Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 16 (ANI): As the intense cold grips north India, people in Jammu and Kashmir are keeping themselves warm with 'Kangris'.
Kangri is an earthenware encased within wicker basket. It is like a portable and movable heater that Kashmiris keep in their warm woollen cloak to keep themselves warm in the frosty winters.
To battle against the crippling cold, people in Srinagar are using Kangri (fire-pot) which has been an old and traditional method of keeping warm.
The Kashmir valley received heavy snowfall in the higher reaches as well as in the plains. As a result, the sale of Kangri surged in the Valley this year.
"Kangri is the biggest weapon we have to fight the bitter cold in Kashmir. It is impossible to stay indoors without Kangri. Even the most advanced type of equipment to fight the bitter cold climatic conditions cannot be compared to Kangri. The importance of Kangri has been, is, and will remain in the future," said Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a historian and cultural expert.
"No doubt a number of modern heating gadgets are available in the market and a lot of people are also purchasing heating devices to keep them warm, but Kangri has its own charm. As electricity might not be available all the time, Kashmiris prefer using Kangri during harsh winters," he added.
A customer said Kangri holds great importance for the people of Kashmir.
"It is very difficult to bear with the harsh winters without Kangri. It is very important for protection from cold. Kangri can be ignited using charcoal," he told ANI.
Another customer said the most important thing in Kashmir during winters is Kangri.
"This is due to the non-availability of proper electricity supply. Without Kangri, it is not possible to survive. This year Kashmir valley received very heavy snowfall. It is an important part of the Kashmiri culture that represents the valley's unique identity," he said.
A seller said that Kangri is manufactured in all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the needs of the people and these are used throughout January and February.
Kangri is made from the dried twigs of willow trees with a round earthen pot fixed inside for charcoal that provides heat. Traditional things have their own charm and are preferred by people above other available options. (ANI)