The Story Of A ‘City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal’-From The City Of Kashmir

The old city of Srinagar – An Indian city that still holds on to its medieval charm with its meandering roads, smells and sounds from its bustling bazaars, the muddy brown river Jhelum and the of-course the lifelines of the city, the Kadals. It’ll seem as if you have stepped into the pages of an enchanting storybook.

Today let us dive into one such page of the book. About 80kms south of Srinagar, the integral part of the city, the muddy brown river Jhelum passes from Verinag to the Wular Lake in the north. Settlers relied on this river for commercial vitality.
The two banks of the river are knitted together with the help of the bridges which are naturally divided by the Jhelum. There are a total of eight bridges connecting the two banks of the river. And as love connects one to the other, it takes both sides to build a bridge.
Therefore I guess the same word ‘Kadal’ means ‘a bridge’ in Kashmiri and ‘love’ in Tamil.

Jhelum- Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal

The Jhelum River runs eight bridges spanning the city. The bridges are, Amira Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Aali Kadal, Nawa Kadal, Safa Kadal and Zero Bridge. Each of these bridges has a history as rich and unique as the place itself.

Don’t be surprised if you get a view of Kashmir, having buildings of old bricks and stone work lining both sides of the river, from any of the old city’s bridges.

Amira Kadal – The first bridge

amira kadal_old_Bridge in Srinagar 1950s - Kashmiri Life
The heart is the first organ to form during the development of the body. Probably that is the reason ‘Amira Kadal’ is referred to as ‘The heart of Srinagar’. Dating back from the 1770s, during the Afghan rule over the valley through the re-construction in 1982, the bridge adds to the feel of the local life and livelihood. Flocks of friendly welcoming bunch of fisherwomen are seen doing business sticking to the walkway. Take out your camera and show your photography skills or simply buy them to cook some Kashmiri style fish.

Haba Kadal – The second bridge

Habba-Kadal-old-bridge-Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal
A very familiar view from the window of the small lower houses located across the river during the 1980s was that of goods being transported on horse carts. The mountain peaks of Kashmir Valley formed a magnificent backdrop of the Habba-Kadal area. Take a walk of the entire historic bridge to get a sight of the hub of commercial activity. Recently there’s an ongoing work at the bridge.

Fateh Kadal – The third bridge

Fateh kadal - Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal
The kadal was built during Fateh Khan’s rule and thus it is known how the bridge got its name. Being one of the oldest among all the bridges it is now in a crumbling state.

Zain Kadal – The fourth bridge

Zaina kadal - Fateh kadal - Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal
The city was divided into two halves by the Jhelum which finally united after Sultan Zainul Aabideen built the only connecting link, the Zaina Kadal. It is one of the city’s oldest bridges. A hope of togetherness stands tall with the Khanqah-i-Moulla on one side and a temple on the other. The architecture of this bridge is the best preserved example of ancient Kashmir.

Ail Kadal – The fifth bridge

ali kadal srinagar vintage - Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal
Earlier, the rulers had all the time and privilege to adjust things to their heart’s content. Sultan Ali Shah had also done something similar. In a wish to get the beautiful panoramic view of the splashing water of the Jhelum and to enjoy the gentle breeze that blows, he created this bridge. However now you might not get such a view as the old bridge was burnt down.

Nawa Kadal – The sixth bridge

The New bridge or Boat Bridge was destroyed completely and rebuilt by the then CM Sheikh Abdulla.

Safa Kadal – The seventh bridge

Saffa Kadal 7th bridge 1915-Kashmiri Life- City Of 7 Bridges/Kadal
The Safa Kadal in Kashmir is perhaps the oldest bridge in the league. It depicts a long story of achievements of the skilled workers who hand-crafted the bridge on the gushing Jhelum.

Though there are a total of eight bridges that connects the two banks of the river, yet Srinagar is known as the ‘city of seven bridges’. Well, this is the story of ‘Zero’ who has no place. There’s a bridge in Srinagar by the name of Zero. And the story goes like this; this bridge was built by a deaf contractor and was therefore called ‘zorr Kadal’. In the due course of time the name changed to become ‘Zero bridge’. Therefore it did not find its place on the list.

“An address of Kashmiri culture and heritage, the bridge provides a grand view of the main city, now usually being referred as the old city.”
From then to now, most of these bridges have witnessed the history of Kashmir.

A small tip for the travelers, make sure to take a walk around the city instead of just spending hours at the stores. You can see stories and histories unfold while you walk instead of realizing that you’ve walked for hours.

Go for this walk to see this Kashmir, you haven’t seen otherwise!

