A large number of devotees recently gathered to pay obeisance to Sufi saint Tulbul Shah at his shrine in Sopore.
Tulbul Shah, who had arrived Kashmir during the era of Hazrat Bulbulshah via the Silk Route, brought Mulberry trees from Kashgar in China.
He himself planted lakhs of Mulberry trees in the area. It was from here that Kashmiri silk acquired fame and greater preference over Chinese silk.
Farooq Renzu Shah, the Chairman of the Kashmir Society International, said, "We had beaten China's silk industry and for two to three centuries, Kashmir remained unbeaten in silk production. Wherever you go Silk is being sold in the name of Kashmir. No matter it is produced in Amritsar in India or in Canada, but they write it as Kashmir. The silk's main source was this area, but lakhs of Mulberry trees were cut brutally and converted this region as desert".
Shah and others planted a few Mulberry trees near the shrine as tribute to the Sufi saint.
Shah said that the saint also blessed Kashmir with the largest reservoir Lake Wulur to ensure the maximum preservation of waters from the River Jhelum.
"We have to preserve our water reservoirs. We had trade roads, which have disappeared. We used to have major trade through silk route. And, it was due to this area. This was the actual destination of trade during the Indus civilization. This is the confluence of Walur and Jehlum, where many people from the world over wish to travel, but they fail to visit," Shah said.
Thousands of Mulberry trees were destroyed due to negligence in the recent past. The Jammu and Kashmir government has plans to revive it by planting more mulberry trees as tribute to Tulbul Shah.