In the midst of the Cold Winter in Kashmir Valley, a heartwarming tradition known as the ‘Kanger‘ has been keeping families warm & cozy during the chilly winter months. While, people throughout the Kashmir valley find the Kangri to be a winter remedy, The ‘Chrar Kanger’ takes the top preference among customers.
It’s the Chrar Kanger that has truly captured the hearts of the locals, weaving together history and Culture in a heart warming way. This article delves into the world of Chrar Kangdi and its role as a cherished traditional method of staying warm during the Chilly winter months in Kashmir.
Just 28 km southwest of Srinagar, there lies a town called Charari Sharief. Here, a beloved Sufi saint, Sheikh Noor Din Noorani (RA), rests in eternal peace. Known as Alamdar-i-Kashmir, meaning ‘The Flag Bearer of Kashmir,’ his shrine draws in people seeking spiritual solace. This town is not just a pilgrimage spot; it’s also home to skilled craftsmen who create the famed Chrar Kangri. These craftsmen, with their calloused hands and intricate knowledge, continue the practice that their forefathers honed. The skills that these artisans have inherited from their ancestors hold a profound significance that extends beyond the realm of utility. It’s a testament to their dedication, their ability to preserve traditions, and their contribution to the cultural fabric of Kashmir.
Picture a small, special bowl made of clay, surrounded by a sturdy wicker frame – that’s the Kangri. This creation isn’t just art; it’s a solution to the harsh winters of the valley. The special bowl is called Kundal, a word that hails from Sanskrit and means “ring.” But what truly makes the Chrar Kangri distinct is the beautiful wicker design adorned with colourful rings.
This unique touch sets it apart from Kangris made in other parts of the valley.
Located behind Sheikh Noor Din Noorani’s shrine, there unfolds Kaien Mohalla, a neighbourhood teeming with a rich tapestry of history. Across generations, families residing here have wholeheartedly channelled their skills into meticulously crafting various types of Kangris. However, this craft is not merely a matter of producing objects; rather, it constitutes a cherished tradition that has gracefully traversed the corridors of time. Such a tradition stands as a compelling testament to the enduring power of community and craftsmanship, a legacy that has not only persevered but thrived through the passage of centuries.
Rising from the Ashes
In 1995, tragedy struck as a devastating fire swept through Kaien Mohalla, leaving destruction in its wake. But even amid the ashes, the artisans and the community kept their spirit alive. They rebuilt homes, preserved memories, and carried on the legacy. The fire couldn’t break the bond between people and their craft, proving that traditions are stronger than any adversity.
Beyond its practical use, the Chrar Kanger holds a deeper meaning. It’s a living connection to Kashmir’s spirit – a place where history, culture, and art blend seamlessly. So, as winter arrives, the Chrar Kangri takes on a special role, bringing warmth and a sense of history to every home. It’s a way for generations to connect, reminding us of the traditions that define our lives.
In a world of modern gadgets and fleeting trends, the Chrar Kanger stands as a symbol of tradition and craftsmanship. From busy towns to peaceful valleys, its impact is felt far and wide. So, as winter blankets the region, families gather around its comforting warmth, appreciating a tradition that’s more than just functional – it’s a part of their heritage.
Amidst the beauty of the Kashmir valley, the Chrar Kanger stands tall as a heartwarming tradition. From its beginnings in Charari Sharief to the cozy homes it graces today, this craft bridges the gap between the past and the present. As winter’s chill descends, the Chrar Kangri radiates more than just heat; it carries the legacy of generations, reminding us of the enduring power of cherished traditions.