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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!