Kashmiri carpets, shawls in great demand in Nepal
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Pokhara (Nepal), Nov 8: Nearly two decades ago militancy back home forced them to relocate their businesses to Nepal, but immigrant Kashmiri traders here are drawing a huge chunk of foreign tourists, especially Chinese, by selling popular traditional carpets and super-soft Pashmina shawls.
"Authentic and traditional Kashmiri goods are in great demand. They are very much popular with foreign tourists, specially among Chinese," Renu, President of Indian Shopkeepers Association of Nepal, told PTI here.
Apart from carpet and Pashmina shawls, items made of paper mache and jems are also popular among the tourists, said Renu, who goes by one name and hails from Jammu and Kashmir.
At present there are about 50 shops selling Kashmiri items across Nepal, including Kathmandu and Pokhara, a picturesque valley town 200-km west of the capital city.
According to Renu, a major section of the Kashmiri traders here came nearly two decades back when insurgency was at its peak in the valley, to attract foreigners.
"During 90s we came here mostly to attract foreigners and soon our traditional goods became a hit among tourists," he said.
"Pashmina shawl is also popular among the local people and Indian tourists. Most of the other shops, including those owned by Nepalese, here also keep Pashmina shawls but people prefer to buy from our shops as we sell authentic ones," said Atiq, another Kashmiri trader.
A Pashmina shawl here costs anything between Rs 400 and Rs 8,000-10,000 while a designer carpet costs between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000, Atiq said, adding that low cost Pashmina shawls are non-washable.
Pashmina is one of the world's most luxurious natural fibres derived from a rare mountain goat living in the Himalayan mountains.
The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm (wool). Pashmina shawls are hand spun and embroidered in Kashmir.
Kashmiri carpet making process generally follows the traditional Persian Islamic designs. Despite a strong Persian influence, one can also see local variations.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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