If you are headed to Srinagar, you are most likely going to head over to Dal Lake at some point. Here you shall find several remarkable islands, among them being the iconic Char Chinar. This is an island on which you shall find a quartet of trees (hence “char”, which means “four”). Chinar is actually the Iranian name for the Oriental Plane tree, one of the most common trees in river areas. This is among the older tree species in the world, and indeed, a good number of historians argue that the tree under which Hippocrates himself held forth on his knowledge was an oriental plane, although not necessarily the same tree as that called the Tree of Hippocrates in Cos. The Mughals and Hindus of the Kashmir region have long held it in high regard as well, which explains why it figures so prominently in many of the Srinagar gardens. It has also been associated with the goddess Bhawani.
The oriental plane can reach prodigious ages well beyond our own. Given its beauty and longevity, it is the case that many towns in [Read more…]