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A Brief Introductory of Nuristan
Abdul Hakim Hakimi
hakim.mutaz@gmail.com +93703718640
2019
Sl.no contents Page.no
1 introduction 3
2 Nuristan 4
3 Geographical information 5-8
4 handicrafts 9-12
5 Nature of Nuristan 13-14
5 Waterfalls 15-16
6 Natural pools 17-18
7 forest 19-20
8 fauna 20-22
9 Historical places 24-36
Introduction
This small report is prepared in one month. Some part of the work
was kind of disk research (including collecting some background
knowledge about Nuristan and some pictures received from
friends).
In making of the report entitled “Brief introduction of Nuristan”,
I have glanced some books about Nuristan, quoted some useful
quotes along with their references.
I have conducted my study visiting the reachable destinations,
interviewing locals and combined all together to make a brief
introductory of Nuristan province.
the study was conducted in order to present the government
officials an idea of how Nuristan is important historically,
culturally and specially in the aspects of tourism nationally and
internationally.
Although some of the aspects will be added and an updated
version of the profile will be prepared in future for further
information to the people of interest.
In case of requirement of any other information not added here, I
am pleased to be approached via the given email of Whatsapp
number on front page.
At the end I would like to thank everyone who has helped and
cooperated with me to accomplish the study.
NURISTAN
Nuristan is a province located in the eastern part of Afghanistan
having been divided by seven districts with Parun been called the
center of it (Nuristan).
pic: map of Nuristan
Nuristan has been called by several names in era of the history.
Kafiristan, Blore or Bloristan are some of the names Nuristan was
known for before the islamization of the people of the kafistan.
Kafiristanis of the time were not only dwelling in the current
geography of Nuristan but also in some parts of Kunar, Chitral,
Kapisa and other places in eastern regions of the country.
Fighting against multiple sovereigns and rulers of Afghanistan and
the world for hundreds of years, Kafiristanis compelled to choose
the current geography of Nuristan to defend themselves and lead
their lives in there.
Despite official statement to the contrary, it seems very clear that
the invasion of Kafistan by the Amir of Afghanistan was a direct
result of Durand Agreement. (Schuyler Jones).
After prolong persistence against the sovereigns of Afghanistan
the Kafiristanis have forcibly converted to Islam from their original
religion of Buddhism in some narratives Animism, in 9th
of April
1895 when Abdul Rahman Khan was the Amir of Afghanistan.
Geographical Information
Nuristan is a mountainous province located in south of Hindu
Kush mountains with 9225sq km area {central statistical office,
2005 (CSO)} and over 200000 populations (some Nuristanis live in
neighboring provinces).
Mountains:
Nuristan is a mountainous province located in south eastern
range of Hindu Kush mountains, with highest peak in Nuristan
about 6,300 meters from sea level. Most of the mountain passes
in Nuristan are 4,700m. they are closed during the months of
December and March when heavy snow falls occur.
Climate of Nuristan:
The climate of Nuristan is continental dry with seasonal extreme
of heat (not much) and cold. It varies with altitude, benefits from
Indian summer monsoon and rain from 600mm to 800mm every
year. Most villages in Nuristan are located 1500 to 2500 meters
above sea level. In summer, the temperature seldom reaches +30
Degree Celsius and flooding is common. In winter, there is plenty
of snowfalls and also risk of avalanches, the temperature drops to
-10 Degree Celsius. Most water streams in Nuristan are from
melting snow.
pic: Nuristan mountains
Rivers:
There three main rivers flowing in Nuristan which are:
The Bashagal in the east.
The Parun-Wama and Waigal in center. And
The Ramgal in the west.
It is not to be left unsaid that there are great many subsidiary
streams from every narrow and large valleys pouring into them.
pic: Nuristan river (subsidiary, central valley)
Terrain and Valleys:
Rocky, deep, narrow and steep sided valleys. Rugged and high
mountain ridges.
Nuristan is divided by three main valleys which are:
1: The Bashagal in east.
2: The Central valley (Waigal, Wama and Parun regions).
