Kashmir is the epitome of natural beauty and the world craves to explore every ounce of it. Tucked amidst the Himalayan mountains, Kashmir simply makes one of the best places to travel in the world no matter what occasion you seek to celebrate.
With an abundance of apple orchards, saffron fields, glittering lakes & breathtaking meadows, Kashmir over the years has drawn unparalleled attention. But that’s surely not all that you will find in Kashmir.
One more thing that Kashmir is famous for are walnut trees. For the unaware, Kashmir is the only part in the country where walnut trees grow. And the wood from the tree, for generations now, has been used by fine hands to carve wood art on them through ornamental and delicate craft process.
The durability of these walnut trees, colour, grains and inherent sheen is unique and the carving and fretwork done on this wood, after a long seasoning period of 1-4 years, is of supreme quality. Also, the fact that the artwork is solely done by the hands of the talented Kashmiri artists, also called naqqash, master carver, adds to its brilliance.
This walnut wood art thankfully brings no harm to walnut production as Kashmiri people will tell you that there are two types of walnut trees. The one that bears fruit and one that doesn’t.
The health of the walnut tree that the wood is achieved from defines the worth of the handicraft. Being one of the finest varieties of wood, distinct types of carvings can be chiseled on walnut wood; like motifs of rose, lotus, iris, bunches of grapes, pears and chinar leaves.
The tools used for the process are chisels of different types (wathlavun), planer (randha), measuring tape (phet gaz), L-angle for obtaining parallel and perpendicular lines (khari hat) and Wooden scale (khat chhal).
The cottage industry supplies objects ranging from tables, chairs, writing desks, dining tables etc. to personal use items like cigarette boxes, cigar boxes, jewelry boxes, photo frames and various other articles.
Wood carving, which takes inspiration from the Mughal era, is also done on a large scale on the doors, walls and windows. Initially, it was restricted to the creation of elaborate palaces but today is purchased by art lovers from all around the world.