The Revival of Calligraphy in Kashmir

The Revival of Calligraphy in Kashmir

“Art is not what you see, But what you make others see.”- Edgar Deg

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is extremely rich in its art and culture. The beauty of Kashmir has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Various art galleries and museums have attracted a lot of tourism here. During the reign of Sultan Zain ul Abidin, art was highly appreciated. It is believed scholar Sharaf-ud-Din-Bulbul Shah introduced calligraphy to Kashmir in the fourteenth century AD. After him many calligraphers started to enjoy a degree of royal patronage. And this is how calligraphy became the talk of the town.

The Revival of Calligraphy in Kashmir

The word calligraphy is originated from the greek words ‘kallos’ and ‘graphein’ which means ‘beauty’ and ‘to write’ respectively. During the time of Mughals, a number of Kashmiri calligraphists managed to secure a permanent position in the court of royal artisans; Mohammad Hussain Kashmiri being one of them. He was amazing at Nastaliq style of writing. Such was the beauty of his art that he was highly regarded by Mughal Emperor Akbar and Jahangir as well. He was in fact given a place among the famous navratnas of Akbar.

Over the period of time, as the mughal reign started to decline, calligraphy started to fade away. In modern times some people managed to make it survive. Some young calligraphers even managed to make it wide awake. Nadiya Mushtaq Mir, a 29-year-old from Kralpora Village is a self taught calligrapher, got international recognition for her work.

“I was inclined to art, designs, sketches and drawings since my childhood. I used to draw with crayons which gave wings to my imaginations and dreams. It was then that I decided to be associated with this art,” she said.
With this profession she is able to earn a good amount of money. She believes Islamic calligraphy is an art and it is something where people don’t mind spending. In 2017, her work was exhibited in “Khush Khat”, a calligraphy workshop in Srinagar.

Just like her Ishfaq always wanted to follow his passion for calligraphy. He was always surrounded by art, a perk of living in an area that is famous for papier mache craft. Between his busy job in Police department, he somehow manage to steal the time to create some mesmerising pieces of calligraphy. Many buyers got attracted to his work.

The Revival of Calligraphy in Kashmir

Introduction of technology and computers had waned the interest in this beautiful art but thanks to the youngsters, calligraphy is back with a bang. It is really overwhelming to see people making an effort to hold on to the art that was on the verge of extinction. It got a huge boost after an Islamic calligraphy exhibition (ICC) that was organised in Srinagar. The works of famous Calligraphers such as Fida Hussain Rather, Iftikhar Jaffar and Taha Mughal were also displayed. Many government bodies, NGOs, Individual experts came together to promote and exhibit the art.
The Revival of Calligraphy in Kashmir

The government of Jammu and Kashmir after every interval of time organize different workshops and exhibitions to promote the art of Calligraphy. Calligraphy has a special place in Kashmir and should be cherished forever!

The Vintage Gems of Kashmir

I wonder what made Amir Khusrau Sahab to say this about Kashmir?
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast”,
meaning, “If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this.”

Is it its people or nature? Well, we Kashmiris are most privileged to be part of this abundant land and immensely grateful for people who have nurtured this heaven on Earth.
The Kashmir we see today is the artwork of its ancestral kings, queens and natives, who have knitted the rich cultures and traditions of the valley and left it for us to cherish.
Let’s take you back, to some of the hidden vintage gems from Kashmir valley-

1. Poplar Avenue, a row of 1700 trees, photographed by Francis Frith

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

2. Waterwheel and Kashmiri Pandits 1870, photographed by Francis Frith

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

3. Amiran Kadal. First bridge built by Afghan governor Amir Khan Sher Jawan in 1774-1777, photographed by Francis Frith

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

4. The Sun temple of Martand built by King Lalitaditya (A.D. 693 to 729), photographed by Francis Frith

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

5. Srinagar with Safoola Baba’s House, photographed by Francis Frith in 1875, photographed by Francis Frith

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

6. Kashmiri girl at Dancing Shalimar, photograph by Herford Tynes Cowling for National Geographic Magazine in October 1929

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

7. Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev’s boat procession 1955. – Indian Photo Division

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

8. Pandits and Muslims sitting together at the Potter’s shop, 1885, via. British Library. The Potter is making “touk”, a saucer needed for religious rites of Pandits.