3: The Ramgal in the west.
It is to be mentioned that Nuristan has been divided by these
three main valleys mainly because of its high mountain passes of
4,000 to 5,000m peak from MSL (mean sea level). Thus these
valleys are not interconnected nor are they connected with the
central city of Parun (Katarina Larsson 2006).
Border of Nuristan:
Nuristan is bordered in north with Badakhshan, in south with
Kunar and Laghman, in west with Panjsheer and in east with
Chitral of Pakistan.
It is to be said that in northeast, Nuristan is nearer to the Wakhan
and Pamir of Badakhshan province which are famous as the roof
of the world, through these regions it can be connected to China
which can geodetically be important for eastern zone and for
Afghanistan as well.
Handicrafts:
In handworks Nuristanis hold unique talents, specially the ancient
Kafiristanis. They used to make every life living and needful
accessories that were important for leading a comfortable life at
the time.
Some of the necessary things made by the ancient Kafiristanis for
leading their lives independently without importing anything from
outside world are as follows:
Every kind of utensils with numerous varieties (will be
clarified in pictures).
Every kind of carpets, blankets and other required flooring
things.
Every kind of combat and war equipment of the time.
Musical accoutrements and instruments of the time.
Note: fortunately, most of the things mentioned above are
witnessed in the houses of the current Nuristanis and as to give
an idea of how they look like I have captured snaps and will be
clarified when looked.
In monuments and in doors, windows, and pillars of the ancient
houses, and more importantly some in of the utensils, the wood
crafting and carving skills of the great Nuristanis (probably
Kafiristanis) can be observed.
By carving or engraving stones, many varieties of utensils such as
furnace, hotplate, bowl, pots, vine preserving vessel, oil
(homemade) preserving vessels and many more intimates the
stone crafting skills of the ancient Nuristanis (Kafiristanis).
From the skin of the animals and wood, the ancient Nuristanis
used to make chairs, beds, boots, attires of different varieties.
The handicraft of the ancient Nuristanis in battling equipment of
the time is observed from the shields, swords, spears, arrows and
daggers of them. Conclusively and briefly, we can say that ancient
Nuristanis have had all the accessories and equipment that can
make a community and society independent culturally,
economically, militarily and socially.
Pic: nuristani utenils and some attires
pic: woodcrafts of Nuristanis
Pic: pillars with Nuristani arts
Pic: ancient Nuristani battle equipment, products and interior look of their houses.
Nature of the Nuristan:
Naturally, Nuristan is the most beautiful and attracting province in
the country. The numerous open and narrow valleys, high
mountains covered with evergreen trees, meadow lands, fruitful
gardens, in every canyon and valley flowing transparent small and
big streams and many mores, contribute and play their part in
beautification of the Nuristan’s nature.
The composites of Nuristan’s tremendous beauty are:
High mountain passes covered with ever green trees(forest),
natural meadow or pasturelands, waterfalls in very stream
bearing valleys, natural pools, clear and chill water springs,
glaciers, small and big clear and transparent rivers and historical
places and monuments.
Most of the mentioned attributes will be given brief look in
following pages.
Pic: Nuristan Parun, Pic source: Gawhar Najeeb.
Waterfalls:
As Nuristan is a mountainous province having many canyons with
many ups and downs and water flowing through them, hereby it
possesses numbers of water falls. Some the water falls are
enumerated with their locations below:
Sl.No Names Locations
1 Maragal Nieshah District Wama, place> Maragal
canyon
2 Lagaraik District Wama, place >Maragal
canyon
3 Asanarak District Wama, place >Maragal
canyon
4 Ishteevi District Parun, place >Ishteevi canyon
5 Sosom District Parun, place >Sosom canyon
6 Atati District Parun, Place> Kantiwa canyon
7 Pedieng-sal District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon
8 Kamao District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon
9 Podro-vati District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon
10 Indra-katori District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon
11 Anash District Wama, place> Gazhetr
canyon
12 Naa-wez District Wama, place> Gazhetr
canyon
13 Garogesh District Wama, place> Aktaban
canyon
14 Froons District Parun, place> Froons canyon
Note: in places like Ishteevi, there are multiple waterfalls which
are difficult to name each separately as local people say.
