In news– The iconic island Char Chinar in the middle of the Dal lake in Srinagar has been brought to life again.
About the Island-
- Char Chinar, also sometimes called Char Chinari, is an island in Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Dal Lake includes 3 islands, 2 of which are marked with beautiful Chinar trees.
- It is located on the Lakut Dal (small Dal) known as Ropa Lank (Silver Island), marked with the presence of majestic Chinar trees at the four corners.
- Roph Lank was constructed by Murad Baksh, brother of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
- The second Chinar Island, known as Sone Lank (Gold Island), is located on the Bod Dal (Big Dal) and overlooks the holy shrine of Hazratbal.
- The island caught the country’s imagination in the 1970s when the famous Bollywood song ‘Achha To hum Chalte Hai’, starring Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh, was shot there for the movie ‘Aan Milo Sajna’.
- The island became a meeting point for couples in the Valley, but it ended when militancy broke out in the 1990s, which was followed by withering of Chinars too.
- These trees characteristically grow in Eastern Himalayas.
- Their botanical name is Platanus orientalis.
- They have been an important part of Kashmiri tradition, in that, a Chinar tree is found in almost every village in Kashmir.
- These trees have survived for ages, because Chinar is basically a long-living tree.
- It spreads wide across a region of cool climate with sufficient water.
- The tree has several properties – leaves and bark are used as medicine, the wood, known as lace wood, has been used for delicate furniture and the twigs and roots are used for making dyes.
Further reading: https://journalsofindia.com/dal-lake/