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Men, Matters and Memories - Downtown Srinagar

By Shamboo Nath Gurkha

IN the pre-Independence era the city of Srinagar, was described by its inhabitants as ‘City of Seven bridges.’ The bridges were Amirakadal, Habbakadal, Fateh Kadal, Zainakadal, Alikadal, Nawakadal and Safakadal. The area between Fatehkadal and Safakadal has its own uniqueness. It houses important historical places and was the hub of social, political and business activities.

On the two banks of river Jehlum (Vitasta) at Ali Kadal stood two grand residential buildings owned by Kaul brothers - Hara kaul and Pt. Prakash Kaul. Their father Ram Kaul1 was a man of ordinary means and could barely look after the needs of the family. He supplemented his meagre income by undertaking the job of ‘Paniyur’ (water carrier). He would carry water from river in earthern pitchers and supply it to the families of rich people in his neighbourhood.

Birth of his son Pt. Hara Kaul brought change in his luck. When Hara Kaul grew of adolescence age he started his own business as a banker. He would lend money on interest even to the govt. He built a huge fortune of Rs 12 lacs. Pt. Ram Kaul invested this fortune in real estate, purchasing innumerable houses (some say 614) in and around the Srinagar city.

Maharaja Pratap Singh, who ruled the state, issued a fiat that Pt. Ram Kaul should not be allowed to purchase any more house. Soon the two Kaul brothers, Hara Kaul and Prakash Kaul were involved in a dispute over business and property. They sought the intervention of the court. One of the parties engaged the services of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, the leading jurist of the time. A houseboat for his stay was provided at Ganderbal and a car was kept at his disposal. In those times the only two people to own cars in Kashmir were Maharaja Pratap Singh and Pt. Ram Kaul. Sir Tej Bhadur Sapru was paid Rs 500 daily during his stay at Srinagar.

Pt. Amar Nath Kak, elder brother of Sh. RC Kak, was a close relation of Prakash Kaul. He had passed his graduation but was unemployed. Prakash paid Kak Rs 600 for purchasing Law books. Though Kak was not a qualified lawyer yet he represented his relation.

Subsequently, he was to emerge as a successful and competent lawyer. Protracted litigation ruined Kaul brothers. They had to sell virtually the whole moveable/immovable property. Meanwhile Prakash’s elder son after passing his graduation started his own business under the title M/S Prakash Seed Farm. The seed business worked well and brought the family huge profits. The family purchased the palatial bungalow of M/s Cock Burn Agency situated at Kothi Bagh. He shifted the office and residence to this new building.

Pt. Hara kaul had a son, Pt. Sona Kaul. The latter’s son Pt. Madsudan Kaul after doing his MBBS from Calcutta started his own practice in Srinagar. A successful doctor Pt. Madsudan would never charge consultation fees from his neighbours. He had great humility. Subsequently, he joined the State Health Department, retiring as Assistant Supdt. of SMHS Hospital.

Another scion of the Kaul clan was Pt. Srikanth Kaul who later was elected as a member of the State Assembly. He also worked as general secretary of Santan Dharam Yuvak Sabha and President Red cross at different times.

Pt. Ram Kaul had built a temple at Mahraj Ganj on the bank of River Jehlum. His cousin Pt. Amarchand Kaul constructed a temple at Hari Parbat near the Hari.

Aali Kadal

The numerous mohallas in this era included Malchimar, Budhgair, Wazapora, Sheikh mohalla, Mohalla Reshi Peer, Batayar, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara, Mohalla Usi Sahib. The well known shrine of Usi Sahib is located between the Aali Kadal Bridge and Batyar ghat on the bank of river Jehlum.

The shrine owes its importance to the story that the mother of Saint Reshi Peer had darshan of Harmukt Ganga at this place. As per this account the mother of the saint desired to go on a pilgrimmage to Gangabal. Old age and deteriorating health forbade her to undertake this risk. Moved by his mother's desire the saint invoked his spiritual powers. Goddess Ganga appeared on the day of Ganga Ashtami at the spot where shrine of Usi Sahib is located. The saint asked his mother to have the dip in the river three times, telling her that the goddess Ganga had appeared at the spot on his request. The holy mother had the satisfaction of visiting Ganga (read Gangabal) after taking the dip.

