Culture of Anantnag
Anantnag is a beautiful destination in South Kashmir Valley. It is known for its natural bounty, delectable cuisines, and hospitable Kashmiri populace. The district of Anantnag has always been a hub of business and trade in the center. It also possesses some of the most magnificent historical reminiscences of its bygone era. With all these combined, it comes up as a place where one can find a perfect blend of culture, hospitality, art, customs, and cuisine.
Kashmir has a perturbed history which is highly influenced by the various inhabitants of this place. The region has a diverse population of different caste, religion, ad origins. Since ancient times, its culture is largely affected due to this diversity. In Anantnag as well, this diversity beautifully co exists with harmony to set an example. The culture of Anantnag is reflected in its people and their beliefs which are as lively and zealous as this entire valley is.
People of Anantnag
People of Anantnag are mostly Muslims. About 90 percent population of this district comprises of Shia and Sunni Muslims. There are many Kashmiri pundits also residing in this district. Historically too, the people of Anantnag have their descriptions and mention in ancient inscriptions as well. It was a land which was earlier ruled by Hindus and then with advent of Muslim rulers in this area, its culture became a mix of both these religions.
People of Anantnag are mostly fair complexioned and good in physique. They are humble, soft spoken, hospitable, and amicable. Kashmiris tend to be resilient and temperate in nature. Kashmiri pundits live a very simple life and they are god fearing people. So are the Muslims in this region. They are hard working and experts in hand crafts to create exquisite items. It can be said that people of Anantnag represent the true flavor of Kashmir valley which is known for its artistic beauty and cultural heritage.
Language of Anantnag
In Anantnag district, Kashmiri is the most common language spoken by majority of population. Though, its official language is Urdu. The tribes residing in the district, including Jujjars and Bakerwals speak Gojri which is a rural lingo in Anantnag. There is a small fraction of society which speaks Pahari language as well.
But anyways, Kashmiri can be termed as the language of Anantnag while the educated people are now turning towards use of English as well. This is particularly better for boosting up tourism here as English can serve as a universal language for easy communication.
Dance and Music in Anantnag
Anantnag is a land of numerous shrines and rich historical heritages. Along with these, folk arts are ingrained in its cultural fabric. The dances and music followed here are typical to Kashmir Valley. They are energetic, ecstatic, and colorful. The most common dance forms in this district are Ru, Dambali, and Bhand Pather.
Each of these has a different style and grace in it. While Ru is a dance performed by the womenfolk in which they dance in a row humming the Ru song; Bhand Pather refers to theatrical form in which social issues are addressed and depicted gracefully. Dambali is very much near to the religious dance of Darwesh which is commonly seen at the Urs festivals celebrated at various shrines in Anantnag.
Music is the nerve of Kashmiri culture which is famous for its Chakri, Classical, and Sufiana Kalam. These forms of music create an enigmatic atmosphere that engages the listeners in their melodious tunes. Chakri is the oldest music form in Anantnag. It is an art of storytelling in a musical form and is common at the Kashmiri weddings. Sufiana Kalam was promoted in this region by the Irani saints and it uses many musical instruments like Chakri.
Handicrafts in Anantnag
Anantnag is well known for its beautiful handicrafts which are loved for their colors and designs all over the world. Here, one can easily find local weavers manufacturing beautiful Kashmiri shawls, carpets, gabbas, namdas, and rugs.
They are all beautifully woven in bright colors that reflect the culture of this land. The dress materials with intricate Kashmiri embroidery are also a common handicraft item found here. Wood carved products are also a special handicraft in Anantnag, especially, its high quality willows that are manufactured only in this belt of Kashmir valley.
Food in Anantnag
Anantnag offers a typical Kashmiri platter to the travelers. It is delicious and sumptuous. The food served in Anantnag includes the staple food like rice, wheat, pepper, milk, and poultry products. Meat is eaten a lot here while fish is not so preferred. People in Anantnag are very fond of tea like the rest of Kashmiris. Tea and Kahwa (Tea made with almonds and spices) are found at every nook and corner of this district. The famous Kashmiri Wazwan or cuisine is also served in top restaurants and eateries of Anantnag.
This cuisine is a mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes cooked in the same way they used to be in ancient times. Desserts like Phirni are very common in most of the Kashmiri platter offered by the food joints of Anantnag. Here, you can also find a wide variety of Kashmiri breads including Sheermal, Baqerkhani, Lavas, and Tsot. These breads are delicious, sweet, flavorful, and mostly topped with poppy seeds to enhance their flavor.
Festivals in Anantnag
Anantnag district has many venerated shrines. These shrines are flooded with devotees on the annula festivals being celebrated at them. Mostly, these festivals are related to the anniversaries of the saints and they are marked with festivities, lights, and sounds. They are attended by ardent devotees in large numbers who dance and sing in praise of these saints of Anantnag.
Anantnag temples also have annual celebrations to mark various significant events related to the chronology and mythology of these temples. Apart from these, all the major Muslim and Hindu festivals are also celebrated here with great zeal and joy.