Sign Up    /    Login

Our Trip To Kashmir

For tourists like us, Kashmir is ‘paradise on earth’. There are enchanting tourist spots to visit in winter (beginning of a calendar year for Kashmir) through fall season, ending in November/December. February can be too icy and cold. Tourist season begins again in spring through summer to enjoy pleasant sun & shine in the company of more tourists who visit then.

For those who like skiing at Gulmarg winter time (January-February) is best. Government of India has built rope-way with gondolas to carry skiers to the top of ski slopes in Gulmarg. One can also go up Gulmarg slopes riding a pony. However one must be cautious as there are restricted and barricaded areas (at a few places in the vicinity of ski-slopes,) where Indian Army is stationed permanently; tourists are not allowed near such restricted areas.

For those who like to get away from the heat and dust of Central India (hot summer season in northern India,) April to June is good time to visit Kashmir.

For those who like to get away from moderate to heavy rains on the plains, particularly along the coastal regions of southern India, August through December is a good time to visit Kashmir.

Autumn season is a good time to visit Kashmir too if you want to view colorful Maple, Sal and Burch trees. One can also see apple picking (plucking) in apple groves of Kashmir and one can also enjoy the pleasant breeze on Dal Lake.

Visiting Kashmir during spring through summer is like a beautiful dream come true. This is the time when all the flowers are in full bloom making the valley, a paradise on earth. Tulips rule the roost while cherry, peach and pear  brim with flowers, after shedding all leaves.

I recall visiting Kashmir in April of 2004. My wife and my two sons accompanied me on that memorable trip… we were visiting from New Jersey, USA then.

The tulip festival of Srinagar is truly one of its kind events and one needs to witness this at least once in their lifetime! Celebrating the blooming season of the gorgeous tulip flowers, the Tulip Festival in Kashmir is an add-on to the already naturally blessed Srinagar. It is an annual festival, famous worldwide with people coming here in large numbers to witness the breathtaking sight. It usually happens from 1st (or 1st week) of April for 5 weeks through May, first week.

We had rented a boat house on Dal Lake for our short stay of 4-days in Kashmir. My older son (first son, no more now,)  enjoyed ‘waterboard riding’ on Dal Lake (I have posted two of his pics from my archives.) One must stand still tied to a waterboard with rubber tubing… the board is dragged on the lake by a motor boat; one can do “look mom,  no hands” tricks too! (pictures posted.)

My younger sonloved the boat rides on the lake and also Kashmiri delicacies cooked by our caretaker (cook & boat owner too…)  who came to our boat every morning to cook food for the four us in the nice kitchen equipped with an LPG gas stove.

We enjoyed boating on Dal lake, we trekked up Shankaracharya hill (it was permitted in 2004; I understand the hill trekking tracks are closed now for security reasons.)

We also visited a heavily guarded Lakshminaryan Temple in Jammu region to sing in chorus the famous Sanskrit ballad: “Om Jai Jagadeesh Hare… … ” with a small group of Kashmiri pandits who were at the temple singing bhajans on the day we visited, during morning-puja-time. We got sweet mix of dry fruits & nuts as ‘prashad‘ during our visit. There was heavy security outside the temple. We had to show our ID cards to enter temple.

We also visited Shamilar Gardens where we posed for pictures; my wife got Kashmiri attire to ware for a couple of photos snapped by a local photographer! (picture in blog.)

We had a great time boating over the Dal Lake, Boat house owners generally stay on smaller boats at the back of larger ‘boat-houses’ that tourists rent for staying-in, day and night. Most boat houses for rent have well furnished 2 to 3 bedrooms, a small kitchen with a gas stove, a porch to sit and enjoy the cool breeze on the lake. Every morning the boat owner/care-taker, comes in his  small boat to take you to various spots on the lake. There were floating shops to visit on large boats anchored on the lake. If you are staying in a boat house on Dal Lake… your cook (he is often your boat house owner) prepares your breakfasts, lunches and dinners inside the boat you rent. One can develop taste for Kashmiri Kahwah (green tea) and Kashmiri food delicacies.

