Kashmir is a state of India. It is located mostly in the Himalayan Mountains and shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, whereas the Line of Control separates it from Pakistani-controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. Throughout the ages Kashmir has reminded us about another name for Paradise. Embraced in the lap of magnificent mountains of the Himalayas, Kashmir is the most beautiful valley and will remain carved in your memory forever. Kashmir is also known as Switzerland of east because of its natural beauty, land of cherry blossoms and saffron fields. Alluring river, serine lakes, wonderful gardens, flowering meadows etc. are some of the features of the landscape of Kashmir valley.
Kashmir – The Heaven on the Earth have a complicated, multi religious and multinational culture distinct to the three areas of the state. In Kashmir Persian succeeded with the beginning of Islam in the region opening it up to encouragements of Persian culture and civilisation. Ladakh developed into a centre of Buddhism with strong influence of Tibetan while Jammu remained the origin of Hindu religion and its cultural impact. Kashmir is a loving container of varied cultures. People from different religious and social practices live together peacefully in this enchanting state. Since time various religions stretching from Islam to Hinduism and Jainism, have subsidized to the rich cultural heritage and live in harmony in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The influence of Greek is also deceptive in Jammu, much as the Persian lifestyle. The rural presence and vibrant hues of life, as visible in Jammu and Kashmir, gives an eye-catching impression of People and Culture of Jammu and Kashmir.
PEOPLE AND LIFESTYLE OF KASHMIR
Ironic values and custom of Jammu and Kashmir is represented by the beautiful people of Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have a different lifestyle. This state is divided into three regions, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. These regions have different people with their diverse culture and traditions. Jammu is subjugated by Hindu population, Kashmir has major Muslim population and in Ladakh, most people follow Buddhism. There is also a group of people who are called Dogras. Various Fairs and Festivals bring in more diversity into the lives of men. Starting from Durga Puja to Id-ul-Zoha people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoy these Festivals with same enthusiasm. However, irrespective of their varied religions they live as a close weave family and convey a message of peace to the rest of the nation. These occasions of celebration speak much of the People, Culture and Lifestyle of Jammu and Kashmir. Women in Jammu Kashmir embellish themselves with ornaments like bangles, necklaces, earrings, nose rings and colourful dresses. The men are more satisfied in churidar pyjamas, shalwars, skullcaps, and gurgabi. Phiran is a common dress for both men and women. The floral motifs and embroidery add a touch of grace to this getup.
Kashmir, India. The Mughals called it “Paradise on Earth”. People today call it the Indian Switzerland. Showcased in numerous Hindi films, Kashmir’s legendary landscapes can be immediately identified by Bollywood fans. But besides all this, Kashmir is also eminent for its aromatic and flavourful cuisine. Kashmir cuisine is quite famous for the frequently use of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. These spices give Kashmiri cuisines a distinctive taste and aroma. However, Kashmiri rice marks an important part of the traditional food of Kashmir, making a remarkable balance with the spicy dishes of Kashmir. Kashmiri food makes a wide use of turmeric and yoghurt in most of their gravies to give them a creamy uniformity. Kashmiri food is so tempting that even those who are not feeling hungry end up yearning for more. Kashmiri dishes make a regular use of dry fruits, especially in the preparation of curries. Today, the cuisine of Kashmir, India, can be categorised into Kashmiri Pandit, Muslim and Rajput dishes. On the whole, the cuisine of Kashmir has more of non-vegetarian dishes than vegetarian dishes. Even Kashmiri Pandits have traditional non-vegetarian dishes. Kashmiri chillies lend a rich red colour to dishes like Rogan josh, whereas fried paneer boosts the ironic taste of many traditional arrangements. One of the most popular Kashmir cuisines is Wazman, which is a 36 course meal and it mostly consists of meat dishes. Food in Kashmir is extremely traditional and exotic and can be relished at any of the restaurants. Some of the most popular vegetarian food in Kashmir includes rajmah, ladyar tsaman, nadeir yakhaen, zafrani pulao, Kashmiri pulao and Kashmiri dum aloo. Some of the most popular non-vegetarian food in Kashmir includes Rogan josh, Kashmiri kebab, methi keema, yakhni, kabargah, pasanda and syun alu. The unique aromas and any exceptional meal is incomplete without a dessert. Therefore one can enjoy traditional desserts such as phirni, sevaiyaan, barfi and gulab jamun. An important part of the meal is Kahva or green tea, used to wash down a meal. Traditionally, food in Kashmir was eaten by hands, without any spoons, forks or knives. Some of the Kashmir’s traditional cuisines are: –
Dum-aloo: Potatoes, roasted and cooked in a curd-based sauce.
Chaman: Paneer (cottage cheese), fried and cooked in thick gravy.
Rista: Balls made of minced meat, cooked in gravy.
Seekh kababs: Chicken or mutton marinated in spices and grilled on skewers.
Tabak Maz: Fried flat pieces of meat (cut from the ribs).
Rogan josh: Meat cooked with a liberal amount of spices.
Yakhni: Mutton cooked with curd as a base.
Gushtaba: Balls made of finely minced meat, cooked in thick fresh curd gravy. It is the last item to be served in a traditional wazawan.
Kashmiri cuisines are extremely delightful offering an enticing combination of delicious aroma and rich flavours. The cuisine of Kashmir is truly unique and has absolutely no comparison.