Sitting in the balcony, sipping a nice hot cuppa of kahwa and enjoying the beautiful snowfall- Amazing, isn’t it? Winters in Kashmir are one the best experience one can ever have. Whole North India is celebrating winters in their own way. Each one of it has its own specialty. But what’s more important is keeping yourself warm throughout the period. You will see different culture has different ways to keep them warm. While Chinese use a Bed Stove and on the other hand Canadians starts their day with heavy meal to keep their body warm. As they say ‘When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do’ So when you are in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, there are certain things that natives do to stay warm, The Kashmiri way! Let’s have a look what does they have to offer.
When Kashmir is covered with the blanket of snow then there comes a traditional way to bite the cold off. That’s Kagri. It is somewhat like a Personal heater, yeah, you heard it right! It is basically a mud pot filled with red-hot coal that is kept under your clothes. JUST IMAGINE! A heater inside your clothes. And what the best part is, it is one of the inexpensive source that keeps you warm. It is made up of two parts an outer encasement of wicker and an earthen bowl-shaped pot called a kondu. It varies in size, a medium size Kangri can holds a pound of coal, and its fire lasts up to six hours.
Hamam is one of the mughal innovations that every Kashmiri use to kill the chill. It is a type of room which consists of a thick, rectangular slab of limestone that is laid over a hollowed floor. Fire woods are used to heat up the floor.
In Earlier times, houses in valley were made of timber and baked brick and they could easily do without a hamam but the new houses are building of brick and concrete, so when the temperature decreases to below zero, hamams become an absolute necessity.
Bukhari is taken from the term ‘bukhār’ which is a hindustani word which means heat. Bukhari is a wood burning stove, a traditional space heater. It consists of a wide cylindrical fire-chamber in which charcoal and other fuel is burned. There is a narrow cylinder at the top which act like a chimney and helps in heating the room. For the people of Kashmir it is one of the cost efficient ways that can be used in chilly winters.
It is known as the magic tea in India and full of antioxidants. It is a type of traditional green tea and popular post-breakfast beverage, generally served with special Kashmiri baked items like girda. The saffron which is present in it helps to keep your body warm and boost the immune system in winters.
These are the age-old traditions that Kashmiris use to stay warm during Chillai Kalan.
Tell us what are things you do in winters to bite off the cold? Till then stay warm and spread warmth!