On most days on the boat it had to be ‘Modur Pulav’ for the vegans in my family when confined to the boat house. ‘Modhur Pulav’ is the name given to sweetened Kashmiri rice prepared using cinnamon, a little saffron, milk, ghee, sugar, cashew nuts, almonds, green cardamom among several other ingredients. This dish is sweet, flavoured and healthy with saffron as the main spice which gives it beautiful colour and taste. And this saffron is also grown in Kashmir itself. The distinctive taste of this pulav is unlike anything you have  tasted before. Just taste once and you will be left craving for more.

Modur Pulao, Kashmiri cuisine  (photo is a download from the net)

One can buy good saffron to take home (at par with Spanish Saffron one can buy in US,) sweaters, salwar-kameez material with exotic designs, cashmere kaftans, shawls and rugs all hand woven by local craftsmen and women. Floating Shops on boats are more expensive (… they have more varieties, better choices on floating shops…) compared with shops on land close to the Dal lake (many of them run by Kashmir tourism department.)

During our April 2004 trip… the rope-way was still under construction. We went up Gulmarg slopes riding ponies. There was only 2 to 5 inch of snow then; not enough for skiing. We were told then that January to February is better season for skiing in Gulmarg.

I am posting here some  pictures that I could salvage from our 2004 photo album. I have lost many good pictures taken by our first son during that trip. He had snapped the most beautiful Kashmir landscapes: Dal lake, the apple orchards, the tulips, blue lilies and rose buds… sorry… I can’t find those photos now in my archives.

(pic) At Shalimar Gardens (Mohana and Suresh)

(pic) In memory… Ajay, my first son, riding water-ski-boards pulled by a motor boat on Dal Lake.

“Look Mom… No Hands(!)”

Kashmir tulip Garden festival 2020

Tulip Festival of Srinagar (pictures from the net) (above and below)

Kashmir Honeymoon Tour

 

 

=========================================================================================================

Views/Pictures… from the Net-

Dal Lake Views, Srinagar: https://www.google.com/search?q=Dal+lake+views&newwindow=1&rlz=1C1GIWA_enIN646IN646&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=NLGZYx7ejqA8rM%253A%252CafjF5Jc55TPfFM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTpN4zqnsnBg-mDXq7ldGFERgctIg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwip_6uRxo_iAhXae30KHYpFCnkQ9QEwAHoECAcQBA#imgrc=

Flower Gardens (Kashmir): https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&rlz=1C1GIWA_enIN646IN646&q=flowers+kashmir+pic&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPpoTyxI_iAhXMqI8KHQ1yCH8Q7Al6BAgIEA0&biw=1182&bih=

Photo of an Apple tree (photo is a download from the net)

See the source image (photo is a download from the net)

More@ https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=apple+orchards+kashmir+pic&qpvt=apple+orchards+kashmir+pic&form=IGRE&first=1&scenario=ImageBasicHover

=========================================================================================================

Disclaimer: A version of this blog has been previously published by the author @creative.sulekha.com/blogs

 

 

 

Share with:


4.5 2 votes
Article Rating

Suresh Rao

Mellowed out and enlightened septuagenarian. Tech savvy. Social writing is just a pastime to kill time. I keep contributing to several developmental projects in the area of engineering education, IT and Healthcare projects launched by my kith and kin. I am too lazy to write a book, 'cause I think my life itself is a book! I am also at www.facebook.com/sureshnrao
4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Navneet Bakshi
Navneet Bakshi(@bakshink)
1 year ago

Although, we live very close to Kashmir, my desire of visiting it hasn’t yet got fulfilled. Maybe, the people who live farther away get lots of lured by the pretty pictures and catchy ads introduced by the tourism industry. Terrorism started in in 1990s put us off from taking our children to Kashmir as we could get away to places in Himachal Pradesh which is even closer to us. Surprisingly, you visited when terrorism was at its peak, but your write-up doesn’t allude to any incident or even fear hanging in the air. It’s good that Article 370 has been junked and central government is in full command of the situation. Hopefully now some day we will visit, with our boys now grown up and working abroad, when they visit India and plan to visit there. The pictures of the apples that you have posted are hanging rather low. I have seen these pictures in whatsapp forward and have often wondered if they are real. The apple tree is short, but the last time when I saw them, the branches couldn’t be reached by hand, but that was way back in 1990s. Now there has been a lot of advancement in horticulture and new grafting methods have resulted in better qualities and yields, maybe now like pygmy rice and wheat even short varieties of apple saplings are planted that are short, grow faster and yield more.

