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Srinagar Culture

The cosmopolitan ethnicity of Srinagar accommodates people from various religious and cultural backgrounds under the same sky. Amongst the earliest inhabitants of Srinagar are Kashmiri Pundits while the major part of present Srinagar population comprises the Kashmiri Muslims, both Shias and Sunnis. Moreover, Rajasthani Rajputs or Gurjars have also settled in Srinagar and with the rein of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Sikhs also made Srinagar their abode. The diverse population of Srinagar resides harmoniously all these years except for the frequent terrorist attacks.
The traditional Kashmiri male outfits consist of skullcaps, Salwars, Churidar Pyjamas and Gurgabi while women folk wear long colorful dresses known as Phiran and Salwar Kameez both decorated with floral motifs and heavy embroidery. Women cover their head and wear various silver ornaments such as necklaces, bangles, earrings, nose rings and so on. Due to the intense cold in Srinagar, people always wear heavy woolen clothes.
Apart from the traditional Indian festivals celebrated nation wide, the major fairs & festivals celebrated at Srinagar include Navroz Festival, Urs (Ziarats) Festival, Ramzan Festival, Naureh Mavas, Baisakhi, Ganga Ashtami, Lohri, Kheer Bhawani Festival, Gurez Festival, Amarnathji Yatra, etc.
Navroz Festival is a 9 days festival celebrated by the Shia Muslim communities in the months of March or April. People gather in Mosques, offer prayers and then greet each other by embracing. They wear new clothes, prepare delectable food items and pay a visit to their friends and relatives.
Urs Festival is celebrated in Kashmir through out the year. An Urs is held at the tombs of various saints on their death anniversaries. During this festival, it is forbidden to eat meat.
Ramzan Festival is the period of fasting when Muslim folks of Kashmir as well as rest of the world observe ‘Roja’. The month long fasting ends with the celebration of Ramzan Idd.
Naureh Mavas is a fair held on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of Chaitra Month at Vichar Nag, a northern suburb of Srinagar.
Baisakhi is the harvest festival and the anniversary of the foundation of Khalsa Panth, prominent to the Sikh communities of Srinagar.
Lohri is celebrated annually on 13th January in Srinagar. At the time of Lohri a bonfire is lighted at night around which boys perform a special dance called ‘Chajja.’
Ganga Ashtami is the day of performing Shraddha in the memory of your departed ancestors.
Kheer Bhawani Festival is a Hindu festival celebrated at the Kheer Bhawani Temple of Goddess Ragnya Devi at the town of Tulla Mulla.
Gurez Festival, celebrated in the month of July every year provides the platform to the performances of traditional folk songs and dances by the Gurez people.
Amarnathji Yatra held between mid June and mid August which is enjoyed by the devotees alighted here from every corner of the country.
Srinagar Cuisine
Once at Srinagar, you wouldn’t want to even think of going back without tasting the mouth watering cuisine of Srinagar such as Rice, Rishta, Seekh Kababs, Tabak Maz, Roganjosh, Yakhni, Kanti, Gushtaba, Burek, Hakh, Wazwan, Kahwa, Kabab, Kashmiri Macchi, Danival Korme, Lotus, Potatoes and Peas Fried, Dum-Aloo, Chaman, Kanti, Kashmiri Pulao, Bakery Items, Sheermal, Nuts-Filled Kashmiri Naan, Bagerkhani, Shahi-Tukda etc.
Music & Performing Arts:
Srinagar is rich in various forms of music such as Chakri (used to tell fairytales or love stories), Rouf or Wanwun(a traditional dance form performed by the native girls), Ladishah & Bhand Pather ( songs sung with a distinct tone of mockery and ridicule for the present political, social and administrative condition of the state) and not to forget, the Sufiana Kalam usually sung with a hundred stringed instrument called Santoor. Some of the popular Music and Dance forms of Srinagar include: Hafiz Nagma, Rabab, Geetru, Henzae, Hafiza, Surma, Dandaras, Dumhal, Bacha Nagma Dance etc.
The traditional handicrafts for which Srinagar is famous far and wide include Pashmina Shawls, Stoles, Scarves, Pullovers, Other Woolen Garments, Kashmiri Carpets, Namdas, Chain Stitch Embroidery, Wood Carvings, Walnut Wood Crafts, Bamboo Works, Furniture, Papier Machie Artifacts, Wall Hangings, Willow Baskets, Kashmiri Dolls etc.
House Boats & Shikara Rides
The House Boats of Srinagar comprises of a living room, a balcony, a kitchen, and a shikara. They are also provided Municipal water supply. These house boats generally have the capacity of accommodating 2 to 3 adults. The cooks in the house boats will prepare the delicious Kashmiri food for you there itself. Several choices amongst the house boats such as standard, deluxe and luxury boats can be availed here. The Shikaras or the house boats row in the pristine Dal Lake of Srinagar.
Adventure Sports
The most sought after adventure sports at Srinagar are skiing and golf. Apart from that, other adventure sports enjoyed here include water skiing, water trekking, canoeing, river rafting, kayaking, fishing, camping, mountaineering, paragliding, and many others. Dal Lake of Srinagar serves as the venue for the water sports indulged in at Srinagar. River Jhelum provides the route for water trekking and canoeing while Dachigam National Park and Pahalgam are popular for hiking, trekking and fishing.
Must Do
Do not forget to pay a visit to the apple orchards and the saffron fields of Srinagar. The arousing odor of sweet apples and the gleaming orange color of the Saffron fields in full bloom will indisputably enthrall all your senses.