Jammu's Dogra culture and tradition is much
similar to that of neighbouring Punjab and Himachal
Pradesh. Traditional Punjabi festivals such as Lohri and
Vaisakhi are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm
throughout the region. After Dogras, Gujjars form the
second-largest ethnic group in Jammu. Known for their
semi-nomadic lifestyle, Gujjars are also found in large
numbers in the Kashmir valley. Similar to Gujjars,
Gaddis are primarily herdsmen who hail from the Chamba
region in Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis are generally
associated with emotive music played on the flute. The
Bakkarwalas found both in Jammu and the Vale of Kashmir
are wholly nomadic pastoral people who move along the
Himalayan slopes in search for pastures for their huge
flocks of goats and sheep
The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir valley,
performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform
the Rouff, another traditional folk dance. Kashmir has
been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including
poetry and handicrafts. Shikaras, traditional small
wooden boats, and houseboats are a common feature in
various lakes and rivers across the Valley. The
Constitution of India does not allow people from regions
other than Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the
state. As a consequence, houseboats became popular among
those who were unable to purchase land in the Valley and
has now become an integral part of the Kashmiri
lifestyle. Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and
almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilled
winter climate of Kashmir. Most of the buildings in the
Valley and Ladakh are made from softwood and is
influenced by Indian, Tibetan, and Islamic architecture.
Ladakh is famous for its unique Indo-Tibetan culture.
Chanting in Sanskrit and Tibetan language forms an
integral part of Ladakh's Buddhist lifestyle. Annual
masked dance festivals, weaving and archery are an
important part of traditional life in Ladakh. Ladakhi
food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most
prominent foods being thukpa, noodle soup; and tsampa,
known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour.
Typical garb includes gonchas of velvet, elaborately
embroidered waistcoats and boots, and gonads or hats.
People, adorned with gold and silver ornaments and
turquoise headgears throng the streets during various
Kashmir has been the highest learning point of Sanskrit
and Persian where early Indo-Aryanic civilization
has originated and flourished. Ladakh on the other side,
has been the highest living centre of Tantrayan
Buddhism. Similarly Jammu, has been the axis of Rajas
and Maharajas, who have enriched the cultural,
historical and social bonds of all these diverse ethnic
and linguistic sections of the state. The ancient
archeological monuments and remnants of the past are the
true picture of the rich cultural traditions of the
Kashmir is justly said to be the Nature's grand finale
of beauty. In this masterpiece of earth's creation
seasons in strong individuality vie with one another in
putting up exquisite patterns of charm and loveliness.
Nature has left an indelible mark on the folk
performances of Kashmir as they are intimately
interlined with the moods and movements of the seasons
Past Heritage of People
Culture and Lifestyle of Jammu and Kashmir is best
epitomized in the rich heritage of its colonial past.
Jammu and Kashmir boasts of a right proportion of each
culture that has ever entered into its vicinity. So,
Jammu and Kashmir is a melting pot for diverse cultures.
Different religions have left an indelible mark on this
Consequently, different tribes following different
religions, live in harmony in the state of Jammu and
Kashmir. Ranging from Islam to Hinduism and Jainism,
these religious cults have contributed to the rich
cultural heritage of Jammu.
The influence of Greek Romanticism and Roman Mysticism
is also apparent in Jammu, much as the Persian
lifestyle. The rustic existence and vibrant hues of
life, as visible in Jammu and Kashmir, gives a
conspicuous impression of People and Culture of Jammu
and Kashmir. Various Fairs and Festivals bring in more
variety into the lives of men. Starting from Durga Puja
to Id-ul-Zoha people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoy these
Festivals with same gusto. These instances of
celebration speak much of the People, Culture and
Lifestyle of Jammu and Kashmir.
The diverse population in Jammu consists of Kashmiri
Pundits, who are amongst the ancient denizens, forced to
migrate elsewhere due to terrorism and minority issues.
Kashmiri Muslims (Shia and Sunni) who comprise 90% of
the state population, are engaged in farming and cottage
industries. The Rajasthani Rajputs or Gurjars are
basically converts who embraced Islam under pressure and
lead lives of herdsmen.
The women folk in Jammu and Kashmir bedeck themselves
with numerous ornaments like earrings, necklaces,
bangles, nose rings and colorful dresses. The men folk
wear skullcaps, shalwars, churidar pyjamas, and gurgabi
(lace less shoes). Phiran is a common woolen wear
adorned with floral motifs and lot of embroidery.
Lifestyle of Jammu and Kashmir is reflected through the
dress that they wear and places where they stay.