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

9. The state emblem of Jammu and Kashmir designed by artist Mohan Raina (1928-1983 ) 1952.

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

10. A page from 17th century musical treatise by Shaykh ʻAbd al-Karīm ibn Shaykh Farīd Anṣārī al-Qādirī al-Jawnpūrī dedicated to Muhammad ‘Adil Shah (r.1626-56), via: British Library

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

11. Traditional accessories of Kashmir 1921
-Tolsi/Tulsi: the choker necklace
-Chaphkael: the long necklace

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

12. The opening of a collection of verse by the celebrated Kashmiri poet, Mahmud Gami (19th century), via British Library

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

13. A map of the Mughal province of Cachemir (Kashmir), 1770, via: British Library

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

14. Copper coin of Didda, the ruler of Kashmir from 958 CE to 1003 CE, around 950-8 A.D.

Amir Khusrau, Jammu and Kashmir, Old Kashmir, Vintage Kashmir

Old is Gold. At Kashmiri Life we plan to protect the old like diamonds.

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir banner

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is filled Buddhist relics. In fact, Buddhism was always an important part of the Kashmiri culture and it is one of the most important cities when it comes to development of Buddhism. It is generally believed that Buddhism was dominant from the time of Emperor Asoka. Even, while traveling through the state, one can admire the Buddhist architecture and carvings. The carvings on the life of Buddha are common on most of the architecture. Resident monks maintain these monasteries while other are left to the care of nature. Let’s explore some of the most undoubtedly the most beautiful in Jammu and Kashmir.

Diskit Monastery
It is also known as Deskit Gompa or Diskit Gompa and is the oldest and largest Monastery in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh. It is almost around 350 years old. It was contructed during the 14th century by Changzem Tserab Zangpo. The most unique attraction of this monastery is the gigantic statue of Lord Buddha on the top of it and it was inaugurated by the well-known holy priest Dalai Lama is the key attraction among a number of tourists across the globe. The best time to visit this place is from July to September.4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

Kursha Monastery
Also known as Karsha Gompa is in the Padum Valley of the Zanskar region of the Jammu and Kashmir. It is the largest monastery in Zanskar. It was founded by the translator, Phagspa Shesrab. The Doda River flows past the monastery from its source at the Drang Drung glacier of the Pensi La. It is under control of the younger brother of the Dalai Lama. Devoted to the worship of Padmasambhava, the temple has many shrines of other gods and goddesses.

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

Likir Monastery
It is in Ladakh, Northern India. It is picturesquely situated on a little hill in the valley, in Likir village near the Indus River about 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi) north of the Srinigar to Leh highway.
Although Likir is relatively isolated, it was once on a major trade route which travelled via Tingmosgang and Hemis. The monastery has a 75 ft tall gilded statue of a seated Maitreya. Interestingly, the monastery is also built like a fort to protect it during the days of power struggle in the surrounding regions.

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

Alchi Monastery
Alchi Monastery is a Buddhist monastery, known more as a monastic complex of temples in Alchi village in the Leh District. It is among the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The monastery has beautiful paintings on the inside that reflect both Buddhist and Hindu influences. The monastery consists of various structures such as the assembly hall, Sumtseg structures, temples and Chortens. Large statues of Lord Buddha are also noteworthy.

4 Serene Monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir

So these are some of the incredibly beautiful monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir and definitely worth a visit!

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir

The beauty of Kashmir is well known to the world. Snow covered mountains, dreamy houseboats, gigantic meadows, colorful gardens and imagine shopping in such scenic environment. Therapeutic, we believe. The vibrant atmosphere of Kashmir makes shopping a lot more fun. As they say Retail Therapy is the best therapy. But shopping in huge air-conditioned malls is too mainstream; the real fun starts when you come down to the streets. Clothes, shoes, spices, jewelry, handicrafts you can find them all here. Now we present you the popular markets of Jammu and Kashmir to get all the in and outs so here’s the list.

