Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

The Magic Of Numdah Carpets

Just as the long-revered beauty of Kashmir, the bright orange, brown, red, gold, and yellow scattered leaves on the country roads gives a warm welcome to travelers from all over the world, a brief gaze at a beautiful Numdah carpet is also enough to bring out the art of poetry.

From the spell bound beauty of the valley to its traditional art forms to rich cuisines, the land of poetry, Kashmir, has a multi-faceted soul.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

In India carpet weaving first travelled to Kashmir in the late 15th century (600yrs to 700yrs) from Iran along with a Sufi Saint, ‘Amir Shah-el-Hamdan’.

Technique

The valley of Kashmir offers a range of floor covering. Likewise, the hand-made Numdah carpet from Kashmir, a tradition inherited and passed on over 500 yrs. The technique of Numdah art was inherited and inspired by their ancestors from Iran. Mostly Numdah carpets the floor of Kashmiri homes during winter and the bright colors & designs turn your home into a place of warmth.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

Numdah involves the craft of making carpets by felting. These colorful hand felted carpets from Kashmir are made out of unspun wool and cotton, in certain proportions, or entirely of 100% wool. The felt decorations are seamlessly layered with the base without a stitch. They not only brighten up your spaces but also feel soft and warm below your feet.
The technique requires taking unspun wool and pounding it with water and soap multiple times until a flat base of wool is achieved. They then sketch the pattern on to the Numdah rug base. The bold patterns and rich muti-coloured designs often depicting nature are then embroidered with a hook. The sizes usually range from 2’x3′ to 6’x9′ in square, rectangular, round and oval shapes.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life
The felted carpets are predominately made of pure sheep wool. The sheep wool ‘kat yer’ required for this technique is locally bought from Badgam, Pahalgam as these regions have been inhabited by shepherds and Naushera (where the Govt. House for wool distribution is stationed).

These Numdahs are generally sold through ‘Craft Bazaars in Kashmir’.

It continues to be one of the prime occupations and the main source of livelihood of many people of the valley even to this day. But this craft making seeks a whole lot of physical strength and the remunerations are hardly comparable. This is the reason that the art form is fading with time and a handful of people are recently left to make Numdah.

Reviving The Art

But 29 year old Arifa Jan from Kashmir has taken up the daunting task to revamp this 11th century rug making technique, Numdah, which is indigenous to the valley.
“I had no interest in a government job. I always wanted to have my own business.”~Arifa
Even after facing a lot of challenges at every step, her love for the craft and the zeal to take it ahead has inspired many around her.

Just as no one can stop the beauty of nature from spreading slowly into the eyes of the beholder, no matter the circumstance you cannot stop the power of art to travel far and wide. We completely appreciate the enterprising spirit of the Kashmiri craftsman and today’s youth who have struggled to keep the art alive, while himself being surrounded with negative situations.

If you want to be a proud owner of the beautiful handmade rug, you could try out these website: www.IndiaMart.com

A Feast For The Eyes – Great Lakes Trek in Kashmir- kashmiri life

A Feast For The Eyes – Great Lakes Trek in Kashmir

“Sometimes we all get dusty by a few mundane and tiring affairs and merely need a gentle soul wash to see, and get deeply entangled with, the fervor’s of life again.” ― Pawan Mishra

Do you want to find some magic beyond the mundane chores of life and wrap yourself in the peace and solace of nature?

To make yourself free from the everyday works of life and to realize that you are not just mere animals of the society, you should go on a trek every year. Trek helps you to cleanse your spirit. Surrender yourself to nature. Away from the comforts of your home, as you trail through the mountains you’ll be able to read the friendly signs of nature like the rays of sun entering your tent to wake you up.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek-A feast for the eyes - kashmiri life

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek-A feast for the eyes

When it comes to deciding a place for your next trek, there is no place better than the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The famous quote for Kashmir “If there is heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here” still stands true in every sense. Climbing the mighty range of the snow-clad Himalayas will offer the most exciting trek experience in
India.

Monsoon appeals the trekkers & is the best time to conduct a trek on one of the most popular trekking locations-The Great Lakes of Kashmir. Going by the name, the Great Lakes trek comprises of a trek amidst some of the major lakes of Kashmir including Gadsar, Vishansar, Kishansar, Nundkol & Gangabal. It looks like as if each lake is
competing with the other for the glory of who’s most beautiful. On this trek you’ll be able to see five beautiful alpine lakes that come right after the other. So you have something beautiful to look forward to each day.

Blankets of clouds(Nandkhol Lake) - kashmiri life

Blankets of clouds(Nandkhol Lake)

 

Monsoon in the Himalayas holds a special charm for trekkers. Grey clouds hang low in the sky to touch and of course the pitter-patter of the beads of rain adds rhythm as you walk. Walking in the rain is one blissful experience. The skin tingles at the sight of the lush and springy green valley studded with exquisite flowers and a never-ending
tinkling of the rivers.
You’ll be able to watch the beautiful effect of the playful slide of snow off the mountain into the lakes.

You will feel as though you have stepped in to the pages of a story book or a scene from the movies.

The real climb-A walk away from civilisation(Sitkari to Nichnai)- kashmiri life

The real climb-A walk away from civilisation(Sitkari to Nichnai)- kashmiri life

The Kashmir Great Lakes trek has been categorized as being moderate to difficult trek and is meant for physically fit enthusiastic trekker. A prior high altitude trekking experience is a plus point. Covering an average of 10 km each day for a week is not an easy achievement. The trek comprises of an ascent and descent which takes its toll on your knee joints. While you trek some more steps ahead, away from the civilization, you will certainly not get any mobile connectivity.Prepare yourself for a breakup with your cell phone for at least a week.
The 8 days trekking trip for Kashmir Great Lakes with the unending blue sky, the fresh smell of green meadows, the fluffy clouds, the rain drops and the lakes flowing through the valley is a trekker’s delight. These will remain imprinted in your mind for ever.

A BRIEF ITINERARY OF THE TREK:

Day 1:- Arrive at Sonamarg (7800 ft)
Day 2:- Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur. (7,800 ft to 11,500 ft)
Day 3:- Nichnai to Vishansar lake via Nachnai Pass. (11,500 ft to
12,000 ft via 13100 ft)
Day 4:- Rest day can be use at Gangbal camp site.
Day 5:- Vishansar lake to Gadsar via Gadsar Pass. (12,000ft to
12,000ft via 13,750ft)
Day 6:- Gadsar to Satsar. (12,000 ft to 12,000 ft)
Day 7:- Satsar to Gangabal twin lakes via Zaj Pass. (12,000 ft to
11,500 ft 13000)
Day 8:- Gangabal to Naranag Drive to Srinagar. (11,500 ft to 7,450 ft)

Lakes tucked well into the ranges of the Himalayas - kashmir life

Lakes tucked well into the ranges of the Himalayas – kashmir life

With each passing day as you trek ahead through the boulder pavements, the ascents and descents, the warmth of the sun, the pains of the body are all forgotten as you reach a new point and surrender yourself to the beauty stretched as far as the eyes could go. The beautifully tucked glacial lakes between the mountains are a feast for the eyes.

spend a perfect day talking to yourself(Gangabal Lake) - kashmiri life

spend a perfect day talking to yourself(Gangabal Lake) – kashmiri life

The humbling huge mountains that surround you everywhere melts down your earthly pride and arrogance and you feel really small in the wonders of the nature. You could just talk to yourself praising the beauty and appreciating
things around you.

Make sure to update your travel planner with a trek to the ‘Great Lakes in Kashmir’ and share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Thanks,
Sreeya