March 25. Added are more green spaces inside the garden so that all you guests can rest and enjoy the beauty of flowers in full bloom. You can also taste Koshur as there will be decorated kiosks and stalls showcasing authentic handicrafts and cuisine of Kashmir with a traditional and ethnic touch.

The valley is all set to mesmerise you in the 15 days period in this season of colours, fragrance, tradition, ethnicity, celebration, divinity and Koshur. Plan a trip well in advance because a walk in the Tulip Garden in Kashmir will stay with you longer than you expect.

Champions of the Valley

Kashmir, a land which is mostly known for its colossal scenic beauty, landscapes, handicrafts and unique goods, is now making headlines every other day because of its uprising stupendous talent in different fields.
Here, we are going to talk about two Kashmiri kids,  Arwa Imtiyaz and Hasim Manzoor, who have achieved a recognition at national and international level.  Let’s walk you through their success story which is the talk of the town.

Arwa Imtiyaz: – Arwa Imtiyaz, a 15-year old girl hailing from Srinagar, Jammu, and Kashmir is a voice for many people who cannot hear or speak. This class 10th student plays a crucial role of translator for over 300 sportspeople.  Arwa`s mother and brother cannot hear or speak.  Since her childhood she had observed the discrimination faced by her family members and other dumb and deaf people, hence she decided to help them.

She came in contact with sports people who are deaf and dumb because of her brother, who is a badminton player. Since she knew the sign language, she decided to bring a change in society.  She became the voice of voiceless not for money. As quoted in an interview with Awra, “Money is not all to me but I want to help people like my mother, maternal uncle, and aunt, who cannot speak. My mother Rehana can’t speak or hear”.
Waheed Ur Rehman Parra,has appreciated Arwa’s inspirational efforts. In the age where teenagers have little idea about the life, Arwa’s has carved her way by helping others.

Hasim Manzoor: – As they say that age does not matter, we would like to introduce Hasim Manjoor, a seven -year -old resident of Bandipora, Kashmir who clinched gold at Asian Youth Karate Championship (AYKC), held in New Delhi. He won the gold medal in the sub-junior category (below25kg) after defeating his Sri Lankan opponent in the finale.


Before qualifying to finals he defeated his Bhutanese and Malaysian opponents to bag a gold for the country.
At this tender age when a kid hardly knows the meaning of hard work, Hasim with his hard work and passion has shown outstanding performance at an international level. He is definitely among some extraordinary kids.
Time and again Kashmir proves that this place is just not about tourism and handicrafts but also about the hard work and passion to Jammu and Kashmir at national and International platforms and make the whole nation are proud of it.  Earlier 8- year- old Tajjamul Islam had become the first Indian player to clinch a gold medal in the sub-junior category at the world kickboxing championship.



New Kashmir wishes a great journey ahead for these super talented kids.

10 things why Pahalgam winter festival is a must go

As winter comes with a bunch of festival and surprises. Jammu & Kashmir tourism recently brought everyone`s very favourite Pahalgam winter festival on 17th and 18th February. The colours and joy of Pahalgam winter festival took everyone`s eye. Here are the 10 thing why Pahalgam winter festival is a must go,

1.)  Beauty: – Like every year this year also a two-day winter carnival was organised in Pahalgam for celebrating winters and beauty of Kashmir. For all those who just missed out this amazing winter carnival, make a plan for the next year`s winter festival. It is a must go place.

 

2.)   Kashmiri art:- This year special focus was made to the different art forms of Kashmir. People from around the country attended the festival. The colourful and quirky Kashmiri art made a major attraction to the tourists. Art lovers, this is a must go place to treat your eyes with different Kashmiri art form.

 

3.)   Food: – The mouth-watering Kashmiri delicacies would force the foodie inside you to plan for the winter carnival in Kashmir. Each and every cuisine of Kashmir has a uniqueness in it. Food lovers from different places attended this festival. Wazwaan, Noon-chai, Mutton Rogan josh, Kashmiri pulao and many other foods were on the list. Top Kashmiri chefs presented their foods at their respective food stalls.

 

4.)   Kashmiri folk music: – We cannot deny the fact that Kashmiri folk music is rich in itself. Kashmiri folk music has a different style which is perfectly magical. Its culture Kashmiri folk music would be the suitable option.

 

5.)   Picture exhibition: – Within a decade Kashmir has evolved in various ways, photography is one of them. Kashmir`s picturesque is captured by various photographers or in many paintings. Many renowned Kashmiri photographers like Aamir Wani (#Kashmirthroughmylens) also presented their picture in the exhibition. Picture exhibition part took everyone`s attention during this winter festival. The creativity of Kashmiri artists was presented here.

 

6.)   Music and comedy show: – Many artists from Kashmir and even outside of Kashmir came to perform at this two-day event.  Performances by great singers and comedians made the event more beautiful and huge.

 

7.)   The feel of riding a Tonga: – Tonga ride which is everyone`s favourite was also arranged during this festival. The joy of Tonga ride made everyone crazy about this winter carnival. Tonga ride was adding the vintage flavour to the whole event. This part of the festival decorated the whole event.

 

8.)   Earthen pots:- The trend of earthen pots in Kashmir is from the ancient time. They got the feel of the village at the same time in this carnival. These earthen pots looked very attractive where most of the people could easily relate to it and felt nostalgic.

 

9.)   Skiing: – One thing for which people are mad about is skiing in Kashmir. The only place in India that offers the best skiing is in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Many tourists from around the world attended this festival to ski.

 

  10.) Experience the Village life around Pahalgam:- People just couldn`t get enough of this winter festival. They revisited their own culture, the beauty of Pahalgam village and fell for it over and again. The unbelievable crowd was gathered to create their best experience in the beautiful village of Kashmir. 

Mark your calendar for the upcoming 2k19 Pahalgam winter carnival if you missed out this year!