Culture & Heritage
Jammu and Kashmir has the distinction of having multifaceted, variegated and unique cultural blend, making it distinct from the rest of the country, not only from the different cultural forms and heritage, but from geographical, demographically, ethical, social entities, forming a distinct spectrum of diversity and diversions into Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, all professing diverse religion, language and culture, but continuously intermingling, making it vibrant specimens of Indian Unity amidst diversity. Its different cultural forms like art and architecture, fair and festivals, rites and rituals, seer and sagas, language and mountains, embedded in ageless period of history, speak volumes of unity and diversity with unparalleled cultural cohesion and cultural service.
Like the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar too has a distinctive blend of cultural heritage. Holy places in and around the city depict the historical cultural and religious diversity of the city as well as the Kashmir valley.While the Kashmir has been the highest learning centre of Sanskrit and Persian where early Indo-Aryanic civilization has originated and flourshed, it has also been embracing point of advent of Islam bringing its fold finest traditions of Persian civilization, tolerance, brotherhood and sacrifice.
Some of the popular performing traditions of Srinagar are as follows :-
Bhand Pather :
It is a traditional folk theatre style combination of play and dance in a satirical style where social traditions , evils are depicted and performed in various social and cultural functions. Bhand Jashan is performed by a group of 10 to 15 artists in their traditional style accompanied by light music for the entertainment of people.
It is most popular form of Kashmiri folk music. It has some resemblance with chakra of mountaineous regions of Uttar Pradesh. Normally Garaha, Sarangi, Rabab were the musical instruments used in the past. But now thw harmonium too has made its way in its presentation.
Sufiana Music :
Sofians musiqui came to Kashmir from Iran in the 15th century. Over the years it has established itself as the classical music form of Kashmir and has incorporated a number of Indian Ragas in its body. Hafiz Nagma in fact, used to be part of sofiana music. The instruments used in this form are Santoor, Sitar, Kashmiri Saz, Wasool or Tabala. In Hafiz Nagma a dancer is a female while her accompanists on various instruments are males. Hafiza moves her feet on musical notes.