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Photo by Divya Agrawal on Unsplash

Many of the houseboats have a roof where you may enjoy the lovely Kashmiri sun after climbing a few steps.

Kashmir's houseboats are a piece of the UT's heritage. Over the years, travellers to Kashmir have been drawn to stay on beautiful wooden houseboats amidst the peaceful water of the lake. Thanks to its gorgeous interiors, a stay aboard a houseboat in Kashmir seems like living close to nature. Unlike those in Kerala, Houseboats in Kashmir are typically fixed, anchored along the borders of Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake.

green and brown wooden house on lake near snow covered mountain during daytime Houseboats in Kashmir are typically fixed, anchored along the borders of Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake. | Photo by Raisa Nastukova on Unsplash

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Pheran is an essential component of Kashmiri culture and clothing.

Pheran is an essential component of Kashmiri culture and clothing. It is worn by men and women, as well as children. While some say Mughal emperor Akbar introduced the long garment in Kashmir Valley; others claim it was designed by Persian visitors to shield themselves from the biting cold during winters. Kangri, a Kashmiri firepot, can be kept under a pheran. It represents the historical continuity of Kashmiri culture since no significant alterations have been made to the garment.

Kashmiri man with his grand son in pheran Recently, pheran have made a resurgence as part of current fashion and are worn by women from all across India. | Wikimedia Commons

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Photo by Benyamin Bohlouli on Unsplash

Kashmir saffron is highly prized across the globe and fetches a higher price than saffron sourced from Spain or Iran.

Kashmiri saffron (also known as Zafran and Kesar) is grown at an elevation of about 1,600 metres above sea level, and it is essential to the region's economy. More than 20,000 households are involved in this business, with the majority of them based in the districts of Pulwama, Srinagar, and Budgam. The precious spice is removed as threads from the stigma and style of the flower.

Saffron is a member of the Iris family (Iridaceae). It is the most costly spice in the world, recognized for its fragrance and colour and is used in pharmaceutical and medical sectors. It is a famous crop of Jammu and Kashmir that is grown on well-drained karewa soils, where the weather conditions are optimal for good growth and yield. Crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal are responsible for the colour, flavour, and scent of saffron. Because of its high crocin concentration and distinctive fragrance, Kashmir saffron is highly prized across the globe and fetches a higher price than saffron sourced from Spain or Iran.

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Photo by Devang Punia on Unsplash

On Diwali, people put on new clothing and proceed to temples, where they buy large quantities of sweets to distribute to friends and family.

Deepavali or Diwali is the name given to the Festival of Lights (deep-lamp, vali - array) and is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and certain Buddhists. The celebration lasts five days and is held during the Hindu lunisolar month of Kartika. Diwali represents the spiritual winning of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

During Diwali, people dress in their best clothes, decorate their homes with diyas and rangoli, hold worship ceremonies for Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and gather with their families for family feasts during which sweets and gifts are exchanged.

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