Travels in Kashmir
‘A beautifully written, meticulously researched journey through time in Kashmir’ – Basharat Peer The very name Kashmir conjures up magical images, from the real garden paradise of Shalimar to Thomas Moore’s fantastic descriptions in “Lalla Rookh”. Recounting the story of this colourful and fascinating region as it appears in travel writing, literature, and historical works from ancient times to the present day, Travels in Kashmir offers a lively and comprehensive guide to a land little understood in the West. Beginning with an informal history of Kashmir – from the legends of the twelfth-century Kalhana to the accounts of British colonial rulers – the book brings together a wide variety of engaging travellers’ tales, reports, and descriptions that vividly illustrate the changing perceptions of the area – both Indian and European – throughout the years. Of particular interest is a section on the arts, crafts, and craftspeople of Kashmir, which focuses specifically on the shawl-weaving, carpet-making, and papier mâché works that have gained international renown. Throughout, Keenan proves a sharp as well as sympathetic observer with an eye for the amusing and the poignant, and the entertaining way she unfolds the story of Kashmir’s people, places, and crafts makes this a book that will be enjoyed by tourists, readers of travel writing, and anyone interested in one of the most unusual and beautiful places in the world.'