Raghunath Bazaar
Raghunath Bazaar is the most famous market of Jammu. It is popular mainly for its dry fruits stores. Along with this, you will find multiple little shops and showrooms. This market is most of the time fully occupied. People bustling, bargaining, picking out garments and accessories. It’s all fun here. Here you will amaze Kashmiri handicraft with intricate designs which you can take as a souvenir. For all the fashionistas, there are unique Dogra jewellery which we are sure you will fall in love with. The kesar is also available at cheap prices comparatively from other places in India. Last but not the least Raghunath Bazaar’s famous barfi is a must try if you are a sweet lover.

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir

Hari Market
Hari Market is located in the Old heritage city in Jammu and is easily accessible for the localities and tourists. This market is named after King Hari Singh and has a history of its own. A beautifully decorated street of Hari Markets makes it even more colorful. Here you will find the premium quality of Handicrafts items and shawls. The X factor of this market is famous hand-knitted carpets of wool and pashmina. Also, there is a wide range of food items available here. If you visit this market then the delicious sweet mango peel is a must try!

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir
Gole Market
Gole Market is located in Gandhinagar locality of Jammu. This market is named after the circular area of this place and indeed falls in list the most popular markets of Jammu and Kashmir. And what makes it popular is that it is the perfect combination of street shops and multiple brands showrooms. It is called the modern hub of shopping here. Stores like Apsara Shopping complex and Yugal Sons are quite popular here. Quick bite of Pahalwan di hatti is a must try after shopping.

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir
Polo View Market
This market is located at Polo ground in the capital city of Srinagar and can be reached conveniently through any means of transportation. If you want to buy souvenirs for yourself and your family then this is the place. It is fully loaded with shops selling items like walnut carved items, jamawars and beautiful wooden jewelry boxes. You will also find a wide range of papier-mâché products of many colours, sizes and forms.

4 Popular Markets of Jammu and Kashmir
These markets are the best street shopping scene of Jammu and Kashmir where you can shop your heart out. So what are you waiting for? Shop til you drop

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

Videographers and Photographers of Jammu and Kashmir

Wedding is a union of two people surrounded by their friends and families to celebrate and cherish this experience. It is a roller coaster of emotions, excitement and “Capturing the Moments”in the perfect frame. Hence, the most difficult decision after choosing the right partner is to find the best person to capture every moment of your wedding so that you can live them forever.

Here at Kashmiri Life, our team has come together to simplify your quest. If you’re planning to get married, make a wish and here are the most talented videographers and photographers from the our valley that will make your “perfect wedding photographs” wish come true.

KASHMIR WEDDING – AAMIR BEIGH

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir
The Instagram sensation, Aamir Beigh’s Kashmir Wedding is one of the most popular wedding photographers and videographers of Jammu and Kashmir. They provide traditional, candid, pre/post wedding shoots, drone shots, etc as services. Packages start from 45,000 unto 65,000. Check out their work at Instagram 

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

MEMORELIC PRODUCTIONS

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir
Memorelic productions are a team of talented videographers and photographers from the valley. They are available for wedding in Jammu and Kashmir as well as North India. They have a wide range of services to offer apart from wedding shoots. Check them out with a minimum budget of 50,000. Check out their work at Facebook.

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

KASHMIR CAPTURE – AADIL REHBAR

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir
Aadil Rehbar is an extremely talented photographer who along with his family lineage, Kashmir Capture, Rehbar’s have been “Capturing Life since 1929”. They offer pre/post wedding shoots, full wedding coverage, drone shots, etc. Their package can vary on your requirements and can be negotiated. Check them out at Instagram 

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

MASTER VISUALS STUDIO

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir
Master Visuals is operated by two passionate photographers who describe themselves as, “Two crazy filmmakers on a mission”. They are famous for creating cinematic wedding films, candid photography, traditional shoot, etc. They charge 50,000 per day. Check them out at Instagram

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY KASHMIR

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir
Creative as it says, Creative Photography are a group of talented photographers who are experts in delivery “wedding documentary” service. This is unique to their production house along with other wedding videography services. They amount to an affordable price of 38,000 for two days.
Check them out at Instagram

videographers and photographers from Jammu and Kashmir

With this, we end our list keeping in mind that these are the major players of photography in the valley while there are definitely many other talented and creative videographers and photographers in our Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmiri Life welcomes you to Jammu and Kashmir and recommend it as one of the most beautiful wedding destinations (hyperlink our earlier article on wedding destinations in Kashmir) in our country. While India is beautiful from all of its corners and middles, Kashmir is undoubtedly its paradise.

