Srinagar, Sep 1: Forty-five years old Fayaz Ahmad Reshi is a renowned artisan in the old city’s Nawa Kadal area.
Within a few decades, his craft as a walnut wood artisan has evolved, leaving experts impressed.
Apart from locals, his art is equally attracting foreigners, who visit the valley to explore nature and heritage.
“We receive a good number of visitors, who seem to be interested in art and history of Kashmir. They often seek information about this art and document its history,” Reshi said.
As Old City has become -a go-to-place for tourists, Kashmiri handicrafts have captivated a large number of tourists, particularly foreigners.
From carpet to pashmina, wood carving, paper mache and copperware, the craftsmen and the craft has become a centre of attraction for the tourists.
It has subsequently boosted the sale of handicrafts, which mostly is traded in the form the exports.
Musadiq Shah, senior vice president of Pashmina Organisation of Kashmir, said mostly tourists from European countries and China explore the art in the valley.
“This is really a positive development happening for the growth of handicrafts in Kashmir. We have been witnessing a massive increase in the flow of tourists to Kashmir, which is benefitting various sectors. Tourists from Europe have always been a fan of Kashmir’s handicrafts and they keep it in their itinerary to explore Kashmir art and craft,” he said.
Shah also said that the domestic tourists also prefer to buy Kashmiri handicraft as souvenirs.
“The new generation in India loves to travel and explore. They usually visit the handicraft showrooms and artisans to buy souvenirs for their family and friends. We are striving to maintain quality so that the domestic market of Kashmiri handicrafts grows,” he said.
Director Handloom and handicrafts Mahmood Ahmad Shah claimed that the recently held craft tours and G20 summit has promoted Kashmir’s handicraft globally.
“We have been holding craft tours, during which we expose visitors to the handicrafts of Kashmir. We have a craft village Kanihama as well which is famous among tourists. So, our motive is to hold such programmes in the future as well so that buyers are connected with the artisans,” he said.
Kashmir’s handicrafts are a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage, craftsmanship, and artistic prowess. The skilled artisans of the valley have been honing their craft for generations, passing down their techniques and skills from one family member to another. This commitment to preserving tradition is evident in the intricacy and beauty of their creations.