Kashmir no doubts is a heaven on the earth but along with this it is also a Heaven of the Handicrafts. The exquisite beauty of the products evolved by the tender fingers of its beautiful people have been appreciated from royal palaces to ordinary homes inside country and abroad for centuries. The Handicrafts of Kashmir are an important part of its rich cultural heritage. Handicrafts fulfilled a positive physical need in the daily life requirements of the people and also serve to satisfy the aesthetic hunger in man and provide a vehicle of his urge for self expression which reveals a conscious aesthetic approach. The concept behind handicrafts as originally conceived has been imbuing everything used in daily life, no matter how common or mundane, with a touch of beauty to add brightness to an otherwise dull and drab existence. In Kashmir, as in other parts of ancient India, the concept of beauty has been equated with god hood.
The real significance of handicrafts lies in the newness of each object. No two things of handicrafts are alike, for each is a fresh creation. Standardization is in fact a negation of all that handicrafts stand for. There is a wide range even in the clay water pots and panes, clothes and garments with distinctive colors and designs, which breaks the monotony which is most sickening in life.
Kashmir has excelled in the art of portraying the beautiful flora and fauna of the land through medium of colours and needle and its craftsmen have been revered all over the world. In this machine age handicrafts stand a symbol of flow of creativity as compared to dull repetition. The stress on mechanization and mass production is telling upon the field of Handicrafts. Many age old concepts are being discarded. In such a scenario, Kashmir presents a reassuring situation, with its elaborate techniques evolved over the ages, particularly in Carpets, Embroidery, intricate woodwork, and papier mache.
The industry presents vast potential for its further development in the context of growing demand of goods both within and outside the country. The export-oriented character has been the most significant feature of the industry which has been fetching a handsome foreign exchange for the country.
Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange earnings for India . The Tourism Industry is more important in case of Jammu and Kashmir comprising Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region of the State whose economy primarily is dependent on this sector. The growth of tourism both domestic and foreign would require growth in Hotel accommodation as well as other facilities like travel agencies, shopping centres, handicrafts, transport, trade and catering services.
In the State of Jammu and Kashmir, Tourism has emerged as an important and one of the major contributors to the State’s economy. There are various places of tourist attraction in the State which are being visited by both foreign and domestic tourist but there remains much to be done to exploit the tourism potential to the maximum extent. Keeping this in view, Government of Jammu and Kashmir have recently, declared tourism as an industry and number of concessions and incentives have been extended. Further, beautification of existing natural tourist spots and adding new areas/spots of tourist attraction are being done by J&K Government for the growth of tourism.
Horticulture is one major revenue earning activity in the State with Vast
export and employment potential. It provides employment to nearly 25 lakh
people annually. Total area under fruit production has increased
Considerably in the last 50 years and it is nearly 2.00 lakh hacters with an
annual production around 12 lakh tones. Large acreage in the temperate, sub
temperate hilly region and sub tropical areas of the state are yet to be
exploited for fruit production. Such land slopes which are not suitable for
crop production can be put under fruit crops and therefore additional areas
are required to be brought under fruit cultivation.
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