Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has come to KASHMIR with me from OOTY by Jai’s writing retreat.
Along the northern borders of India, lay the heavenly beauty of Earth! A beauty that’s incomparable, that’s so serene, it leaves an impact on your minds even after years of watching them live. Some views which are so pleasant to look at, you wouldn’t want to gaze away from them, just indulge in that heavenly view for ever and ever…
I went kashmir three years back with my family. Though the trip was quite tiresome and lengthy as we commuted through train and road, I still remember those first rays of sunlight as it fell on us when we came out of the over packed car to just outside one of the entrance of Dal lake. You can imagine the beauty of greyish blue sky meeting up the pale blue lakes on the early twilight period and the chill in the climate that suddenly made us shiver. The peaceful journey on the lake that took us to our house boat while we were still under the magical spell of the place made all the tiring feel go up in the air. I can still feel the same sweet feeling of being there each time I close my eyes and recollect my first boat trip on Dal lake.
For Dal lake, I always use one phrase, it’s a city on water! It’s unbelievable how the locals there live in houses which are actually houseboats and have their whole civilisation revolving on the lake. I don’t think so anywhere else in the whole world you’ll see a whole market on a lake that consisted of various shops, restaurants in the middle of the lake and even salesmen approaching you to buy their products as you take a leisure ride on the cushioned comfortable boats, shikara! Imagine devouring hot Barbeque freshly grilled in the middle of the lake and devouring your favourite fruit plate as you take your ride along.
That was dal lake, one of the best and beautiful looking lakes in the whole world which actually gets tiled up with ice during winters and even then you can see locals commuting through it and kids going to school from their house boats walking over the ice. I know it’s unbelievable but magical too! If you ask me, I would suggest everyone of you to visit this place once in your life. Just to experience what serenity with beauty looks like.
While you go away from the city life of Srinagar, you enter another side of this paradise that’s heavily populated with tall pines, shadowed with ice clad mounts, complimented with fast flowing clean and lush rivers and some stunning views that’ll leave you wondering about the creativity of nature! Sonamarg is another beautiful diamond in the crown of north India. The climate here is often more chilled than in Srinagar and we can actually see lots of rural Kashmiri population here. The typical one storey, two storied basic houses, the local men clad in native Kashmiri jubba and their breeding of Kashmiri hairy goats and sheep. For tourists, they have started some water sports in those flowing rivers, the vast roads often has some green mounts along with them when you get out to look at them you’ll find yourself in front of those calendar images which has so much of greenery and beautiful mountains behind them to enhance their look. A visit to Sonamarg is a feast to eyes and a treasure for your memory!
Some hours of road trip from Sonamarg, but each view is eye captivating as you reach Pehelgam. The lush green and a bit primitive area of Kashmir that’s another must visit destination here. You’ll find the hotels here which would let you travel back decades in history, the natural way in which they breed their animals, the gentle feeling with which they groom their horses and the humble way in which they treat their guests and tourists are the most amazing thing to happen to you. Remember the jab hum jawan hoge song of Amrita Arora and Sunny Deol, that’s Pehelgam! The place where in the roads are the thinnest and still you’ll see the expertise of the drivers as they climb the ghats of the thinnest round about roads as they take you to watch the peak of this beauty and more beautiful pastures of land ahead.
Saba at Pehelgam
There’s also Gulmarg! The snow world of Kashmir! The one place which has some snow left even in the hottest temperatures. You can feel being on the top of the world as you are now at the Himalayas. The snowing beauty and being so near the Himalaya mounts brings out the best feelings in the world. Some of the tourists also can see the higher levels of snow, but those with kids are not allowed. So, I haven’t seen that side of snowing beauty which also gives you a sneak peak of Leh, but still, what I saw was a feast for my eyes!
It’s not every place on Earth that you can call Kashmir, Kashmir can be felt, rather than watched or visited. Believe me, when you call a place a paradise on Earth, it has the charisma in it, the charisma to engulf you with its specifically beauty, with it’s awesome serenity!
The next stop of this #XploreBharat Blog Train is Shillong by Sonia.
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