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Shikaras to Mughal gardens: Artists paint murals on Srinagar flyover to depict beauty of Kashmir

Srinagar: From ‘shikaras’ to exquisite silken carpets, a team of artists from old Srinagar city is busy painting murals on the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover these days.

The artists have so far painted murals on five walls of the flyover. Around 17 such paintings depicting the beauty and crafts of the Kashmir valley will have to be drawn on the walls.

 

“We have so far completed five paintings. We have drawn shikaras, skiing, Mughal gardens, crewel art, and silken carpets. We have to paint around 17 such images that will depict the beauty and crafts of Kashmir,” painter Abdul Rashid told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said around half a dozen artists were presently painting the flyover but inclement weather conditions were playing spoilsport. “This winter, we are experiencing a harsh ‘chillai kalaan’ and it is not easy painting the walls in bone-chilling cold. Around five to six people are painting these walls and in the mornings, we have to first clear icicles. We hope the weather improves so that we are able to do our work with ease,” he said.

Rashid, who hails from Khanqah-e-Moula, said being an artist in Kashmir was no easy job and many of his ilk were struggling to make ends meet.

“Painting has always been my passion and there was a time when I had three shops. I used to do all kinds of paintings including portraits. However, now I just have one shop at Khanqah-e-Moala now and that too is shut due to lack of work,” he said.

Though the murals are adding color to the otherwise muddy roads underneath the Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover, the nearby shopkeepers are hoping that the government also pays attention to other issues in the vicinity.

“Painting the walls of the flyover is good but the government should also pay attention towards other issues…for example, the roads under the flyover are full of dust during dry weather. If the debris is not removed and if the corners of the nearby roads are not repaired fully, the paintings will turn black in summers due to dust,” said Abdul Rauf, a shopkeeper at Magarmal Bagh chowk.