"If there is a heaven on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here."
Let's unfold the story behind this.
• Environmental hues are the Reason
Kashmir is the enchanted valley in North India which ranges from The Great Himalayas to the ranges of Pir Panjal. With the sound of burbling rivers, charismatic waterfalls, serene lakes and lush gardens, the land can be stated as God's own garden.
Kashmir has numerous places where the globe trotters can find magnetized tranquility and in depth beauty of Mother Nature in the form of mystical valleys, meadows, pine trees, fruits and very obvious snow!
Jammu & Kashmir offers a rich array of handicraft and handloom items. The artisans of Kashmir are infamous on making exotic products such as paper mache, woolen shrugs and sweater, mojris and many more. Generally produced from "Kutir Udyog" or "Cottage Industry", these rare handicrafts and goods are globally renowned. Some indigenous products that are famous across the seas are Paper machete and other delicate designs, products of the handloom and handicraft industries which calls for the attention of every single visitor from around the world.
Another striking fact is that, these exclusive products of Jammu & Kashmir play a critical role to earn large revenues from the State Government other than tourism.
You can call the land as perfect stage for Shopaholics, as in Kashmir nestles some of the fine market places which are being privileged with rare accessories and goods. So, it's a must visit right?
If you are planning to visit Kashmir in recent days, then you must need a "prior list" so that you can have a "click and go to shop" moment.
A great indulgence for shoppers are areas like Vir Marg, Raghunath Bazaar and Hari Market, which are acclaimed for rare Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional Dongra jewelery and dry fruits. If you are peeping out from the narrow corners of streets, visit Lal Chowk, Badshah Chowk in Srinagar, which are famous for walnut wood carved articles, exotic paper mache products, and Kashmiri handicrafts.
J & K Arts Emporium is a renowned hub for Pashmina shawls, shahtoosh shawls and knotted carpets.
Lend that retro look for your kitchen and abode by buying antique copper ware like samovars and trays from galis or narrow lanes of the town.
If you are in a heavy mood to splurge, hold on aesthetic prisms for rare fabrics, you ought to invest your time in Tibetan Market and Moti Market in Leh.
Already made your shopping list !?
Wait! Let's wander into the facts of Paper Mache, which are really fascinating products and deserves bold exclamation too.
Praise for this Kashmiri craft which recycles waste paper into beautiful artifacts that are painted by versatile craftsmen. The artisans generally follow their genetic business traits.
Started in 15th Century by a Kashmiri Prince, these wonderous skills were on heights during Mughal era. The wonderfully designs on paper mache products are appealing hand painted motifs which are illuminated on shiny varnish finish. This is not only a way to their livelihood but also a long and rich tradition in Kashmir which shows the intense fervor of a craftsman.
As most of the Mughal rulers are nature lovers, the motifs on paper mache products are mostly nature oriented such as blooming flower, luminous sun and more.
Vehemently painted by study and free hands, the designs give a new dimension to the beauty of the final product. Paints used in the making have tremendous metallic quality which enhances their illuminated feel.
How can we forget Pashmina products !?
Known for its warmth and softness, Pashmina products are basically crafted from Casmere Wool. An especial product by cashmere wool is Pashmina shawls which are widely manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years.
Adding on your facts list; Pashmina and Cashmere are extracted from "capra hircus" or mountain goat.
Who are the artists?
We need to say traditional. Well, the traditional artisans of Pashmina Wool in Ladakh, India are a tribe familiarized as Changpa.
As now you have an in-depth knowledge of Earth's Heaven, Kashmir and its unparalled products, you might set out a venture to Kashmir and collect what your neighbor and relatives have never seen or experienced!