We are the Saffron grower from Kashmir

In the entire world, there are only couple of   places where saffron grows. Kashmir is one of these places. There are few locations in Kashmir where saffron grows.

About ten-14 miles from Srinagar, there is a place called Pampore, near Pampore is a place called Zewan, Khenmooh, Wuyan , Khrew, Shaar, Ladhoo,latipura, Chandara  on the banks of the Vitasta (Jehlum) there is a village called Vih. Behind it there are small mountains. It is here, in Vih, that saffron grows. However, the saffron trade takes place in Pampore. In addition to Pampore, there is also a place in Kishtwar where saffron grows, but in a little quantity.

Saffron plants are about three – four inches high. They have very attractive light purple flowers. The dried stigmas of these flowers become saffron in kashmiri language called kong (red treads, posh flower) It is very difficult to take care of a saffron field.

Saffron flowers look very attractive in the fields. Laborers sing while working in these fields. On moonlit nights , people visit Pampore to enjoy (the beauty of) the saffron fields.

Saffron does not only add to the charm  of Kashmir, but is also monetarily profitable. Each year handsome quantity of saffron are grown in Pampore. This brings an income to Kashmir which runs into lakhs of rupees. Perhaps that is why the Kashmiris call saffron fields ‘baskets of gold’.

There are several uses for saffron inside and outside Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandits and many other Hindus put a caste mark of saffron on their foreheads.  The Kashmiri Panditanis also have a saffron caste mark. However, the main use of saffron is for cooking meat and pilav. Some people also use it for rice-pudding (kher and halva ). Saffron adds color and fragrance. That is why people who enjoy good food value it.



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