How Companies in Kashmir Pivot with Nature’s Clock

How Companies in Kashmir Pivot with Nature’s Clock


With distinct 4 seasons dictating a gown shift and a meals alternative, a part of Kashmir’s enterprise shifts with the seasons experiences Syed Shadab Ali Gillani

10-year-old orphan boy recognized as Rafqat Ali resident of the Badamwari space of Hawal in Srinagar sells Kangris (firepots) to assist his household

Historically, Kashmir summer time is related to tourism. As temperatures rise within the plains, the snow-capped mountains start their gradual thaw, cascading down as gushing streams and rivers. The enduring Dal Lake takes centre stage, with its enchanting shikaras and houseboats turning into the bustling focus for vacationers.

“For us, summer time isn’t solely a season of heat but additionally a chance to supply for our households,” explains Khalid, a houseboat proprietor. “Throughout this time, we witness an inflow of vacationers who not solely select to remain in our houseboats but additionally embark on Shikara rides, enabling us to earn a good livelihood.”

In contrast to the plains the place a mere shift in temperature, rains or humidity makes a selected season distinct, Kashmir’s 4 seasons are set aside.  The shifting seasons doesn’t solely change the gown and the meals alternative of the individuals alone, it additionally brings a couple of shift in enterprise and financial actions.

“It’s so distinct {that a} {photograph} of an individual on the road may help a local, distant, to inform which season it’s all about,” stated Abdul Rashid, a shopkeeper. “Whether it is an excessive amount of of woollens, it’s winter, whether it is gentle jersey it should be autumn, a T-shirt would imply summer time and a lightweight jacket should be early spring.”

For natives, the meals and the market additionally exhibited a change. Life will get costly in winter, not like the summers.


As autumn descends upon Kashmir, a refined shift within the enterprise panorama turns into obvious. The variety of vacationers dwindles with temperature, and the main focus of the trade undergoes a notable transition. A trickle of vacationers go for houseboat lodging throughout this time. Moreover, many shikara house owners discover themselves diversifying their operations. Even their charges fall.

“Summers carry prosperity, however winters usually pose challenges for our livelihood,” Shabir Ahmed, a shikara proprietor stated. Generally Dal Lake freezes, rendering shikaras impassable. Consequently, vacationers are likely to favour locations like Gulmarg for winter sports activities. Due to this fact, many houseboat house owners enterprise into various companies throughout this era.

Throughout winter, among the houseboat house owners journey to Pune or Goa. Some work with the individuals already within the hospitality sector and plenty of others promote the locations to the potential vacationers.

Small Enterprise

Small companies are Kashmir’s foremost earners and job givers. Because the seasons evolve, these resilient enterprises adapt to the altering calls for of their prospects.

The household of Mohammad Rafiq Khan has been working an ice-cream store for nearly 90 years in Hari Singh Excessive Road. “This parlour has been in my household for the reason that period of the Maharajas,” revealed Khan. “For the previous 45 years, we now have been promoting ice cream and comfortable drinks solely throughout summers.”

In winter, the septuagenarian defined, “We primarily promote drinks and different meals like Chola Puri, Gajar ka Halwa, and Samosas.”

A Fashionable Heater

Their enterprise, Khan stated adapts to the seasons, transitioning from strong meals and drinks to ice lotions, juices, and comfortable drinks. “Thank God, our enterprise stays unaffected,” he stated. This 12 months, nonetheless, Khan observed a decreased footfall in HSHS.

A couple of kilometres away from Khan’s store, Diplaz, one other ice cream nook, experiences the same shift in exercise. It sells biryani, momos, scorching espresso, and scorching chocolate throughout winter. “Our gross sales throughout winter solely quantity to roughly 10 per cent of our summer time income,”  Zubair Ahmed, its promoter stated.

Road Meals

Tons of of non-natives are ubiquitous on Srinagar streets and within the peripheral cities. They promote Gol Gappa, ice cream, and Bhel Puri. Off late, they’ve been instrumental in introducing maize corn (bouta) to Kashmir at a time when it’s not regionally accessible. Kashmir maize is prepared by early September. They supply it from plains and promote for practically half of the 12 months. Kashmir can also be a local bouta enterprise but it surely thrives totally on native produce.

In addition they exhibit the shift. “I promote Gol Gappa in the course of the summer time season,” a avenue vendor from Udhampur, who units his store close to busy Iqbal Park stated. Throughout winter, when footfalls go down and the freeze returns, he goes house and takes up menial jobs.

Babu Lal Mondal is a  Bihar resident, incomes his livelihood on Srinagar streets for the final 22 years. “I earn round Rs 400 day by day,” he shared. “In summer time, I promote softies and in winter, I promote roasted peas (mattar, karae), and on different days, I promote dry snacks, which yield much less revenue.” He has taken a room on lease in Habba Kadal however insisted that 2023 has been difficult. “This 12 months has been significantly troublesome.” Curiously, he loves Kashmir winters higher than the summers!

Weathering the Storm

In her fifties, Khalida has been working a pottery store at Rambagh for the previous decade to assist her household of three. “In the course of the wedding ceremony season, I promote Tumbakhnaaris (musical devices used throughout weddings),” Khalida stated. “After the marriage season ends, I promote vases and different objects. Throughout winters, my foremost focus is on promoting kundals (earthenware for hearth pots)”.

These people characterize a fraction of the small and huge companies that function seasonally and should discover various means to maintain themselves. For all of them, the shift isn’t straightforward. “The shift is exhausting”, they admit. “However life has to go on.”

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