In a temple at Batyar ghat there is an old Shivling. Batyar has been the home of noted Engineer, Pt. Laxman Joo Tickoo. It was he who had constructed the Banihal-Cart road, linking Srinagar with Jammu.

Bulbul Lankar:

The mohalla named after the renowned Sufi saint, Syed Bulbul Shah, is adjacent to Batayar. The palatial bungalow of the leading Pashimina Trader, Ahmedullah Shahdad is located at Bulbul Lankar on the bank of Jehlum. His business extended to Central Asia, Yarkand and China. The trader was a close relation of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah.

Bulbul Lankar has also been home to leading educationists -  Pt. Shyam Lal Labroo, Pt. Bishamber Nath Trakroo, Pt. Aftab Joo Wanchoo etc. Sh Wanchoo is also known as biographer of some Kashmiri Saints. Pt. Shyam Lal Raina, a native of the mohalla, retired as Inspector of Schools in Himachal Pradesh. The historic temple of Shri Narayan Joo, housing an idol of Lord Visnu, is also located in the mohalla.

A part of the mohalla is known as Munshi mohalla after the Munshi clan. The other landmarks – Munshi Yarbal and Munshi Kocha too are connected with the clan. Ruins of some buildings, probably belonging to the Munshis are located here on the bank of Nala Mar. Pt. Amar Chand Munshi had been a high official in the Revenue Department during the reign of Maharaja Hari Singh. His eldest son too was a high official.

The other notable personalities of Bulbul Lankar include - Pt. Bishamber Nath Chattoo, an educationist, his nephew, Sh. Kashi Nath Dulloo, Pt. Bishamber Nath Jyotshi, a high official in state govt, etc. Padamshri JN Koul, Director SOS had spent his early years in Bulbul lankar at his aunt's house. Pt. Kashi Nath Dulloo, who died recently used to practise medicine. He participated actively in community's social life, rising to general secretary post in SD Yuvak Sabha, Shital Nath. After resigning from Yuvak Sabha he joined Samaj Sudhar Samiti, Chota Bazar. For a while he remained its general secretary.

During the tribal raid many Kashmiri Pandits had been forcibly converted to Islam.  Dulloo was one of the workers who toured the affected areas under the aegis of Yuvak Sabha to reconvert them to their original faith.

Kawadara-Budhgair

Mohalla Kawdara and Malchimar are located near Bulbul Lankar. The former is famous for its Hak (a green leafy vegetable). Renowned mystic poet Ahad Zargar hailed from Narwara-Kawdara. Between Kawdara and Malchimar is the mohalla of Budhgair. The latter derives its name from the seat of an ancient Vihara which stood here.

Budhgair has remained home to leading families in the past as well as present. During the reign of Mughals Pt. Narayan Joo Bhan, it is said, used to go to his office, riding on elephant. He used to wear diamond neklaces around his neck.

A big (Deodi) gate made of wood used to lead entrance to his palatial buildings. This had been constructed to allow unhindered entry to his elephant. The unique gate had been named ‘Bhana deed’ (Gate of Bhans). A huge plot adjacent to his house was called ‘Bhana Bagh’. Such was the affluence of the family that even the street (Bhana Kocha) and river front on Nallah Mar (Bhana Yarbal) were named after the clan.

Munificent Mughal Governor had bestowed big Jagirs to Pt. Narayan Joo Bhan at Nesbal (near Waskur, Sonawari). The ruins of the Narayan Bhan’s residential buildings stand even to this day.

Pt. Jia Lal Bhan, a direct descendent of Pt. Narayan Joo Bhan served in Nedous Hotel, Srinagar. Another resident of Budhgair - Pt. Neel Kanth Teli was also an employee of the same hotel. Sh Narayan Kaul was a big landlord and an orchardist. His estate was located at Seer Jagir. He had three sons - Sh Lassa Kak Kaul (retired as Judge), Prem Nath Kaul served as Ward officer in Srinagar Municipality, while the youngest one was also a govt. official.

Pt. Dina Nath Fotedar, an eminent educationist retired as Head Master Hari Singh School, Rainawari. He had done MA, LLB. After retirement he started practice in local courts. The other prominent citizens of Budhgair included Prof. TN Bhan, Sh. Moti Lal Jailkhani, Sh. Fera Bhat etc. The latter was a leading footballer of his time. He was known for hitting the ball into the goal post right from the centre of the field. Pt. Sarwanand Charagi, BA LT was a reputed educationist. He has written a biography of Mata Roop Bhawani and other saints and Mystics.

