Kashmir, also known as “Heaven On Earth” is the northernmost part of the Indian subcontinent that has been adored for years because of its natural beauty but there is much more to Kashmir than just natural beauty as we are going to find out. Kashmir is such a place that once you visit this, you just get attached to this place because it is so much different from other places.
Visiting the natural beauties is what most people do while they are visiting but we will be sharing with you some amazing things that you should try when you visit Kashmir.
Kangiri, Kanged, or Kanger, is a small portable fire pot that is very common in Kashmir. It is made out of clay and is covered by wicker. Kangiri is still widely used by Kashmiris during the winters instead of modern equipment because of shortage or inability of electricity.
The kangiri is a unique handicraft of Kashmir that is made of two parts, an outer part that is covered by wicker and decor while the inner part is an earthen pot called kundol and it is the main part of the kangiri. Locals are very skilled in manufacturing kangiris.
There are different varieties of kangiris available in the market, depending on the rows of design on the upper half which can be anywhere from two to seven, and every variant has a different price, ranging from Rs. 60 to Rs. 1800.
Pheran or Phyaran is a traditional Kashmiri outfit that consists of a long and loose-fitted woolen robe that is worn by both men and women during the winters to protect themselves from severe cold. The winter in Kashmir is very severe and even bone-chilling.
Pheran can be easily bought from the local Kashmiri markets and it is available in several colors such as black, brown, green, and several bright colors too. The ones worn by the women usually have some kind of embroidery and design on them while those worn by men are usually plain.
Another piece of cloth called a pooch is also similar to a pheran but it is made of a lighter material and it is worn beneath a pheran. Both of these, pheran and pooch are worn together to provide double protection against the cold. If you are visiting Kashmir in the winter then you should at least buy a pheran for yourself and visit a local Kashmiri house to see the energetic and lively people enjoying themselves by playing different card games like Solitaire to stay occupied during the winters.
Samovars are also known as Kashmiri copper kettles that are used as an everyday household item in Kashmiri homes and you would find them on almost every occasion as no occasion is complete without them.
A samovar is usually made of copper and the outside is engraved with different designs that represent the local culture. The inside of the samovar is tin-coated and there is space for water to boil around the inside container.
You will find a samovar to serve the traditional Kashmiri beverages like the famous Kashmiri tea, Kehwa, Chai, etc where people gather together after lunch or dinner to have a little gathering and play social games like cards, Freecell, Chess, and several others.
Walnut Wood Carving
While you are visiting Kashmir, you should also take walnut wood carving for yourself. Kashmir’s walnut cravings are famous all over India and Kashmir contributes more than 90% to the country’s total walnut output.
Walnut woodwork is amongst the most important handicrafts of Kashmir. In the local language, the people call this wood dhon laker, and because of how unique and exceptional the wood carving in Kashmir is, it has found fame all over the world.
Another specialty of Kashmir is the Wazwan, which is a multi-course meal and a part of the traditional Kashmiri cuisine that is popular on festive and special occasions like family gatherings, weddings, etc. Wazwan is considered an important part of the culture and identity of Kashmiri Muslims & some even call it the pride of Kashmir.
While you are in Kashmir, this meat-based delicacy is a must-try because once you will try this, you will love it. The majority of the dishes are meat-based, with only a few vegetarian dishes. Most of the dishes in this multi-course meal are cooked using meat and special native species like chilies, mawal, turmeric, saffron, etc.