Habba-Kadal- Photo Essay

Shehjar Newsmagazine
A Photo Essay on Habba-Kadal –
the long shadows of a sunny afternoon!
by Kapil Kaul

A sort of numb feeling seemed to catch hold of me after reading with great interest “the Homeland after Eighteen Years (A 48-hour Travelogue) by Dr. K. L. Chowdhury”. I remembered particularly my B/W photographs I had taken in 1985. Looking at these photographs now and reading Dr. Chowdhury’s account are worlds apart. During that time I had a strong feeling as if the birth place around me was getting alienated. Instead of talking about my feelings, I was driven by an urge to freeze with my camera the memories of that what was dear to me. (There were no digital cameras then) I would cherish to share with the readers of Shehjar those moments I captured 25 years ago through these images.

The mountain peaks of Kashmir Valley and the hill of Shankracharya Temple build a magnificent backdrop for Taj mahal-mosque and Somyar-mandir of the Habba-Kadal area of Srinagar city.

The bustling life at Habba-Kadal on a late sunny afternoon in 1985. The shadow of Purshyar side touching the Ghat of Somyar Mandir. But the upcoming calamity hat yet to throw its bloody shadow on the area!

Goods being transported on horse carts and raidas was a common sight.

Bhana-Mohalla side seen from Habba-Kadal with Hari-Parbat Forte in the background. The small lower house with the saddle roof (on the right with Wurusi- pat windows) was a shrine/temple where, I still remember a huge cry that Bhagwati had appeared (in early 70’s)

A favourite past time to stand on the pedestrian path of Habba-Kadal Bridge, watching fishers in their Shikara, as some ladies with children at the Somyar Mandir Ghat wash clothes.. The police posted at the Somyar- Mandir premises had long become a normal sight

View of Habba-Kadal from the local Pandit shop owners across the river opposite Somyar-Mandir

I asked for permission to take pictures from their shop window. These two Kashmiri Pandit gentlemen across the river opposite to Somyar-mandir permitted me to do so on the condition that I take a photo of them too. However they did not look into the camera…………..

They preferred instead this very familiar view from their window!

Veyth aayi Mahren soneye!. (D.N.Nadim)............. flowing through Habba-Kadal for eternity?

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habba kadal.......it has peeled off, my old memories, spending hours on bridge railing, eating mishri makai /muth/kaar of barbooz bhais as i lived in barbooz kocha....... AAZ MAI BHAI YAAD AHOOV SU PANOON OOL...... JAN WAATH BHAI ZHKAMAN KRAYL
Added By Ravinder Koul
Visiting Shehjar photo feature has brought alive those bygone days when we used to be a part of the scene.I cherish my presence in the Somyar mandir.Mataji(our paternal grand m.) used to go there every evening to attend spiritual discourses.On Sumari mavas (amavasya falling on a Monday)), Somyar ghat used to be full early morning for taking dip in holy Vyeth.These pictures are mind blowing.Thanks to the technology and the power of wonderful capturing eye!
Added By Advaitavadini KAUL
Dear Kapil- you have no idea how much you've nudged my brain maps. These shots are simply enchanting, got me absolutely emotional while I traveled back in time. Heartfelt thanks for posting them up. God bless!
Added By surinder bhan
Nostalgic past....... revisited.
Added By Lalit Ambardar
Thanks Kapilji. The pics were stupendous and superb.Each picture is breathtaking.Kashmir is same,bridges and roads are same,all that is missing Kashmiri battas.How sad we lost our homeland.
Added By Chandra Ganju
I can't express the feeling of nostalgia, the place is close to our kith and kin. My nani was close by in kharyar eventhough we were slightly away in Ali Kadal. I used to accompany my nani to buy fish......
Added By Anil Kaul
Oh Kapil! U brought back the golden memories of yesteryears. While watching pix, I saw somehow myself transported to Habba Kadal bridge, walking over it with my friends of those days. Never ever, except for initial couple years, had i felt bad about leaving Kashmir, but going through the pix, I really miss those days and valley. Anyways, thanks for refreshing my memories of my days which I spent in Kashmir. God Bless U, Me & all KP's
Added By Ravi Raina
Habbakadal was the place where I was born. It has refreshed my memories how we used to play in the premises of Somyar temple. Living near Safriyar, we as children would rush to place for taking a bath in the yarbal. We would watch the festival of Somamavsya (somrimavas)from the temple parapet or bridge. We as kids would aspire to jump in the river from the bridge and swim accross to Purshiyar.
Added By Vijay Kashkari
I got transported to my younger days. I was trying to find out if I am there in the crowd. Excellent Photography.
Added By Rohit Punjabi
rried in late seventies. We borrowed a hand cart to collect Degchis and Bedding from Habba Kadal and Bana mohalla. We had to carry this from here to bal garden. Those were the days I still cherish. Thanks for taking me down the memory lane.
Added By chander mohan
Xlnt work...Keep it up...Poet says... kisi ke saath jab beete huye lamhoN ki yaad aayee Thaki aakhoN meiN askhoN ke sitaare jhilmilaate haiN God Bless!!
Added By Ravinder Bhan
Thanks Kapilji. The pics were outstanding. All that is left of Kashmir now is the pics and memories
Added By Amit Raina
Ghar dozuk ba roye zameen asto hamain asto hamain asto hamain ast......Woh bhole yade lo phir yaad aa gai..
Added By bhupinder nath
Thanks for uploading these photographs. Reminds us about the brotherhood between kashmiri pandits and muslims before the turmoil. I pray to Almighty to bring peace in the valley so that our kashmiri pandit brothers could come back. Thanks again for reminding us past days through these photographs.
Added By Riyaz Zargar
I was looking at these photographs and came across Picture of My Father who is No More Sh Durga Nath Mujoo , This was a Shop owned by US and He I guess Visited the Shop , Thank you
The photographs have reminding me of the habbakadal I had visited during my young days. These are excellent photographs.
Added By Usha Krishna