It deems necessary to say that I due to some problem could not
visit other six districts of the province and collect data about their
waterfalls, natural pools and others. The above enumerated
waterfalls and pools are in central Nuristan only (Parun and
Wama regions).
pic: Ishteevi waterfall
Natural Pools:
Just like waterfalls there are numbers of pools enumerated as
below:
Sl.No Names Locations
1 Mara-soar District Wama, place> Shenao-
salak
2 Mandol District Mandol, place> Houze
Mandol
3 Zozont District Wama, place> Sikeli-gul
4 Vitamarak District Wama, place> Sikeli-gul
5 Ishteevi District Parun, place> Isteevi
conyan
6 Chaman District Parun, place> Chaman
Kantiwa
7 Atati District Parun, place> Atati
,Kantiwa
8 Aasa-sa District Parun, place> Kantiwa
conyan
9 Abu-amendali District Wama, place> Icha-gal
10 Bitalaek Abbo District Wama, place> Icha-gal
Pic: Mandol Pool
Forests:
Nuristan is the most forest bearing province in Afghanistan
contributing 1/5th
of the forest of the country.
Some of the trees found in Nuristan forests (except fruit bearing
trees) are as follow:
several species of ever green oak, mistletoe, ivy, olive tree,
grapes, figs, peaches, apricots, jujubes, persimmon,
pomegranates, apples, laurels, and almonds, walnuts and
mulberry.
The Coniferous Zone: cedar, pine, spruce, and fir; mushrooms,
hazelnut trees, elm ash and rown, poplar and birch trees, juniper
cedar (Edelberg & Jones, 1979).
Pic source: Gawhar Najeeb.
Illegal logging and smuggling of the timber is a big business.
Satellite photography by UNEP shows that 60 percent of land in
Nuristan was covered by forests and other 17 percent by low
density forest in 1977, twenty-five years later in 2002 the
forest cover was 14 percent and low density forest cover was 20
percent (Katarina Larsson, 2006).
Fauna:
Nuristan being the most forest bearing province in the country,
plays vital role for the country’s biodiversity and its overall
economy. Nuristan harbors most of the country’s wild animals
including the four globally threaten large mammal species: snow
leopard (Uncia uncia), Markhor (capra falconeri>loved by
Nuristanis), urial (Ovis orientalis) and Asiatic black bears (Ursus
thibetanus) (wildlife conservation society, Maria Karlstetter,2008).
A large variety of mammals including mice, rats, long tailed
maromots, porcupine, flying squirrels, monkeys in flocks of about
twenty, brown bears, black bears, raccoon dogs, large eared pikas,
otters, musk deers, wolves, panther pardus, Marco Polo sheep,
and ibex. However ruthless deforestation and hunting pose
serious threats to the future existence of these forest and its
fauna.
Pic: wild in Nuristan, from ‘’wildlife survey and wild life conservation in Nuristan ‘’a report by Maria Karl
Stetter
Pic: urial in Nuristan
Historical and cultural places
Culturally and historically, Nuristan is the richest and most
fascinating province in Afghanistan.
The province has got numerous historical sites and monuments
which will be discussed in followings:
I. Indrakun:
The name is sacred to Indra who established the garden and built
water channels to irrigate the Indrakun.
Pic: northeast view of the Indrakun, half lower section.
Indrakun is a big garden, probably the biggest in the country,
located in northwest side of the Wama district of Nuristan
province where, every Wama-e has his own gardens and
fields/farms at different locations.
Every garden or farm holder shares the same water channel or
brook to their own places. They plant and cultivate at the same
season and harvest at the same particular period (as per tribal
showra’s /assembly’s decision).
Indrakun is of irregular shape with varying topography.
It is 4 to 5 kilometers in length with variable width.
