“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”
- John Donne
Crisp air, fluttering leaves, fiery hues and layers of scarves – autumn in Kashmir comes in an essence of brazen charm that no nature lover can possibly ignore. It begins with the Chinar leaves slowly changing their tone to a faint yellow and then a fiery orange. A cool breeze begins to lift from the waters of the Jhelum and fills the mornings and evenings with a chilly stir. The valley witnesses a second blossom of lavender flowers and a fresh produce of exotic saffron. As the earth erupts in crimson hues, people in Kashmir have their own ways to adapt to the climatic changes that follow. The markets burst forth with essentials which make autumn more distinct and mesmerizing to enjoy. And we are going to take you through some of these for you to float through the season in ease and style:
1. Wraps up in Woolens and Pashminas
Because autumn marks the advent of chilly nights and cold mornings, it is the perfect time to layer up in Woolen or Pashmina wraps for a subtle and comfortable warmth. And what more to ask for when this coziness is accompanied with utmost charm.
2. Turn on your Electric Blankets
With the nights filled with a slight chill, what is more convenient than a blanket which warms up in a single twitch. Don’t forget to turn on your blanket and have a good night’s sleep.
3. Phirans in the town
The autumn is all about colors – the earth lending its fiery hues and the people only adding to it. The colors and the chill make it imperative to don a Kashmiri Phiran, originally a traditional embroidered attire which is now given a contemporary touch by the younger generations.
4. Own a Kashmiri Kangri
A handy accessory for the winters, the Kashmiri Kangri is an earthen pot with a willow lining which hosts burning embers of coal to provide heat. The autumn witnesses numerous stall of colorful Kangris lining the streets of Kashmir Downtown. Grabbing hold of one under the Phiran is something which makes the best of us laze around in comfort.
5. Feast on a platter of Harissa
With Kashmiri Harissa in the making, who would want to eat anything else. Prepared by master chefs of the Valley, the Harisaa is a delectable meat preparation to provide warmth and flavor to those casual brunches. The dish is ideal to hog upon in the autumn and upcoming winter.
(Credits: India Today)
6. And not to forget the Hokh Syun
The culture of drying vegetables during hot summers and relishing them during autumn and winter is an old one. These sun dried veggies are ready by the time autumn unfolds and make finger licking dishes when prepared with the traditional Kashmiri Masala Mix – the Ver.
7. Call it the Saffron Season
The earth not only erupts in fiery orange tones of Chinar leaves, but also makes way for the saffron flowers to blossom. The season’s freshest produce of saffron is harvested and fills the markets with its distinct scent and beautiful colors, making it an ideal time to add to special dishes.
(Image Credits: Fida Iqbal)
8. Moisturize With Body Butters
With changing seasons, the skin is devoid of moisture and needs constant nourishment. The season hence calls for rich moisturizers and body butters to keep it well hydrated when the winter chill takes over.
9. Replace your Beverages with Kashmiri Kehwa
With cold and flu a certain alternative due to changing weather, replace your routine beverages with a natural concoction of Kashmiri Kahwa, a traditional drink known to shoo away the pains associated with fluctuating climates.
10. And a Teaspoon full of Honey
A teaspoon full of honey is known to clear the throat and bids farewell to respiratory diseases. Thus, when the autumn strikes and one is more prone to such issues, the Kashmiri Acacia honey makes a perfect accompaniment to routine breakfasts.
(Image Credits: Craving Yellow)
11. Snack up with Dry Fruits
Any season is rendered beautiful when one is in the best of health. An easy way to keep your body in good shape is munching on a mouthful of dry fruits everyday.
12. Accessorize with Colorful Booties
Autumn is the ideal time to accessorize in colorful booties – those which are crafted in light woolens with feminine embellishments gracing them.
With the expertise of Kashmiri people now shared with you, own up the spell of autumn and winter with perfection and ease.