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In Pictures: Saffron blooms in Kashmir
Pampore in Indian-administered Kashmir is living up to its reputation as "Saffron Town" as harvesting season arrives.
Last updated: 29 Nov 2013 06:31
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Colour is virtually running riot in Pampore, an otherwise nondescript town in the Indian-adminstered region of Jammu and Kashmir, as millions of saffron flowers bloom.

India is among the world's four biggest producers of saffron - a spice used in cuisine all over the world - and Kashmir is India's prime producer. And within Kashmir, Pampore accounts for 80 percent of the produce.

And this autumn - with arrival of saffron harvesting season - Pampore is once again living up to its reputation as the 'Saffron Town'.

Hundreds of men, women and children have descended on its undulating plains to pluck the saffron flowers, carpeting the floor.

Iran far outstrips India in saffron production. But Kashmiri saffron is known to have the edge when it comes to aroma, making it the costliest. 

'Red Gold' as it is called, the cultivation of saffron is a lifeline for thousands in the troubled region rocked by two decades of insurgency. A good harvest is what they are all looking for, and there is a feel of festivity in the air as saffron is harvested, for processing and its onward journey to ultimately spice up palates.


/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Harvesting of saffron commences in the last week of October and continues for five to six weeks in Kashmir.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Saffron is considered the world’s costliest spice.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Saffron is famous for its aroma, medicinal, dyeing and cosmetic purposes.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
It is an annual crop and growers have to put lot of effort, as all the work is done manually, from sowing the saffron corm to its harvest.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
In the Kashmir valley, it is mostly grown in the districts of Pulwama and Budgam.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan

'Saffron town' Pampore accounts for 80 percent of saffron grown in Kashmir.

/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan

Harvesting time is like a festival during which women sing folk songs and the elderly narrate folk tales to children.

/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
At the time of harvest growers usually take the help of their relatives and friends to pluck the saffron flowers.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Growers leave homes late morning, after the dew fades away from the flowers, and start plucking the saffron flowers.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Children are the most enthusiastic about the harvest of saffron, as they get lot gifts for helping out.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Velvet of saffron flowers laid on the earth is a feast for honey bees, whose buzzing is music to ears for people who pluck flowers.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan

After plucking the flowers from the field, families sit together after sunset and start separating the stigma (saffron) from the flower by hand.

/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Between 130 and 160 flowers constitute 1 gram of saffron after drying.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Saffron harvesting season is also a reason for tourist flow to the valley during autumn season.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
When dark red stigma, saffron, is separated from the flower it is then left to dry inside a room, not directly facing the sun which fades its colour.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan

Growers usually sell dried saffron to brokers who then sell it to firms.

/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Firms then produce the costliest and finest quality type of saffron known as Mongra or Mogra from it.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
There are three types of saffron: Mongra, the costliest and finest one; Lacha, the second costliest and purest one; and the third type is Zarda, the tail part which is cheapest.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Saffron is a major source of income for growers.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Kashmiri saffron has a traditional and cultural identity associated with it, as it is used in the most famous cuisine of Kashmir, Waazwan, and the exotic beverage Kehwa that is served to guests at the time of marriage.
/Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Each part of the saffron flower is useful. The stigma part is the saffron, the yellow coloured part is used for colouring purposes, and petals are used as vegetables and also for antiseptic purposes.
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images:
/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121825514396_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121825701607_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121825873702_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/2013112512182661298_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121826217793_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121826389632_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121826576669_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121826748138_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121826920974_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827107278_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827279232_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827436350_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827592909_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827732686_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121827920442_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/2013112512182876705_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121828248136_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121828420426_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121828592685_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121828732738_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/11/25/20131125121828904439_8.jpg
captions:
Harvesting of saffron commences in the last week of October and continues for five to six weeks in Kashmir.;*;Saffron is considered the world’s costliest spice.;*;Saffron is famous for its aroma, medicinal, dyeing and cosmetic purposes.;*;It is an annual crop and growers have to put lot of effort, as all the work is done manually, from sowing the saffron corm to its harvest.;*;In the Kashmir valley, it is mostly grown in the districts of Pulwama and Budgam.;*;

(***)Saffron town(***) Pampore accounts for 80 percent of saffron grown in Kashmir.

;*;

Harvesting time is like a festival during which women sing folk songs and the elderly narrate folk tales to children.

