Central Block, First Floor

Kashmir Gallery

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has many Himalayan rivers flowing through it, most significant being Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. Due to the geographical location, climate, soil and altitude, the vegetation in the area ranges from tropical deciduous forests to temperate coniferous forests. The climate in this part of India, as any other depends upon the time of the year, location and the mountainous geography.

Papier Mache is an age-old art found in Kashmir, this art has roots in ancient China. The steps that are involved in the making of Papier-Mache are soaking of paper in water till it disintegrates; then the paper is pounded and mixed with an adhesive solution, the resultant pulp is then shaped into molds and are allowed to set. Once the desired object is ready intricate designs in gold are engraved into the objects. The Kashmir gallery has a range of Papier Mache boxes, decorative items and vases.

Embroidery is another specialty of Kashmir. The Kashmir jaali work is very popular. It takes months to complete thread work on one shawl, stole or bedspread. Artisans stitch decorative motifs of birds, maple trees and other decorative designs. The most popular and intricate thread work is ‘chain stitch’ that is done on shawls and clothes. The gallery has a variety of Pashmina and Sozni shawls on display.

Wood carvings is one of the best-known cottage industry in Kashmir. Relief wood carvings frequently adorn the cabinets, chairs, tables and boxes in Kashmir. Popular motifs of such relief carvings require a high level of expertise. Walnut wood is generally used for trays, cigar boxes and table tops. The craft is passed down from one generation to another. This craft finds expression in the famous shrine of Khawaja Naqshband, near Jama Masjid in Srinagar. Wood work and wickerwork industries have flourished in Kashmir. The gallery houses such exquisite woodwork items.