Come and celebrate with us your most ecstatic wedding moments- twirling with joy on green lands, romancing the high snow- capped- star- gazed- mountain peaks, getting clicked at the perfect flower sprouting scenery and Shikara ride specific shoots in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bookstores in Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, Gulshan books, Kapoor brothers, Passport, Ali mohammad and sons

4 Bookstores in Kashmir that Book Lovers Should Definitely Visit

Jammu and Kashmir’s diverse history and rich cultural background make it a hub of collections. Be it art, music, festivals, craft or books, Jammu & Kashmir has it in abundance. Evidently, going through the collection of books at bookstores in Kashmir will be as good as a treasure hunt. Plus,

“The romantic sights,
Flares of snow and sunshine
That change colours from time to time”

add to the experiences of readers.
Whether you’re a bookworm who is on a spree of collecting good books or students, scholar or teacher looking for particular study material, Kashmir has it all stored for you. Especially for book lovers, Kashmir is apt for reading a book in the arms of fairy tallish scenery and as a bonus to be able to choose the best reads from the hub of books at Kashmir book stores.
As Ernest Hemingway puts it correctly “There is no friend as loyal as a book”, here is your cue to begin finding some gemstones of books in Kashmir-

Gulshan Book Store

“The only bookshop- Library on a lake”, Gulshan Books is a bookstore cum cafe cum library cum publication house situated on DAL LAKE. The experience of visiting Gulshan promises a miraculous view of Dal Lake where you can sit in peace and give your minds a beautiful read.
Gulshan Books attracted the attention of Limca Book of Records 2018 for its marvelous collection of as many as 80,000 books and for being the only bookshop located on a lake.


Address: Nehru Park, Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190007
Opens: 9:30 am to 8 pm, closed on Sunday
Phone No. 094190 11110

Ali Mohammad and Sons

With the belief and motto, “Knowledge is never old”, Ali Mohammad and Sons is a hub of books. The store is divided into shelves that make it easier to look for the book. The shelf architecture also makes the store look like a small library. It is a small cozy bookstore where all you have to do is name a book to find one.
Address: 1 Budshah Hotel Building, Lal Chowk, Srinagar – 190001, Near Budshah Bridge
Opens: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Closed on Tuesday
Phone No. 09419006031

Kapoor Brothers

Kapoor Brothers Book Store in Kashmir

Kapoor Brothers bookstore is located in Palladium Gully of Srinagar. The bookstore is the heritage of Kapoors that is inherited by the new generation after the latter. Visiting Kapoors is a step into the heritage that the family has collected over time.
Address: Palladium Gully, Lal Chowk, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
Opens: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, Closed on Sundays
Phone No. 099067 72798

Password A House of Wattan Publications


Wattan Publication opened a retail showroom in 2007 for their voracious readers and named is “Password” and since then Password is an all time hub for book lovers.
Address: 30, Chinar Complex, Residency Road, Residency Road, Srinagar – 190001,
Opens: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, Closed on Sunday
Phone. No. 9419980846

These are few bookstores that have been shortlisted as best bookstores by our team at Kashmiri Life. To encourage reading and create awareness about these bookstores and many other existing,
We asked people around the valley to define the role of books in their lives and people had some awesome answers to give:
~ The treasure that I can carry wherever I go.
~ The companion of my solo trips.
~ My bestest friend.
~ Sleeping partner forever.
~ Childhood friend.
~ My all time escape.

With this sweet notion, we hope that with the rise of digital India the essence of hardcovers and paperbacks continue to exist. A book is best read while withheld in hands. Right book lovers?

Hokh Syun Festivai

Hokh Syun Festival: Kashmir’s Traditional Sun- Dried Veggies Festival

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when somebody mentions winters and Kashmir? The imposing mountain peaks, partially frozen pine trees, snow and the rich cuisine.

