Here’s Why You Should Pack Your Bags And Leave For Kashmir
Paradise on Earth - Kashmir!
“Agar firdous baroye zameen ast, hami ast, hami ast, hami ast - If there is a paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here in Kashmir!”
I had gone to Kashmir at the end of March, at a time when Delhi was scorching hot and Kashmir was unbelievably pleasant! We reached our destination right in time for lunch, travelling in a group of 25 people, and each had their opinion about the best place to eat. After around 5 minutes of discussion, we decided to eat at Mughal Darbar in Lal Chowk. We had the popular delicacies of Kashmir - The Wazwan and the scrumptious Dum Aloo with the famous Kashmiri roti bread!
After eating the delicious food items we went to Tulip Garden. As the name suggests, there were hundreds and thousands of colours of tulips, each one brighter and more beautiful than the previous one.
The colours of these tulips seemed unreal but it was alluring at every look. Our next stop was Nigeen Lake. Nigeen is less crowded and better maintained than the other lakes in Srinagar. As we sat on the shikara, a pointed colourful boat which are eminent in Kashmir, it started to rain lightly. The famous tea of Kashmir – Kahwa was served to us. To add to the beautiful moment, our boatman started to sing a beautiful Kashmiri song.
We got back to our hotel, exhausted beyond words and slept off as soon as our heads hit the pillow!
The next day we left early for the popular hill station - Gulmarg. On the way, our driver recommended us to get snow boots and protective coats as it was very cold in Gulmarg. At that time we just laughed at his suggestion but borrowed the clothes anyway. To reach the hilltop of Gulmarg, Gondolas have to be taken from Tanmarg.
Snowfall was literally our welcoming committee when we reached Gulmarg! As it was our first snowfall, everybody got very excited. Having garam-garam Chai was cherry on top of the cake!
Our next day was reserved for Pahalgam. Pahalgam is a picturesque hill station. Instead of taking the same route as most tourists do, we decided to take a little detour wherein we went through a small stream on our kacchar (a cross-breed of horse and donkey). Soon we reached a little spot on the mountain having full view of the valley. It was like a billion dollar painting!
Next day was our day to leave. Before going, I and my friends had decided to do a simple thing. Our hotel was just opposite to the Dal Lake. We went for a little jog at 6 AM, the lake was serene and calm, and in the background the clouds cleared way to give view to the beautiful mountains and up came the sun. It was the most beautiful scene I had ever seen.
Only one thought came to my mind after looking at that, “If there is a paradise, it is here, it is here, it is here!”
- Anoushka Nair
All images by Aditya Ajay - Instagram