Culture of Kashmir : Exploring the Vibrant Tradition, Art, Music, Food and Festivals


Culture of Kashmir

The rich and fascinating culture of Kashmir is famous throughout the globe. The people, arts, crafts, theatre, literature, dances, music and so much more greatly contribute to the height of the Kashmiri Culture. Furthermore, known for its diversity due to the blend of various cultures and religions there. Its rich history is the cherry on top that only adds to the aura of the place.

Kashmiri People and Origin

Kashmiri People and Origin
Image – Prabhu B Doss/Flickr

The inhabitants of Kashmir are commonly referred to as Kashmiris who are ethnically linguistic faction. The indigenous populace of Kashmir usually lives in crowds in the areas of Pakistan, Northern Punjab, and Potohar. The influences of the Sanskrit dialect can be noticed in their local speech as you travel to different parts of Kashmir. The culture also seems to be heavily impacted by Central Asian and Persian beliefs. The various aspects of the culture of Kashmir as discussed below form an important part of the Kashmiri ethos. Kashmiri culture is predominantly practiced by the populace who live in the Kashmir and Dodab valleys. Furthermore, the valley is renowned for its fine arts, consisting of customarily indigenous boats/houseboats, handicrafts, and literature.

Dance and Music of Kashmir

Culture of Kashmir Music and Dances
Image/Ramesh Lalwani/Flickr

When talking about the dance and harmonies of Kashmir, the words that come to mind are elegant and magnificent. The joyous festivals there are marked by, of course, music and dance which even attracts the tourists to join in on the excitement. Throughout the region of Kashmir, a wide range of dance forms can be witnessed that are executed based upon the occasion that they mark, for instance, a prominent dance form here is the infamous Mask dance that is executed on the occasion of the Hemis Festival, a popular festival of Kashmir. Another allure of these dances is the bright and vibrant attire paired off with truly exquisite jewelry. Some other prominent dances of the place are Chakri, Rouf, Bhand Pather, Hafiza, Kud, and Bacha Nagma. The folk music of Kashmir will force anyone to start tapping their feet, especially to the lively Rabab Music. Apart from that, instrumental music is quite prevalent in Kashmir and therefore common melodies that can be heard are the Sitar, Dumru, and Nagara. Apart from that, the music that accompanies festive occasions such as celebrations, parties, and weddings is mainly Wanwun, Ghazals, Choral as well as Sufi.

Kashmiri Cuisine

Culture of Kashmir - Cuisine

Kashmir offers truly delicious cuisine that includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies for this is a place that caters to all and these delicious dishes will leave you wanting more. Some infamous non-vegetarian dishes are the Kashmiri Kebab, Pasanda, Syun Alu, Yakhni, and Methi Keema and therefore it’s every meat-lover’s delight. But vegetarians need not worry because there are myriad dishes available for them, such as Rajmah, Shree Pulao, Ladyar Tsaman, and Nadir Yakhaen. These flavorful dishes are prepared by utilizing fresh vegetables and paneer, to make it all the more delicious. Kashmir is an amazing destination for anyone like me who loves desserts. You absolutely must try out delicacies such as sevaiyaan, phirni, barfi, and many more that will truly make your day. Kashmiris are known for their hospitality and they greet their guests with some refreshing hot tea and Kahwa. Another dish that is a staple to the household of Kashmir is its very own pulao. Additionally, Hak or Karam is a dish that is a favorite in the region and is specially prepared during cold winter evenings to provide warmth.

Traditional Dresses of Kashmir

Culture of Kashmir Traditional Dresses

A specialty of Kashmir has to be the vibrant costumes of the region. The women of Kashmir look gorgeous dressed in traditional clothing paired off with exquisite jewelry such as necklaces, armlets, earrings as well as nose rings. Furthermore, they also wear loose salwar kameez to escape the summer heat. On the other hand, men wear kurta pajamas, shalwars, and skullcaps. During the winter, the people look elegant in Pheran which is a long overcoat that is beautifully ornamented with patches and embroidery work. The fabric they wear largely depends on the weather and they ordinarily wear loose gowns. Additionally, men and women also wear skullcaps and headgear respectively. Women generally cover both their shoulders and head out of respect for elders. These traditional attires truly represent the breathtaking culture of the region.

Festivals of Kashmir

Culture of Kashmir-Festivals
Image/Sandeepa Chetan/Flickr

The culturally rich Kashmir is a land of festivals where everyone comes together and celebrates with zeal and enthusiasm. It’s well-known that Jammu and Kashmir possess an exemplary heritage and culture which is beautifully brought out by the festivals of the region. Eid-ul-Fitr, Lohri, Tulip Festival, Holi, Shikara Festival, Hemis festival, Gurez Festival, and Sindu Darshan are few festivals here that are celebrated with the utmost fervor. These festivals customarily mark an auspicious occasion and have their origins in mythology. These festivals are a must to attend because of their joyous nature, everywhere around you, you can observe the native inhabitants dancing, singing, eating delicious cuisine with their family dressed in traditional clothing, and tourists shopping for handicrafts. Furthermore, Bahu Mela, Jhiri Mela, and Craft, and many more are great to encompass the beauty of the local culture.

Arts and Crafts of Kashmir

Culture of Kashmir-Art

Kashmir is a prominent center for mesmerizing arts and crafts with its handicrafts industry particularly blossoming. Kashmir is practically synonymous with pashmina shawls that are well-known for their texture and amazing quality. They are particularly renowned for their softness and the warmth they provide. These shawls are furthermore a symbol of royalty. Another prominent craft of Kashmir is the hand-knotted rugs as well as wool rugs that possess floral patterns. Additionally, some lovely handicrafts of Kashmir include paper mache, wicker, carved walnut furniture, and silverware. The government of Kashmir has also invested in the arts and crafts of the place for they serve as a major tourist attraction. If one ever visits Kashmir, one simply must buy the intricate handicrafts as a souvenir.

The culture of Kashmir deserves true admiration and the traditions of the region as well its various specialties reflect the beautiful culture of Kashmir and we must do our best to preserve it. Don’t forget to comment below about your favorite part of Kashmir!


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