Another well known personality of Budghair mohalla was Pt. Shamboo Nath Ogra. He was a reputed social worker. His uncle Amar Nath Ogra retired as Supdt. Central Jail, Srinagar. Pt. Shyam Lal Razdan, who edited Urdu daily ‘Sharda’ also belonged to this mohalla. The other prominent figures included Pt. Jia Lal Moza (Khurdi), his youngest son Pt. Kanya Lal Moza , Pt. Omkar Nath Trisal, Pt. Kashi Nath Razdan, etc. Late KL Moza was a leading Trade Unionist and remained Gen. Secretary of All India Postal employees union. He also headed a NGO Kalapvrakasha Trust, New Delhi. This organisation provided books free of cost to the needy among the displaced members of Kashmiri Pandit community.

Sh Omkar Nath Trisal, who presently heads All Kashmiri Pandits Solidarity Conference has been in active politics for more than six decades. He was a close comrade-in-arms of Pt. Moti Lal Misri, one of the founders of communist movement in Kashmir. Subsequently, the two joined National Conference and took active part in ‘Quit Kashmir’ agitation. In 1953 after the dismissal of Sheikh Abdullah few political leaders dared to visit interiors of the city. It was Pt. Omkar Nath Trisal alongwith Messers Moti Lal Misri, Ghazi Abdul Rehman, Gh. Ahmed Kichloo and Shaban Gada who led a massive procession from Bulbulankar to the official residence of Prime Minister Bakshi Gh. Mohd. It was the first pro-Indian rally after August 9, 1953. The rallyists shouted slogans - ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’,‘Azad Hindustan Zind-abad’, ‘Hindu Muslim-Sikh Itihad Zindabad’. This rally boosted the confidence of not only pro-Indian elements in valley but also the new incumbent in office, Bakshi Gh. Mohd.

Among the Razdan family of Budhgair were Sh. Kashi Nath, a well known Katib, his younger brothers - Niranjan Nath, an eminent educationist and Sh. Chaman Lal, who retired as Deputy Controller of Kashmir University. The latter has authored few books on Bhagwan Gopi Nath. The author of this writeup too hails from this family. He was given in adoption to Pt. Shridhar Kaul Gorkha, a resident of the same locality. This writer learnt the art of Kitabat under the care of his elder brother, Pt. Kashi Nath and went on to edit several urdu dailies - Jahan-e-Nau, Vakil, Martand, Bahar-e-Kashmir. He continues to edit ‘Janat-e-Kashmir’ in Jammu since 1994.

Bulbul Lankar:

A part of this mohalla was covered in the first part of this write-up. Other prominent personalities who lived in Bulbul Lankar included Sh. Moti Lal Misri, a veteran communist leader, Sh. Radha Krishan Saproo alias 'Raed Chalak', Messers Mohammed Shaban Gada, Ghulam Ahmed Kichloo, Gazi Abdul Rehman and Bakshi brothers-Amarnath, Janki Nath and Shiv Nath etc.

Late Moti Lal Misri was at one time General Secretary of the Communist Unit in Kashmir. He was a member of National Conference. He did not opt for government service and used to practise at Srinagar High Court. Radhakrishan Saproo retired as Headmaster CMS Middle School, Nawakadal. Messers Shaban Gada, G.A. Kichloo and Gazi Rehman were senior NC functionaries and close confidants of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, former Chief Minister.

Bakshi brothers were high officials in J&K government during the rule of Maharaja. Pt. Amar Nath Bakshi retired as Secretary development. In 1947 he had been posted as Wazir Wazarat to Muzaffarabad. Due to his hospitalisation Mehta Duni Chand had been asked to take the new assignment. Pt. Janki Nath Bakshi retired as Inspector Customs, a rank one step below Inspector General. The Customs and Excise Department those days was directly under the Maharaja. Pt. Shiv Nath Bakshi was P.A. to Chief Justice of J&K High Court. Pt. Kashi Nath Bakshi, a scion of Bakshi clan has donated over Rs ten lakhs to different religious and social institutions. This includes Rs 5 lakh to Ramakrishna Ashram at Udaywala, Jammu. Besides, has helped raise one room with kitchen and bathroom at Mata Roop Bhawani Ashram at Talab Tillo, Jammu. Presently, Pt. Kashi Nath Bakshi is putting up at Ramakrishna Ashram at Chotta Bazar, Srinagar.