Indrakun is a little known very important historical asset for
Afghanistan. It bears numbers of different fruits with grapes,
pomegranates, walnuts, jujube in exceeding number.
Things those value Indrakun apart from its fruits are the
socioeconomic historical site or heritages.
Some of the religious statues were destroyed after islamization of
Nuristan (1895).
Pic: black grapes, Indrakun
Pic: jujube, Indrakun
Pic: walnuts, Indrakun
Pic: pomegranates, Indrakun
As mentioned at the beginning that Indrakun is believed to be
established by Indra, a personage of supernatural strength.
Indra-aundai (Indra-grandpa, as local people say) has planted
those fruitful trees in Indrakun and to irrigate them, Indra has
developed water channel from mountains engraving the big rock
on the mountainous terrain at necessity deemed places.
Some of the engraved stone-brooks/water channels are damaged
by locals during renovation of the brook, some (wine making
rocks) are half destroyed and need wholly awareness of local
people in respect of their importance and their preservation.
Pic: rock engraved water channels-1 built by Indra, Indrakun.
Pic: rock engraved water channel-2 built by Indra, Indrakun.
Wine making or vinification
Indrakun is a garden with enormous numbers of grapes trees.
Grapes were crashed, squeezed and trampled in barefoot.
There is a filtration system for the grapes juice and the stems of
the grapes.
The two hollow spots on the rock vertically at some angle in
between would make the process of vine making easier.
The small passing from the relatively upper hollow to lower one is
made for the juice of the grapes to flow through to the second
hollow spot of relatively more depth where it would be taken to
the preservation spots and kept there for complete one year.
Trampling or squeezing spot
Passing and filtering hole
ering hole
Final spot ,after taking out grapes juice
ering hole
Preservation
spot11
ering hole
Preservation
spot11
ering hole
Some interesting rules and regulations of Indrakun
A committee is established at the beginning of each spring by
the entire showra (assembly) of wama-e people, who will be
responsible for the management of the entire Indrakun till the
harvest day.
Some responsibilities of the committee are as below:
Nobody is allowed to build home or any other construction
within the boundary of the Indrakun.
Nobody is allowed to bring their children below 18yrs to
Indrakun even to their own gardens except on the day of
harvesting or in “kuch” (wama-e term)
Nobody is allowed to pluck any fruit from the tree (own tree)
or to pick any type of fruit from the ground before the
harvest day.
On the day of the Kuch or harvest day, nobody is allowed to
pluck or pick any type of fruit except the fruit which the day
is declared for.
If anyone is caught red handed while doing any of the
mentioned acts (except child bringing which is considered
light crime), will be fined a cow and he/she is obliged to
present him/herself with a cow to the showra in front of all
people.
Challenges that affect Indrakun
the brief information about the Indrakun indicate the
socioeconomic importance of the historic Indrakun.
Today’s reality of Indrakun is saddening for anyone who once has
visited or has heard of it in their life.
Some of the challenges are stated as follow:
I. Despite the struggle of showra to protect the garden, People
have started constructing houses within the boundary of the
Indrakun which was once deemed strictly prohibited.
II. Small water channels or brooks provide less than the required
water for irrigation of the Indrakun.
III. The fruit bearing trees are heritages from the ancestors.
planting and gardening of new trees is a big challenge as
herdsman are grazing their livestock in Indrakun.
IV. local people have lost their control over the protection of the
garden (after the harvest till upcoming spring).
V. Unavailability of agricultural medicine and unprofessional
gardening of the people has rotten some of the trees to the
core.
II. Sanctuary of the ancient infidels
This place is located in Kushtaki village of Parun region. It is two
hundred and fifty meters above the historic shrine of that time
)where about sixty worshipping statues and a religious book were
placed but due to the fear of muslims of the time, the statues and
the book were hidden in a secret place which is still vague and
unknown to the people of Parun( .
When the muslim assailants assaulted the Parun and its people,
they use to bring their children, women and elderly to the
hideaway.
The safe heaven still exists at its archaic fashion.
