Resting in the lap of dazzling, snow-capped Himalayas, the Kashmir valley is a jewel in India’s crown. Lush valleys with unparalleled beauty made the great Mughal emperor Shahjahan proclaim in great delight, “If there’s paradise anywhere on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.”
This North-West niche of India is bounded on the South by Himachal Pradesh and the Punjab, on the South West and West by Pakistan, on the North by Chinese Turkistan and a little of Russian Turkistan, and on the East by Chinese Tibet. Thereby Jammu Kashmir is strategically bordering the territories of three countries – Russia, China, and Pakistan.
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu’s numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year.
Some of the important towns and cities in Jammu and Kashmir are – Jammu, Srinagar, Doda, Kathua, Udhampur, Rajauri, Punch, Budgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kargil, etc.
Diwali in Jammu & Kashmir :
In Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits, the only Hindus in the state, who roughly constitute approximately 4 to 5 % of the population in the valley celebrate Diwali. For these Kashmiri Pundits, Diwali is one of the oldest rituals and they celebrate Diwali with as much fervor as it is celebrated in other parts of the country.
In Jammu Kashmir, Diwali is celebrated with traditional fervor and joy, there is lot of excitement in the air.
Kashmiris decorate their homes much before Diwali. Some paint their homes again and some others who cannot afford to paint it again clean their homes thoroughly.
Weeks before Diwali you can see markets flooded with Diwali Diya’s Firecrackers, Lanterns, and all other stuff that people generally shop during Diwali festival.
For Kashmiris, just like for people in other parts of the country, Diwali is a time for shopping. They buy a new home, a new car, furniture, clothes, utensils etc taking full advantage of all the festive promotions available in the market.
Diwali Celebrations by Kashmiri Pandits :
As told you earlier, Diwali is one of the oldest rituals for Kashmiri Pandits. For Kashmiri Pandits the celebrations of Diwali start from Ekadeshi and last till Amavasya (the actual Diwali Day).
On Amvasya, i.e, the Diwali day people get up early in the morning and then put on new clothes, go to temples, and purchase lots of sweets and dry fruit for distribution among friends, relatives and colleagues. They celebrate the day as Sukhsuptika which literally means sleep with happiness.
On this day elder members of the family generally keep a fast and perform the Lakshmi Pooja in the evening after sunset. People also place earthen lamps (diya’s) in temples, road sides, out of thier homes, shops, etc and make the valley full of Diya’s.
Small children’s burst crackers and enjoy the Diwali.
People also listen to melodious Kashmiri Music and of course wish everyone Happy Diwali ….
How to Say Happy Diwali in Kashmiri Language :
Tohi chuv Diwali hunz hath hath Mubarak
Diwali’ us pet tohi saarni mubarak. Lassun te Pahlun.