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Kangri Craze: Demand heats up as winter sets In


Srinagar, Oct 28: As the upper reaches of the Kashmir Valley receive their first snowfall and a bone-chilling Himalayan breeze blankets the region, the resilient people of Kashmir have once again turned to their trusted defence against the cold – the Kangri, an earthen pot.

Despite complaints of rising prices, the sale of these traditional earthen pots has surged, with traders from various parts of the Valley flocking to city centres, offering an array of colourful Kangris to lure customers.”The demand for Kangri is on the rise. Each day, I am selling more than 50 earthen pots, which is quite satisfactory,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, a Kangri seller at Nowhatta.Hailing from Bandipora district, Ahmad has witnessed a growing trend in Kangri sales over the past few years. Traditional heating methods have made a comeback, proving to be more reliable and cost-effective compared to modern gadgets that require LPG or electricity for operation.

Kangri sellers argue that, despite the invasion of modern technology, Kangris have maintained their share in the market and continue to be a source of livelihood for hundreds of people involved in this trade.”During the summer months, I, along with a few other artisans, weave Kangris and stock them. As winter approaches, I come here to sell them,” Ahmad explained. He added that over 20 people work with him, and Kangri sales are their primary source of income.However, with changing times, these earthen pots have evolved from being mere heating tools. Muhammad Ramzan, a Kangri manufacturer in Batmaloo, points out that Kangri is no longer limited to heating purposes. “They are now exchanged as gifts too. Some Kangris are beautifully decorated for special occasions and even given to tourists as souvenirs.”

“We specially decorate Kangris on order for customers, and they are in high demand during the wedding season. These are relatively expensive and heavy to carry, so they make for a perfect gift.”Despite rising prices, Kangris remain a trusted companion for the local populace in braving the winter chill. “Prices have almost doubled from last year,” remarked Zahoor Ahmad while purchasing an earthen pot at Lal Chowk. “But it’s a necessity during winter.””One can buy all the fancy electrical appliances to stay warm, but in Kashmir, where power cuts are frequent and everything fails, there’s no other option but to turn to Kangri to keep warm,” added Maroof Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar.Kangris are crafted across the Kashmir Valley, with artisans in some areas specialising in Kangri-making. For example, the Kangris of Chrar Sharif are sold at higher prices, while those from Bandipora are priced at above Rs 500 in the market. The Kangri continues to serve as a symbol of traditional warmth and resilience in the heart of the Kashmiri winter.




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