Hokh Syun Festivai

Kashmir is renowned for its pristine beauty, rich heritage, culture and delectable cuisine. Winters in Kashmir means it is time for snow, and the winter delicacies known as Hokh Syun, which literally translates to sun-dried vegetables. This February, visit Kashmir to witness not just the magic of snow but also to devour your taste buds at the Kashmir’s traditional Sun- dried veggies festival- the Hokh Syun Festival.

What is Hokh Syun

 

Hokh Syun Festival

 

When the winter approaches, can mouth-watering Kashmiri delicacies be left behind? And by winter delicacies, I mean the sun- dried vegetables from the last season. Earlier, due to lack of connectivity and poor storage facilities during winters; sun-dried vegetables became a saviour method for locals to fight the beautiful yet harsh winters of Kashmir. Even though the fresh vegetables are now easily available in the valley, unlike olden
times, people still use sun-dried vegetables in households. It was a good idea then, and so it is now!
On the onset of winters, when the snow would block the connectivity; vegetables like potatoes, radish, turnip, lotus stem (locally known as nadru) and collard greens (locally known as haak) were stored much in advance so that they can be used during harsh winters. Right from gourds,
chillies, brinjals, water chestnut, to tomatoes; everything was sun-dried during summers to be stored and used during winters. As mentioned above, these dried vegetables are thus known as

Hokh Syun.

 

Hokh Syun Festival

 

Popularizing Hokh Syun

Hokh Syun Festival

 

The Hokh Syun Festival is a celebration of winter delicacies and the age-old Kashmiri customs and traditions. To celebrate this old Kashmiri custom, a local, Asif Burza, came up with the idea to bring back Hokh Syun to the valley and promote it in the form of a festival.

Hokh Syun Festival

It is true that when something traditional becomes outdated, it reaches a higher pedestal and becomes exotic. Asif Buzra grabbed the opportunity and made an exotic delicacy out of mere means of survival that was Hokh Syun.
It took Buzra an entire year to find people in the valley who could provide him with quality sun- dried vegetables. Finally he found the stocks in the same old city markets of Zaina Kandal and MaharajGunj in downtown Srinagar where he collaborated with 15 vendors who now provide him with the best quality of dried vegetables. With support from the Kashmir’s oldest food consultant, Omaish Mattoo; who has done a number of Kashmiri sun-dried vegetable festivals outside the valley; Asif Buzra began Hokh Syun festival in his two big hotels.

Hokh Syun Festival

Hokh Syun Festival

 

Hokh Syun Festival is celebrated every year in the entire month of February, efficiently taking place at the Asif Buzra’s hotels: the Fortune Resort Heevan in Srinagar and WelcomHotel Pine and Peak in Pahalgam. During the festival, food lovers can try a unique way of making delicacies
out of sun-dried vegetables. OLD IS GOLD, which is perfectly true for the taste that these dried vegetables offer due to being
naturally preserved and dried in sun. If you are a foodie and can travel lengths for food, this festival is a heaven for you. Be assured,
here you will find lip-smacking delicacies that you won’t find anywhere else. Come celebrate the rich Kashmiri culture, our traditions and the age-old customs with delicious food this February and gorge on delicacies made with Ruwangan Hachi (Dried Tomatoes), Bote Cher Mutton (Mutton and dried Apricots), Gair Goji (Dried water chestnuts), Warmiuth Dail (Special Kashmiri Pulses), Al Hachi (Dried Bottle Gourd), and much more. Come one, Come all!

Here is all the information that you need:
Hokh Syun Festival 2019
Where: Kashmir at Fortune Resort Heevan, Srinagar and WelcomHotel Pine and Peak,
Pahalgam
When: Entire Month of February
Contact: 9419484652 / 01942464100 for reservations
How to Reach: 15 km from Srinagar Airport. There are local taxi services available from the
airport to other parts of Kashmir.

Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir banner

5 Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir

The beauty Kashmir is inexplicable in words. It is one of the most astounding experiences one can have. There are many elements that make it worth visiting but one of the most promising is Houseboats! Imagine yourself there, on of those evening and the sun is setting down, wind is blowing your hair, the Great Himalayas in front you. Perfect, isn’t it?

There are many lakes in the city but the Dal Lake is the most prominent lined with houseboats. These houseboats are made up of the finest cedar wood and usually have two to four bedrooms. They also provide all the amenities like 24 Hours Room Services, Doctor Call Services, Laundry Services​to make sure you have a comfortable stay.

