Kashmir Gujjar clan prefers to stay in wooden huts

July 27th, 2010 - 4:29 pm ICT by ANI  

By Fayaz Ahmad

Srinagar, July 27 (ANI):The Gujjar clan of Jammu and Kashmir prefers to stay in their traditional wooden huts instead of a house in the valley.

The state government provides all several facilities to the tribes; despite that, they still prefer to reside in their traditional homes.

These wooden huts are known as Kothas and Bandis made up of mud and wood from pine trees.

“It is our traditional way of living. During winters, we take shelter in mountains by making Kothas (Wooden huts) with wood, cover the rooftops with leaves and further paste on it a thick layer of sand. This way we are spending our lives peacefully in Kothas,” said Muhammad Younis, a Gujjar.

These wooden huts are divided in two parts, one for their families and other to keep cattle.

“These Kothas have traditional values in our lives. Our ancestors used to stay in it and we are also making it and staying in it. If we would stay in the valley during this season then we would have lost our cattle, as there is no grass left there. The atmosphere is also pleasant here and we are happy staying here during this season,” said Muhammad Jamal Banday, another Gujjar.

Gujjars clad constitute a significant proportion of the population of the State. In some states of India, they are classified under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

In general, they have nomadic character and largely depend on flocks and cattle keeping for their livelihood.

The major concentration of Gujjar lies in Jammu, Rajouri, Udhampur, Poonch, Uri, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Daksum, Narang and the Kandi areas of the Jammu and Kashmir Division. (ANI)

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