Historic almond garden in J-K regains its past glory

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By Parvez

Srinagar, Mar 28 : The historic almond garden in Jammu and Kashmir is once again becoming a popular tourist destination with some of its past glory restored.

Known as "Badamwari" in local parlance, the garden constitutes an integral part of Kashmiri tradition.

Exercising corporate social responsibility, the Jammu and Kashmir bank breathed new life into the garden, allowing the younger generation a glimpse into the glorious natural heritage of the past.

Being one of the oldest gardens in the Kashmir valley, "Badamwari" was a popular destination amongst residents and tourists. However, conditions deteriorated with stepped up insurgency in 1991 and the garden eventually closed down.

"We decided to revive the heritage aspect. In that context, we founded the JK Bank Heritage Trust under which we have revived and recreated this park, so that at least a part of our history remains alive. Although the basic structure remained the same, we supplanted some changes to sustain it," said Haseeb Draboo, Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Bank.

The bank has spent approximately rupees three crores on the revival of this garden and has worked twin shifts to complete the task of reviving the heritage spot.

The park is located between the famous Hari Parbat Fort and Negeen Lake and has almond flowers in full bloom during the month of March, which draws a large number of visitors every year.

Residents visiting the garden are immensely happy about the restoration of the Badamwari's lost glory.

"I am very happy to come to this park. Earlier, we only heard about it from our parents. It has remained closed since long. We express our gratitude towards the government for having allowed us a glimpse here," said Rubeena, a student.

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