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MyKashmir

An Informational Portal

Habba Khatoon

Habba Khatoon was a 16th century Kashmiri mystic-poet and ascetic, who is also known as “Nightingale of Kashmir’. She was born in the small village Chandrahar just outside Samboora in present Jammu and Kashmir state. She was also known under the name Zoon ( which means Moon) because of her immense beauty until her marriage with Yusuf Shah Chak, who later became the ruler of Kashmir, after which she was called Habba Khatoon. Her songs are popular in Kashmir and she is almost a legendary figure in Kashmiri literary history. Habba Khatoon introduced a lot to Kashmiri poetry, lot is more or less equivalent to the English “lyric”. It conveys one brief thought which is full of melody and love. Habba Khatoon spent her last days singing her songs in the Valley, songs which are popular to this day. Even now you can see young Kashmiri singers tune to such popular lyrics as Mye ha kaer kit and che kamiu sonei myaniIt is said that one day she along with her friends was heard singing love lores, in the saffron fields, by Sultan Yousuf Shah Chak. The Sultan was so much intoxicated with her melodious voice and poetry that he fell in love with her at first sight and proposed marriage which her parents willingly consented. In this way Habba Khatoon the poetess became the queen of Kashmir and a very wise adviser to the King.’ Her poetry scaled new heights of imagination and her poems became an important part of Kashmiri’ s folk literature.