Let’s see some of the best houseboats in Kashmir:

De-Laila Group of Houseboats

 

Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir banner

 

It is located in the city center on Boulevard Road. This houseboat treats you the traditional way. Antique wood carving, Massive crystal chandeliers and intricate designs on curtains add to the beauty of it. Its interior has the fascinated work of objet d’art and motifs. Not just this, the food is excellent and the service is totally satisfactory. A stay here could give you the feel of royals staying in a palace.

New Golden Flower Heritage Houseboat

 

Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir banner

 

This houseboat is on the banks of Nigeen Lake, Hazratbal Road. It has gained its popularity for its aesthetic beauty. Rooms are quite spacious and have centrally operated heating system. It is loaded with all the modern facilities. Beautiful Paintings depicting the history of Kashmir are hanged on the walls. It has a mini library and an exclusive dining area that makes it one of the best houseboats in Kashmir.

New Jacquline Houseboats

 

Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir banner

 

It is located opposite to the Nigeen Club towards the western end of Nigeen Lake. Waking up to the fancy interior of this place is totally dreamy. So come this summer, the subdued environs around the houseboats are much tempting that they invite you for a laid back retreat. This is definitely the stay you have been looking all this while.  

Naaz Kashmir

 

Luxurious Houseboats of Kashmir banner

 

It is one of the most luxurious experiences in Kashmir of a houseboat. It offers a wide range of recreational facilities, top notch service and Kashmiri food. The ancient design interiors and modern furnishing are complementary to each other. The colors are fused nicely that it looks all beautiful. Even the view from the deck is so mesmerizing. So hop on the boat and experience a cozy stay here!

Royal Dandoo Palace Group of Houseboats

 

Kashmir House

 

It is located at a distance of 2km from the Lal Chowk city and is one of the most popular Kashmir boat houses. The wood-paneled houses, handicrafts, and a cozy fireplace make the houseboat a prominent option in the Dal Lake. It also has dining, and pantry and dedicated crew to serve the travelers in the most efficient manner. It all makes up for an elegant stay in Dal Lake by catering unmatchable experience.

These are some of the best houseboats you can consider when travelling to Kashmir. Because a trip to Kashmir is incomplete without experiencing the charm of staying in a houseboat.

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4 New Cafes in Kashmir

Kashmir is surely one of the best places to visit when it comes to travel for scenic beauty. There has been a tremendous growth in tourism over the years. . It is the perfect package for nature lovers and adventure freaks and the Food. Lately, young entrepreneurs of the valley in the summer capital of Kashmir, Srinagar have set up some new cafés with innovative ideas. Let’s explore some of the cafes that have been added to the list.

Winterfell Cafe

New Cafes in Kashmir banner

 

Winterfell cafe is a theme based cafe across the dal lake, inspired by a very popular American TV series, that is ‘Game of Thrones’. The cafe has been decorated with the posters from the show and there is a sword throne as a centerpiece. Not just the ambience but also the food is worth the hype.. Their menu has variety of coffee, tea and sandwich. They organize lots of events like Live music performances, book readings, talks for women and youngsters.

Kamran and Umar, partner cum cousin who owns the cafe, said,” Our Sunday music evenings are particularly appreciated and the place is brimming with people. We have 12 tables but often we are packed beyond capacity. We aim to organize more sessions that will attract more youngsters.”

Me and U cafe

 

New Cafes in Kashmir banner

 

This cafe is at Bemina area of Srinagar and is owned by Mehvish Zarger. She is the first ever female cafe owner. The decor of the cafe is subtle and decent. The main aim of the cafe is to provide the food lovers a place where they will enjoy good, hygienic and affordable food menu and also where they can spend quality social time. The café has a retro look which gives it a legit edge.

Downtown Café

 

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It was started by two brothers Suhail and Nadeem Bhat. It is located in Gojwara and can cater a gathering of around 90 people. During its inaugural event, they started a promotional offer where free food was served for 2 days continuously. Seven dishes were served to 700 people approximately that manage to make it a instant hit. Downtown cafe is a multi cuisine restaurant that offers various delicacies including the authentic Kashmiri Wazwan — the trendiest serving among others on the menu.

