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.

Transport and Means of Communications

Geographical factors govern transport and means of communication in Kashmir. Although there has been great progress in transport and communication system in the valley, man is still the beast of burden in some mountainous areas. In the valley roads are the main means of transportation for wheeled traffic. The Government of India, in order to make the traffic possible between the valley of Kashmir and the rest of the country even in the coldest weather of the year, has constructed two tubes of Jawahar Tunnel near Banihal at a height of 2200 metres above sea level Rivers in the valley of Kashmir are also navigable. On the higher altitudes, where roads are not so common, mules and ponies are also used as means of transportation. There is also Air transport from Jammu to Srinagar and Ladakh.

Road Transport in Kashmir

1. Jhelum Valley Road is 132.5 Kms. long and connects Srinagar, Pattan, Baramula, Mohra and Uri. It is also a part of the National Highway and is very important from military point of view.

2. Srinagar-Shopian Road is 53 Kms. long and connects Srinagar, Pampore, Pulwama, and Shopian.

3. Srinagar-Kulgam Road connects Srinagar, Khannabal and Kulgam. It is 71 Kms. long.

4. Srinagar-Gulmarg Road is 29 Kms. long and connects Srinagar, Tangmarg and Gulmarg.

5. Srinagar-Pahalgam Road is 96.5 Kms. long and connects Srinagar, Awantipura, Khannabal, Mattan, Aishmuqam and Pahalgam. From Pahalgam a bridle path leads to Swami Amarnath cave which is 45 Kms. from Pahalgam. On this route, Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni stations are worth mentioning.

6. Srinagar-Bandipur Road leads to Shalateng- situated on the Jhelum Valley Road. From Shaltang this road leads to Bandipur. It is 56Kms. long. From Bandipur to Sopore it is 33 Kms. From Bandipur another road leads to Gurez and it serves as a military defence road.

7. Srinagar-Wayal Road is 85 Kms. in lengh. On this route, Anantnag, Achhabal, Kukarnag are worth mentioning.

8. Sopore-Tetwal Road is 95 km, long and connects Sopore, Handwara Trehgam, Chowkibal, Santochangli and Tetwal. From Srinagar to Chowkibal the road is open for both public and military traffic, but from Chowkibal to Tetwal only military vehicles run and the road is closed during winter when there is heavy snowfall.

9. Srinagar-Gandarbal-Baltal Road winds its way across the Anchar Lake passing through Ganderbal where the Sind Nullah enters the Anchar lake. This road connects with many other roads, the important one is Khirbhawani or Tulamula road leading to the well known shrine. The main road passes through the entire valley of the Sind Nullah upto Baltal, the foot of the Zojila pass Beyond Baltal the road leads to Matayan and to Dras. It is 117 Kms.long up to Baltal and from Baltal to Dras it is 45 Kms.

10. Srinagar-Charar-e-Sharif Road has been constructed over the karewa to the southeast. It leads to the well known shrine Chrar-e-Sharif.

11. Srinagar-Ladakh Road is 80 Kms from Srinagar to Sonamarg. It connects Srinagar, Gandarbal and Sonamarg, from where. after passing over the Zojila Pass it connects Machai, Drass, Kargal and Leh, the capital of Ladakh Province. From Sonamarg to Leh the distance is 350 Kms.

12. Kargal-Askardu Road is 151 Kms. in length. On the way, Kharalpul, Awiding, Bagicha Talse, Madhopore, Gole and Theggo are worth mentioning.

13. Pulwama-Yus-gogji Pathar Road connects Pulwama, Parkota, New Kalipora, Ramopakherapora, Kanidanwan and Yus-gogjipathar.

 Other important road- links are:

14. Khannabal-Kulalgam  17 Kms. 
15. Anantnag-Verinag  26 Kms. 
16. Srinagar-Tral -Shikargah  45 Kms. 
17. Shopian-Kulgam  22 Kms. 
18. Shopian-Wuyun-Letapore  31 Kms. 
19. Shopian-Bijhebara  31 Kms. 
20. Srinagar-Naseem-Pandach  18 Kms. 
21. Srinagar-Halwar-Drafama  27 Kms. 
22. Srinagar-Aerodrome  11 Kms. 
23. Srinagar-Chrar-e-sharif-Yusmarg  47 Kms. 
24. Srinagar-Badgam-Raithan  32 Kms. 
25. Baramula-Langet-Handwara  29 Kms. 
26. Srinagar-Sopore  73 Kms. 
27. Srinagar-Sopore-Gangbug  137 Kms. 
28. Handwara-Nichhama  21 Kms. 
29. Handwara-Magam-Lonawara  27 Kms. 
30. Ukherhal-Senawatipul  11 Kms. 
31. Srinagar-Panthchak-Lethpora  31 Kms.

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