Papier Mache is one of the major buys while shopping in Srinagar. Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located in the centre of Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1730 m above sea level. Dotted with tranquil lakes, beautiful gardens and quaint houseboats, Srinagar is renowned for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, Kashmiri clothes and dry fruits. It is a place worth a visit while on a tour to Jammu and Kashmir.
Papier Mache is a delicate and decorative work of art that was introduced in Kashmir in the 15th century by a Kashmiri Prince. Papier Mache is a unique craft involving the use of paper pulp for creating exquisite artifacts in lifelike images of birds, flowers, and other motifs.
At present, real gold and silver paint are used to create Papier Mache to make it look more elegant. The designs and intricate decorations of the Kashmiri Papier Mache have a strong Persian influence. One of the rich designs is Arabesque, done in gold against a brown or red background depicting sprays of rose blossoms in fine lines. Yarkand is an elaborate design built up in spirals with gold rosettes protruding from various centers and white flowers adorning the gold scroll work.
The Papier Mache objects available in Srinagar are not only tastefully ornamented, but are extremely light and strong. They vary from Christmas ornaments to coasters and include boxes of different size and shape. Papier Mache is coated with lacquer to guard them from water and ensure extra durability.
The price of Papier Mache is determined by the type and the quality of the gold used for the product. There are numerous Papier Mache products available in Srinagar, ranging from the highly expensive ones to the cheaper ones. You can pick up cheaper items like eggcups, candle stands, pen stands, kumkum boxes, cigarette boxes, etc, or expensive ones such as beautiful vases, bowls, and trays.