I. Hot spring
In Bargimatal district, Dewanah baba village, there is a spring that
jets hot or warm water. The spring is believed to be curing the
dermatosis (skin disease).
Pic: sanctuary of the infidels
A_Brief_Introductory_of_Nuristan, by Ab.Hakim Hakimi.pdf

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A_Brief_Introductory_of_Nuristan, by Ab.Hakim Hakimi.pdf

  • 1. A Brief Introductory of Nuristan Abdul Hakim Hakimi hakim.mutaz@gmail.com +93703718640 2019
  • 2. Sl.no contents Page.no 1 introduction 3 2 Nuristan 4 3 Geographical information 5-8 4 handicrafts 9-12 5 Nature of Nuristan 13-14 5 Waterfalls 15-16 6 Natural pools 17-18 7 forest 19-20 8 fauna 20-22 9 Historical places 24-36
  • 3. Introduction This small report is prepared in one month. Some part of the work was kind of disk research (including collecting some background knowledge about Nuristan and some pictures received from friends). In making of the report entitled “Brief introduction of Nuristan”, I have glanced some books about Nuristan, quoted some useful quotes along with their references. I have conducted my study visiting the reachable destinations, interviewing locals and combined all together to make a brief introductory of Nuristan province. the study was conducted in order to present the government officials an idea of how Nuristan is important historically, culturally and specially in the aspects of tourism nationally and internationally. Although some of the aspects will be added and an updated version of the profile will be prepared in future for further information to the people of interest. In case of requirement of any other information not added here, I am pleased to be approached via the given email of Whatsapp number on front page. At the end I would like to thank everyone who has helped and cooperated with me to accomplish the study.
  • 4. NURISTAN Nuristan is a province located in the eastern part of Afghanistan having been divided by seven districts with Parun been called the center of it (Nuristan). pic: map of Nuristan
  • 5. Nuristan has been called by several names in era of the history. Kafiristan, Blore or Bloristan are some of the names Nuristan was known for before the islamization of the people of the kafistan. Kafiristanis of the time were not only dwelling in the current geography of Nuristan but also in some parts of Kunar, Chitral, Kapisa and other places in eastern regions of the country. Fighting against multiple sovereigns and rulers of Afghanistan and the world for hundreds of years, Kafiristanis compelled to choose the current geography of Nuristan to defend themselves and lead their lives in there. Despite official statement to the contrary, it seems very clear that the invasion of Kafistan by the Amir of Afghanistan was a direct result of Durand Agreement. (Schuyler Jones). After prolong persistence against the sovereigns of Afghanistan the Kafiristanis have forcibly converted to Islam from their original religion of Buddhism in some narratives Animism, in 9th of April 1895 when Abdul Rahman Khan was the Amir of Afghanistan.
  • 6. Geographical Information Nuristan is a mountainous province located in south of Hindu Kush mountains with 9225sq km area {central statistical office, 2005 (CSO)} and over 200000 populations (some Nuristanis live in neighboring provinces). Mountains: Nuristan is a mountainous province located in south eastern range of Hindu Kush mountains, with highest peak in Nuristan about 6,300 meters from sea level. Most of the mountain passes in Nuristan are 4,700m. they are closed during the months of December and March when heavy snow falls occur. Climate of Nuristan: The climate of Nuristan is continental dry with seasonal extreme of heat (not much) and cold. It varies with altitude, benefits from Indian summer monsoon and rain from 600mm to 800mm every year. Most villages in Nuristan are located 1500 to 2500 meters above sea level. In summer, the temperature seldom reaches +30 Degree Celsius and flooding is common. In winter, there is plenty of snowfalls and also risk of avalanches, the temperature drops to -10 Degree Celsius. Most water streams in Nuristan are from melting snow.
  • 7. pic: Nuristan mountains Rivers: There three main rivers flowing in Nuristan which are: The Bashagal in the east. The Parun-Wama and Waigal in center. And The Ramgal in the west. It is not to be left unsaid that there are great many subsidiary streams from every narrow and large valleys pouring into them.
