History of Saffron (5) (East and South Asia)

There are various conflicting reports describing the first emergence of saffron in East and South Asia and India.

The first historical reports are related to Persian records.

Many studies show that saffron, along with other spices, was first spread by Iranian rulers in India to fill newly established gardens and parks.

They did this by planting saffron throughout the Persian Empire.

Then, in the 6th century BC, the Phoenicians began to sell Kashmiri saffron through extensive trade routes.

Kashmiri saffron was used to treat soda and fabric dyes.

On the other hand, a traditional Kashmiri legend states that saffron first arrived in the 11th and 12th centuries AD.

When two foreign Sufi ascetics, Khajeh Massoud Wali and Sharifuddin, arrived in Kashmir.

The Sufis fell ill, and sought help from the chief of the tribe to cure their illness.

After recovering, they gave him a glass of saffron to thank the chief of the tribe.

To this day, offerings are made annually in honor of the two holy men, at the beginning of the saffron growing season in late autumn.

In the Indian village of Pampura, a dome-shaped tomb with a golden dome has been erected for the two Sufis.

However, Kashmiri poet Mohammad Yusuf Tang denies this.

He says the Kashmiris have had saffron killed for more than two millennia.

In fact, these ancient shipments are mentioned in Kashmiri Tantric Hindu images.

Ancient Chinese Buddhist accounts cite other cases of saffron arriving in India.

According to legend, an Indian Buddhist missionary named “Median” was sent to Kashmir in the 5th century BC.

Arriving in Kashmir, he observed the first harvest of saffron.

Since then, the use of saffron has spread to the Indian subcontinent.

In addition to being used in food, saffron was soaked in water and used to dye fabrics.

The love for this fabric led shortly after the death of Gautama Buddha, the monks accompanying him to introduce the color saffron as the official color of Buddhist clothing.

Some historians believe that saffron entered China through the Mongol invaders and through Iran.

Saffron is mentioned in ancient Chinese medical texts, including the medicinal book The Great Plant, which dates back to 1600 BC (and is attributed to the Shang dynasty), and contains thousands of treatments for a variety of ailments. The plant is mentioned.

Until the third century AD, there are indications that Kashmiri saffron in China.

“Saffron is native to Kashmir, where people originally cultivate it for donation to the Buddha,” wrote Chinese medical researcher Wan Zan.

Van points out what common uses of saffron were at the time: “Saffron flowers wither after a few days and then saffron is produced.

Its value depends on its solid yellow color. “It can be used in wine.”

In the modern era, saffron cultivation has reached Afghanistan, thanks to the efforts of the European Union and Britain.

They are trying to promote saffron cultivation among poor Afghan farmers instead of profitable and illegal opium cultivation.

Due to the hot and semi-arid climate of Afghanistan, they emphasize that this place is suitable for growing saffron.

Every twelve years, the statue of Gumataria is bathed in saffron by thousands of disciples.

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