​SRINAGAR (KASHMIR) 

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​SRINAGAR (KASHMIR) 


Srinagar, the capital of the newly formed union territory Kashmir is situated in south/central  part of the valley bordering with other districts such as Pulwama, budgam, anantnag and  baramulla. The entire city is located on both sides of jhelum river which is also one of the  tributaries of the mighty Indus river.

 
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(srinagar, Kashmir)  

Srinagaris well known for its tourist attractions such as Dal lake, boat houses, mughal  gardens from the mughal era in India and a stupendous national park at the edge of the city  but none of those have ever attracted as many eyes and ears to this small city as the constant  socio-political upheavals have. 
Ever since the partition in 1947, Kashmir has been reduced to a war zone between India and  Pakistan’s constant scrambles to edge out each other in the disputed parts of the valley.  


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Dachigam national park (srinagar,Kashmir)  

Recently in August this year (2019) the article (370A) providing autonomy to the people of  kashmir was scrapped by the Indian government which ensued chaos of an unparalleled  magnitude only later to be snubbed by over a million armed forces only inside the kashmir  valley and especially in the capital Srinagar. Behind the thick fog of violence, bloodshed and a  perpetual atmosphere of fear in the valley lies a culture so unique and beautiful which thrives  in a close symbiotic relationship with nature. The rich and vibrant culture in kashmir has many  great aspects to it such as culinary, farming, fabric, exceptional hospitality to name a few.

 

2. CULTURE,PEOPLE & CITY LAYOUT 

Srinagar is the biggest city in kashmir and does feature a lot of buildings, housing, markets,  busy streets and roadways, but with a closer look at the inner city most of it is still a  developing and a lot of ongoing construction can be seen at places where small yet complex  ecosystems exist. 
cannabis plants can be literally seen growing everywhere throughout the city if you keep your  eyes open and fixed on the roadsides as more than often the road sides run parallel with either  marshy or wet lands or small canals drawn from the Jhelum river that flows right through the  city. 


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A view of srinagar and dal lake from dachigam national park in august 

A considerable land portion of the city is marshy wetlands complimented with a staggering  diversity of flora and fauna, e.g. frequent sightings of himlayan fox and leopards, wild  blackberries , mint and cannabis plants. 


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Wild blackberry growing inside srinagar 

Looking at the rate which human beings are expanding further into natural habitats of these  species it becomes critical to preserve some of these varieties in their unadulterated state  before it's wiped clean like many others have in the past. 
cannabis varieties growing inside the city seems to have at least 5-7 years more before it's  reduced to myths and stories. the similar model of destruction of cannabis habitats can be  seen in the north indian plains, like punjab, haryana and delhi where human expansion has  severely impacted the natural cannabis populations. There are no planned farming or farmed  populations of cannabis in srinagar, and the reason being the city is essentially a cantonment  area which is heavily guarded and patrolled by Indian army, CRPF (central reserve police  force) and kashmir Police. The ever present tensions in the valley affects the capital city-  srinagar the most since it always becomes the center of protest and ultimately violence. A high  majority of the population in srinagar is of muslims followed by a small percentage of hindu,  sikh and buddhists. notably the city has a good literacy rate and most people can at least  understand and speak 2-3 languages (commonly Urdu, Hindi and kashmiri - occasionally  english). Not so surprisingly a big chunk of the working class is employed in hospitality and  tourism related work but with an all time low in tourism at kashmir due to unstable conditions  has left much of these people wondering about their future. 


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Wild cannabis growing inside Srinagar

The most distinctive feature of the srinagar city is the dal Lake with an area of over 15 sq. kms this lake is the abode to hundreds of floating boat houses, vegetable markets, and communities who have adapted to a floating lifestyle over this magnificent natural lake.  During the 90's and early 2000's kashmir used to be the favourite destination for Indian and  forign tourists alike which isn't the case anymore in the middle of a constant war like situation  in the valley, media has also played a vital role in projecting fear and painting a grotesquely  ugly picture of the valley which also effectively deters tourists from travelling out here.   Dal lake can be seen absolutely empty even in the evening hours which used have waiting quest  of tourists to experience the charm of sunset travelling through the magnificent dal lake in  traditional kashmiri boats known as 'SHIKARAS'   now it's just a beautiful looking ghost town tirelessly waiting for things to be normal for once. 