  • 8. pic: Nuristan river (subsidiary, central valley)
  • 9. Terrain and Valleys: Rocky, deep, narrow and steep sided valleys. Rugged and high mountain ridges. Nuristan is divided by three main valleys which are: 1: The Bashagal in east. 2: The Central valley (Waigal, Wama and Parun regions). 3: The Ramgal in the west. It is to be mentioned that Nuristan has been divided by these three main valleys mainly because of its high mountain passes of 4,000 to 5,000m peak from MSL (mean sea level). Thus these valleys are not interconnected nor are they connected with the central city of Parun (Katarina Larsson 2006). Border of Nuristan: Nuristan is bordered in north with Badakhshan, in south with Kunar and Laghman, in west with Panjsheer and in east with Chitral of Pakistan. It is to be said that in northeast, Nuristan is nearer to the Wakhan and Pamir of Badakhshan province which are famous as the roof of the world, through these regions it can be connected to China which can geodetically be important for eastern zone and for Afghanistan as well.
  • 10. Handicrafts: In handworks Nuristanis hold unique talents, specially the ancient Kafiristanis. They used to make every life living and needful accessories that were important for leading a comfortable life at the time. Some of the necessary things made by the ancient Kafiristanis for leading their lives independently without importing anything from outside world are as follows: Every kind of utensils with numerous varieties (will be clarified in pictures). Every kind of carpets, blankets and other required flooring things. Every kind of combat and war equipment of the time. Musical accoutrements and instruments of the time. Note: fortunately, most of the things mentioned above are witnessed in the houses of the current Nuristanis and as to give an idea of how they look like I have captured snaps and will be clarified when looked. In monuments and in doors, windows, and pillars of the ancient houses, and more importantly some in of the utensils, the wood crafting and carving skills of the great Nuristanis (probably Kafiristanis) can be observed.
  • 11. By carving or engraving stones, many varieties of utensils such as furnace, hotplate, bowl, pots, vine preserving vessel, oil (homemade) preserving vessels and many more intimates the stone crafting skills of the ancient Nuristanis (Kafiristanis). From the skin of the animals and wood, the ancient Nuristanis used to make chairs, beds, boots, attires of different varieties. The handicraft of the ancient Nuristanis in battling equipment of the time is observed from the shields, swords, spears, arrows and daggers of them. Conclusively and briefly, we can say that ancient Nuristanis have had all the accessories and equipment that can make a community and society independent culturally, economically, militarily and socially. Pic: nuristani utenils and some attires
  • 12. pic: woodcrafts of Nuristanis
  • 13. Pic: pillars with Nuristani arts Pic: ancient Nuristani battle equipment, products and interior look of their houses.
  • 14. Nature of the Nuristan: Naturally, Nuristan is the most beautiful and attracting province in the country. The numerous open and narrow valleys, high mountains covered with evergreen trees, meadow lands, fruitful gardens, in every canyon and valley flowing transparent small and big streams and many mores, contribute and play their part in beautification of the Nuristan’s nature. The composites of Nuristan’s tremendous beauty are: High mountain passes covered with ever green trees(forest), natural meadow or pasturelands, waterfalls in very stream bearing valleys, natural pools, clear and chill water springs, glaciers, small and big clear and transparent rivers and historical places and monuments. Most of the mentioned attributes will be given brief look in following pages.
  • 15. Pic: Nuristan Parun, Pic source: Gawhar Najeeb. Waterfalls: As Nuristan is a mountainous province having many canyons with many ups and downs and water flowing through them, hereby it possesses numbers of water falls. Some the water falls are enumerated with their locations below: Sl.No Names Locations 1 Maragal Nieshah District Wama, place> Maragal canyon 2 Lagaraik District Wama, place >Maragal canyon 3 Asanarak District Wama, place >Maragal canyon
  • 16. 4 Ishteevi District Parun, place >Ishteevi canyon 5 Sosom District Parun, place >Sosom canyon 6 Atati District Parun, Place> Kantiwa canyon 7 Pedieng-sal District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon 8 Kamao District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon 9 Podro-vati District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon 10 Indra-katori District Wama, place> Kamgal canyon 11 Anash District Wama, place> Gazhetr canyon 12 Naa-wez District Wama, place> Gazhetr canyon 13 Garogesh District Wama, place> Aktaban canyon 14 Froons District Parun, place> Froons canyon Note: in places like Ishteevi, there are multiple waterfalls which are difficult to name each separately as local people say. It deems necessary to say that I due to some problem could not visit other six districts of the province and collect data about their waterfalls, natural pools and others. The above enumerated waterfalls and pools are in central Nuristan only (Parun and Wama regions).
