Srinagar: The traditional kangri (fire-pot) is a portable heater that people in Kashmir keep inside their pheran (a traditional knee-length coat) during winters.
The kangri is earthen wear filled with charcoal embers and covered in a handmade wicker basket.
Kangri is manufactured in many parts of Kashmir and mainly from Charar-i-Sharief village in Central Kashmir.
Besides keeping people warm during the harsh winters, kangri also helps a large number of people in earning their livelihood.
From peeling of wicker to creating a wicker basket for kangri, lots of people are earning their livelihood with this trade.
“I work as a wicker peeler from last 20 years and I have inherited this technique of peeling from my father,” says Ghulam Rasool, a kangri peeler from Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir.
While people nowadays have many modern choices like the central heating system, room heaters etc to keep themselves warm, but kangri stands tall due to its portability. It is still a common man’s heater to deal with the minus temperatures in Kashmir.
“Nothing can replace a kangri as it is very portable. I can carry it easily inside my pheran. I would say kangri is the best heating system a Kashmiri can have during these harsh winters,” says Mansoor Parray, a Kashmiri resident.