When Was The New 12 months Celebrated First Time In Kashmir’s Latest Historical past?

When Was The New 12 months Celebrated First Time In Kashmir’s Latest Historical past?


by MJ Aslam

New 12 months celebrations have been alien to Kashmir and Kashmiris earlier than Nedou’s Lodge started holding them on December 31, of every 12 months

Gulmarg on the brand new 12 months 2022 eve. KL Picture by Bilal Bahadur

Michael Adam Nedou was an Italian architect. Mainly from the erstwhile Italian metropolis of Ragusa, he had come to India to construct the palace of Gujarat (of United Punjab) Ruler.

Nedou laid out the primary trendy lodge in Lahore in 1880 in his title as Nedou’s Lodge. In 1888, he opened the second wing of Nedou’s Lodge in Gulmarg Kashmir and in 1900 he arrange the third unit of the chain of Nedou’s Motels at Srinagar on North East of the street that was lined with poplars from Budshah Chowk to Qazi Kadal, (now referred to as Gur Dav Kadal and also referred to as Dugjan Kadal), Srinagar.

All of the poplars that lined the street have been planted from the Afghan time. With the institution of Nedou’s Lodge adjoining Chinar Bagh, Holy Household Catholic Church and Sir Lawrence’s Settlement constructing (Bandobast i Qanooni), the street got here to be referred to as Lodge Highway. This street was later renamed as Moulana Azad Highway in October 1950. The Gur Dav Kadal has been lately rechristened as Moulana Azad Bridge.

Michael Adam Nedou’s son, Micheal Harry Nedous, efficiently ran the Lodge at Srinagar. He was in his twenties when Srinagar department of the Lodge was opened in April 1900. Micheal Harry Nedous was the daddy of the late Begum Akbar Jahan spouse of the late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. She was married to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1933. It was the Nedous and Sheikh’s household who have been homeowners of this magnificent lodge of these days.

Properly, Nedou’s Lodge Srinagar with its billiard room was inaugurated in April 1900 by the lodge homeowners by an American traveller. Nedou’s Lodge principally catered to the wants of international guests who stayed principally by this time in houseboats and Dunga-boats of the Jhelum and the Dal Lake. The lodge was destroyed by hearth within the early years of Maharaja Hari Singh’s interval after which it was rebuilt quickly.

Nedou’s was essentially the most snug lodge by the requirements of the time and it had a big room for musical live shows, dance and European leisure. The Capri dance was supplied seven days per week within the Nedou’s Lodge. It must be seen that Capri and such dance and musical live shows by then had no presence wherever in Kashmir. The Lodge was booked for Christmas and New 12 months events too.

On the Nedou’s Lodge, a number of lavish dance events, referred to as balls, the place visitors wore fancy attire and masks have been held and prizes got for the perfect costume or costume. The Nedou’s Lodge had a superb stage the place newbie dancers and cabarets had enjoyable and leisure. These have been new tendencies set in Kashmir’s previous traditions.

New 12 months celebrations have been alien to Kashmir and Kashmiris earlier than Nedou’s Lodge started holding it on December 31, of every 12 months and, clearly, the Europeans and “elite” Indian-visitors and a few neo-rich Kashmiris too participated in it.

However, iterating, as frequent Kashmiris have been invariably poor and illiterate these days, these celebrations have been solely going to be the trendsetters for future generations of Kashmiris.  Little doubt, the European travellers and the British dignitaries used to go to the valley principally in the course of the summers and stayed at Nedous Gulmarg. However, New 12 months celebrations which fall on the final day of every 12 months couldn’t be held there and as such Srinagar wing of Nedous was the handy place with all of the associated services talked about above for organising and holding New 12 months celebrations.

MJ Aslam

These days herdsmen in firms from villages would journey by foot to deliver milk in copper containers (Na’ith) tied to their backs for town dwellers. Nevertheless, the proprietor of Nedou’s Lodge initially stored a superb herd of cows from which he supplied pure milk for his lodge visitors and a lot of his private buddies and patrons who stayed within the houseboats.

Nedou even equipped them with recent greens on asking towards fee. Until the Nineteen Forties, Nedou was the chief European Lodge of Kashmir. Between Could and October every year, the Nedou’s Lodge had a footfall of vacationers. Then, in important instances of 1947, all international correspondents have been stored by the Emergency Administration within the Nedou’s Lodge for reporting on Baramullah, based on Andrew Whitehead. Main Basic Hiralal Atal in his memoirs Nehru’s Emissary in Kashmir, has additionally made references to the Nedous Lodge in the course of the emergency and warfare instances of 1947.

(MJ Aslam is a broadcast writer and a columnist. Concepts are private.)

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