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What is Kashmir’s Magic Carpet?


Recently, the famous Hazratbal Dargah in Srinagar is attracting locals for a rare spectacle of the washing and clipping of the largest carpet woven in Kashmir so far.


GS I: Culture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Kashmir’s Magic Carpet?
  2. Kashan Style: Features and Origin
  3. Historical Background of Kashmiri Carpet Craft

What is Kashmir’s Magic Carpet?

  • The magic carpet from Kashmir, crafted in the Kashan Style, is an elaborate masterpiece.
  • It measures 72 feet in length and 40 feet in width, weighs 1,685 kg, and boasts over three crore knots.

Creation and Challenges

  • Artisans dedicated eight years to its weaving.
  • They revived the traditional craft, overcoming obstacles like the 2014 floods, the 2019 abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Handling and Maintenance

  • Unrolling the carpet requires a team of at least 30 people.
  • A specialized team of 30-35 professional washers cares for it daily.

Destination and Competition

  • The carpet is expected to adorn a palace in the Middle East.
  • Kashmiri artisans are vying against their Iranian counterparts for the first time. The Iranians have crafted a massive carpet spanning 60,468 square feet, equivalent to a soccer field.

Kashan Style: Features and Origin

Origin and Appeal

  • The carpet is designed in the Kashan style, a historic pattern borrowed from the Iranian city of Kashan.
  • Kashan ceramic art, rooted in the historic city of Kashan in modern-day Iran, has fascinated art enthusiasts for generations.


  • The Kashan style is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship, intricate designs, and a harmonious mix of tradition, innovation, and artistic flair.

Historical Background of Kashmiri Carpet Craft


  • The tradition of carpet weaving in Kashmir dates back to the 15th century when Badshah Zain-ul-Abidin invited artisans from Persia and Central Asia to settle in the region.


  • Initially, artisans focused on crafting fine pashmina shawls. However, with the decreasing demand due to the introduction of jacquard looms in Europe, they transitioned to carpet weaving.

Global Recognition

  • Kashmiri carpets earned international acclaim after being showcased at the Great London Exhibition of 1851.
  • They continued to dazzle audiences at exhibitions in Chicago, Paris, and London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Preservation of Techniques

  • The ancient craft is guided by secret blueprints called talim, which are passed down through generations to preserve traditional techniques.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024