"I have always wondered what is it that has drawn me to Kashmir, ever since I was a child. In earlier days I thought it was the beauty visible to my eyes, the natural splendor that was always a part of my fantasies. Over a period of time, I have realized there has been a force beyond what I could see - the spirit of Kashmir, which has been living and pulsating under the Kashmir soil from eternity, that has allured me. Last year, I spent two weeks in downtown Srinagar, walking down the streets dotted with skeletal houses in a decrepit state and I realized the aptness of the statement, ""All that was beautiful is now ugliness of devastation. And yet I do not altogether die; what is indestructible in me remains."" It is this inner beauty, the spiritual beauty, and the natural beauty that is imperishable. It is the splendor of nature that has made its place into the culture and traditions of the valley and its denizens. And what an apt epitome of all this through the Kashmir arts and crafts!

Looking back at the origin of the craft and cultural traditions of Kashmir and its non-stop journey, one can see its cultural heritage is as multidimensional as the variegated backdrop of its physical exuberance. It has been in flux, and the present cumulative expression is the result of a mix of Buddhist compassion, Hindu tolerance and Muslim zest for life which have been enshrined into the heartbeats of the inhabitants of the Happy Valley. Closely linked to this is also the effect of landscape – its sanctity and evergreen stature, on the people of Kas...
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