Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunset from Hastavalikha

Photographs and captions by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.
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       Sunset from Hastavalikha (Dal Lake). Harparvata (Hariparbat) in the distant background.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sheer Chai tah Tailwre

Shared by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.  
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  Mouth watering  Sheer Chai tah Tailwre
(salt tea and Kashmiri bagel)
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Previously:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kashmir by Gertrude Hadenfeldt, 1920s

Some more paintings from 'The Charm of Kashmir' (1920) by V.C. Scott O'connor (Vincent Clarence Scott, 1869-1945). These water color are by Miss G. Hadenfeldt. (previously)

Noonday Peace. Noonday at Nishat Bagh. By Gertrude Hadenfeldt
Noonday Peace. Noonday at Nishat Bagh.
Travellers in Kashmir. By Gertrude Hadenfeldt
Travellers in Kashmir.
The Shepherd. By Gertrude Hadenfeldt
The Shepherd

4 miles speed per hour, 1958

I couldn't stop smiling. An awesome post by Man Mohan Munshi Ji. 
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'This man is ordered to walk in front of you to enforce 4 miles speed per hour.'
In 1958 I came across a road bridge somewhere near Jammu & Kashmir - Himachal Pradesh border  where speed limit  was  enforced by a man walking in front of any vehicle crossing the bridge.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Photograph and drawing of Nanga Parbat

Guest-post by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.
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A view of the worlds 14 the highest peak known at present as Nanga Parbat (Naked
  Mountain). It is also called by the natives as Dyamur (Moor's head).
 View of Nanga Parbat drawn by Alexander Cunningham published in his book Ladakh published in 1854

During the Purana times it was known as Dumra Lohita (The king of mountains ) which can be visualized by the fact that submit of Nanga Parbat 26,660 ft above the msl with its base at the side by the side of Sindu (Indus) at about 3,500 ft. exposes a fall of about 23,160 at the Astor valley or one of the passes connecting Kishenganga valley with that of Indus valley. The unparalleled view is more impressive than that of Grand Canyon of Colorodo USA and Namchebarwa Peak and Bed of river Tsangpo(Brahmaputra). The fall of more than 23,000 ft exposed to the gaze of observers during the purana times led to the belief that Dumraluhita (Nanga Parbat ) is the highest mountain in the world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Simurgh in Kashmir

A couple of days ago Man Mohan Ji sent me this wonderful painting.

The originally Persian mythical bird, Simurgh, holding fast nine elephants symbolizing lower constituents of the partial self. Kangra school, 19th century. Gouache on paper.
I came across stories of Simurgh a couple of times while reading things about Kashmir. And interestingly in these stories Simurgh was a very lose term that was easily applied to many kind of  mythical birds.

The story titled 'Good King Hatam', narrated to Reverend James Hinton Knowles by a barber of Amira Kadal named Qadir, revolves around a golden egg-laying bird Huma. In the footnote to the story Knowles tells us that Huma is 'A fabulous bird of happy omen peculiar to the East. It haunts the mountain Qaf. It is supposed that every head it overshadows will wear a crown. The Arabs call it 'anqa' and the Persians simgh (lit. of the size of thirty birds).'


Another story about Kashmir and Simurgh comes all the way from ancient China.
 
According to a Chinese legend, a king of Kashmir named Chi-pin caught a Simurgh and caged it, but the bird never sang a single note for three years (in an Indian original the bird would be a kalavinka , a melodious songbird). The king's wife then tells him that Simurghs only sing when they see their own kind, so the king deceives the bird by putting a mirror in its cage. Mistaking its own reflection for the lost mate, Simurgh sings a mournful song and dies. The story about the "single simurgh" (ku-luan) is from Liu Ching-shu's Garden of Anomalies (I-yilan). *


* from 'The age of Eternal Brilliance: Three Lyric Poets of the Yung-ming Era' (Richard B. Mather, Yue Shen, Tiao Xie, Rong Wang ) and 'The oceanic feeling: the origins of religious sentiment in ancient India' (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boat Bridges

"Over the Vitasta this King had the Great Bridge constructed and only since that time the design of such boat bridges become well known."


