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Home > City Resources > Arts & Antiques > Jammu and Kashmir Cottage Emporium

J&K Cottage EmporiumWhat comes to mind when you think of Kashmir? Certainly it would be either border disputes or terrorist activities. But there is also something to think of Kashmir in view of its natural beauty and its rich traditional handicrafts, which have created an indelible mark among the numerous craft lovers across the globe. These famous age old traditional crafts are still the first choice for many. They not only add beauty to any place but also have the power to attract any kind of person. So will a Hyderabadi go all the way to Kashmir for buying these crafts? Earlier this was the only option for them. But after Jammu Kashmir Cottage Emporium established in 1996 at Hyderabad, the problem has gone astray.

Replica of Taj MahalEstablished by Mushtaq Ahmed, a Kashmiri by origin, Jammu and Kashmir Cottage Emporium is one stop outlet for all Kashmiri Crafts. From the normal key chains costing around Rs 10 to the world renowned Kashmiri carpets costing around Rs. 1,25,000, the emporium houses all Kashmiri handicrafts. "The on-going conflict in Kashmir has deprived the people to buy their beloved Kashmiri crafts. We have started this outlet precisely to cater to their needs," said Umar Mushtaq, son of Mushtaq Ahmed who looks after the maintenance of outlet.

All crafts on displayThe outlet located in Basheerbagh displays some mind boggling articles that are made extraordinarily using exemplary Kashmiri craftsmanship. In the emporium, there are two impressive replicas of Taj Mahal (made with a single stone) and ancient dragon temple of Ladakh. Both these artifacts cost around Rs. 4,000 and are carved without missing even the minute details. One more item that catches the eye is the eighty year old 'Treasure box' studded with original stones which costs Rs. 12,000. "This treasure box belongs to the King of Ladakh which we have bought in an auction," said Umar. In the carpets section, one can find 75 years old Afgani tribal carpet which is made with vegetable dyes and wool on wool.

Kashmiri dress materialApart from these, there are many more crafts housed here that reflect the Kashmiri tradition. Handmade silken and woolen carpets, Chain stitch rugs and Dhurries, Paper Machie, Wallnut wood furniture, Stone carvings, Camel bone lamps, Silicon paintings, Silken and Paper paintings, Christmas bells, Ethnic tribal jewellery, Hand embroidery shawls and suits, 100% pure Saffron, Zari wall hangings, Jewellery boxes, bangle boxes, Wallnut bowls, trays, leather horses, and wooden elephants are some of them. Besides Kashmiri crafts, some exclusive articles from Agra, Jodhpur, Rajasthan are also displayed in the outlet. " We don't want our customers who are mostly NRI's to go for another shop to buy the crafts of other states and that is the reason why we have dispalyed here," says Umar.

Address: #43-44, Ground Floor, Babukhan Estate, Bashir Bagh, Hyderabad - 500 001. Phone: 323 3241

-Krishna Chaitanya Karanam
Photographs by: Srinivas Setty
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