Recent Comments

Random Posts

Placeholder Image 90

Thewriterfriends.com is an experiment to bring the creative people together on one platform. It is a free platform for creativity. While there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of platforms that provide space for expression around the world, the feeling of being a part of fraternity is often lacking. If you have a creative urge, then this is the right place for you. You are welcome here to be one of us.

Random Posts

The dawn of Vaccine

By Prasad Ganti | December 15, 2020 | 4 Comments

Covid 2019 has dominated most human lives on the globe for most of 2020. Infecting multitudes and killing in millions. With the year coming to an end, the vaccine is on the horizon. With the approach of dawn after what has been a deadly night, it is time to follow the exciting developments on the…

Share with:


Read More

Growing up for us was tough- Remembering Childhood

By Navneet Bakshi | September 12, 2020 | 7 Comments

Growing up for us was tough- Part 1   Was it really tough? I can’t contradict myself at the beginning of an article. Even the most seasoned politicians can’t do it, but I am not a politician anyway. Am I a confused writer or a little bit of alcohol has befuddled me? Without being judgmental…

Share with:


Read More

GALWAN VALLEY ACTION OF 15 JUNE 2020 !

By Rajinder Singh | September 2, 2020 | 1 Comment

GALWAN VALLEY ACTION OF 15 JUNE 2020 ! Aksai Chin In the fog of war, a lot of misinformation flies. Ill-informed but self styled defence experts and politicians always push through home made theories . Some of these so called experts had perhaps never ever seen high altitude terrain in their entire life or service…

Share with:


Read More

Growing Up

By Navneet Bakshi | January 6, 2021 | 2 Comments

Growing Up  Sunil was new to our colony. He was a few years senior to me and so naturally, I looked up to him for teaching me how to be a big boy. He wasn’t a kind one could take as an icon but he was all that was available to me. The bigger reason…

Share with:


Read More

सिर्योझा – 5

By Charumati Ramdas | December 24, 2020 | 2 Comments

लेखिका: वेरा पनोवा अनुवाद: आ. चारुमति रामदास साइकल ख़रीदी गई   और इसी कंधे पर बैठकर वह इतवार को दुकान में गया – साइकल ख़रीदने. इतवार अचानक ही आ गया, उम्मीद से भी पहले, और सिर्योझा बेहद उत्तेजित हो गया, यह जानकर कि वह आ गया है. “तुम भूले तो नहीं?” उसने करस्तिल्योव  से पूछा.…

Share with:


Read More

LOOKING FOR PARASMANI

By Navneet Bakshi | January 10, 2021 | 2 Comments

STORIES FROM MY CHILDHOOD LOOKING FOR PARASMANI My mother told me once that there exists a stone known as “Parasmani” which when touched to anything made of metal turns that into gold. My life in those days consisted of collecting cigarette wrapping foils some of which were golden (sone ki) and the inferior ones of…

Share with:


Read More

Not Many More Miles To Go

By ishanbakshi | June 25, 2020 | 6 Comments

Miles to Go- or so it seemed to me when I started working on the idea of bringing my own website back to life. Maybe some of you remember that this idea of having my own website had occurred to me when I in 2015 when I was in China. At that time because my…

Share with:


Read More

BIRTH PANGS….

By Ushasurya | August 14, 2020 | 6 Comments

Birth pangs ………   I must tell you that the pain that one undergoes before the birth of his /her brain child is none the less compared with what we women undergo on the  cold operation table in the theatre of a hospital awaiting the little one’s arrival. To put it bluntly, the birth of…

Share with:


Read More

Games We Played.

By Navneet Bakshi | September 17, 2020 | 11 Comments

We were far less in number from the times when our parents were kids. My maternal grandmother gave birth to eight children, which weren’t too many then, but one of my uncles and an aunt were younger to their nephew. Yes, the first born (son) of our eldest maternal aunt is elder to one of…

Share with:


Read More

     *****SHAPING THE IDEAS–PART 3*****

By Navneet Bakshi | March 14, 2021 | 1 Comment

                                                                                               *****SHAPING THE IDEAS–PART 3***** Facebook is one of the lousy platform for posting articles. I wonder how it became so popular. I was trying to include here the links to the previous parts but I am sorry to say that doing that just confuses their software which makes garbage of the whole article. So…

Share with:


Read More
4
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x