It is the only place in the world after Spain that cultivates saffron, one of the most expensive spices globally. Situated on the eastern side of River Jhelum, around 15 km from Srinagar, Pampore is often called the saffron town of Kashmir.


Legend has it that around 500 BC, Persian rulers brought saffron to India and planted Persian saffron corms in the soil of Kashmir. Two sufi ascetics, Sheikh Sharif-u-d-din Wali and Khwaja Masood Wali, are said to have brought saffron to India between the 11th and 12th centuries. Till this day, the two saints are thanked during the harvesting season of saffron in late autumn. A tomb and a golden-domed shrine have been dedicated to them in Pampore.

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