  • 18. Natural Pools: Just like waterfalls there are numbers of pools enumerated as below: Sl.No Names Locations 1 Mara-soar District Wama, place> Shenao- salak 2 Mandol District Mandol, place> Houze Mandol 3 Zozont District Wama, place> Sikeli-gul 4 Vitamarak District Wama, place> Sikeli-gul 5 Ishteevi District Parun, place> Isteevi conyan 6 Chaman District Parun, place> Chaman Kantiwa 7 Atati District Parun, place> Atati ,Kantiwa 8 Aasa-sa District Parun, place> Kantiwa conyan 9 Abu-amendali District Wama, place> Icha-gal 10 Bitalaek Abbo District Wama, place> Icha-gal
  • 19. Pic: Mandol Pool Forests: Nuristan is the most forest bearing province in Afghanistan contributing 1/5th of the forest of the country. Some of the trees found in Nuristan forests (except fruit bearing trees) are as follow: several species of ever green oak, mistletoe, ivy, olive tree, grapes, figs, peaches, apricots, jujubes, persimmon,
  • 20. pomegranates, apples, laurels, and almonds, walnuts and mulberry. The Coniferous Zone: cedar, pine, spruce, and fir; mushrooms, hazelnut trees, elm ash and rown, poplar and birch trees, juniper cedar (Edelberg & Jones, 1979). Pic source: Gawhar Najeeb.
  • 21. Illegal logging and smuggling of the timber is a big business. Satellite photography by UNEP shows that 60 percent of land in Nuristan was covered by forests and other 17 percent by low density forest in 1977, twenty-five years later in 2002 the forest cover was 14 percent and low density forest cover was 20 percent (Katarina Larsson, 2006). Fauna: Nuristan being the most forest bearing province in the country, plays vital role for the country’s biodiversity and its overall economy. Nuristan harbors most of the country’s wild animals including the four globally threaten large mammal species: snow leopard (Uncia uncia), Markhor (capra falconeri>loved by Nuristanis), urial (Ovis orientalis) and Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) (wildlife conservation society, Maria Karlstetter,2008). A large variety of mammals including mice, rats, long tailed maromots, porcupine, flying squirrels, monkeys in flocks of about twenty, brown bears, black bears, raccoon dogs, large eared pikas, otters, musk deers, wolves, panther pardus, Marco Polo sheep, and ibex. However ruthless deforestation and hunting pose
  • 22. serious threats to the future existence of these forest and its fauna. Pic: wild in Nuristan, from ‘’wildlife survey and wild life conservation in Nuristan ‘’a report by Maria Karl Stetter
  • 23. Pic: urial in Nuristan
  • 24. Historical and cultural places Culturally and historically, Nuristan is the richest and most fascinating province in Afghanistan. The province has got numerous historical sites and monuments which will be discussed in followings: I. Indrakun: The name is sacred to Indra who established the garden and built water channels to irrigate the Indrakun. Pic: northeast view of the Indrakun, half lower section.
  • 25. Indrakun is a big garden, probably the biggest in the country, located in northwest side of the Wama district of Nuristan province where, every Wama-e has his own gardens and fields/farms at different locations. Every garden or farm holder shares the same water channel or brook to their own places. They plant and cultivate at the same season and harvest at the same particular period (as per tribal showra’s /assembly’s decision). Indrakun is of irregular shape with varying topography. It is 4 to 5 kilometers in length with variable width. Indrakun is a little known very important historical asset for Afghanistan. It bears numbers of different fruits with grapes, pomegranates, walnuts, jujube in exceeding number. Things those value Indrakun apart from its fruits are the socioeconomic historical site or heritages. Some of the religious statues were destroyed after islamization of Nuristan (1895).
