Mahwish Mushtaq Khan
Srinagar: Mud houses were an integral part of Kashmir culture in the past but with time they have become a rare sight due the construction of sophisticated, luxurious houses. However, a young entrepreneur Sameer Majid is trying to revive the age-old tradition by building mud houses long forgotten by the people of Kashmir.
Situated on the banks of river Sindh in Kijpora village of district Ganderbal, traditional styled mud houses have become a tourist attraction for both locals and non-locals.
Three rustic mud houses built in the picturesque foot hills of Kangan area has been named under an initiative as “Kulube Mud houses”.
The owner of these houses Sameer Majid says that he started construction of mud houses two years back which were opened for public in May this year.
“I got the idea of building mud houses two years ago. This idea crossed my mind while reminiscing about the old culture and tradition of Kashmir. People in the past lived a very simple yet peaceful life. So I thought why not remind our people of the serene past,” he said.
Sameer constructed three mud houses on his family land which are made of locally produced materials but are equipped with all the modern facilities inside.
These mud houses are eco-friendly as the owner has used old style pottery utensils.
“In old times, people used mud for walls, hay for rooftops and wood to construct their houses. I have done the same. Basically I wanted the same aesthetic feel that our houses in the past were known for. But at the same time we have made sure that people are provided with all the important facilities inside,” he said.
These houses have a luggage room, washroom, living area and even a veranda. Around three to four people can be easily accommodated in each mud house.
Sameer said he constructed a small restaurant nearby so that tourists could enjoy their stay while relishing Kashmiri cuisine.
“We are getting an amazing response from both local and non local people. Tourists mostly stop by and take selfies while many book the cottages for the night stay. So I constructed a restaurant for them so that they can enjoy the food,” he said, adding that visitors are served traditional Wazwan to give a lifetime experience especially to non-local tourists.
Seeing the positive response of people, Sameer plans to build more such mud cottages in future as well.
“People had forgotten about the beautiful culture and history in the face of technological advancement. I am not against living in modern and new styled houses but at the same time we should not forget our roots,” he said.
Sameer said our young generation should be familiar with our rich culture.