The cozy comeback: Kangri demand surges in Kashmir as winter takes hold

SRINAGAR, NOV 25: In Kashmir, where winters cast their snowy spell, a traditional companion is making a heartwarming comeback. The humble ‘kangri,’ a traditional Kashmiri firepot, is experiencing a surge in demand as the chilly temperatures prompt locals to seek comfort in this age-old warming device.
As the cold sets in, the unmistakable sight of Kashmiris cradling kangris has become a common scene on the streets and in homes. The demand for these handcrafted wonders, made from wicker and clay, is witnessing a notable uptick, with both locals and visitors eager to embrace the nostalgia and warmth they offer.
“The kangri is not just a source of heat; it’s a piece of our culture and identity. Making each kangri is like weaving a story into the wicker, connecting generations through tradition,” says Muhammad Ismail, a skilled artisan crafting kangris in Budgam district.
Kangris are not merely functional; they are intricate works of art passed down through generations. Each one tells a story of the hands that crafted it and the warmth it has shared. The resurgence in demand is not just a seasonal trend; it reflects a desire to hold onto cultural practices and preserve the distinctive charm of Kashmiri winters.
“In the biting cold with constant power cuts, the kangri is our constant companion. It’s more than just a way to stay warm; it’s a tradition that links us to our roots. When you cradle a kangri, you feel the embrace of tradition and the comfort of home,” remarks Ufera, a resident of Old City in Srinagar.
The revival of interest in kangris goes beyond nostalgia; it’s a testament to the resilience of tradition in the face of modernity. Despite technological advances and modern heating options, the kangri continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Kashmiris, offering a tangible link to their cultural heritage.
“This winter, the demand for kangris has been exceptional. We have people coming from all over to purchase them. It’s heartening to see the younger generation showing keen interest in preserving our age-old traditions,” notes Muhammad Ibrahim, a Kangri seller in Batmaloo. The surge in kangri demand is not only meeting practical needs but also fostering a sense of community and identity. As families gather around the comforting warmth of these traditional firepots, the flickering flames become a symbol of resilience, heritage, and the enduring spirit of Kashmir.
In a world that often moves at a rapid pace, the kangri’s revival reminds us that some traditions are timeless and that, in the embrace of warmth, the heart finds solace not just from the cold but from the echoes of generations past.

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