I am Mudassir Kuloo, a journalist from Kashmir. I have worked for various news organizations. I like to contribute for your organization.
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Considered world’s oldest Chinar, around 700 years old Chinar was planted by the Sufi saint Syed-Abul Qasim Shah Hamdani in Chattergam, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Originally, the Chinar was found in Greece but was planted in Kashmir before the 700 year ago. It is because of this tree, the Chinar is grown across Kashmir where around 400 such trees are found presently.
Both Muslims and Hindus visit this place. Hindu worshippers revere the Chinar tree. Many Hindus believe that the Kashmiri name ‘Buen’ (Chinar) comes from goddess Bhavani. The tree is part of a mosque precinct. Those people who visit this place believe that it soothes their heart and fulfill their wishes. When ever its branches had fallen down, they have never caused damage to any one.
The Chinar in 1990s, when militancy raged across the Kashmir, the militants used the Chinar as bunkers and arms hideouts. Given the girth of the trunk, the hollow spaces in between could accommodate both men and armed machinery.