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Architecture in Jammu and Kashmir

ARCHITECTURE

TAQ and DHAJJI-DEWARI – Disaster Resilient Architecture Timber-laced masonry construction systems in earthquake-prone Kashmir date back to the12th century, however it was only in the beginning of the 19th century that these systems split into two main traditional construction styles: Taq (timber-laced masonry) and Dhajji Dewari (timber frame with masonry infill)

Plinth:

platform, stone work coarse to create strong bonding; flat roof made up of Earth,stands on timber beams- Dhajji Dewari (timber wall) and Tak (connects 1 floor to another) control lateral displacement during earthquake- Consist of 3 parts: front (all daytime activities); inner part (cooking, sleeping); ground floor for cattle

Traditional rice varieties

Rice is not only the dominant staple food, but also an integral part of culture in rural Kashmir. Some landraces have a special cultural value, for example scented landraces Mushk budji and Kamad have traditionally been served on particular occasions like marriage ceremonies and festivals. These varieties used to be sold as ‘food for the royal families’ in the local markets of Srinagar during the times of Maharajas, which could only be afforded by the affluent and rich families owing to their 4–5 times higher market price. These landraces are highly valued even in present times and are servedto distinguished visitors and dignitaries. Some red rice types called ‘Zag’ are used for the preparation of snacks like ‘Vazul bate’ for pregnant ladies owing to their higher nutritive value,while some are preferred for preparation of munchies like ‘Bate laaye’, ‘Mur-murei’ and ‘Chewrei’.The varieties’ names in the local language often reflect the rice’s appearance (Kaw kreer, Laerbeoul, Nika katwor, Shala kew), smell (Mushk budji, Mushkandi), color (Zag, Safed Khuch, Barisafed, Kaw kreer, Khuch, Sig safed, Safeed braz, Safed cheena), cultivator’s name (Aziz beoul,Begum, Qadir baig, Rehman bhatti, Noormiree) etc. Many varieties are characterized by a very specific taste, and their seeds are exchanged among neighbors/relatives, or are gifted for eating purposes in the form of roasted rice, locally called ‘Bayel tamul’. The long-grained basmati typ evarieties are cooked as ‘Kashmiri pulao’ and served along with dry fruit and raisins in the famous Kashmiri cuisine locally called as ‘Wazwan’. The loss of biodiversity therefore would also imply afading rural culture .

Kashmir is well known for the cultivation of some local scented landraces grown in different agroecological niches and maintained by farmers since time immemorial. Of the aromatic cultigens,Mushk budji and Kamad are in great demand due to their excellent cooking and eating qualities Most of locally adapted aromatic and non-aromatic rice genotypes have evolved as a consequence o fnatural and human selection, and are highly adapted to specific ecological niches carrying the genes for adaptability, early maturity and cold tolerance. These genotypes, having evolved under specific ecological niches of Kashmir carry combined adaptive traits for such difficult ecological regime, and are not much amenable to high input agriculture. Therefore, these need to conserved/maintained, and periodically cultivated for evaluation under resource poor and marginal conditions of far flung areas.

HANDICRAFTS AND ARTBASOHLI PAINTINGS

Basohli Paintings is a fusion of Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature techniques and folk art of the local hills, evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries as a distinctive style of painting. This style of painting derives its name from the place of its origin – hill town of The most popular themes of Basohli Paintings come from Shringara literature like Rasamanjari or Bouquet of Delight ( a long love poem written in 15th century by Bhanudatta of Tirhut Bihar ), Gita Govinda and Ragamala.These paintings are marked by striking blazing colors, red borders, bold lines and rich symbols. The faces of the figures painted are characterized by the receding foreheads and large expressive eyes, shaped like lotus petals. The painting themselves are mostly painted in the primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow

DAL GATE POTTERY

Glazed pottery known as Dal Gate pottery is unique to Kashmir. Originally glazed tiles in deep green, blue, brown and ochre were made. This craft has further bifurcated to table ware and vases made in red, green and blue glazes.

KANGRI

The Kangri is a sort of mobile heater. Kashmiris use Kangri to keep themselves warm during late autumn and winter seasons, especially in the rural parts. Villagers cannot afford the electric heater so they rely on the Kangri.

HAND KNOTTED CARPETS

Since carpet weaving originated in Persia and travelled to Kashmir, the designs have a lot of resemblance to Persian themes. These are usually hand-knotted and are made of silk or wool mostly bearing floral designs.

Namdas and Gabbas are the two beautiful and popular floor coverings made of woollen and cotton fibre.

KASHMIRI SHAWLS

Kashmiri shawls are known for their quality all over the world and these are usually made of finest fibres of cashmere wool or the soft Pashmina [GI Tag] or Shahtoosh (made from hair of Chiru antelope)

KANI SHAWL [GI TAG]

It is made of delicate Pashmina wool collected from the underbelly of wild Tibetan and Ladakh mountain goats

JAMAWAR SAREES

Base used is generally wool with a little addition of cotton. The brocaded parts are woven in Silk or Pashmina. Intricate weaving of a Jamawar involves months of hard work

KASHIDA-KARI EMBROIDERY

Simple chain stitches involving floral patterns. Human and animal figures are generally absent KASHMIR SOZANI CRAFT [GI TAG] This type of embroidery is also called Dorukha. The motifs are created in satin stitch and worked equally on both sides but different in colours. The word Sozani means a craft performed by the wise men.

WOODEN WORK

Wood carving on Walnut [GI Tag] and Deodar is famous in Kashmir. Some of the most exquisite woodwork are the Kashmiri lattice work such as Acche-Dar, KHATAMBAND and Azli-Pinjra.

PAPIER MACHE [GI TAG]

• Kashmiri craft that recycles waste paper into beautiful artefacts

• Waste paper is soaked in water for several days until it disintegrates

• Excess water drained; soaked paper, cloth, rice straw and other bonding material mixed to form pulp

• Mixture put in a mould and left to dry for 2-3 days

• Introduced by a Kashmiri prince in the 15th century; origin in Central Asia; used by Mughals