There are only two or three places in the whole world where saffron grows. Kashmir has the proud privilege of being one of these places. There are two locations in Kashmir where saffron grows. One of these two places is Pampur. Pampur is a small town, which is 13 km from Srinagar. The saffron plant is very small and its flower is the only part which is seen above the ground. The blooming time of this flower is autumn. Saffron has a unique sweet smell.
The botanical name of Saffron is Crocus sativus. The purple colored flowers appear just above the ground and are a beautiful sight. The orange stigmas of the saffron plant are harvested as saffron and used as a flavoring and coloring agent in various recipes. Saffron is added to Kahwa – the traditional Saffron Tea drunk by people in Kashmir.
A hundred Kg of fresh flowers yield about three Kilograms of dehydrated stigmas, which constitute the finest and the most expensive saffron, called “Shahi Zafran”, The remaining flower parts are processed further to abtain inferior grades called “Mogra Zafran”.
“Saffron flowers bloom for about three weeks from mid-October to the first days of November. To see them during the day is nice. But seeing (and smelling) them on a moonlight October night is an experience even emperors notably ‘Jehangir’, the Mughal- would crave for.”
Courtesy by : gaffarakashmir