Bandipora, June 03: Bandipora administration has introduced an extraordinary cultural attraction known as the “Harmukh Chowk”, in a remarkable tribute to the local artistry and cultural heritage of this north Kashmir district.
Situated beneath the district headquarters in a bustling chowk, this unique installation marks a first-of-its-kind initiative in Bandipora and features a mammoth kangri, expertly crafted by local artists and enclosed within a glass room.
The glass room not only protects the kangri from external elements but also allows visitors to observe the fine details and craftsmanship up close. The low-level fencing around the chowk ensures safety while providing an unobstructed view, allowing visitors to appreciate the artistry from various angles.
Named after the majestic Harmukh mountain range that graces the district, Harmukh Chowk is not only a tribute to Bandipora's cultural heritage but also serves as a catalyst for further beautification initiatives.
Joint Director Planning Bandipora, Imtiyaz Ahmad, the visionary behind the initiative, told Rising Kashmir that the centerpiece of this cultural marvel is a five-feet-tall kangri, crafted by local artists, which will symbolise the warmth and artistic prowess of the community.
In addition to the stunning kangri installation, Harmukh Chowk will soon feature additional facilities aimed at enhancing the visitor experience, he said, adding, “Morning joggers and fitness enthusiasts will be delighted to find a designated area for free newspaper reading, providing them with the latest news as they engage in their fitness routine.”
Imtiyaz further said that an open space dedicated to book reading will be available, creating a tranquil setting for book lovers to immerse themselves in literature amidst the captivating ambiance of Bandipora.
“Harmukh Chowk goes beyond showcasing our artistic heritage; it aims to create a vibrant and inclusive space for the community,” JD Planning said, “By bringing together various government departments, we are fostering collaboration and leveraging our collective strengths for the betterment of Bandipora.”
"Kangri of Bandipora is renowned for its unique design and intricate workmanship. By setting up this Chowk, we aim to showcase the exceptional talent of our local artists and provide visitors with a captivating glimpse into our cultural heritage,” Imtiyaz added.
He said this innovative concept serves as a platform for local artists to display their skills and attract wider recognition. The administration's endeavor to promote and preserve the local cultural heritage resonates with the larger objective of uplifting the artistic community and generating tourism opportunities in Bandipora, he said.
Adil Ahmad Ganie, a local artist involved in crafting the Kangri while expressing his pride in being part of this initiative told Rising Kashmir that the Kangri holds a special place in their hearts and through their artwork, they aim to preserve their cultural heritage and showcase the skill and creativity of Bandipora's artisans.
"It is wonderful to see traditional Kangri being given such prominence,” Mohammad Abdullah Paswal, a local social activist said, adding that this installation will not only attract tourists but also create a sense of pride and recognition for local artists.