Tongas still hold their charm in Kashmir

May 3rd, 2009 - 7:52 pm ICT by ANI  

By: Afzal Bhat

Srinagar, May 3 (ANI): Though people across the country are today fascinated to travel around through luxury cars, a lot of people in Kashmir still prefer traditional horse carts as a popular medium to commute.

One can say the Kashmiris have not given up on their favourite mode of transportation, popularly called ‘Tonga’ and still prefer enjoying its ride while moving from one place to another in the nearby areas.

The horse carts still gallop through the thoroughfares of the hills.

Some of the districts including Baramullah in Kashmir still use this traditional mode of commutation and have many old shops dealing in accessories related to tongas.

Shopkeepers selling these accessories say they have a good sale.

“The items we have at our shop are vital to those using horse cart. People from far off places often come to us to buy these accessories like horseshoe, saddles, wheels and its rubbers. Many such accessories are still in demand in this modern age,” said Bashir Ahmad, horse cart accessory shopkeeper.

Some of these old shops of tonga accessories are also running in Parimpora area, which is ten kilometers away from Srinagar.

The districts where the horse cart accessories are most in demand are Sopore, Baramullah, and Bandipora.

“I have come here to buy accessories for my tonga all the way from Banipura Hajan. I want to buy wheels and saddles. I have come here because there are only few shops here. Therefore, I had to cover such a long distance,” said Nazir Ahmad, a horse cart owner.

The history of tongas in Kashmir dates back to the 1930s when the Maharajas used to travel in luxurious horse carts. (ANI)

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