By Parvez Butt
Bandipore, (J-K), June 13 : Traditional horse carts locally called 'tangas' are still the most widely used means of transportation in Bandipore region in Jammu and Kashmir.
Though in most parts of the valley, the space for tangas is shrinking, in Bandipore the horse carts gallop through the thoroughfares of the hilly area located on the banks of the Asia's largest sweet water lake, the Wular Lake.
Being cheap and pollution free mode of transport, tanga is still the most sought after conveyance in Bandipora, around 80 kilometers from Srinagar.
Many feel that these tangas keep them well knitted with the history and tradition of the region, others observe that these vehicles are easy on the pocket.
"These tangas have been here since past 50 years. Despite the fact that there are many other modes of transportation today, we still prefer traveling in tangas," said Abdul Rashid, a resident.
From dawn to dusk the horse cart owners called Tangawallas can be seen moving on the streets, looking for passengers and dropping them at their destination.
"This is in sync with our culture. Also, it is economical. And people, who cannot afford other means of transportation, use these," said Zahoor Ahmed, another resident.
The history of tangas in Kashmir dates back to the 1930s when the Maharajas used to travel in luxurious horse carts.