Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kashmir in 19th century British Newspapers

The following interesting stuff from archives of old British Newspapers was sent in by Tony who has a nice info. site about Indian wines. While researching for Kashmir entry for that, trying to dig up the past of wine from that region, he came upon my post about 'Wine in Kashmir'. He sent me some interesting queries about names and places in Kashmir where its wineries and vineyards were located  (check the comments), and while I am still working on those queries, much to my delight, he graciously sent me these:
'The Famine in Kashmir' 
- Daily News. 25th January, 1879. 
Famous missionary educationist Tyndale Biscoe in his writings mades an interesting observation about Kashmiri people. In times of natural calamity, famines and pandemics and earthquake, he found Kashmiris mourning silently, without any public display of grief.     
'The Viceroy's tour in Kashmir - The procession of boats with his excellency nearing the Sumbul Bridge (Sumbal in Baramulla district) on the way to Srinagar'
-The Graphic. 18th December, 1891. 
Lord Lansdowne (1888 – 1894) was the viceroy at the time and setting up of Durand Commission for defining boundary of British India and Afghanistan was one of the high-points of his career.

The Earthquake in Kashmir
The Graphic. 22th August, 1885. 
One of the most terrible earthquakes ever to hit Kashmir ( an intensity III ).
"The earthquake of 1885 commenced on May 30 and shocks more or less violent were felt up to August 16. Houses were destroyed and there was general panic, people sleeping for many days out of doors. It is said that 3,500 persons were killed , and the number of cattle, ponies and other domestic animals crushed by falling buildings was enormous. Baramula and Patan seem to have suffered the most, and large earth fissures were caused, from which it is reported that sulphur fumes and inflammable gasses were emitted. Many old water springs disappeared and landslips occurred, one of which at Lari Dura in the Krihun Tahsil, revealed fossil Singhara nuts at an elevation of about 1500 feet above the level of the Wular Lake. It has been suggested that the style of architecture in Kashmir is not calculated to withstand the shocks of an earthquake , but the inhabitants claim that the apparently frail structures escape when heavier and more massive buildings would succumb, and it must be remembered that the temples of Patan and the Palace of Srinigar suffered in 1885. Even now I have noticed in the courtyards of many villagers houses a temporary wigwam, which is always kept in readiness for shelter in times of shocks, and the dread of another earthquake is always present." -Walter R. Lawrence in his book The Valley of Kashmir (1895) 

'The little war in Kashmir: a chat about Gilgit'
-The Graphic. 19 December, 1891. Interesting peek into the politics of the region in those day. Durand was right in the middle of it all. 


2 comments:

  1. Query from Tony:
    "I've come across references in the British Library to wine vineyards in Kashmir at the following locations:

    Thi'd (or Teed) - Lake Dal

    Cashmah Shaki

    Chesmahai

    Nishat Bagh - Lake Dal

    Masri Bagh - Lake Dal

    Pentab Bagh

    Shiragi Bagh

    Wauda hama

    Khawray District

    Dopeam

    Batepur (?=Batapur)

    I wondered if you knew:
    1. Can these places be located on a map (I've found Nishat Bagh and Chasma Shahi) ?
    2. Do any of these places show the presence of former vineyards?
    3. Does anything remain of the former winery / distillery at Gupkar?"

    -0-

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some of the names that I could figure out:

    Thi'd (or Teed) - Lake Dal: there is a village named Thi'd near Harwan.

    Cashmah Shaki: famous Chashmashahi/Chesmahai. There are famous almond gardens, cherry gardens and pear gardens there.

    Nishat Bagh - Lake Dal: again famous gardens

    Masri Bagh - Lake Dal: (?)

    Pentab Bagh: (?)

    Shiragi Bagh: there is a Sherazi Bagh near Chashmashah

    Wauda hama : would be Wandhama in Ganderbal district

    Khawray District: (?)

    Dopeam: (?)

    Batepur (?=Batapur): (?)

    -0-

    ReplyDelete

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