Coffea Arabica

 

New Cafes in Kashmir banner

 

It is located on M.A Road, Srinagar. This place is quite popular among school and college going youngsters as well as for businessmen for their official meetings. This place has variety of cuisines to offer like Chinese, Mediterranean, Continental cuisines, Oriental, etc. Moreover, the well designed and a maintained interior creates an aura where one can spend hours relaxing here with unmatched service.

It is heartwarming to know that Kashmir has become home to such lovely cafes where people get to experience mouth watering food and Kashmiri hospitality.

Come and experience the inexperienced.

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmir is known for its enormous beauty, with landscape so colossal that the mountains are almost kissing the sky and the land that is always pregnant with fruits and flowers. Kashmiri music is definitely the rhythm of oneness with universe.

 

The valley has been blessed with great musicians, like the Santoor players Bhajan Sopori, Alla Rakha and Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, and continues to produce many more talented like Aabha Hanjura and Aadil Gurezi. With changing times, there is one thing that has remained constant among the musicians from the past and the musicians today, it is their love for traditional music instruments.

 

Let us revisit some of the musical treasuries of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Rabab

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir, Rabab, Rubab, Santoor, Tumbaknari. Saz-e-Kashmir

One of the oldest and most integral part of Kashmiri music, Rabab originated from central Afghanistan and was adapted into Kashmiri music centuries ago. Although Rabab or Rubab has undergone many constructional changes over a period of time, it remains the most likeable melody of the valley as it is believed that Kashmiri folk music is incomplete without Rabab.

“Rabab is that music or the tune which collects all tunes from instruments and creates its own music. That is why Rabab should be played at every party,” said Sonaullah Reshi, Kashmiri folk singer.

Kashmiri Rababs can be identified with a bulging body, an indented waist, four to six strings and side pegs; usually made by the walnut wood of Kashmiri or the usual almond or mulberry wood.

 

Santoor

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir, Rabab, Rubab, Santoor, Tumbaknari. Saz-e-Kashmir
Indian Santoor is a traditional comrade of Kashmiri Folk music that in Sanskrit texts is referred to as Shata Tantri Vna (The 100 stringer Vina). Santoor is mostly paired with the Sufiana style of music which is an intrinsic part of Kashmiriyat. It can be seen even today in various musical events in the valley. A Santoor can be distinguished just by looking at it. It is in  trapezoid-shape and made up of walnut wood that has of walnut and has 25 bridges. Each bridge has 4 strings, making for a total of 100 strings.

The music of a Santoor is the reminiscence of the rich cultural history, told through melody.

Tumbaknari

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir, Rabab, Rubab, Santoor, Tumbaknari. Saz-e-Kashmir

Tumbaknari holds a distinct attribute to it. Unlike other regions using Tumbaknari that make it from woods, Kashmiri Tumbaknari is made up of baked clay to maintain its originality. Its rhythm is so harmonious that it transcends the soul of the listeners to the depths of lakes till the lofty heights of mountains. And adding to its charm, it is also played by the women folk in the valley as a part of amusement and relaxation.

Tumbaknari comes to life after undergoing various phases of shaping and reshaping by the potter and ones into shape, the belly like structure can be put into anybody’s lap to produce melodious music to ease the mind.

 

Saz-e-Kashmir

Traditional Music Instruments of Jammu and Kashmir, Rabab, Rubab, Santoor, Tumbaknari. Saz-e-Kashmir

Saz-e-Kashmir is an instrument that has been devised in Kashmir and plays an essential part in the cultural and folk music of the valley. One can easily identify this beautiful instrument due to its association with the traditional violin. It has a pot shaped belly with three strings attached to it and is played with a bow and kept in lap while playing.

 

Music is the soul of heavenly valley of Kashmir. And the traditional instruments accompany the melodies to accelerate to an celestial state.

Although, the present day artistes have also taken to western instruments as per the change of time, the old heritage remains intact in their melodies. Jammu and Kashmir’s recent Sufi and Folk star, Aabha Hanjura, serves as an apt example of an individual that is association with traditional music and instruments of the valley. May the musical heritage of Jammu and Kashmir continue to grow through our youth and lure the hearts of people.