By Afzal Bhat
Srinagar, May 30 : Kashmir is known the world over as paradise. And it's so known because of its culture, traditional art, historical places, and other monuments. There were days when bullock carts ran on Jhelum Valley Cart Road, Mar Canal flowed through the middle of Shaher-e-Khaas and tulips grew on the roof of Hazratbal shrine. The elders narrate memorized stories and anecdotes in nostalgia.
Now the hard work of few photographers and artists, plus the efforts of a father-son duo, is helping refresh the memories of the bygone era.
A recently held photo exhibition showcasing the life and traditions of Kashmir in Srinagar is attracting curious visitors in large numbers.
The exhibition depicts the photographs taken by an amateur photographer to portray various facets of Kashmir.
"Basically, it was my hobby. So it was important to bring it in front of the people. Earlier, it started with one photograph. Now, the number of photographs has increased to 3,500," said Wasim Shaukat, Organiser.
Photographs showing bullock carts running in the Jhelum valley, 'Nallah Mar', a link canal that flowed through the middle of downtown city to flush out lake waters and since filled to make way for a road through the city slums and tulips growing on the wooden and earthen roof of famous Hazratbal shrine brought live the nostalgic memories of bygone days.
"After seeing the pictures I came to know about the tradition and culture of Kashmir. I also came to know about the infrastructure of those times. We are not aware of our past. But after seeing these photographs, I came to know a lot of things," said Pooja, a tourist from Delhi.
Every photograph is different from another each revealing a different aspect of the Kashmir valley.
The decrease in militancy related violence has considerably facilitated the revival of tourism in the valley.
In 2005 600,000 tourists visited the state. Their numbers dropped after a series of attacks on tourists in 2006 but it has revived this year.