A number of huts made of wooden logs and mud dot the picturesque landscape of Namblan, Pathra and Sangerwani villages falling on fringes of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. These mud huts are locally known as ‘Dhoks’.
A local of Sangerwani village, Tufail Khan, said that these mud huts used to be shabby structures overshadowing the natural beauty of the green pastures surrounded by varieties of conifers. However now it is not the case as over the past couple years a new trend has emerged in these upper reaches.
The nomads have started giving a colorful look to their mud huts which makes them aesthetically pleasing.
Mushtaq Ahmad, a nomad staying in a hut at Pathra within Romeshi Forest Range, said it is her daughter Nasreen who started the trend in the area. Nasreen is a class 11 student at Government Higher Secondary School Abhama, a village in the neighborhood of Sangerwani.
The young girl told Rising Kashmir that she started drawing paintings on walls of her house, a single room mud hut, three years ago.
She draws different designs using various colours. She is a self taught painter taking clues from books and the internet.
“I prepare molds of mud and paste them on the walls, the imprints are then painted with synthetic colours,” she said, adding that she taught the art to her maternal and paternal aunts who passed it on to others.
Nasreen's father said that the trend was copied by others and today all mud huts in Pathra are treated with beautiful paintings.
He added that the desire to make their houses look attractive turned others to follow the suit.
At Namblan some women prefer soil of different colours to synthetics for painting their huts.
“We have four kinds of soil available at a walking distance,” Surekha of Namblan said.
She said that for painting walls of her house she used soil of four hues including brown, grey and black.
The walls of her house depict various shapes and designs.
These beautifully painted ‘Dhoks’ create a magnificent aura with mesmerizing pastures complimenting each other.