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DAL LAKE, SRINAGAR IN AUGUST
3. CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY 

Srinagar city floor has an elevation of approximately 1585 meters or 5200 ft. and it is located  at 34.5'24 N and 74.47'24 E of the equator putting it right above the other 2 himlayan states latitude wise Himachal pradesh and Uttarakhand which span below 33 N at any given part.   Kashmir terrains are distinctly different from that of Himachal pradesh or Uttrakhand, instead  of narrow valleys and mountain slopes the capital city Srinagar is nestled on an absolutely  enormous flat land valley surrounded by high mountain ranges and silhouettes of snowy peaks  behind them which can be seen at the horizon at all times no matter where go in the city. In  the seemingly modern outdoors it serves as a constant reminder that you're deep in the laps of  the great himalayan ranges. 


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Budgam-Srinagar Border late October

The climate can be classified as Humid/Subtropical under the koppen-geiger system but in  order to account for the considerable variation in the range of altitudes between the valley and  the surrounding mountains we can more accurately classify it as temperate to medterrenian  type of climate.

The difference between the highest point in Srinagar and city floor is more than 10,000 ft. and  it creates wide variation in the climate experienced at various places in srinagar.   The temperatures can plummet to lowest of -15-20 C at the peak of winters between 15th jan  to 15th feb. which also marks the period of heavy snowfall.  snowfall is light to mild around the main city area where conditions are a bit more tropical and  humid and heavier towards the mountains and outskirts at higher altitudes with much colder  and drier atmosphere, great for dry sieving trichomes from dried plants. 


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South Kashmiri traditionally Dry sifted trichomes and baked hashish
3. CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY

Srinagar gets around 700 mm rainfall which is concentrated majorly within the spring season  and at least 60% of total precipitation comes in the form of snow during winters. Autumn and  winter seasons are quite cold and dry with occasional rains that feels much similar to a high  latitude region such as Afghanistan or northern pakistan.
Daytime temperatures averages around 2-3 C with subzero nights and period of March to June  marks the summer season in the valley wherein daytime temperatures can average around 25  C with highs of 35+ C and an average RH of around 60% in the city area adding to the short  lived tropical experience. 

The district in general shows conspicuous physiographic variations, consisting mainly of -  moderately high hills, mountain ranges and alluvial tracts.   50% of the area of srinagar is covered by high hills characterized hilly rugged and undulating  topography. 
the lower altitudes consists of alluvial tracts which covers the srinagar city area and all the  non hillly parts around it. the district is bounded by himalayas from south east, north and  north west. Jhelum river in the south which extends upto the western territories. 

The soil in the Kashmir valley is broadly divided into 2 types 

1. Hpludalfs-
This soil is found on the karewa table tops with a slope variation of 1-3% , the soil is well  drained with moderate to average permeability. this type of soil is prone to severe erosion and  forming gullies and ravines.  these are medium to fine textured soils and the surface texture varies from clay-loam to silty  clay loam. the color of the soil varies from yellowish brown to dark brown and it's mostly used  for cultivating wheat, maize and pulses

2.Ochraqualfs -
These soils are found in plain (flat land) to mid upland topography, these soils are moderately  textured with fine clay loam as the pre dominanat surface texture. the extent of erosion on  such soils is much less, it can be from dark brown to dark yellowish brown in color. These soils  are less permeable as a result of being finer and packed densely and it's mainly used for the  cultivation of rice and spices like mustard.


1. Srinagar Outskirts (upland and alluvial tracts 1500-2000 meters)

Srinagar Outskirts consists of wet grassy swamps, alluvial tracts and mild uplands featuring  (type 2 Ochraqualfs soil).  Srinagar outskirts have balanced mix of tree growth and open grassy lands but not dense  jungles, bonafide forests only begin from lower to mid mountain range. real time feel during  the october is very dry and cold especially during the night time. very dry glacial winds blow  down towards the valley penetrating through the outskirts first, which adds to the gradually  increasing cold during this period. 

