I know, I know It’s not a very great time to talk about #tourism or #dreamtrails to Kashmir but what to do? I can’t get over that feeling everytime I look at the pictures straight from this paradise ( Come on, just type in google or I am sure any one of your chachaji must have visited it once.). I know when people are debating over the freedom of media in Kashmir coverage or the plight of Kashmiri youth who suffer from terrorism then it’s so stupid to talk about a dream which gets fulfilled by travelling to these lands of coniferous trees, snow laden lazy mountains and lovely people. Yeah! You heard it right Kashmiris are extremely warm and hospitable people. Infact when you hear such horrendous news then two types of thoughts come to people like us who have been fortunate enough to visit the lands.
Firstly, How could people bomb or disturb this paradise, They must be ass** to do so. Secondly you think that is it just a God’s rumor to keep it a paradise? I mean less people, less interference, less pollution, less plastics and more trees, more purity, more peace, more innocence! Isn’t it? There is something about Kashmir that touches your heart and makes you fall for it.
I agree there is Shimla and Switzerland but there is only one Kashmir and there is something about it which is pure, pious, beautiful or may be just innocent! The green pastures, the coniferous forests, the beautiful mountains touching the sky, the mesmerizing floral carpets on ground carelessly thrown around, the pure air which feels like fondling with your lungs and simple people around. Like who the bloody hell can even think that there exists terrorists at such place too. I felt it’s actually unimaginable to think about bad people and bad things happening at that kind of place until you actually get to face one. People are so beautiful, warm and smiling that you feel like showing those exasperated looks to all those newspapers and magazines who proudly publish that there exists misguided youth around at that place. Oh Bro! Get some life,look at them and around, do you feel there’s anything wrong even an ounce? And by the way have you ever heard a tourist ‘s harmed? No na?
Those must rides in a Shikara shout out loud to me and those heavenly stays in houseboats leaves me craving. The colourful boats which are traditionally designed and decorated with all those beautiful paper mache artifacts offer you uninterrupted views to those snowcapped mountains all the while indulging your senses into ultimate calmness of the Jhelum flowing all around you. Your Kashmir visit is incomplete if you miss one of these stays at houseboats and devoid yourself from getting pampered. I know I know I am so in love with these Shikaras already.Now who is not aware of the Dal lake but that is not the point! Point is I so want to indulge into the shopping this area has to offer to anyone. Kashmiri work suits, woolen clothes, those beautiful paper mache artifacts, traditional jewellery, wooden tray, key chains and what not. And do you know they do have an entire floating market on Dal lake? Like you go there for a ride in a Shikara and come back loaded with shopping bags. Wow! Amazing isn’t? Now tell me which other state in India gives you such experience like Venice? Also I can’t describe everything that this market has to offer to you along with that aided orgasmic pleasure that you get after bargaining hard with those poor road side endore. What? Come on, I am a woman that’s my birth right. Hah!
Then you know what would I do after I will be all done with shopping and Shikara rides? I’ll pack my bags and leave to Gulmarg “the meadows of flowers” Can you imagine how beautiful it is? Of Course you can! Now don’t tell me you don’t watch bollywood movies? So every third bollywood movie is like shot there, now don’t ask me for the data source but I know okay? So you imagine any snow capped mountain and Gondola rides and if its not shot in switzerland then it’s definitely shot in Gulmarg. And do you know Gulmarg Gondola is worlds highest Gondola ride! Now tell me how would it feel to be in God’s personal meadows surrounded by lovely coniferous trees,flower laden grass and whity snow wrapped mountains? Must be beautiful , na?
Then there are three wildlife sanctuaries around in Kashmir. Dachigam wildlife sanctuary, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve and Overa wildlife sanctuary.Yes,three god damn full of God’s magnificent creations from musk deer to leopard to Himalayan griffon to lammergeyer, long tailed blue magpie to Himalayan weasel to Black Bear to Rhesus Macaque. Humph…basically what I mean to say is that this kind of wildlife tour is going to leave any wildlife lover awe struck and mesmerised.
And those mouth watering Kashmiri cuisines. ‘Cuisines for royals’! What? You think I am exaggerating? Well Rogan- Josh,Yakhni, Dum aloo etcetera are ‘ Zaika e Kashmir’ Okay! And here I am not including Momos, Thukpa famous in Leh region. And hope you know Leh is a part of Jammu and Kashmir region? Now who doesn’t know that but still….Though entirely different culture but it is an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking of Momos and Thukpa, I just remembered that Leh-Ladakh is a gateway to an entirely another culture. Rich and colourful practicing the soulful Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. They are very unlike the urban culture India has to offer infact unlike any culture. Doesn’t it make our country more great and mysterious? ‘Unity in Diversity’! Ha?
Then there’s Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Buddhist temples, mountains and god know how many other things this beautiful beautiful region has to offer to anyone. I think you can never be same after reaching those heights at Gulmarg and watching the sunrise through your naked eyes at Ladakh.
So Don’t you think that makes it a dream destination? And either way we owe it to our troops there to go visit and see those places where they stand for us, guard us day and night! And tell me why not to go there? Just because somebody said there’s trouble? Doesn’t it give you more reasons to visit that place and stay there more?
Kashmir! Here I come!
Images : I owe it all to a friend who wish to be anonymous.