‘Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast’

            These words of Amir Khusro still echo in the beautiful valley of Kashmir surrounded by Pir Panjal and Shamsabari mountain ridges in the Indian our  continent roughly translated as Kashmir, “Heaven on Earth,”. It is famous for its breath taking landscapes, rich culture, and vibrant heritage. The valley of Kashmir is surrounded by high mountains, snow-covered peaks, and dense forests that attract tourists from all over the world. The culture of Kashmir is a fusion of different traditions, beliefs, and religions that have evolved over centuries. Hence it is appropriately selected as the location for the meeting for delegation of G20 tourism working group which is scheduled on 22-24 May 2023.

            Kashmir has a rich history that dates back to the ancient times when it was ruled by different dynasties.  This G20 summit in Kashmir gives an opportunity for Kashmir and India in large to present her multi-cultural fibre to the world. The valley of Kashmir has been a melting pot of various cultures, religions, and traditions. The region has been a centre of trade, commerce, and culture for centuries, and it has played a vital role in the development of art, architecture, literature, and music in the Indian subcontinent. The cultural heritage of Kashmir is diverse and complex. It is a blend of different traditions, beliefs, and customs that have evolved over centuries. The valley of Kashmir has been influenced by various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Sikhism. Each religion has left its imprint on the culture of Kashmir, and this has given rise to a unique blend of traditions and customs that are distinct from the rest of India. Kashmir can be developed as tourist destination for world’s all major religions as religious pilgrimage. Here they have Hazratbal shrine as well as Amaranth caves to Martand Sun temple.

            Tourism working group of G-20 will also get a real time experience of the Kashmiri people who are known for their warm hospitality. The culture of Kashmir is deeply rooted in the traditions of the past, and it is reflected in the way of life of the people. The traditional attire of Kashmiri men includes the phiran, which is a long loose robe, and the pajama, which is a loose-fitting pant. The women wear the poots, which is a long skirt, and the pashmina shawl, which is made from the fine wool of the Kashmiri goat. The cuisine of Kashmir is also unique, and it is known for its rich flavours and aromas. The most popular dishes include Roganjosh, Yakhni, and Wazwan which are part of traditional Kashmiri feast.

            One of the most significant contributions of Kashmir to the world of art is its exquisite handcrafted products. The art of paper mache, which is practiced in Kashmir, is known for its intricate designs and vibrant colours. The artisans of Kashmir use natural pigments and dyes to create intricate designs on paper mache products, which are used for decoration and gift purposes. The art of carpet weaving is also famous in Kashmir, and the carpets of Kashmir are known for their fine quality and intricate designs. The handicrafts of Kashmir include shawls, blankets, embroidery, and wood carvings, which are highly valued for their beauty and quality.

            The music and dance of Kashmir are an essential part of the culture of Kashmir. The traditional music of Kashmir is known as Sufiana Kalam, which is a form of devotional music that is sung in praise of God. The Sufi poets of Kashmir have contributed significantly to the development of this music form. The traditional dance of Kashmir is known as Rouf, which is performed by women during festivals and other occasions. The dance is a graceful and elegant form of expression that reflects the beauty and grace of the Kashmiri women.

            Kashmir has also been a centre of learning and scholarship for centuries. The valley of Kashmir is known for its renowned centres of learning, which has attracted scholars from all over the world. University of Kashmir famously know as KU is responsible for the liaison between government and G20 delegation. KU has constituted a C20 which is an official engagement group of G20 for providing platform for civil society organisations, NGOs and government representatives to engage important stakeholders for discussion on selected themes.

            Kashmir is all set to present the best of all to the delegation of G-20 and give them a memorable stay for their life. With series of meetings and events in valley, Kashmir will be able to present the recent developments in the state. This will also encourage investment in the various fields such tourism, health, education and infrastructure. The government is also preparing the city to receive it’s guests by revamping the Dal promenade, uplifting the Lal chowk and other important places in the city. The delegation can have the experience of rich tradition of Kashmiri culture, cuisine, apparel and sightseeing. This is will be indeed a golden era of Kashmir.

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