Table of Contents
  Index
  Maps
  Kashmir: Poetry of Nature
  Srinagar
  Places of Worship
  Places of Tourist Interest
  Kashmir's Resorts
  Gardens and Parks
  Handicrafts
  Glimpses: A Cultural Heritage
  Adventure Sports
  Wildlife
  Amarnath Cave
  Jammu
  Ladakh
  Kargil
  Drass
  Suru Valley
  Zanskar
  A Picture Gallery
Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Glimpses: A Cultural Heritage

Arts & Handicrafts

Famed worldwide, the handicrafts of this region are executed with love and care, and are reflective of the interpretation of an aesthetic idiom.


Carpet weaving, one of Kashmir's most proclaimed arts

Kashmiri shawls have been renowned since several centuries and were once the pride of the French queen, Marie Antoinette. European ladies of court favoured these rare shawls. The most famous of these is the Jameawar shawl, made of soft pashmina wool and covered with fine and lacy embroidery. So soft is the Shahtush shawl, that it can be passed through a ring. And the embroidered phiran, a woollen cloak worn by women, too carries fine embroidery on it.

Equally well known is the art of carpetmaking with its exquisite Persian motifs handknotted in subdued, but warm colours, on wool and silk. Floor coverings also include namdas, gabbas and chain-stitch rugs made of thick wool and felted in the form of a rug.

Papier mache handicrafts from Kashmir make excellent souvenirs. Light in weight, yet colourful, and very artistic, these are interpreted lay artisans in the form of wall hangings, boxes, bowls, vases and lamps. Floral motifs occupy the surface of all papier mache handicrafts. Equally intricate is the carving on Kashmiri woodwork and furniture, chiefly walnut, but also in teak and rosewood. Patterned into heavy furniture, or into trays, boxes, tables and cigarette-cases, they make use of the chinar motif in the carving, just as the shawl-maker and the carpet--weaver.

Other Kashmiri handicrafts include silverware and jewellery, as well as silk fabrics, and woollen fabrics, chiefly patto (tweed) and Patti (milled blankets).

In Jammu, one can have rugs embroidered in chain-stitch patterns, or pick up wicker-work produce, a common sight in the markets. The latter is chiefly available as baskets, hampers and boxes. The chintzes of Samba too are well known. The Dogra Art Gallery has many samples of the miniature school of paintings of the region.

In Ladakh, the carpets, woven in wool, use Buddhist motifs, and a popular symbol is the dragon. Thankas are religious paintings made in monasteries, and framed in silk and brocade patchwork and use highly artistic skills. Masks, painted furniture, and everyday and religion-based objets d'art speak of an intricate art perfected over generations.

Kashmir: Poetry of Nature Glimpses
 

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