Srinagar: Turkish fireplace `Inglenook’ is posing a serious challenge to traditional bukhari in Kashmir.
The valley currently is witnessing a spike in demand for Turkish bukharis with sellers claiming that their stores run out of stock ahead of the harsh winter period.
This increased demand for Turkish bukharis has brought down the sales of traditional fireplaces in Kashmir, which were a common winter appliance in the valley a few years before.
“The trend of using traditional Bukharis during winter is gradually diminishing. The introduction of electricity-driven heating appliances has already affected our market, years before. Now, Turkish Bukharis are posing a serious challenge to traditional Bukharis,” said Nazir Ahmad Ahanger, a Bukhari seller from Baramulla.
He said against 500-700 Bukharis during the winter season, Mir said he manages to sell just 50-100 Bukharis during winter.
“Though we made many innovations in traditional Bukaris still they don’t have a good demand in the market,” he said.
On the other hand, Turkish Bukharis currently sell like hotcakes across the valley.
A Turkish bukhari importer Ahsan-Ul-Haq said the demand for the product is rising not just in Kashmir but also in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.
With the growing popularity of bukharis in Kashmir, Ahsan expects a spike in sales this year after selling over 400 of them during the previous season.
“In Kashmir, we have been selling these Bukharis for the last four years and its demand has increased yearly. We are getting an enormous number of requests and inquiries about Turkish Bukharis. We import these Bukharis from Turkey along with other accessories and our professionals install them here in the valley,” said Ahsan-Ul-Haq,
Abdul Majeed Khan another traditional bukhari manufacturer said the resurgence of Hamams in Kashmir has equally made Bukharis an obsolete item.
“Every new house is coming up with a Hamam built inside it. The use of Bukharis is now confined to government offices. We rarely receive any customer now,” Khan said.
He said the demand for electronic appliances, however, has been higher during winters as compared to bukharis.
“Nowadays, people mostly use electric heaters or LPG-driven bukharis. Many. Bukhari manufacturers have taken to other jobs because of the low demand,” Khan said.