The changing colors of leaves from green to yellow, brown, and red marks the onset of autumn or fall season in Kashmir, also known as Harud in the Kashmiri language.
Starting in mid-September, the season lasts for around two months till mid-November when Kashmir’s coldest season, winter, begins. As autumn sets in, trees start shedding off layers of leaves after they turn dead with a visible change in color.
While the days remain warm, the nights turn comparatively cooler due to the drop in temperature. All around, the mighty Chinar trees embrace the hues of gold and browns.
Places like Naseem Bagh and Mughal Gardens including Nishat and Shalimar are the most famous for their new breathtaking view during the season when the gardens are completely covered with the fallen leaves.
Leaves crackle under the feet while walking and the streets are filled with the smell of burning leaves used by people for warming themselves.
During Harud, the people start storing the essentials required to survive the upcoming harsh winter season in Kashmir.
– Text by Zenaira Bakhsh