Even in an age of the latest technology and modern heating at your fingertips, the Kangri (clay pot woven from wicker) has not lost its relevance in Kashmir.
When fueled with charcoal and dried leaves, it releases heat for about eight hours. Most people, especially those in rural areas, continue to see kangri as a never-fading fascination as a cheap help against the winter cold.
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Kangri has been an integral part of Kashmiri households for centuries and most people rely on it for warmth. There is archival evidence of Kangri being used even before 1526 AD. Kangris come in different colors and decorations and are also used in festivals and ceremonies.
“Kangri” or “Kanger” is more of a traditional and cultural symbol of Kashmir than just for warming. Sales of “Kangris” have doubled in Silicon Valley over the past two weeks as temperatures have dropped.
“If I didn’t have Kangri in my Pheran (a long woolen cloak), I wouldn’t be able to withstand the cold. I use Kangri from winter until summer comes,” says Ghulam Hassan Dar, a resident of Budgam Central District.
Dahl says he can neither afford modern heating nor use it because of his mobility.
In fact, the biggest appeal of the “Kangri” is that it allows the user to move around while in use, something that is certainly not possible with modern heaters.
Although the origin of “Kangri” remains untraceable, it is considered to be Kashmir’s most famous product. According to local legend, it was specially introduced by Emperor Akbar to make the Kashmiris lazy. True or not, ‘Kangri’ is inseparable from Kashmiris in winter.
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“Since the cold weather has gripped the valley for a long time, sales in Kangri have picked up from the past few weeks. Our sales are increasing day by day and business is booming,” Abdul Ahad, a seller of ‘Kangri’ in the city Abdul Ahad Bhat said.
Sales will rise as temperatures drop further in the coming weeks, he said. Like the sellers, those engaged in the manufacture of “Anti-Japanese” are also very busy these days.
Abdul Rashid Dar of the Chrar-e-Sharief district of Budgam has been associated with the ‘Kangri’ manufacturing business for generations.
“Although we started producing Kangris well before winter, even now we are overworked due to the very high demand,” Dar said. Department of Health.
“The poor cannot afford modern heating, so they still rely on Kangris for heating. Sales in the countryside outpace the towns,” he said.
Kangri’s mobility is a big reason why Kangri is still popular, he said.
Making Kangri is an artistic and time-consuming process. Dar claims it takes him four hours to make one Kangri, whereas he can make three in a day.