In a Paradise Called ‘Kashmir’
Kashmir is truly a paradise on earth.It is one of my favorite destinations. This trip introduced me to the enchanting Himalayan mountains. This was my first ever encounter with the mountains. I would call it as love at first sight. very soonly I became a hill addict. We got down at ‘Udhampur’ railway station which is the last station of India. I have visited a hell lot of filmy locations. Now I know where most of our Bollywood songs with yellow sunflowers and wooden bridges across the rivers are shot. I felt like I am living a Bollywood dream.
Srinagar is a city where we find more Army people than tourists. I still remember waking up in the middle of the nights to a bomb or a gun sound. We stayed at a boat stay on Dal Lake. I have mixed reviews about that. As the experience and the sights are very beautiful but the cleanliness needs to be improved. Dal lake water is getting worse day by day. All these stay options on the lake throw their garbage in the lake. Apart from that staying there and taking a ride in the evening in a boat is a must do in Kashmir. Did I mention the people who ride boats and people who sell street food on roads look a lot better than most of our Bollywood actors?!
Pahalgam is a place where we stayed before going to a short trek in Aru Valley. It’s a place with no mobile signals and no electricity. You heard me right. They don’t have electricity. But the stars above shine very brightly that you don’t need another light. You will fall in love with the sky. After staying there for a day we started our trek in Aru valley. This is where I witnessed the filmy locations. The wooden bridges and snow mountains. It was a one day trek and totally worth it.
Gulmarg was completely covered with snow. I have experienced my first snowfall here. You find many snow activities here. My favorite and must do thing would be cable car ride. It will take you through the breathtaking views. You can even see army bunkers buried under the snow here.
Now comes my religious journey. I am a religious person in terms of visiting religious places. I believe that all the religious places around the world built in a way that it gives you positive energy. I love visiting Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, mosques, churches and all the local pilgrimages. My trip won’t is complete without visiting a local pilgrimage. So my journey to Kashmir ended with a trip to Vaishno Devi Mandir in Jammu city. It was no less than a trek, with a whole night 12kms climb upwards. We also have options of pony and helicopter rides. I still remember renting a blanket for 100 INR on the top and sleeping for a while as it was damn cold there. Definitely a memorable experience.
After 3 years I still remember every bit of the trip, unlike other trips. This place is definitely on the top of my favorites.
As it was a group trip and I traveled in trains. It has cost me 20000 INR including everything for 10 days.