November 24, 2020

Dying waters of Shairbagh Ang : Forgotten Glory Far From Restoration

Hilal Ahmad Bhat

Shairbagh is one of the important places in the Valley of Kashmir and lies in the heart of Anantnag town in the South Kashmir. The name of the town itself dipicts that it is a land of many springs. Shairbagh has many gardens and springs inside it. It is known as a place of communal hormony. One can see masjid, temple and guruduwara side by side there. It is a place of tourist destination as well. But the present condition of shairbagh and springs inside it is pathetic. Once clear waters now produce foul smell. One can hardly see any fish in the waters of springs now which once could be seen flooded with fishes. The parks of the Shairbagh are almost seen silent and empty.In the last decade or so this beautiful place lost its pristine glory and charm. Though many a times some repairing was done but this proved to be negative . The banks and depths of springs were made of tiles , forgetting the fact of the nature of water that would flow there these springs which contains sulphur. With the passage of time the sulphur containing water statred producing muddy weeds in the depths of springs because of tiley floors and absence of gaps ,thereby contaminating the flow of water.
There should have been sand slit and stones in the depths of waters of these spring as was in the past to keep the flow of water crystal clean.Once upon a time local youth used to bath in these springs to get relief from the sun heat and just to entertain themselves.But now hardly anyone is seen taking a bath there. Once upon a time one could see crowds of people in the parks of shairbagh.Even the tourists from other districts who who used to be on the trip to Pahalgam or other Mughal gradens of district Anantnag used to have stay for a while in Shairbagh and a cup of tea in the Shairbagh on their way back home. But this practice is hardly witnessed now. Even the locals are hardly seen visiting Shairbagh. This famous and beautiful place is losing its charm and glory now. If steps are not taken to restore its glory and charm, this famous place will become a history in the near future and we will then use to say ‘Once there was a beautiful place called Shiarbagh’
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