Reshipeer Mohalla:

This mohalla is named after the great saint, Reshi Peer who lived here. A prominent personality of this mohalla was Sh. Jia Lal Saraf, a renowned Sanskrit scholar with great proficiency in Astrology. He has authored many religious texts. A leading Kathawachak  of his times and gifted with melodious voice Pt. Jia Lal Saraf translated Panchastavi and other religious books into Kashmiri language. He was involved in his family business which was run under the title of M/s H.R. Jia Lal and Co. Later on, he started his own hotel 'Naya Kashmir Hotel' at Lal Chowk, Srinagar. Sh. Saraf and Pt. Nilakanth Nehru would together go to Hari Parbat on every Saturday evening and recite bhajans and leelas the whole night in praise of Mata Sharika. Subsequently, the two parted company. While Sh. Saraf shifted his venue to Pokhribal, Pt. Nilakanth Nehru continued to go to Chakreshwar.

Two prominent families of Reshipeer mohalla included those of Reazi and Adalati. Pt. Ramchand Reazi was an eminent educationist. His son, Sh. Radha Krishan was Science Master at State High School, Baghe-e-Dilawar Khan, Srinagar. Sh. Laxmi Narayan Tangnoo, a jeweller, also hailed from this mohalla. His shop 'P.ALLEN' Jewellers was located at Kothi Bagh, Srinagar.

Pt. Lambodar Nath Tickoo, the first educated Pandit who took to Tailoring, was son of Sh. Laxman Joo Tickoo, the architect of BC Road. After graduation Pt. Lambodar went to Bombay to learn tailoring. On return he started his own shop 'Navyug Tailoring Firm' at Kothi Bagh. He also launched an Urdu daily 'Navyug' under the editorship of Sh. Nand Lal Wattal. Due to some reasons the paper had to close down. Pt. Hriday Nath Orga, a well-known trade union leader, also used to live in this mohalla.

Malchimar:

This mohalla is located just close to Ali Kadal bridge on way to Budhgair and Reshipeer mohallas. Leading personalities of this mohalla included Mohammed Abdullah Tibet Bakal, a leading Sufiana Musician, Mufti Qwam-ud-Din, Mufti Azam Kashmir, his nephew Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, Saif-ud-Din Basoo, a leading wholesale dealer at Maharaj Ganj, Ghulam Hassan Basoo, former Conservator Forests, Pt. Shamboo Nath Ladakhi, an eminent educationist.

Among Pandits Happa, Dudhas and Qazi clans also lived here. Birbal Qazi was a transporter. Amarnath Happa was an official in Prime Minister's office during the tenure of Pt. RC Kak. Sh. Ganesh Das Dudha was a Goldsmith.

Buch Mohalla:

This mohalla is adjacent to Budhgair mohalla and is named after the famous clan 'Buch'. This family has been among the richest families of Srinagar city. Their trading activities extended to Yarkhand, Central Asia, Ladakh, etc. The family had built palatial residential buildings.

Razouri Kadal:

The bridge and the mohalla stand on the bank of what was once Nalla Mar, the main waterway of the city. During summers this canal used to have good water and served as the main artery of transport. 'Behats' (merchandise boats) and Shikaras used to be a common sight here. 'Behatas' were used for ferrying essential commodities--Firewood, bricks, stones, timber etc. to Hazratbal, Naseem Bagh and other adjoining places.

Moulvi Mohammad Yusuf's residential house 'Mirwaiz Manzil' was situated in this mohalla. Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah had two brothers--Moulvi Ateequallah and Moulvi Rasool Shah. Moulvi Yusuf Shah would perform the duties of Mirwaiz while Moulvi Ateequallah set up an educational institution 'Anjuman-Nusrat-ul-Islam'. This organisation started Islamia High School at Razouri Kadal. It also set up some Middle schools on other parts of the Valley.

Many Kashmiri Pandit families lived in the vicinity of Mirwaiz Manzil. Among these was one of Pt. Jia Lal Choudhary, a leading advocate of his time and father of renowned physician, Dr. K.L. Choudhary. Sh. Shamboo Nath Choudhary was a clerk in judicial department. Bhans also lived here. Dr. Ali Mohammed Jan, the greatest physician Kashmir has ever produced, was also born here.