Fruit variety in kashmir - kashmiri life

Varieties Of Fruits Grown In The Valley Of Kashmir

Have you ever painted an image of Paradise in your mind? Typically you must have imagined people lying on clouds, wearing wings and playing harps. It is a place to endless kashmir fruit gardens and vineyards whose wilderness you shall rejoice. There is peace and joy in the place where God dwells.
And going by Amir Khusro’s famous words “Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, hameen asto, hameen asto, hameen ast” literally translated as” If there is Paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here”, Kashmir, is that Paradise on Earth.

Yes, to visit Heaven while you are still on Earth you must come to Kashmir- India’s most picturesque state. You will feel the grey blanket of clouds hanging low on your face, and as the gentle wind will guide you around the orchards you will feel happy and contented.

Surrounded by the snow-hooded Himalayan Ranges, Kashmir is an endearing abode of scenic charisma.  Along with its scenic beauty there’s a bountiful supply of fruits in the heaven on earth whose taste and flavor has no match. It has been rightly described as the land of fruits. Today let’s take the route to fruit.
Keep your eyes on the page; you’ll be surprised to know the list.

Let’s start with the popular ones:

1. An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor away

Did you know, 80% of the apples supplied to the rest of the country come right from the valley. The sweetest and the finest varieties of apples grow here in Kashmir. Explore Srinagar, Budgam, Baramullah, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara if you want to reach for the best apples.

Apple kashmir-  kashmiri life
2. Nourish bowl for the soul-Pomegranate

Orchards of Kashmir are naturally laden with the nutritionally rich fruit Anaar, primarily in the month of September. As always, the Kashmiri variety of the ruby red fruit is different from other varieties. Don’t be surprised if the air smells of pomegranate and around every corner you catch a glimpse of the rounded shrub while on your way. Pomegranate tress are scattered all over Srinagar city.

pomegranate kashmir - Kashmeri life
3.Pretty as Peach

How, many a times you’ve stopped near the fruits section and glanced at the tempting peaches whenever you’ve gone grocery shopping in a mall. Will it excite you to know that not all peaches on the stores are imports? Yes. The temperate areas of Jammu and Kashmir grow a variety of Peaches known as ‘Prabhat’. Peaches grow here from April to Late June. This summer may be try some sweet velvety peaches along with the always favourite mangoes.

peahes kashmir - Kashmiri life

4.You are ‘Pear’fect!

Pears are some of the oldest fruit in existence which we see in the valley today. The land has been growing several varieties of centuries old traditional fruits. A superior variety of good firm pear with a rich aroma is grown in Kashmir.

pear kashmir - kashmiri life

5.Evergreen Olives.

Many of you will be surprised to know that olives were found in Kashmir. Yes, apart from New Zealand and parts of Argentina, olives are successfully grown in Srinagar. Uri, Banhihal and Ranban areas of Kashmir have the most suitable weather conditions for the cultivation of olives. The evergreen olive trees are famous for their therapeutic character.

olives kashmir - kashmiri life

6.You are Plum perfect!

Welcome to Rawalpora in Srinagar where you’ll find an entirely carved out plum orchards in between vast farmlands. This ‘sweet-soury’ fruit is grown largely in Srinagar and many other districts. One of the main varieties produced in Kashmir is ‘centrose plum’. The other two varieties are ‘silver plum’ and ‘Chogandhra’ and are grown only on a small scale.

PlumTree kashmir - kashmiri life
7.Don’t let the outside fool you-Kiwi

Who would’ve thought that the brown fuzzy skin on the outside would cut open into a bright green flesh dotted with an array of tiny black seeds? Ripe Kiwi fruits taste sweet and mellow with a mix of a refreshing tangy flavor. The growing of Kiwis in Kashmir shows how much potential the land has in terms of horticulture and floriculture.

PlumTree kashmir - kashmiri life

8.Ripe and Golden Apricots

Belonging to the family of plums and peaches, apricots are a daily diet must have to lead a healthy lifestyle. This wonder fruit is good for a lot of organs from the human eye to the heart and also the bones. Kashmir is the home to such wonders of fruits. The soil, environment and climate facilitate growth of these temperate fruits.

Apricot fruits kashmir, kashmiri life
9.You stand out like a Strawberry in a bowl of peas

Have you seen a strawberry bed? The red juicy strawberries stand out in the vibrant green ground cover. Strawberries are mostly grown in kitchen gardens. Besides Srinagar, the always in demand strawberries are grown in Ganderbal, Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Islamabad and Pulwama.

strawberry kashmir - kashmiri life
10.With the Cherry-on-top

Not surprisingly this mouth-watering delicious fruit thrive in the colder climate of Jammu and Kashmir. Cherries are also considered as pre historic fruits cultivated all over the world. As of 2014, Kashmir, in India dedicated the most land to cherry production.

cherry kashmir - kashmiri life
No wonder, the valley of Kashmir has been rightly termed as the ‘Fruit Bowl of India’ with such vast varieties of fruits.

The much promised beauty is waiting to be unraveled. Come, visit Kashmir!