The ‘Biggest Kanger’ and the Sales Thereof

Zafar Aafaq



The Biggest Kanger
KL Image: Zafar Aafaq

Outside M J Fabrics at Budshah Chowk in Srinagar, a big Kangri catches the attention of pedestrians. A tag is attached to the Kangri top front side which reads, “World’s Biggest Kanger (firepot).”

The owner of the “world’s biggest” Kangri Junaid Handoo says, “as per my research and knowledge, there is no complete hand weaved Kangri as big as this in the world.”

“This Kangri has become a source of customer puller for us,” says Qazi Mudasir, who is a salesman at the shop.

Junaid had to search for the best artist who would agree to make “such a big” Kangri because, Junaid says, “all Kangri makers said it is a “difficult task” to weave a Kangri beyond a limit.

The maximum length of wicker that is used to make Kangri is 4-5 feet.

“All those Kangri artists who we consulted said it is almost impossible to make seven feet tall Kangri, without using adhesives,” claims Junaid.

“I was ambitious getting a big Kangri manufactured but most of the artists said: ‘if we try to weave a Kangri on a base and make it much bigger it will lose its shape and result in something far from Kangri.”

Junaid’s father Abdul Majeed Handoo found a Kangri weaver in a far off village in Budgam who agreed to weave this “big” Kangri. “It took us a total of six months to get this 3. 75 feet tall Kangri done.”

Eventually, this one of its kind Kangri was placed for showcasing outside Handoo’s shop two months ago. “This is here just here for an exhibitory purpose and not for sale as some people have approached to buy it,” says shop owner Sarfaraz Handoo.

“People come here and grab photos and selfies alongside the world’s biggest Kangri,” adds Sarfaraz. “I wish we could exhibit this marvellous piece of art in an art exhibition but we don’t have art a platform in Kashmir.”

“Instead of promoting the indigenous culture, art and local brand,” Junaid says, “government cares only about exported names.”

The other side of the tag on the Kangri reads:

“What Laila was on Majnoon’s Bossom,

So is the Kanger to a Kashmiri”.


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