Subsequently, during the time of Mirwaiz Farooq Mirwaiz family shifted to Nageen, in the vicinity of Hazratbal.

Wazapora:

This locality which is in close vicinity of Razouri Kadal derives its name from Wazas, the master cooks of Kashmir. These master cooks or Wazas were called Ashpazas. Clan of Wazas have been living here for many generations. The proprietor of Ahdoo and sons, the leading hotel of Srinagar, also hails from this locality. Traditionally, the Waza clan has been politically associated with Mirwaiz Kashmir. Another leading trader of Wazapora was Kh. Azim-ud-Din Mantoo. His shop, dealing in wholesale business, was located at Maharaj Ganj.

Prominent Kashmiri Pandit families of Wazapora locality were Bhan, Charagi, Khashoo, Karvani, Raina, Budki. Late Dina Nath Khushoo used to deal in Pharmaceuticals, while his younger brother, Prithvi Nath Khushoo was a wholesale dealer, selling hosiery and other Muniari items. He ran shop at Maharaja Bazar under the title M/s Kins Brothers. Jagar Nath Charagi's shop at Maisuma, titled 'M/s Mahavir Trading Agency', dealth with general merchandise. Sh. Nilakanth Budki was an official of Kashmir Govt. Arts Emporium, while his brother was a petition writer.

Sheikh Mohalla:

This mohalla was also adjacent to Razouri Kadal. Four Pandit families lived in Sheikh Mohalla. Pt. Kailash Kaul, a reputed teacher and father of veteran journalist  CB Kaul lived here. Another prominent personality of this mohalla was Sh. Soom Nath Raina, an official in Indian Airlines. His father-in-law Sh. Lamboodhar KadalBujoo had a stint as an editor of 'Martand'. Among others Qazi Saifuddin and Qazi Mohammed Yusuf, both professors lived here.

Khankah-e-Sokhta:

THis mohalla in the vicinity of  Safakadal the 7th bridge owes its importance to being the birth place Mata Roopa Bhawani, the great saint-poetess of Kashmir in 17th century. She was daughter of Pt. Madhav Joo Dhar, a resident of this mohalla. Mata Roopa Bhawani was an ardent devotee of Goddess Sharika, the presiding deity of Srinagar city. Roopa Bhawani's temple stands here.

The well-known feudal clan of Dhars hailed from  this mohalla. The palatial buildings of this clan which stand to this day attest to their immense affluence. The temple in the mohalla was also built by them. The leading personalities of the clan included Pt. Birbal Dhar, who guided Sikhs to Kashmir, Pt. Bal Kak Dhar, former Wazir-e-Wazarat, Sh. DP Dhar, a well-known politician and former ambassador to Soviet Union, Maj. General (Retd.) BN Dhar etc.

The other prominent members of this clan were Rai Bahadur Shyam Sunder Lal Dhar, former Panchayat and Development officer, Sh. Ratan Lal Dhar, former Director Food and Supplies, Pt. Manmohan Nath, a senior official in Maharaja's administration, Pt. Ramchand Dhar, an eminent educationist, Pt. Krishan Joo Dhar, former Director Flood Control, Sh. Janki Nath Dhar, Sh. Shamboo Nath Dhar, noted advocate and former President Srinagar Municipality (born Braripora, Nawakadal). Sh. Dina Nath Dhar, former Head Master and proprietor of Normal press at Lal Chowk etc.

The ace-cricketer Pt. Ramchand Tickoo also lived in this mohalla. His eldest son Sh. Prithvi Nath Tickoo was gunned down by the terrorists in May 1990. Late Nand Lal 'Begarz', the eminent teacher and the first to write a short story in Kashmiri also lived at Khankah-e-Sokhta. His nephew Prof. Nilakanth Lala Raina, whom he had taken in adoption, was a scholar of eminence. He was a trained historian. His essay on 'Northern Areas' was widely appreciated. In 1990 when fundamentalist insurgency erupted Prof Raina did not want to leave Kashmir. He was gunned down by terrorists for his refusal to leave Kashmir.

