Snowfall In Kashmir
Kashmir the paradise on earth, every year experiences heavy snowfall during winters, everything is white from rooftops to the bottom hills, the valley looks so elegant that it feels like a bride wearing a gown, every nook and corner gets filled up with snow, it is an eye-catching experience for a person when he /she wakes up and removes the curtain of the bedroom window and finds everything white, that moment you realize the Farsi couplet said by Amir Khusrau, in 700Bc
“Agar Firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o Hameen ast.”
English Translation:(If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this) and this is so intensely true. It is no less than a wonder watching a lonely snowflake looking like a speck in the sky at a distance and then gradually growing in size as it reaches nearer and then getting lost in the blankets of snow covering the garden, and roofs. It always fills one’s heart with joy and makes our imagination gallop like the legendary horses that are supposed to travel deep into the vast skies. Many times it really seems like fairies are dancing on the earth with these snowflakes. When I was a child, I remember my Granny told me that the whiteness was lent by fairies to it.
The onset of “Chilai Kalan” on 21 December every year marks the beginning of a forty-day harsh winter for Kashmir. Every day is a challenge, from dawn to dusk, for the Power Development Department (PDD) to provide adequate facilities of electricity to every nook and corner of the valley, and yes it is true that they fail sometimes. So now the question arises how do we warm ourselves, In Kashmir, every home has dozens of firepots that we call in Kashmiri “Kanger” the best thing to warm up yourself after the “Hamam ” which is a room in most of the houses these days in which thick, hand-hewn rectangular slabs of limestone are laid over a hollowed-out floor.
Columns of brick support the slabs at the joints, which are sealed with cement. The inside walls of the Hamam are lined with bricks sealed with lime mortar. The floor is strewn with sand, bits of glass and boulders, to absorb and retain heat. Firewood is placed in the Hamam through a small iron door. The smoke escapes through a chimney that goes right up to the roof, through all levels of the house.
And yes what a Fantastic feeling it is to sit inside the “Hamam” and enjoy the Harrisa i.e an age-old traditional mutton recipe that is mostly available in winters and is served best with Kashmiri bread Kander ( Czout)and Noon chai, also called Kashmiri tea or pink tea, is a traditional tea beverage, originating from the valley. Whenever I take a sip I always say “ Ah, Ah kya maze chu”,(wow! what a taste it has ),
The royal cuisine and beauty of this place will always be there to attract you, so this winter do visit
MY PARADISE, MY KASHMIR
image courtesy @kashmir.nef
image courtesy @kashmirfoodgram
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