;*;At the time of harvest growers usually take the help of their relatives and friends to pluck the saffron flowers.;*;Growers leave homes late morning, after the dew fades away from the flowers, and start plucking the saffron flowers.;*;Children are the most enthusiastic about the harvest of saffron, as they get lot gifts for helping out.;*;Velvet of saffron flowers laid on the earth is a feast for honey bees, whose buzzing is music to ears for people who pluck flowers.;*;

After plucking the flowers from the field, families sit together after sunset and start separating the stigma (saffron) from the flower by hand.

;*;Between 130 and 160 flowers constitute 1 gram of saffron after drying.;*;Saffron harvesting season is also a reason for tourist flow to the valley during autumn season.;*;When dark red stigma, saffron, is separated from the flower it is then left to dry inside a room, not directly facing the sun which fades its colour.;*;

Growers usually sell dried saffron to brokers who then sell it to firms.

;*;Firms then produce the costliest and finest quality type of saffron known as Mongra or Mogra from it.;*;There are three types of saffron: Mongra, the costliest and finest one; Lacha, the second costliest and purest one; and the third type is Zarda, the tail part which is cheapest.;*;Saffron is a major source of income for growers.;*;Kashmiri saffron has a traditional and cultural identity associated with it, as it is used in the most famous cuisine of Kashmir, Waazwan, and the exotic beverage Kehwa that is served to guests at the time of marriage.;*;Each part of the saffron flower is useful. The stigma part is the saffron, the yellow coloured part is used for colouring purposes, and petals are used as vegetables and also for antiseptic purposes. Daylife ID:
02f1442c82d1157540de1d289810d083
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan;*;Aarabu Ahmad Sultan
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Harvest of Red Gold: Saffron in Kashmirhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmiren-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:13:51 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/085930ea18928ae10adf43065d5db84dHarvesting of saffron commences in the last week of October and continues for five to six weeks in Kashmir.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/085930ea18928ae10adf43065d5db84dAarabu Ahmad Sultan Harvesting of saffron commences in the last week of October and continues for five to six weeks in Kashmir. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/0d78af65b66aa3f9a0915a15b2749a0fSaffron is considered the world’s costliest spice.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/0d78af65b66aa3f9a0915a15b2749a0fAarabu Ahmad Sultan Saffron is considered the world’s costliest spice. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/fc6902b7ab61741f5500229614f4b4f6Saffron is famous for its aroma, medicinal, dyeing and cosmetic purposes.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/fc6902b7ab61741f5500229614f4b4f6Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Saffron is famous for its aroma, medicinal, dyeing and cosmetic purposes. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/01357e8d472b713c39365337b1b0a875It is an annual crop and growers have to put lot of effort, as all the work is done manually, from sowing the saffron corm to its harvest.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/01357e8d472b713c39365337b1b0a875Aarabu Ahmad Sultan It is an annual crop and growers have to put lot of effort, as all the work is done manually, from sowing the saffron corm to its harvest. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/0256d125737c7bfb3c1cab5535d9986eIn the Kashmir valley, it is mostly grown in the districts of Pulwama and Budgam.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/0256d125737c7bfb3c1cab5535d9986eAarabu Ahmad Sultan In the Kashmir valley, it is mostly grown in the districts of Pulwama and Budgam. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/417d95e8c422583da16b09e8f4f4b5d5Saffron town, Pampore is the world renowned place where 80 percent of saffron is grown in the Kashmir valley.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/417d95e8c422583da16b09e8f4f4b5d5Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Saffron town, Pampore is the world renowned place where 80 percent of saffron is grown in the Kashmir valley. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/7497a510b31a0fe244181222565bcb91Harvesting time is like a festival during which women will sing the folk songs and old people will narrate the folk tales to children.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/7497a510b31a0fe244181222565bcb91Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Harvesting time is like a festival during which women will sing the folk songs and old people will narrate the folk tales to children. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/71bd365f58ebc751e5712ff774d44c8aAt the time of harvest growers usually take the help of their relatives and friends to pluck the saffron flowers.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/71bd365f58ebc751e5712ff774d44c8aAarabu Ahmad Sultan At the time of harvest growers usually take the help of their relatives and friends to pluck the saffron flowers. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/fa4b6bf433d1e4d4f439e45f29aa9f87Growers leave homes late morning, after the dew fades away from the flowers, and start plucking the saffron flowers.