Sh. Niranjan Nath Razdan, the proprietor of Mercantile Press, Kothi Bagh also lived here. His father Sh. Madho Ram Razdan had published the religious texts of Kashmiri Hindus in Urdu and Kashmiri. Pt. Niranjan Nath had started an English daily, 'New Kashmir'. This paper practised fearless journalism and was forced to close down.

Nawakadal:

Prominent politician - Moulvi Abbas Ansari, a Shia cleric and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, former Chief Minister of J&K, belonged to this mohalla. Well-known hakim of his time, Pt. Sansar Chand Hakim also lived here. He was an employee of Accountant General's office.

On the left bank of Jehlum were located many mohallas - Gurgari Mohalla, Dab Tal, Rehbabsab, Sehyar, Ganz Khud and Qutab-Din-Pora etc.

Gurgari Mohalla:

Prominent personalities of this mohalla included Pt. Anand Kaul Bamzai, Saint Swami Nand Lal (of Tikker), Pt. Prem Nath Kanaw, former editor of Urdu daily 'The Martand', Sh. Lamboodhar Kaul Kadalbujoo, also an editor of 'The Martand'  Doyen of Kashmir archeology and former Prime Minister, Pt. RC Kak was also born in Gurgari Mohalla.

Pt. Anand Kaul Bamzai was a noted historian and first president of Srinagar Municipality. He was moving spirit behind the enactment of Municipality bylaws. His son, Pt. PN Kaul Bamzai initially served as Science teacher in MP Higher Secondary School. Later, he moved to Delhi and retired as a senior official in Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Govt. of India. He also authored many books on Kashmir, which included 'A history of Kashmir', 'Kashmir from Lake success to Tashkent', 'Kashmir and Central Asia', 'Socio-economic history of Kashmir under Dogras' etc. Another member of Bamzai clan, Sh. Kashi Nath Bamzai, was correspondent of Blitz in 1947 and served as Press Advisor to Pt. Nehru after 1947. Sh KN Bamzai retired as Registrar Newspapers of India. Sh Bamzai's grandchildren-Sandeep Bamzai and Kavaree Bamzai too are senior journalists in Delhi. The former is author of 'Bonfire Kashmiriat', a major contribution to historiography of Kashmir, while the latter is Deputy Editor of 'India Today'.

Sh. Hriday Nath Bamzai, younger brother of Sh. KN Bamzai moved to Bombay while he was still a student of 7th Class. He changed his name to 'Hari Kashmiri'. but failed to make his mark as an actor. Then he set up his own business - supplying extra actors to film companies. 'Hari Kashmiri' was very friendly to extra artists, helping them in every way possible. He would pay these artists liberally. It earned him tremendous popularity. This munificence earned him the wrath of rival suppliers who used to cheat extra artists of their wages. A conspiracy was hatched to assassinate him. Hriday Nath left behind a widow and a son.

Pt. Ram Kaul's son - Pt. Damodhar Kaul was an employee of AG's office. Subsequently, he started a big concern-'Martand Trading Agency' at Mahraj Ganj. This company dealt in paper and cutlery on wholesale basis. Pt. Hari Kaul was a govt. teacher. He left his job to join 'Martand Trading Agency'. After a while he started his own business at Mahraj Ganj under the title 'M/s Hari Kaul and Sons'.

Pt. Kina Kaul alias Kinat Sahib, a reputed teacher too hailed from Gurgari Mohalla. Pt. Triloki Nath Kaul, a resident of this mohalla served 'The Hindustan Times' and 'The Times of India' with distinction in the capacity of Sub-Editor. After passing his graduation in 1946 from Punjab University Sh. TN Kaul served as a teacher in Quetta (Baluchistan). In 1947 he returned to India and lived in Kingsway camp (Delhi) before shifting to Malika Ganj, Pt. TN Kaul has authored many books. Few years back he passed away at the age of 90.

Chaku clan also hails from Gurgari mohalla. Sh. Sona Kaul Chaku, a scion of this clan was a teacher. He had two sons--Prithvi Nath and Janki Nath. Both of them started their career as teachers. Later, Sh. PN Chaku joined SP College as Professor after passing MA in Economics. He moved to Delhi and retired as Secretary, GoI.

Dab Tal Mohalla:

This mohalla is situated between Ganz-Khod and Gurgari mohalla. Sansar Chand Kaul, an advocate hailed from this mohalla. His younger brother, Sh. Niranjan Nath Kaul was an Income Tax lawyer. Sh. Chuni Lal Kaul S/o Sh. Sansar Chand Kaul, is a lawyer, presently based in Jammu. Sh Som Nath Kaul, who migrated to Himachal Pradesh, retired as Headmaster.

