The People of Kashmir

The term 'Kashmiri' applies to immigrants mainly from Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Afghanistan, who settled in the valley of Kashmir which is more romantically known as "The Vale of Kashmir".  Many people have a close bearing to the Indo-Aryan or Indo-Greek decent which is noticeable in religion and language.

Kashmiris are broad shouldered and usually of medium to tall stature. Most people have a well developed forehead, a long narrow face, dark features and a prominent straight and finely cut nose. A percentage of the people look Jewish and or European in appearance with fair skin and reddish brown/blond hair and blue/green eyes. The people are often lighter skin than South Indians or Pakistani.  They are cunning especially with respect to business. Much like other Indians, they remain watchful (curious) and calculative when it comes to making decisions. This character seems to permeate every caste however. Be most watchful of the group known as "Hanji" (people of the houseboats)  The Kashmiris disposition is cheerful and humerous although they seldom smile in photographs.

Geographic Location & Climate

Located in the most North Western district of India, Kashmir is strategically situated between India's foreign opponents. The East and North Eastern border lies along China's Tibet, while the Northwestern Provinces of Pakistan and a portion of Aghanistan border the West and NorthWest. The Russian Republics are a good days drive from the Northern border. India's access is limited to the South. The Great Himalayan, Lofty Karakoram and Pir Panjal mountain ranges act as natural barriers protecting these rivals from full frontal assaults.

Kashmir is located at the same latitude as America's North Carolina although the climate within the Vale is more closely related to Colorado. Beyond the Valley, the altitude suddenly rises from a few thousand to as high as 26,000 feet (K2). Winters are long and cold from November to March with the occasional snowfall and 0 temperatures. The rain begins in mid March and continuous sporadically for several weeks until the relatively mild summer begins. Temperatures in summer can reach a dry 90, but most often remain mild in the 70's. The Eastern side of Kashmir (Ladakh) is slightly different with greater extremes and much dryer conditions.

Industries: Handicraft Import & Export

Small scale industries make up a large part of Kashmir's economy. These units manufacture food products, beverages, machinery, plastic goods, chemicals, drugs, paper products, silk, brick and tiles, cement and automobile equipment.

The most famous of Kashmir's industries deal with handicraft. The craftsmen utilize their creative intelligence and skill to create artifacts of exquisite beauty. The most recognized of these crafts are the weaving of Kashmir Carpets in both wool and silk, Kashmir (Cashmere) Shawls with delicate embroidery, woodwork in teak and walnut, and papier mache with painting of exquisite detail.

Agriculture is the most important of Kashmir's industries. About 80% of the people are cultivators in one form or another. Wheat, rice, pulses, corns, spices, tobacco and fruits are the most abundant. The most famous of these products are the vast array of nut products, delicious apples and the world's finest saffron. Other products include silk and wool.