Kupwara is waiting to be unveiled
Kupwara, May 25 (ANI): A long list of synonyms to describe its enigmatic charm, several books narrating its complex past and the struggling present, poets still fascinated to the silent depths of its vistas and a conspicuous side yet to be discovered - that's the way we have seen and known Kashmir, the oft-quoted "heaven on earth".
Now is the time to unveil those striking parts of the valley that have waited several years in the most isolated hamlets, difficult to even locate on a map. Kupwara is one such place in the state that pays the price of being located at the border and has hitherto gained acclamation for all the wrong reasons. The rich historical past is dominated by several years of conflict, same as its inhabitants who have not had a platform to flaunt the richness of their heritage.
As the famous saying goes, What's in a name? Perhaps for Kupwara, many secrets surround its etymology. In his book, Kupwara - the Crown of Kashmir, Haji Abdul Gani Baig Athar has penned several legends related to its nomenclature, the most interesting being the one that talks of a hut in the nearby jungle known as Kopar or bad hut, as accidents often took place there. Sometimes the animals rolled down and sometimes these were killed by wild beasts. Hence, the habitation was named after the same Kopar.
Located in the extreme North-West of Kashmir, this "green" district sprawls over 2379 sq. km of land with major portions covered by agricultural fields, pastures and forests. It's complicated geographical location further suffers a hit because of the borders - its North-Western borders from the line of control between India and Pakistan and Eastern- Southern borders touch Sopore, Bandipora and Baramulla Tehsils.
Of the total 369 villages of Kupwara dotted over three Tehsils, Kralpura attracts the attention of those trying to trace the rich past of the state. Of the many tales about this village, one that the villagers most often share is about the existence of a vibrant bazaar that existed decades ago. There was a very long colorful market here that started from Shaloora and extended till Karalpura village. It is believed that the curse of a Saint was the reason behind the wreckage of the bazaar. Since then, many a times this place underwent reformations but the bazaar never appeared again. Villagers firmly believe that the curse still exists, for whenever they tried to re-establish the bazaar, either a fire or a blizzard became the reason for its destruction.
As you enter Kralpura Block, an eternal mountain known locally as Khazanmatti, meaning Gold Soil or Utensil, stands tall, welcoming its visitors. People believe that this mountain has a treasure hidden in it. Perhaps the reason for such a name could be the dependence of the inhabitants on the mountain for their livelihood as most of them make their earning by selling its stones. Rising from the southern part of the mountain is the Shafa Nag Spring known for its medicinal values. It is believed that a patient having bathed in the spring water recovers swiftly from the disease. This spring is often linked with the famous Sufi Saint - Hazrat Baba Abdullah Gazi.
Twelve kilometers from the district headquarters, another fount known as Shumboo Naag, now Shum Naag, is present which is considered pious for people of both the communities - the Hindu and the Muslim. Adjacent to the spring lies Hazrat Sheik Baba Shumnagi's tomb. Baba Shumnaagi is highly revered by the locals for his vast knowledge and wisdom. Every year, during the Urs festival, members of every community come here to pay homage to Baba's shrine.
Like the pious spring, many poets, writers and scholars evolved from the soil of Kralpora. Hasrat Kralpori, a well-known poet, whose real name is Abdul Gani Meer, had a strong relationship with Kralpora. Collections of his Shayari are quite famous in the world of poetry. Doctor Munawwar Masoodi, who has been mentioned in the same book by Athar Saab, has familial ties with Shamnaag region of the Block. The present legislator Mir Saifulla hails from the same place.
Three kilometers from Kralpora, another village, Shaloora, with similar historical significance, is yet to be discovered by the world. Here lies the Mosque constructed by Sultan-ul-Arifeen. On 17 Hard Bakermi, a festival is organized which sees a huge gathering from distant villages. North of the Mosque are two huts, one attributed to Baba Abdullah Gazi and the other to Sultan-ul-Arifeen. Baba Abdullah Gazi was a scholar and a renowned social worker. It is believed that he got 360 gardens, 360 Mosques, 360 Sarai, 360 springs and 360 big-small bridges constructed. One of his followers, Baba Moosa, is considered to be a famous poet in Kashmiri literature. In his verses, he has beautifully described the tranquility of the valley.
With such a striking past, Kralpora is unknown to its own country. And the disappointing fact is that not only the past of this village, but the present has also been ignored repetitively by the caretakers of the state and country at large. No one cares to peep into the lives of its inhabitants who are still surviving in a dark age. Education, employment, health, electricity, roads and safe drinking water - all are missing from the picture, though a given in any metropolitan world. Worse, they have to bear the brunt of the floods that come every year in the Kahmil river that flows through the village.
The Charkha Development Communication Network feels that many of these hindrances to development can be addressed if a balanced approach is adopted from the point of view of encouraging tourism in the village. In addition to the historical attractions, the picturesque milieu of the region has the potential to be channelized for attracting the globetrotters.
If the State and Central Government take a definite step in this direction then tourism can truly provide people freedom from the shackles of the dark ages. y Chaudhary Mohammad Ayub Kataria (ANI)
Read More: Baba Ramdev | Kupwara | Sultan Puri B Block | Sultan Puri C Block | Sultan Puri F Block | Ladana Baba | Baba Bakala | Dera Baba Nanak So | Aghar Baba Jitto | Dera Baba Banda | Kralpora | Kupwara Mdg | Wail Kralpora | Baba Ka Gaon | Chaudhary Sarai Ndtso | Qazi Sarai Urf Kankar Sarai | Baba Mohtara | Gani | Gani Atkuru | Hindu Block | Education
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