Autumn in Kashmir: Red Earth

Published: November 30, 2014
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A view of the Chinar trees at Kashmir University in Srinagar. PHOTOS : HAZIQ QADRI

A view of the Chinar trees at Kashmir University in Srinagar. PHOTOS : HAZIQ QADRI

Autumn, also known as Harud locally, is the annual harvesting season in Kashmir. As the leaves in the valley turn yellow and golden, the farmers return to their fields to harvest paddy and saffron and pick various varieties of apples for export.

The entire valley is bathed in different hues of red, orange and gold during these months and a large number of tourists visit the area before the weather becomes excruciatingly cold. Children run around excitedly, trampling leaves and playing cricket under the shade of the mighty Chinar — which is considered a sign of resistance in the area. It is said that during the Mughal era in Kashmir, one of the kings stepped over the Chinar leaves during autumn. Fascinated by their bright red colour, he asked one his ministers, “Chi Naar”, which translates to, “What is this fire?” And during these few months, right before winter in Kashmir, it seems as if the flames are touching the ground.

A girl rides a cycle in Srinagar. PHOTO: Haziq Qadri

A boy rides a cycle in Srinagar. PHOTO: Haziq Qadri

A girl walks on fallen Chinar leaves at Kashmir University in Srinagar. PHOTO: Haziq Qadri

Locals burn Chinar leaves at Kashmir University in Srinagar.  PHOTO: Haziq Qadri

Children play cricket in the outskirts of Srinagar. PHOTO: Haziq Qadri

Haziq Qadri is a Kashmir-based photojournalist. He tweets @haziq_qadri

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, November 30th, 2014.

 

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Pak_I_Power
    Dec 2, 2014 - 10:11AM

    This is all raw propaganda. We will not let kashmir be at peace until it becomes part of pakistan. Else we will shred it to pieces.

    Recommend

  • Sanjay Swamimurthy
    Dec 2, 2014 - 10:50AM

    Kashmir is beautiful and extremely different from the rest of India, when I visited 2 years ago, I felt as if I was in Central Asia -it is more like Pakistan/Afghanistan than like India or Sri Lanka.

    Recommend

  • chandran
    Dec 2, 2014 - 11:14AM

    @PakIPower

    This is all raw propaganda. We will not let kashmir be at peace until it becomes part of pakistan. Else we will shred it to pieces.

    Peace going to be remain between us only time will tell
    but for another 1000 years we are going to be your neighbor
    you can’t change your neighbor. You think it in that angle also

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  • Gaurav
    Dec 2, 2014 - 2:33PM

    India is a unique country with all kinds of physical features one can think of mountains, plains, plateau, coasts, deserts . Very few countries have such variations.

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  • Gaurav
    Dec 2, 2014 - 2:33PM

    India is a unique country with all kinds of physical features one can think of mountains, plains, plateau, coasts, deserts . Very few countries have such variations.Recommend

  • Real_Swamimurthy
    Dec 2, 2014 - 4:54PM

    @Sanjay Swamimurthy – “Kashmir is…extremely different from the rest of India…it is more like Pakistan/Afghanistan than like India…”

    Nice try. But no cookie, I’m afraid.

    You know, maybe next time, you’d like to research India a little better before you concoct a pseudonym – perhaps then you’ll realize that it is impossible for a real person to be named Sanjay Swamimurthy.

    By the way – I’m Swamimurthy Narasimhan from Madikeri – the real one.

    ನೀವು ಹಳ್ಳಿಯು ಸಹೋದರ ಬಂದವರು?

    Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Dec 2, 2014 - 7:51PM

    We soulless, blind and numb humans shall perish without leaving a trace behind us, but this Paradise was, is and shall always exist!

    When you walk meditative and enchanted through this yellow, orange and scarlet colour woods, you confront with beautiful creatures of this Paradise like squirrels, deers, foxes etc etc

    All these forest dwellers are instinctively scared of humans, because we kill and destroy out of pure lust………….NO TRUST FOR TWO-LEGGED !!!

    Recommend

  • Gaurav
    Dec 3, 2014 - 10:19AM

    Indian Flag represents saffron colour to symbolise kashmirRecommend

  • LS
    Dec 5, 2014 - 2:38PM

    @Gaurav:
    Saffron represents the renunciation that we should practice towards materialism and sacrifices the country and its people have made and does NOT represent any single state.

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  • BestPicture!
    Dec 8, 2014 - 4:32AM

    @PakIPower:
    Nice Try bro! But we are smarter than that, lol!

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