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The Times Of India
October 4, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
Dal Lake’s Char Chinar to get back lost glory

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Dal Lake’s Char Chinar to get back lost glory

NEW DELHI: Char Chinar, the iconic tourist spot in the middle of Dal Lake in Srinagar, is set to regain its glory that had somewhat faded in the wake of the decay of three of the four majestic Chinar trees from which the island got its name. The Jammu & Kashmir administration has decided to translocate three fully-grown Chinar trees from elsewhere to the very spots on the island where the decayed trees once stood in the ‘green’ of health. The translocated trees, which have been identified by the state forest department and will be of the same height as the single intact tree, are expected to be translocated sometime in December 2021 or January 2022 as weather conditions would be ideal at the time. The restoration of the island with Char Chinar — a famed backdrop of numerous films shot in Kashmir — will attract the locals and tourists who can once again enjoy a good view of the surrounding lake and mountains in shade of the four trees, as they break their ‘shikara’ ride on Dal for a brief stopover on the island. Sources told TOI that J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha was particularly keen on restoring the ‘Char Chinari’ garden — created by Murad Baksh, brother of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb — to its original glory and has held a series of meetings with forest department officials over the past year to discuss a successful way to do so. This is because past efforts to save the decaying Chinar trees have failed. In fact, an attempt in 2019 to revive the tourist spot by planting Chinar saplings also did not make much headway as to ring true to the name ‘Char Chinar’, the island would have to have four Chinar trees of the same height and girth. The effort this time is to do the translocation scientifically. The forest department was asked to test the soil on the island so that the reasons for decaying of the trees could be identified and conditions created to ensure that the translocated trees survive and flourish.

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