They say that a land, which has been ripped apart from war, tyranny and oppression, upholds a beauty that no one else can muster. This is a line that perfectly applies to Kashmir, which through all these decades upholds a kind of beauty that you will never find anywhere else. Through this account of my own, I am going to show you the extravagant world of Kashmir.
As my flight landed, I was greeted by drivers who kept on saying this is NOT India. I would say that this is a statement I came through with constantly during my travels, it’s not something that you can ignore possibly. My flight landed at Srinagar, and it was around the start of October. The whole place was covered in gorgeous snow capped peaks and of course extensive security forces, I would say that these forces have a distinct kind of beauty about them too. The beauty of Kashmir also lies within the remnants of the Mughal-era, you will find DE-structured buildings and gardens which once spanned entire cities, now reduced to some blocks.
As I told you before, my visit was sparred with people constantly telling me that you must not associate Kashmir with India or Pakistan, as it wants to be separate entity, not to be some disputed land to be claimed by the victors. This sense of resilience that they have, presents another type of beauty. Now I must say that Kashmir is culturally different from both India and Pakistan and you must keep that in mind always if you are to travel there.
The Conflicted State Of Kashmir
Kashmir isn’t the land that we knew two or three decades ago, it was a place that no one wished to enter because President Clinton of USA labelled Kashmir as THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON THE PLANET.
This was not without reason though, at that time an American foreigner was shot down and killed in Kashmir while a few European tourists were kidnapped from a very famous trekking locale. I am talking about the time before 9/11 and all the other wars that plagued the land, this was when no one wanted to even set foot in South Asia, but this situation changed. Although there were no treaties signed that brought the two countries together or the rise of a revolutionary court system, it was good to know that now things are normal. The rate count of terrorists were dropping, once when there were more than thousands of terrorists killings or deaths were reduced to fifteen now.
In my travels, I saw that people, especially from India used to swarm in Kashmir, perhaps there was a famous Bollywood movie that was portrayed in Kashmir and loyal fans wanted to discover it first-hand. Although that being said, you absolutely have to get yourself registered with the local police upon your arrival, you have to let them know that what is the purpose of your stay and where would you be staying.
What Is The Best Time To Travel
Now this is a thing which relies upon your own preferences, I would personally say that the time for visit would be between June and November. I had the opportunity to visit Kashmir in November and let me tell you this, at nights it went below the freezing temperature although it was sunny in the day. Transportation around the city became difficult at night but we really enjoyed ourselves when it was day. If you want to enjoy ice skiing too then November might not be the best time for visit although it is preferable if you want to avoid all the tourists swarming in and enjoy a bit of hiking.
Things To Do In Kashmir
What you will be doing when you go to Kashmir, what kind of leisure activities you will be enjoying actually depends on your preferences and the type of weather there. My trip was in the winters so that was my account but you can enjoy so much more activities than me. Kashmir is heaven for ice skiing, all day hiking and even horse riding if that is up to your taste.
Although there are some things that you would have to keep in mind, if you want to travel by road then precaution is advised because the traffic is always horrendous and it might take you an hour or so to get from one point to another, so plan accordingly. So let us get started on what you can do once you are in Kashmir.
Dal Lake is one of the most exotic lakes in Kashmir and spending at least one night is very much necessary, as it is also essential for having fun. What makes Dal Lake so much fun is because there are numerous houseboats over there that you can rent out and spend the rest of your day in. What makes the houseboats so much fun is this that you will probably be getting a room there upon intense bargaining. The food will be served alongside the family who own the boat and you will just spend your time, hanging out, having fun and sharing stories, isn’t that just wonderful?
While you’re at it, Dal Lake has so much more to offer than just rides on the houseboat, you can even enjoy various kind of water sports which occur seasonally. If you are a fan of the Mughal era then the shahi baghs right alongside the lake are going to be a fascinating stroll to take.
Next thing to do here is the hiking; if you want to enjoy the gorgeous vistas of village, life alongside hiking then Pahalgam is the right place for you. Now this is a village which is carefully tucked away in the beautiful mountains. The meadows and the pine forests are just going to make your day so be prepared to fully enjoy yourself.
Next comes in the horse riding, if you are a fan then know this that the Kashmir Valley is right on the back side of Pahalgam and there is a really beautiful lake there too called Sheshnag (It is shaped like a snake) how cool is that?! Now this is some of the best things to do while in Kashmir so make sure that you enjoy the most out of it.
Sometimes you see different pictures of Kashmir and witness the most spectacular kind of beauty there is, after this you also wonder that where is this place? Well I can help you in this regard, there is a sleepy yet peaceful village in the north of Kashmir, and it’s called Sonamarg. Those long trees there are going to just fill your whole heart with ease. This village is best for both sightseeing and hiking so adventurers will certainly have fun there.
Kashmir is a place that has unimaginable beauty and the fun part is that it’s not even been fully discovered yet. Apart from the political unrest which has plagued this country from the past decades there is so much to discover here, the people are amazing, its filled with gorgeous vistas. What more can you ask for? You should definitely visit this place at least once in your life.