25 artisans worked 8 years to weave Asia’s largest carpet in Kashmir

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 18-05-2024
Asia's largest carpet on display in Srinagar (Pics by Basit Zargar)
Asia's largest carpet on display in Srinagar (Pics by Basit Zargar)


Basit Zargar/Srinagar 

After Srinagar was designated among the most creative cities in the world, Kashmir Valley's artisans are making sure to live up to the expectations of this title. In a village called Wayil in North Kashmir's Kralpora area, a team of Kashmiri artisans have created a masterpiece touted as Asia's largest handcrafted carpet.

This hand-knotted carpet measuring 72 by 40 feet covers an area of 2,880 square feet. It took over 25 artisans around eight long years to complete this masterpiece. 

The huge carpet on display in Srinagar

The whole carpet industry of Kashmir Valley is priding itself on this masterpiece. The intricate weaving of this exceptional carpet was overseen by two seasoned artisans - Fayaz Ahmed Shah and Abdul Gaffar Sheikh. It is due to their dedication that this monumental piece has found shape.

''This was an order by someone from our country only. This carpet is 72 feet long and 40 feet broad, and we have never made such a big carpet in the Kashmir Valley ever. We had to put our minds to a lot of things as it required a huge loom to be woven on. 

“It was a big challenge and thank god it's been finally completed. I am sure it will be sold abroad, and I am sure that in future we will make something bigger than this, '' said Fayaz Ahmed Shah, a craft dealer.  

Asia's largest carpet

The last eight years of weaving this masterpiece have not been smooth. There have been multiple obstacles that the artisans faced particularly the COVID-19 Pandemic. The lockdowns led to a lot of supply chain-related disruptions.

This mammoth carpet has written a new chapter for Kashmir's rich legacy of art and craft. 

According to the craft dealers, hundreds of artisans are returning to looms to pick up carpet weaving again.

An artisan tying the loose threads of Asia's biggest carpet 

''We have artisans coming back to us after this carpet was made. Around 226 artisans have come back to us and said that they want to work again. We just hope the way any employees get paid; it has to be the same and equal wages for them as well. Our artisans need to have a life of dignity and they should be able to afford their families... I am telling you they will never leave the work if they are paid well. This is a teamwork. From the designs to artisans, everyone has worked very hard for the making of this masterpiece, '' Shah added.

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As this masterpiece becomes a symbol of Kashmir's craftsmanship and artistic prowess, it has also become a ray of hope for the revitalization and recognition of local artisans and their invaluable contributions to preserving the cultural heritage of the region