Wednesday, December 5, 2012




Looks strange but Kalhana confirms that copper was mined in Kramarajya or the  present-day Baramulla and Sopore area or areas to the north of Srinagar. I quote:-

" Having drawn copper from the hill which was situated in Kramarajya , struck a hundred crores dinars less one stamped with his own designation. "

 (Verse  617 Taranga IV Rajataringini of  Kalhana)

Copper has a very old history in Kashmir. copper ores  are found at Aishmuqam, Shubbar area (Anantnag), Lashtil hill spurs (Baramulla), Handwara, Sumbal, Kangan and Lolab valley in the province of Kashmir. Early Buddhists and then Hindus used it for making idols in Viharas and temples. After the advent of Islam, it entered the kitchens. When we were young I would see Kashmiri Pandits collecting brass utensils to be given to girls in dowry while the Muslims would collect copper utensils for the purpose.  This practice is almost extinct now.  Pandits would buy brass Samovar while Muslims would have a copper Samovar with a thin polish of shining tin over its surface. Utility remained common; essentially to prepare salt tea or milkless Kehwa tea ( Sheer Chai or Kehwaa Tea ) .  Samavor itself has undergone innovations in its form. Some people believe that drinking water stored in a copper vessel is beneficial for one's health.

Artisans who were doing silverwork started making exquisite Copper utensils with hammer and chisel. A full-fledged industry developed in Kashmir .I vividly remember many Kashmiri traders going to Jagadhari near Ambala to buy copper ingots. A grand copper utensils market came up in downtown Zainakadal area or what is now known as Shehar e Khaas in early 19th century . It still flourishes . Jugs , bowls , Samovars , trays , hot water storage tanks, Deghs , Traamis, Tashnaaris, glasses and scores of decorative items can be seen in copper shops in Zainakadal. Craftsmen can often be seen  engraving objects of household utility. These Artisans have innovated beautiful designs and engravings locally known as NAQASHI . The finer and intense the NAQASHI , the higher is the price. Enjoy some views taken at Zainakadal Market along with some lines from a poem of Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Tere Khaanmaan Kharaabon ka Chaman koyee  Na Sehraa
ye Jahaan Bhi Baith jaayen Vaheen In ki Baargaahein.
Kahin Zulmaton me Ghirkar hai Talaashe Daste Rehbar ,
Kahin Jagmagaa utheen hain Mere Naqshe paa se Raahein
( Majrooh Sultanpuri )

( Text and photo Autar Mota )
 Wednesday ,5th December 2012 .. Time 11.25 PM .... Good Night 

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1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed it from your blog and looking forward to see more from you.Thanks....!Nice post...Find all type of kitchen appliances at Copper Utensils Online with great discounts and offers...


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