In History and Memory: Hadowun Hospital

By Dr Khan Khawar Achakzai

IN Shah Mohalla, there was a big orchard that belonged to the Syed family and partly to the Kanji family of Suleiman Kanji, located on the left bank of Sonnar Koll. In addition, there were three graveyards on elevated portions.

Sir Hadow (also called Heedo), an Austrian merchant and philanthropist much revered by Kashmiris, purchased 237 Kanals of land from grandfather of Syed Ehsanul Haq in silver coins. Mr. Hadow initially established a carpet factory, Hadow Mills carpet factory, encompassing around 450 looms on the land.

On the backside, a garden was decorated in which rare trees were grown, brought from world over: ‘jamalgota’, woolly cherry, flowery oak, figs from Iraq, special walnuts and French pear. On the back of the factory, an artificial forest was grown which was later demolished during the construction of the Medical College. This jungle was very dense with trees, some of which exist till date; snakes had found their abode in it and summer migratory birds would feel safe in the darkness and greenery of the ‘Kiker’ trees.

There is a folklore associated with this hospital. It is said that Sir. Hadow had a son who had some rare congenital anomaly. After years of treatment by the best doctors in the world, his son could not be saved. This incident moved Sir Hadow and he donated the location for the hospital along with raising funds for it. The foundation stone of the hospital was laid by the Marquess of Linlithgow, the Viceroy of India in 1940 at the estate of the Hadow Mills Carpet Factory. The carpet factory was shifted to present Shireen Bagh.

A big ‘deodar’ tree planted by the founder of Hadow factory was extracted along with the portion of land, but it could never retrieve to life at the new place. This dry tree existed in the Shireen Bagh complex until 1975 till final closure of Hadow factory.

Not many people know about this story of why the hospital is called ‘Hadowun’ (Hadow’s).

Apart from Hadowun Haspataal, Hadowun Kadal and Hadowun Kaleen Karkana are still known after his name. Even Biscoe school was known as Hadow school for some time.


Dr. Ashraf Kashmiris blog| ‘Kashmir through sickness and health’ by Dr. Gulzar Mufti | ‘Carpets from the Hadow Factory in Kashmir’ by Hali | ‘Kashmir, history, politics, and representation’ by C. Zutshi | Wiki

The author is a Doctor and Writer/Columnist

  • The article was originally published on the author’s twitter page and is being reproduced here with permission from the author 

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