- 354, Third Taranga. From Ranjit Pandit's translation of Kalhan's Rajatarangini.The king was Parvarasena.

An old photograph of Habba Kadal Zaina Kadal (check the note below) with boat design.

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Correction by Man Mohan Munshi Ji:

This bridge cannot be HabbaKadal (2nd Bridge) by any chance . The Tomb of Zain-ul-abdin's mother/(Sikandar Butshikan's queen) located in Mazar Salatin is clearly visible in the background and as such the bridge is Zaina Kadal the fourth bridge.

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Update: This is what a boat bridge would have looked like:
Bridge of Boats over Indus at Khushal Garh [District Kohat, now in Pakistan]


From: Asia (Volume 1, 1885) by Elisée Reclus (1830-1905)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Philim shooting in Kashmir, 1973

'Rajesh Khanna - Bombay Superstar' documentary was broadcast as part of 'Man Alive' series on BBC 2 in 1973. And was later repeated in 1982 as part of the 'Festival of India' that took place that summer in the UK. Rajesh Khanna was the biggest movie star of India.

The documentary has been diligently converted from VHS and uploaded to Youtube by Pavitra66.

It was the fourth part of the video that caught my attention. Shooting of a Mumtaz-Rajesh Khanna movie in a Kashmiri village.

Enjoy the sound!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Shepherd's Daughter, 1920

One of my favourite photograph from the book 'The Charm of Kashmir' (1920) by V.C. Scott O'connor.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Vintage Vanity Box

Shared by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.
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Vanity box with mirrors and tray used by ladies of the affluent households of Kashmiri Pandits during late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


The box is made of budal wood (pencil cidar) and profusely painted with Kashmiri designs similar to those used in Kashmir paper mache articles.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sketch Map and Pictures, 1842

Shared by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.
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Sketch map of Jammu & Kashmir  by J .& C.Walker Sculpt.,  1842
Sketch of Interior of Srinagar along Jhelum 3rd bridge (Fateh Kadal)
and Shah Hamdan Ziarat in the distance  drawn by Day & Hagelith
Sketch of Charchinari island in Dal Lake by by Day & Hagelitch. Faint
view of Mahadev and SriDwara mountains  is visible in the background.
 In year 1942, the three sketches were published in London by  Henry Colburn, 13 Great Marlborough  Street.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Articles of Puja

Shared by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.
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An engraved copper plate, Ratendeep (Deep) , copper vessel, copper Niaruin for pouring water on Saligram and a copper spoon for amrit on a brass Badrapeeth used by my grandparents ( 1868-1954).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kasher Kh'ase

A wonderful guest post by Man Mohan Munshi Ji.I had been looking for a Khos for a long time now.
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Since Kashmniri Pandits in good old days did not use crockery for tea but metallic cups mostly of bronze [ an alloy of copper and tin] but a very few affluent families also used German silver cups [ an alloy of copper,zinc and nickel]. German Silver cups were certainly imported but it is not know that the said cups resembled the bronze by coincidence or were specially ordered.
Kasher Kh'ase  (Kashmiri Teacups )
(Left) Loi hund Khos (Bronze Cup)
(right) German Silver'uk Khos

(left) An engraved brass vessel used for measuring the rice for
cooking of a large joint family. Capacity of the vessel is about 3/4
of a seer.

(right). An engraved copper tumbler kept for some religious rituals.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

150 Years old Shiva Painting

Guest post by Man Mohan Munshi Ji. I remember reading somewhere that the depiction is know as Amriteshwar Bhairav.

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A 150 years old Shiva Painting by an unknown Kashmiri Pandit artist. I was told by my grandfather(1868-1954) that this painting was in our ancestral house before he was born.
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