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/fa4b6bf433d1e4d4f439e45f29aa9f87Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Growers leave homes late morning, after the dew fades away from the flowers, and start plucking the saffron flowers. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/8abf2528e6fd651eb513c5d4381d599bChildren are the most enthusiastic about the harvest of saffron, as they get lot gifts for helping out.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/8abf2528e6fd651eb513c5d4381d599bAarabu Ahmad Sultan Children are the most enthusiastic about the harvest of saffron, as they get lot gifts for helping out. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/c632bd21662e8946bdebe1c65e34df88Velvet of saffron flowers laid on the earth is a feast for honey bees, whose buzzing is music to ears for people who pluck flowers.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/c632bd21662e8946bdebe1c65e34df88Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Velvet of saffron flowers laid on the earth is a feast for honey bees, whose buzzing is music to ears for people who pluck flowers. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/42efc3a76d184e6a68863c0d2be11760After plucking the flowers from the field, families sit together after the sunset and start separating the stigma (saffron) from the flower by hand.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/42efc3a76d184e6a68863c0d2be11760Aarabu Ahmad Sultan After plucking the flowers from the field, families sit together after the sunset and start separating the stigma (saffron) from the flower by hand. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/2b009f62f74b47826904a817db04e716Between 130 and 160 flowers constitute 1 gram of saffron after drying.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/2b009f62f74b47826904a817db04e716Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Between 130 and 160 flowers constitute 1 gram of saffron after drying. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/39ebc3465636143b4f3187d14b2a113eSaffron harvesting season is also a reason for tourist flow to the valley during autumn season.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/39ebc3465636143b4f3187d14b2a113eAarabu Ahmad Sultan Saffron harvesting season is also a reason for tourist flow to the valley during autumn season. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/efb82d78c56356e238b67cbdc1f935c7When dark red stigma, saffron, is separated from the flower it is then left to dry inside a room, not directly facing the sun which fades its colour.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/efb82d78c56356e238b67cbdc1f935c7Aarabu Ahmad Sultan When dark red stigma, saffron, is separated from the flower it is then left to dry inside a room, not directly facing the sun which fades its colour. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/82c611b01bdcb1c210c4565192832492Growers usually sell dried saffron to brokers and later sell it to firms.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/82c611b01bdcb1c210c4565192832492Aarabu Ahmad Sultan Growers usually sell dried saffron to brokers and later sell it to firms. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/dd1b2a57083948e20c1223c8a01472cdFirms then produce the costliest and finest quality type of saffron known as Mongra or Mogra from it.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/dd1b2a57083948e20c1223c8a01472cdAarabu Ahmad Sultan Firms then produce the costliest and finest quality type of saffron known as Mongra or Mogra from it. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/097ff890f7f0c412bace44ff6b2644eaThere are three types of saffron: Mongra, the costliest and finest one; Lacha, the second costliest and purest one; and the third type is Zarda, the tail part which is cheapest.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/097ff890f7f0c412bace44ff6b2644eaAarabu Ahmad Sultan There are three types of saffron: Mongra, the costliest and finest one; Lacha, the second costliest and purest one; and the third type is Zarda, the tail part which is cheapest. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/6c5b18470b7752a2288faa8979d23a7cSaffron is a major source of income for growers.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/6c5b18470b7752a2288faa8979d23a7cAarabu Ahmad Sultan Saffron is a major source of income for growers. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/20ff2eb9c04faa3a4dad86353b00e45dKashmiri saffron has a traditional and cultural identity associated with it, as it is used in the most famous cuisine of Kashmir, Waazwan, and the exotic beverage Kehwa that is served to guests at the time of marriage.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/20ff2eb9c04faa3a4dad86353b00e45dAarabu Ahmad Sultan Kashmiri saffron has a traditional and cultural identity associated with it, as it is used in the most famous cuisine of Kashmir, Waazwan, and the exotic beverage Kehwa that is served to guests at the time of marriage. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/e4be0aee3237c0c453a8c02891b368abEach part of the saffron flower is useful. The stigma part is the saffron, the yellow coloured part is used for colouring purposes, and petals are used as vegetables and also for antiseptic purposes.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Harvest_of_Red_Gold%3A_Saffron_in_Kashmir/slideshow/no-caption/e4be0aee3237c0c453a8c02891b368abAarabu Ahmad Sultan Each part of the saffron flower is useful. The stigma part is the saffron, the yellow coloured part is used for colouring purposes, and petals are used as vegetables and also for antiseptic purposes.

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