Five things to do in wintry Kashmir
News - India & You ,
Season’s first snowfall makes for a white paradise
Kashmir has received the year’s first snowfall and its time gear up for a Himalayan vacation. Among the many things to do in Kashmir at this time of the year, Media India Group brings you five that should make your holidays memorable and let you experience the customs and culture of the region, fondly known as the paradise on earth.
Snow fight – Sheen Jung
Being in Kashmir at this marvellous time when the whole of Kashmir is covered by a white blanket, your vacation would be incomplete if you don’t indulge in a snow fight with your pals. A snow fight can turn out to be one of the most adventurous and memorable moments of your trip. While you let your enthusiasm get better of you, do be careful and keep yourself warm once you have had enough of the Sheen Jung.
Warmth of a Kanger – A traditional fire pot of Kashmir
Snow doesn’t just envelope Kashmir with the charm and cheers, but it also gives you chilly moments. So, don’t forget to enjoy the warmth of the earthen pot filled with hot embers. Kanger, a small clay pot, is a portable heater, suspended in a basket for carrying the burning charcoal underneath overcoats during the winter months in Kashmir. One full burning charcoal in Kanger will last for almost a day and is enough to keep you warm throughout, and people often carry it under their long Kashmiri gowns known as ‘ferans’.
Harissa – A Kashmiri delicacy, especially for the winters
Kanger may be enough to keep your body warm, but there is some other things needed to keep you warm inside. During the winters in Kashmir, there is nothing better than Harissa. It is a delicious Kashmiri dish, made of goat meat or mutton. The dish is prepared with lot of spices and slow-cooked overnight to turn the meat into a paste, which is then served with locally-made naan (similar to pita bread). It is a wonder to the taste buds.
High on Kehwa and Sheermal
During the harsh winters, another specialty to look forward to in Kashmir is Kehwa, served with the locally-made crispy-and-salty bread called Sheermal. Kehwa is a Kashmiri word derived from the numeric ‘Kah’ that in Kashmiri means eleven and ‘wah’ are the natural herbs. Kehwa is made from eleven herbs and has a taste that would most likely leave you wanting some more.
Hokh Sune, Dried vegetables – Peace is where food is
Kashmir once used to be entirely cut off from the rest of the world for four to six months during the winters. To stock the garrison, people would stack up rice, which would last through the harsh winters in the region. Also, it was not possible in those times to keep the fresh vegetables and fruits for long, as the technologies were not so advanced. So, people would dry the vegetables and fruits to store for the winter season. The tradition of drying the vegetables is called ‘Hokh Sune’ and remains till date. Kashmiris dry almost every vegetable and then use during the wintertime. The dry vegetables are delicious and have altogether a different taste. While being in Kashmir, dry vegetables are a must-have.