Repora: A Village Known For Its Grapes

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Village Repora in Lar block of district Ganderbal is famous for the grapes. According to some experts, the grapes produced in the area exceed international standards fixed for the fruit. Kashmir Life’s Bilal Bahadur spent a day to capture the different berry shades, reports Tahir Bhat

Known for the producing the quality exceeding international standards, besides Italy, Repora village in central Kashmir’s district Ganderbal is perhaps the only place in the world where fresh grapes are available.

The south-facing aspect of village makes it feasible for the cultivation of grapes besides being well irrigated and open to maximum possible sunshine.

The grapes of the area have surprised Rai Bahadur Raja Janak Singh, the Military General of Maharaja Gulab Singh during his visit to the place. The advantage of the fruit is that it is ready when fresh grapes are not available anywhere is the world except Italy.

Famous for the fruit, the village is also known for resting place of many Sufi saints. It has a mention in the first volume of Tareek-e-Hassan, one of the most reliable historical accounts about Kashmir.

The villagers attribute the thriving of grapes in area to the blessing of a saint, Mir Syed Shah Sadiq Qalandar (RA) who they believe lived in the area.

The grapes of Repora got attention when someone gifted it to the Rai Bahadur Thakur Janak Singh- the military general of the Maharaja. Impressed by the quality, he later built a Bungalow there which now is also called as Bungli Bagh as the remnants of the building exist there.

Prominent commercial varieties grown in the area is Hussaini-imported from Iran and Sahibi-imported from Hyderabad. There also is Kishmish, Anabeshai and Rubu variety.

The locals have their own technique to preserve the fruit. They keep it in earthen pots and cover them with mud. This way the life of grapes is increased to six months.

The quality of grapes is considered to be best in the world. As told by the officials managing the fruit, the international best quality is to have berry size of 4-4.5 gms and Repotra grapes have a size of 12.5 gms exceeding international standards.

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