Kashmir is a destination in India, which is extraordinarily beautiful and no other place on the earth can match the beauty of Kashmir. A lot of people call Kashmir Heaven, while the other popular name for Kashmir is Heaven on Earth. If you are an Indian and you haven’t visited Kashmir at least once in your life, you are missing the best experience of your life. The region is known for its highes...
Kangri – The darling of every Kashmiri in winter, is a fire port, which gives warmth during calm, cloudy, and cold days of “Wandah” and “Shishur” seasons in the Kashmir valley. It has a special significance for Kashmiri, both rural and urbanites. The rural inhabitants, especially the farmers make use of the Kangri in and outside their dwellings i.e., they carry the Kangri along with them, when they visit their fields round the year, for alighting tobacco in their “Hukka”. A puff of chukka provides respite to the farmer, from his hard labor. A city dweller makes use of a kangri in his kitchen only. It consists of two parts, the inner or the earthenware, designed by potters, is called “Kundal” in Kashmiri, whiles the outer part of the coverage, is an encasement of wickerwork of various ordinary and beautiful designs and forms. A kangri is a portable structure, which can be easily carried to any place. The kangris are manufactured in every nook and corner of the valley.
It is a local cottage industry, depending upon the raw material available from the local soils and the forest vegetation. “Chrar-e-Sharief” and “Bandipora” areas of Baramulla district are very famous for their special design and frame of Kangris, which are often purchased to be presented as gifts. A special kangri “Wuda kangri” designed in a beautiful frame is used for burning the essence during marriage ceremonies in Kashmir. A special kind of charcoal (Tapantsini) made up of chinar, willow, popular, apple, and kikar twigs are used in the kangri. These twigs are set on fire and are not allowed to turn into ash by sprinkling water over the fire. They retain the black charcoal color and are solid in nature. In the kangri, the charcoal is lighted by application of some burnt substance, and charcoal burns very slowly and steadily, leaving the little ash in the earthen pot, which is then thrown away and used as “manure for kitchen gardens”. The markets in Srinagar city and other towns of the valley are flooded with kangris of different frames, from November till March, every year and people in some parts of the valley earn their livelihood in this small scale industry. The government is providing loans under Khandi and village industries schemes, for the manufacturing of kangris. It is surprising that the Kashmiris during their migration to other parts of the state i.e. Jammu and Ladakh regions have carried this gift to such areas and these gifted specimens are exhibited in the marketplaces of Jammu, Leh, and Kargil towns.
Although “Gas Heaters” are now being used in the cities and the towns of Kashmir, it is impossible for a Kashmiri to say goodbye to “Kangri” which is his inseparable need during severe cold and harsh winters.
One can enjoy the sweet warmth of Kangri under a special Kashmiri gown called “Pharen” or under a Kashmir blanket called “Chadar”. During cold winter when snowflakes cover the ground area of the compound, one is delighted to taste “Namkeen tea” enjoying the warmth of Kangri under a Pharen.