Shawls are 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.
There are several places worth a visit in Srinagar while on a tour to Jammu and Kashmir. The most popular tourist attractions of Srinagar are Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Dal Lake, Hari Parbat Fort, Shankaracharya Temple, Hazratbal Mosque, Shalimar Gardens, Nishat Gardens, etc. Besides, you can go for shopping in the various markets in Srinagar, and pick up some exquisite articles like shawls.
Shawls of Srinagar became famous during the Mughal rule, with Emperor Akbar being captivated by them and encouraging weavers to try new motifs on them. But it was during the Sikh rule when the shawl industry prospered. It was greatly influenced by some foreign events, and various styles of shawls, in terms of designs and motifs, were introduced.
The hand-woven Kashmiri shawls available in Srinagar are of great demand among tourists world over. Adorned by delicate embroidery, these woolen shawls form an integral part of the economy of Srinagar. These shawls of Srinagar come in a wide spectrum of colors and intricate designs.
Besides the regular woolen shawls, you can also purchase the famous Pashmina shawls made from the hair of ibex. The Pashmina shawl, distinctive for its softness, is a highly valued shawl made in Kashmir.
You can also opt to pick up a Shahtoosh, the legendary ring shawl. Renowned for its lightness, softness and coziness, Shahtoosh commands a high price in the market due to the scarcity of its raw-material.
The tapestry shawl, innovated during the Dogra period, is a rich and rugged material used not only as a protective garment, but also for costume dresses, tents, saddles and as decorative curtains.