Noon Chai, Kashmir’s favorite salty beverage

Noon Chai or Sheer Chai—a pink-coloured salted tea with a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has been the traditional beverage of Kashmiris for centuries. People in Kashmir are known to be connoisseurs of making Noon Chai and usually consume it in the morning and the afternoon with Tchwoer or Girda (Oven-baked bread). What makes the tea pink? While preparing the tea, it develops a maroon hue through oxidation and aeration by mixing a certain amount of sodium bicarbonate. However, the origins of Noon Chai is not confirmed as to…

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Pheran the King of winter garments in Kashmir

With the changing lifestyle of people across the globe, Koshur Pheran (traditional attire) is still considered the king of winter dresses and has got a special place in the lives of people in the Valley. The unisex garment has long been part of the valley’s traditional wear and is associated with the Kashmiri identity like Kanger and Wazwaan. Its history is as old as Kashmiri civilization, but its design has seen minor changes over the past several decades. As per historians, the traditional Pheran extends to the feet, which was…

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Oont Kadal: 17th century Kashmir’s Mughal era bridge

Oont Kadal is a stone masonry bridge which was built in late 1670s during the Mughal rule Heading towards the world-famous Mughal Garden Nishat, a hump-like bridge – Onte Kadal in the middle of Dal Lake, grabs the attention of every traveler. The arch-like structure is more than it looks. The bridge has succeeded in alluring local, national, and international visitors who tread the path of Dal Lake. Oont Kadal is a stone masonry bridge which was built in the late 1670s during the Mughal rule. The bridge was essentially…

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Hokh Syun: Kashmir’s centuries-old tradition of dried veggies is dwindling

Hokh Syun is preserved through drying or dehydrating, wherein the water or the moisture from the vegetables is removed to make sure that the food is dry and is ready to be stored for the winters For centuries, Kashmiris have been sun-drying vegetables and fruits and storing these dried veggies – locally known as Hokh Syun, to consume during the harsh winters. The winter of Kashmir is cold and long and the people of Kashmir have developed their unique traditions of coping with it – one of them is consuming…

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Govt asks Gulmarg hoteliers to cancel tourist bookings to accommodate Khelo India Crew

In a bizarre move, the administration has directed the hoteliers at Gulmarg to cancel all the pre-bookings done for February 25 to March 2, 2021, to accommodate VVIPs, VIPs, athletes and media persons for second Khelo India national winter games. The directive has come at a time when hotels at Gulmarg were pre-booked till mid-March owing to the huge rush of the travellers to Kashmir over the past few months. An order to this effect has been issued today from the office of the District Commissioner Baramulla asking the sub-divisional…

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Father demanding son’s body charged under anti-terror law in Kashmir

Police charge seven people, including father of teenager killed by government forces, under the stringent UAPA law. The family members of a teenage boy in Indian-administered Kashmir, killed in an alleged gunfight, have been charged under an stringent anti-terror law for holding a demonstration in the village “demanding the return of his body”. Ather Mushtaq, 16, from Bellow village in Pulwama, was among three men killed by Indian security forces on December 30 last year during what police described as a gunfight after the men refused to surrender on the…

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Kashmir’s New Bureaucracy; Fewer locals, more officers from outside

Kashmir was on the boil in August 2008. Protests had erupted over the transfer of 99 acres of forest land to the Amarnath Shrine Board, which managed a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in the Valley. In response, groups in Jammu had blocked the highway to Kashmir, choking off supplies to the region. To protest the economic blockade, on August 11, over two lakh people marched through North Kashmir’s Baramulla district towards the Line of Control with Pakistan. The security forces opened fire on them, killing five protesters, including a leader…

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Harissa, Kangri, and Pheran; This is winter in Kashmir

At 7.30 am on a snowy December day, Peer Murtaza and two friends join the crowd at Dilshad Restaurant to relish a plate of harisa, a traditional Kashmiri winter breakfast dish. Most tables are taken but the trio find some space, squeeze in and order three plates of the thick meat stew. Kashmir’s long chill stretches from the onset of autumn in September all the way to April, and at their lowest, temperatures can dip to minus 4 degrees Celsius. Every morning during these months, the Dilshad Restaurant — a…

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‘Pheran’ the traditional gown with new designs in great demand during winters in Kashmir

With newer designs, ‘Pheran’, the traditional knee-length robe that is part of the unique identity of Kashmiri culture continues to be in great demand, especially during bone-chilling winters. Despite the availability of many modern and stylish clothes in the market, these pherans are most in demand during the 40 day period ‘Chillai Kalan’, which is known to be the coldest period of Kashmir winter. Kashmiris have been using woolen fabric to stitch up pherans but newer designs using Chinese and Korean fabrics are available in local markets especially in Srinagar.…

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Gaw Kadal Massacre: 21 Jan 1990, Kashmir’s Doomsday

On 21 January 1990, Gulle Kak was returning home after delivering newspapers in the vicinity when CRPF troops deployed on Gaw Kadal (bridge) stopped him to move further. Unaware of what was to unfold, Kak took a detour to reach his family. “I parked my bicycle outside my house and started walking towards the bridge. I saw a large procession coming towards the bridge from the civil area side. As the protesters reached the bridge, the CRPF troops opened fire on the procession,” Kak said. “Before I could understand what…

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