Kashmiri life | Thangka Paintings of Ladakh

The Famous Thangka Paintings of Ladakh

While wandering in Ladakh, have you ever come across the Thangka paintings in the region? Ladakh, which has numerous names also has a rich art and culture. The lonely planet or the cold dessert comprises of the majority of Buddhist population. The place is mostly crowded with Tibetan Buddhists and monks who are peacefully living their lives in one of the most unexplored places of India. Among the other unique handicrafts of Leh-Ladakh, the famous Thangka paintings are the most antique in nature.

Kashmiri life | Thangka Paintings of Ladakh

Thangka paintings depict the teachings of Lord Buddha:

This beautiful Thangka painting is embroidered on cotton or silk applique that depicts the Buddhists deity in form of a scene or story. Thangka paintings in Ladakh last till a long span of time but need to be kept in dry places so that the moisture doesn’t affect the quality of the silk.

Earlier These paintings in Ladakh were only embroidered but today, these are also painted with colors. Typical thangka paintings are usually small about 20-50 meters high but during festivals in Ladakh, these paintings are giant with much higher painted area.

Kashmiri life | Thangka Paintings of Ladakh

The walls of the monasteries in Ladakh are colored with Thangkas:

There are many historic monasteries in Ladakh which are called Gompas in the local language. The Thangka paintings makes the architecture of these monasteries so beautiful and unique in nature that it attracts tourists from worldwide. The walls, gates, and interior of these old monasteries are colored with beautiful Thangka paintings. Specifically the paintings on the wall are called Devdis paintings.

Thangka painting is mainly done on clothes whereas are Devdis are captured on walls. The Thiksay Monastery located on top of a hill approximately of Leh in Ladakh at an altitude of 3,600 meters (11,800 ft.) is a twelve-story complex and consist of many fine Thangka paintings.

Kashmiri life | Thangka Paintings of Ladakh

The Thangka paintings exemplify the art and craftsmanship of the Ladakhis living in Jammu and Kashmir. These paintings depicts a true sense of Kashmiri life in a Kashmiri way.

So, whenever you are in Ladakh, don’t forget to buy a native Thangka painting from one of the old and famous Tibetan refugee market situated on Leh road.

 

 

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

The Traditional Kalari Cheese of Jammu and Kashmir

Just like the incredible beauty of Jammu and Kashmir, the flavors of Kashmiri cuisines are also incredible in taste. Kashmiri cuisines are famous for its unique spices and flavors. Among various varieties of Kashmiri cuisines, there are also some famous snacks which make Kashmiris gather on the streets to have a bite of those delicacies.

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Kalari cheese is one of the favorite snacks of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Kalari is a dense cheese and is also called the mozzarella of Kashmir. Like mozzarella, it melts on heating and hardens on cooling. The flavor and taste of Kalari are just fingers licking well.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Folklore says Kalari is an authentic traditional cheese of the Dogra dynasty of Jammu and Kashmir. Kalari is indigenous to Ramnagar, a town in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. As shepherds the Gujjar and Bakarwals are highly dependable on Milk, Kalari is popular among the Gujjar and Bakarwal community of Jammu and Kashmir. This cheese is also called “milk chapatti” or “maish krej” in Kashmiri.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Traditionally Kalari is made from Cow’s or Buffalo’s milk but nowadays people also made Kalaris from Goat’s milk, which is whitish in color. Preparation of Kalaris take hard labor and the nomadic women of Jammu and Kashmir have proved to be the best in this task.

Preparation of kalari cheese of Jammu and Kashmir is women power:

Yes, the women play the most important role in Kalari preparation. It is more like a skill that has been passed on among every Gujjar and Bakarwal women folk in Jammu and Kashmir from generation to generation.

Here is how the women of Jammu and Kashmir prepare Kalari:

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

How to cook Kalaris? It’s an art!

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Cooking Kalari is not an easy task at all. Though you can get the raw Kalaris from a store but cooking Kalari is an art in itself. To cook this local delicacy of Jammu and Kashmir you have to master on Kalari. You might also have to take trials before you get the right taste, texture, and color of Kaladi cheese. A well-cooked Kalari is brownish and crispy from outside while creamy and soft from inside. Cooking Kalari might sound easy as it includes frying Kalari in oil and later flavoring it with salt but many fail to cook this local cheese of Kashmir.

Where will you find these yummy cheese?

The production of Kalaris mostly come from some of the remote hills of Jammu but these are available in every milk shop which cost INR 10-15 per piece.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Mostly these yummy cheese are eaten as a snack in Kashmir served with Kulchas (bread). Thus, Kalari Kulcha is one of the favorite dishes which people of Jammu and Kashmir are in love with. The lip-smacking Kalari Kulchas are sold in almost every street of Jammu region at a cost INR 40 or 50. Usually, people like to have these with a cup of tea. There are also Kalari cheeseburgers and sandwiches available at a cost between INR 50-100.In Jammu people also make a curry with it called “Kalari ki sabzi”.

This traditional Kashmiri Life cheese is unique and delicious in taste. Although it is called the “Mozzarella of Kashmir” but has the aroma and flavor to beat mozzarella any day.