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Houses and Hotels of Kashmir
One of the most unique things of Kashmir is their houses and hotels. The walls of the houses are made of normal one layer of bricks or pure pine tree wood in many places. Roofs are made of thick sheets of Asbestos or thin metal. They are generally sloppy so that ice does not remain on them and falls down. Floors are generally made of cement and plain tiles , but each and every room is covered with famous Kashmiri Carpet called Ghalicha. Each bed is covered with huge and thick double bed sheet or you can say Rajaai which protects from sheer cold. The other good feature is the rooms of budget hotels are very large and have attached washroom unlike the budget hotels in other tourist places where they are relatively small and washrooms may be common or private depending upon pockets and choice.
The best quality which I liked is that the rooms does not have fans at least in Pahalgam because of two reasons. One is that the weather is almost cool and pleasant for all 12 months and hence fans are not required. Second thing is the houses have lot of windows in a single room. The ventilation is of ace quality. There are at least 3 windows in one room in each and every house . You won’t see any single room with single window in it. Three is minimum figure. Secondly they don’t have metal grills inside the windows as we have in our cities specially to protect from thieves.Everything window is open everywhere. I guess there aren’t any thieves or robbers in Kashmir or crime related to robbery may be nil now. Continuous cool and pleasant breeze blows in summer and chilled winds in winter. To have privacy all you have is thick and colorful curtains. Also in budget Hotels they provide cupboard, TV, dustbin, geysar good and clean washrrooms.
They have hall but in that they don’t have tables, sofas or chairs. All they have is a huge Kashmiri Carpet on the floor surrounded by pillows on the walls. One can have a good time with family and friends sitting on that carpet. The outer walls of the House and Hotels are painted in light as well as bright colours depends on the individuals choice.
Majority of the houses have only one floor i.e. ground floor . In some cases one floor plus ground floor and in rare cases two floors. All majority hotels have two floors and only some have three floors.
I am going to show you pictures having all these qualities below.
One thing which I found very unpleasant was that each and every room may have smell of cigarette inside. And specially Kashmiri people are very addictive to cigarette. I didn’t see a single Kashmiri person in my whole tour who doesn’t smoke and they smoke anywhere they want. The owner comes in the room with lighted cigarette. So each and every room has odor of cigarette. Be sure to carry a room freshener.
Now below is my hotel which looks quite shabby and restaurant from outside , but the real thing was from inside. The Hotel is located in Pahalgam Village in Chandanwadi road near Pahalgam Village Masjid.