Table of Contents

   Physical Resources
   Soil and Forest Resources
   Agricultural Patterns
   Mineral Resources
   Power Resources
   Tourist Industry
   Political Divisions of Kashmir
   Kashmir - Poetry of Nature
   Major Ethnic Groups
   Download Book

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Industries, Handicrafts, Export and Import

Industrial complexes have been established at Rangreth, Khunmoh and Doabagh in Kashmir where the units for the manufacture of TV sets, radios, electronic clocks, stablizers, tape recorders, jewels for watches, joinery articles, automobile batteries, oxygen etc. have been set up.

Small Scale Industries

There has been a remarkable increase in small-scale industrial units all over Jammu and Kashmir in recent years. These units manufacture food products, beverages, machinery parts, plastic goods, chemicals, drugs, paper products and automobile equipment.


In Kashmir, with its severe winter when climate conditions are semi-arctic, craftsmen utilize their lesiure as well as creative intelligence in creating artifacts of exquisite beauty. Princely patronage encourged these handicrafts from early times till these products, light in weight and rich in art, found a big market in India and abroad. The State Government has set up many training centres for coaching young boys and girls in traditional arts and crafts. As a result there has been a wide dispersal of handicrafts throughout the State.

Kashmir is known for the following handicrafts throughout the world:

1. The art of making carpets is a gift of caravans coming into the valley from Central Asia. In the time of Zain-ul-abdin Badshah, this art was greatly developed by imported skill and royal patronage. The Europeans also took a keen interest in it. It resulted in the establishment of more than 15 well known factories with about 350 looms weaving carpets. Finest wool obtained from pashmina goats and marino sheep is used in these factories. Cotton yarn is, however, imported from Amritsar.

2. Namdas are made of wool of inferior quality and old woollen blankets are used for making gabbas. The art of felting wool into namdas has come from Yarkand. Namdas and gabbas are embroidered with thread, which gives colour, beauty and strength to them. This cottage industry is concentrated in Anantnag, Rainawari and Baramula.

3. Lois (woollen blankets) of Shopian and Bandipore are well known. Hand-woven blankets of Rainawari are also durable and warm.Woollen pattus, tweeds, and worsted are manufactured in many hand and power looms established in and around Srinagar.

4. The Kangri making is a cottage industry concentrated in the areas on the banks of Wullar lake near Watlab and at Tsrar and Botingo villages.

Wicker-work and basket making are arts common to Kashmir and Jammu.
Wicker-work and basket making are arts common to Kashmir and Jammu.

Kashmir is known for its wicker willow. Wicker is used for making baskets, boxes, lamp-shades, curtain rings, trays, chairs, tables, and cycle baskets etc. Srinagar, Harwan, Shalabug, Hazartbal, and Sowra are the centres of its production. The cultivation of wicker willow is the monopoly of the State .

5. Papier Mache is a monoply of Kashmir. Pulp and paper are shaped into a variaty of decorative articles and colorful designs are painted on them. The goods prepared are mostly boxes, table lamps, toilet sets, jewellery boxes and other articles of decoration. Srinagar, Rainawari and Anantnag are famous for this cottage industry.

A papier mache replica of a samovar.
A papier mache replica of a samovar.

A rich display of papier mache in a Srinagar shop.
A rich display of papier mache in a Srinagar shop.

6. Pashmina shawl industry is an old industry of Kashmir. Pashmina wool used to come from Tibet via Ladakh but since the invasion of China in 1962 and closing of the Leh Yarkand route, Pashmina shawl and carpet industries have been affected greatly. Now the raw material comes from Ladakh only. Moreover the water of river Jhelum is most suitablefor washing pashmina wool. Best pashmina shawl is known as ring shawl, a shawl that can pass through a wedding-ring.

Embroidering a shawl with Kashmiri motifs.
Embroidering a shawl with Kashmiri motifs.

7. Silverware and imitation jewellery. Silver-smiths, engravers and polishers work to make beautiful silverware articles like teasets, tumblers, boxes, trays, soap cases, toilet cases, and other articles of decoration. This work requires skill and craft. Engraving is a speciality of the Kashmiri engravers. Kashmir purchases about one lakh tolas of silver a year for this cottage industry. There are about 80 units of imitation jewellery at Srinagar. They prepare rings, cuff-links, bangles, broaches, braclets, ear rings and tops etc.The raw material con- sists of jade, cayz, pashm, tiger-gold, pheros, bakarmohar, cat's eyes and various types of glass chatons and beads.

A range of carved furniture and papier mache objects d'art.
A range of carved furniture and papier mache objects d'art.

A display of souvenirs and furniture made of walnut wood.
A display of souvenirs and furniture made of walnut wood.

Large Industrial Units

1. Superior quality woollen cloth, tweeds, blankets and suiting-cloth etc. are manufactured in a factory run by the state Government. The factory was originally established by Sh. A. K. Wattal. It has an annual turnover of goods worth rupees 60 lakhs. Besides, there are many other private wollen Mills in Srinagar and Anantnag.

2. Raven Craft factory is situated at a distance of about 6 Kms. from Srinagar which makes jams, juices, squashes, sauces and pickles etc.

3. A brick and tile factory is installed near Pompore and is a Government concern. It manufactures about 15 thousand tiles and five thousand fire-proof bricks daily.

4. Government Cement Factory is established at Wuyan (Srinagar). It produces about 60 tons of cement daily.

5. Silk manufacture is the oldest industry of the State which involves the production of raw silk and silk fabrics. Silk worms are raised on mulberry leaves as a cottage industry both in Jammu and Kashmir provinces.

6. H.M.T. Comany has recently started a very large watch factory at Zainakot (Sopore) in collaboration with the State Government.

7. Government Spinning Mills, Noshera (Srinagar) manufactures ruffel and knitting yarn to be used in the other local factories for the manufacture of woollen cloth and knitwear.



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