There is no farmed or cultivated cannabis in srinagar, even towards the outskirts all of the  cannabis grows in a regenerative manner every year and without any maintenance. however,  local people take full advantage of this opportunity during September and October by making  hand rubbed charas and also dry sifting the remainder in late season to make signature corn  husk wrapped hashish. 


DETAILS AT A GLANCE

Site Altitude : 1900 meters
Avg. population height : 5-6ft
stature : short to medium tall 
leaf type : normal on medium tall plants and roundish leaves on short plants 
stem color : red and green both (less red)
anthocyanin production : yes in the majority of the plants
smell : sweet/grape /slightly diesel and sour
taste : grape sweet and incense
effects : cerebral with gradually increasing onset 
trichome quality : sticky normal (not very sticky like highland varieties) 
life span : april to october (12 week flowering maximum)
bud structure : airy, fluffy tightly held small bract production covered in extremely dense resin coating.
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Population#1 small plants with round leaves 
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Population#2 medium tall plants with normal leaves
Pictured above are the 2 different cannabis populations found in the wild  at outskirts of srinagar kashmir, growing naturally without human  interference

2. Srinagar Town (flatland and alluvial tracts 1500-1700 meters)
Srinagar inside city features a lot of buildings, housing, markets, busy streets and roadways,  but with a closer look at the inner city most of it is still a developing and a lot of ongoing  construction can be seen at places where small yet complex ecosystems exist.  cannabis plants can be literally seen growing everywhere throughout the city, the road sides  run parallel with either marshy or wet lands or small canals drawn from the jhelum river that  flows right through the city. 

There is no farmed or cultivated cannabis in srinagar city, however, local people take full  advantage of this opportunity during September and October by making hand rubbed charas  and also dry sifting the remainder in late season to make signature corn husk wrapped  hashish.


DETAILS AT A GLANCE
Site Altitude : 1700
Avg. population height : 7-8ft (majority of the plants express a taller expression) 
stature : short to medium tall
leaf type : normal on medium tall plants and roundish leaves on short plants
stem color : red and green both (less red)
anthocyanin production : yes in the majority of the plants
smell : sweet/grape /slightly diesel like and sour
taste : grape sweet, diesel 
effects : cerebral with gradually increasing onset 
trichome quality : sticky normal (not very sticky like highland varieties) 
life span : april to october (12 week flowering maximum)
bud structure : airy, fluffy tightly held small bract production covered in extremely dense resin coating
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population#1 short plants inside srinagar city
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population#2 more abundant expression, tall plants

Pictured above are the 2 different cannabis populations found inside the  city of srinagar kashmir, growing naturally with human interference. 


2. Dachigam National Park (high-mountain 2500-3000+ meters)

This is a protected area so there is minimal to no housing or regular human activities in this area .
The only people who do make it to this part are goat herders based on the goat droppings on the grassy patches and missing tops of cannabis plants. This particular spot is approximately 3100 meters in altitude at around 34°N , which makes it very interesting in many ways. It's a High latitude region with a considerable altitude, thus the season is really short and snow starts to set in from November first week. Open grazing spots like this on the mountain tops doesn't appear to have any cannabis populations at all but when we bent down and took a closer look we found the small trodden plants growing everywhere on the floor amid the grass and other wild plants but that is only one half of the story or say tip of the iceberg there is another population growing beside these tiny plants which are medium tall in height and coated in thick resin layers from bracts to leaf and petioles.
We will be showing clear examples from both of these populations next to understand how these Unaffected wild varieties grow in such marginal environmental conditions.

Site Altitude :2500+ meters
Avg. population height : 4-6 ft (majority of the plants express a smaller expression)
stature : short to medium tall
leaf type : normal on medium tall plants and roundish leaves on short plants 
stem color : red and green both (less red) 
anthocyanin production : yes in the majority of the plants
smell : sweet/grape /slightly diesel like and sour
taste : grape sweet, diesel
effects :cerebral with gradually increasing onset
trichome quality : extremely sticky
life span : May to October (10 week flowering maximum) 
bud structure : airy, fluffy tightly held small bract production covered in extremely dense resin  coating.


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Dachigam National Park, (Srinagar)
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Dachigam National Park, (Srinagar)