The other well-known Pandit family who lived here was of Bhats. Sh. Gopi Nath (Mugloo) retired as Headmaster of a Govt. High School. His son Pt. Omkar Nath Bhat worked as a Professor in Vishwa Bharti College, Rainawari (Srinagar). The latter had a brief stint in Journalism when he worked as Assistant Editor of the weekly 'Rehnuma' and 'Desh'. For a while he also worked as a script writer with Radio Kashmir.

Sehyar Mohalla:

This mohalla is located opposite Rehbab Sahib. The well known Kaul clan lived here. It included Pt. Hargopal Kaul 'Khasta' (Sher-e-Kashmir), Pt. Shiv Narayan Fotedar, Pt. Shamboo Nath Kaul (Vakil) and his two sons--Pushkar Nath Pyare Lal, Advocate and author of four books on contemporary history of Kashmir. Renowned teacher and first Headmaster of CMS School, Fateh Kadal, Pt. Shankar Pandit also lived here. Others who lived here included, Pt. Shivjee Kaul, a Govt. teacher. His son Sh. Kashi Nath Kaul, B.A.B.T. retired as T.E.O. Sh. KN Kaul was General Secretary of Samaj Sudhar Samiti, Chota Bazar, Srinagar. He also authored many books.

Ganz - khod:

Eminent personalities of this mohalla included Pt. Amar Nath Ganjoo, a well-known RSS leader and Chaman Lal Kaul, a high official in ONGC, presently settled at Mumbai.

Wattal-Kadal:

Wattal Kadal lies between Safakadal and Nawakadal. Pandita-Kaul family lived here. Of the three brothers Nand Lal was secretary to Govt. Sh. Bishamber Nath retired as Supdt. Police while Sh. Radhakrishan was an eminent educationist and retired as Headmaster Govt. High School, Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan, Srinagar. This family had a tonga. Sh. Bishamber had been trained by Scotland Yard and used to be immacutaely dressed.

Jamalata:

This mohalla is located between Sehyar and Nawakadal. It was in Jamalata Chowk. In 1953 the then senior NC leader Gh. Mohi-ud-Din Qarra addressed a public meeting and raised pro-Pak slogans. This stunned the audience. The then Prime Minister (Chief Minister) Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, was watching at that time a cultural programme at Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School, Nawakadal, quite near to the venue. The well-known clan of Mozas (Dattatrey Kauls) originally hailed from Jamalata. It was from here they migrated to different places.

Shorgari Mohalla:

It lies between Jamalata Chowk and Nawa Bazar bridge on the left side. Khwaja Mohammed Maqbool Pandit, then Wazir-e-Wazarat lived here. He had a palatial bungalow. His eldest son, Bashir Ahmed Pandit after passing his B.A. migrated to Pakistan. He passed away at Lahore a few years back. The other son. Mr. Mohd. Shafi Pandit, an IAS officer is presently serving as Chairman J&K Public Service Commission. Kh. Maqbool Pandit had constructed another grand building near Govt. Medical College, Srinagar. This was later on sold to Khadi Ashram. Jamal Siraj, a leading carpet manufacturer also hailed from Shorgari mohalla.

Qutub Din Pora:

Across Zaina Kadal Bridge near Gurgari mohalla lies the mohalla of Qutabdinpora. Hakim Ahmedullah, popularly known as 'Ama Hakim', was a native of this place. Patients came from distant corners of Kashmir to get treated by this renowned Hakim. Unfortunately, his son-in-law, Peerzada Ghulam Rasool, who retired as Headmaster State High School, Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan, passed away at an early age. Hakim Sahib became unconsolable due to this tragic incident. He affixed a paper at his clinic, describing that day as the most sorrowful one. Peerzada Ghulam Rasool's son, rose to be the Chief Engineer of PDD and also served as Chairman National Grid Corporation of India. Ama Hakim had two sons--Dr. Haffizullah, an allopathic doctor who died in an aircrash at Huin Heng and Hakim Qudratullah, a Unani Hakim. Dr. Hafizullah was a devotee of Swami Lakhman Joo, the Shaivite scholar and saint.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

 
 

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