  • 26. Pic: black grapes, Indrakun Pic: jujube, Indrakun
  • 27. Pic: walnuts, Indrakun Pic: pomegranates, Indrakun
  • 28. As mentioned at the beginning that Indrakun is believed to be established by Indra, a personage of supernatural strength. Indra-aundai (Indra-grandpa, as local people say) has planted those fruitful trees in Indrakun and to irrigate them, Indra has developed water channel from mountains engraving the big rock on the mountainous terrain at necessity deemed places. Some of the engraved stone-brooks/water channels are damaged by locals during renovation of the brook, some (wine making rocks) are half destroyed and need wholly awareness of local people in respect of their importance and their preservation. Pic: rock engraved water channels-1 built by Indra, Indrakun.
  • 29. Pic: rock engraved water channel-2 built by Indra, Indrakun.
  • 30. Wine making or vinification Indrakun is a garden with enormous numbers of grapes trees. Grapes were crashed, squeezed and trampled in barefoot. There is a filtration system for the grapes juice and the stems of the grapes. The two hollow spots on the rock vertically at some angle in between would make the process of vine making easier. The small passing from the relatively upper hollow to lower one is made for the juice of the grapes to flow through to the second hollow spot of relatively more depth where it would be taken to the preservation spots and kept there for complete one year. Trampling or squeezing spot Passing and filtering hole ering hole Final spot ,after taking out grapes juice ering hole
  • 32. Some interesting rules and regulations of Indrakun A committee is established at the beginning of each spring by the entire showra (assembly) of wama-e people, who will be responsible for the management of the entire Indrakun till the harvest day. Some responsibilities of the committee are as below: Nobody is allowed to build home or any other construction within the boundary of the Indrakun. Nobody is allowed to bring their children below 18yrs to Indrakun even to their own gardens except on the day of harvesting or in “kuch” (wama-e term) Nobody is allowed to pluck any fruit from the tree (own tree) or to pick any type of fruit from the ground before the harvest day. On the day of the Kuch or harvest day, nobody is allowed to pluck or pick any type of fruit except the fruit which the day is declared for. If anyone is caught red handed while doing any of the mentioned acts (except child bringing which is considered light crime), will be fined a cow and he/she is obliged to present him/herself with a cow to the showra in front of all people.
  • 33. Challenges that affect Indrakun the brief information about the Indrakun indicate the socioeconomic importance of the historic Indrakun. Today’s reality of Indrakun is saddening for anyone who once has visited or has heard of it in their life. Some of the challenges are stated as follow: I. Despite the struggle of showra to protect the garden, People have started constructing houses within the boundary of the Indrakun which was once deemed strictly prohibited. II. Small water channels or brooks provide less than the required water for irrigation of the Indrakun. III. The fruit bearing trees are heritages from the ancestors. planting and gardening of new trees is a big challenge as herdsman are grazing their livestock in Indrakun. IV. local people have lost their control over the protection of the garden (after the harvest till upcoming spring). V. Unavailability of agricultural medicine and unprofessional gardening of the people has rotten some of the trees to the core.
  • 34. II. Sanctuary of the ancient infidels This place is located in Kushtaki village of Parun region. It is two hundred and fifty meters above the historic shrine of that time )where about sixty worshipping statues and a religious book were placed but due to the fear of muslims of the time, the statues and the book were hidden in a secret place which is still vague and unknown to the people of Parun( . When the muslim assailants assaulted the Parun and its people, they use to bring their children, women and elderly to the hideaway. The safe heaven still exists at its archaic fashion. I. Hot spring In Bargimatal district, Dewanah baba village, there is a spring that jets hot or warm water. The spring is believed to be curing the dermatosis (skin disease).
  • 35. Pic: sanctuary of the infidels