Jammu & Kashmir – where snow-white mountains are immersed into deep meditation from pre-historic times
Jammu & Kashmir – where mountain streams are flowing with sweet sounds, as if little children are reciting their nursery rhymes.
Jammu & Kashmir – where green meadows, valleys of flowers and apple orchards are eagerly waiting to welcome you
Jammu & Kashmir – where you encounter experiences that are so unique and completely new.
Jammu & Kashmir – where you find colourful birds singing and chirping in dense green forests
Jammu & Kashmir – where you find local people to be always warm and smiling, looking gorgeous in their native dress.
Jammu & Kashmir – the place of magnificent Chinar trees, that stand so tall
Jammu & Kashmir – the land of Santoor (Indian musical instrument) and the world famous Pashmina shawl.
Jammu & Kashmir – the confluence of three great religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam
Although my travelling experience will never be able to express more beautifully compare to these 9 lines written by Raja Basu, still I will try to write each and every minute detail I saw and felt in these 6 days.
My family and I landed in Srinagar on the morning of 2nd October, 2015. From the airport, we headed towards the houseboat that Dad has booked for that day. We spent 2 days and 1 night on that houseboat itself.
And all this while, when I was inside our houseboat, it always felt that we are staying in a proper apartment. Our houseboat had 1 drawing room, 1 dinning room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in each room, a-sort-of-balcony and a semi-terrace.
Every area was so beautifully decorated that the apartment/houseboat looked so rich in itself, other than the service they provided.I wish I could made you taste the food they served, it was so delicious that the very first day I planned to discontinue my diet-plan. (Therefore, I was back in my default shape by the end of this trip )
After taking a couple of hours rest right after we checked in, we went to Heritage Mughal Garden Shalimar.
And the moment I entered that place I was spellbound. So many colors at the same time, all around me. Red, yellow, green and in the background handsome hills and above in the refreshing blue sky those delightful clouds. Everything around me was pleasant, I just didn’t want dusk to occur that day.
By the end of the day, we were very hungry and planned to stop by in Mughal Darbar and have Kashmiri Wazwan, a typical kashmiri dish which is impossible to finish even when there are four people on the dinning table. The Kashmiri Wazwan traditionally consisted of 36 courses, but there are 7 dishes which form an indispensable part of this feast. They are Tabakh Maaz, Rista, Rogan Josh, Dhaniwal Korma, Aab gosht, Marchwagan Korma and Gushtaba. And to get recipes of all these dishes, please click on the link above.
After having lunch, we were off to Pahalgam. In the middle of our journey we stopped at the Apple Orchard. I haven’t seen so many apples together before that day.
It would be a little cliche, but since I was wearing white that day and surround by red apples in cold weather, I almost felt like a snow white for a while. (Okay, now stop laughing!) I even helped the workers in packing those apples, and I swear I didn’t hide any apple under my cap or in my pocket.
Check out the video recorded in Apple Orchard that was uploaded on my Instagram account, Apple Orchard Video
The last day was a rest day, so after checking in the Pahalgam Hotel all we enjoyed the view from our suite and had some good sleep.
After shaking off our tiredness, we were all ready and set for another outing. This time it was Betab Valley, my parents told me it was named after a movie which was 90% shot in this area. Isn’t it cool? A place named after a movie.. 😀
Our next destination was Gulmarg and in midway there was a botanical garden, and the variety of flowers I saw there was terrific. I was really amazed to see such pretty, charming and appealing flowers around me. Have a zoomed look at some of those flowers..
Finally, this day we saw some snow. We took a Gondola ride and reached Phase-2.
The ride was so fun that it’s almost impossible to describe it. Imagine yourself in a glass shell which is hanging in the sky, actually moving in the sky.. and you could see everything that’s happening in the city. A city filled with green and red grass, horses, Kashmiri people in their Kashmiri attires, working and children playing.
As soon as we reached at Phase-2, it was so cold, that I thanked myself for wearing a warm coat. It was blue sky and grey rocks and pretty chilling winds (which you won’t be able to see in the pictures though :P)
After getting back to base area, we decided to have a joy ride in Gulmarg before leaving for Srinagar.
We had a flight for Delhi in the afternoon, so the first half of the day we were busy in shopping. After all, going to Kashmir and not buy a Kashmiri handmade carpet, Kashmiri embroidered over-coat, Pashmina Shawls and Ferin would be so unfair. We also purchased a few packets of Kashmiri saffron and dry fruits.
P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move. 😉