When I was first advised that Kashmiri people where a woven basket full of scorching hot coals under their coats, I wouldn’t believe it. Especially coming from a fellow Aussie and a bogan at that. But after a quick demonstration by a passing Kashmiri man I was a believer.
The tradition is to where this woolen overcoat with wide sleeves and then take the woven basket full of coals in one hand and hold it close to your belly. The coal basket is called a Jangri and it’s the most popular and inexpensive way to keep warm. The 4 handles on top allow you to get your hands as close to the coals as possible without burning whilst keeping extremely warm.
I was lucky enough to visit a kashmiri home in Tangmarg and had freezing feet after trekking through the slushy snow to get to the house. They gave me a big blanket and the woven basket of coals and told me to place my feet on it- within 5 mins I was toasty warm and had forgotten about my near frostbite toes.
I also got to use the basket after catching the shikara, low row boat, over the Dal Lake and my fingers and upper body were freezing. I held onto the basket in the car and actually had to put it down after getting too toasty warm.
It looks crazy – but the system works, gonna go get me one of the toasty warm coal baskets for tonight I think.