Friday, November 23, 2012

Imagine all the people ..Living life in peace..

I am back from Kashmir!! I have done a lot of travel in the past couple of weeks..
Yeah, I needed the time off.. I guess I was being too hard on myself and  it was about time to cut some slack. I was quite excited and nervous at the same time about Kashmir. The idea of visiting Kashmir in the fall really appealed to me. It was off season .."Less Touristy" , Better airfares, Winters... etc etc etc. I don't think I can talk about anything other than Kashmir at the moment. 

There are things that I want to highlight in this blog post. I have decided to go bullety for a change:

1) The cleanliness really stands out. There was not even a piece of paper on the roads.. It was declared a plastic free zone by the government. 

2) The pavements/ roads were dressed in different hues of yellow, gold and orange. The leaves from the  Chinar (Maple) trees covered the pavements fully.

3) There were a lot of bakeries in the city.. I was quite surprised to see them. The bakeries were selling walnut, coffee and plum cakes and various types of savories. No coffee shops there :( 

4) Everything looked so subdued there. Even the radio channels there had a sense of subdued-ness.
Unlike the channels I get here in Delhi. There were a few odd item numbers. The RJ's diction and the content was really soothing. It reminded me of the old days when the music channels had some quality to it. The radio channels in Delhi are pathetic.. Half the words are beeped. The music is too loud and the RJing is just pathetic ( I am talking about all the radio channels in Delhi)

5) You all must have heard of Kahwa, the famous Kashmiri beverage.. I also tried the famous Noon Chai..(Don't miss this if you ever go there) It is salty (Noon = Salt in Kashmiri). The cab driver suggested this  to beat the cold and it worked like a charm. I was a bit apprehensive and it tasted more like a medicine. Eating buttered toasts is very popular in Kashmir and god I loved it. Going to a cafe in the cold and then eating melted buttered hot toasts with tea/ coffee was pure joy...

Noon Chai with buttered toast and local breads
6) Needless to say my appetite went for a toss.. I became a junk food eating monster. At some point I really thought that at the end of this trip I would gain all 7 kilos that I lost.. I think it's in the atmosphere..
It makes you hungry and you just want to eat, eat and eat..
Thankfully I didn't gain a kilo in this trip...( May be all the trekking helped).

Monster Me!!!

7) I went crazy buying all the paper mache products. Everything looked so tempting.. A lot of bargaining and patience is needed but that's what I am all about :). They look so colorful and decorative.. Just to give you a little idea I clicked a photo of a couple of items that I bought... I have not yet organized this stuff..I will put up more pictures..

8) Surprisingly there were a lot of tourists from Gujrat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. They were tricked by the guides/ touts/ cabbies into renting those cheap snow coats with equally shady plastic snow boots.
It was very cold but the so called snow clothing wasn't quite necessary.
An old lady wearing the rented - Playboy Lakers Jacket..
9) When I reached the highest point - Aphrawat it was like a dream come true ( 4511 mts elevation).. It is a part of the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas. Everything just felt surreal there.. For a moment I felt that I was a part of a movie set..

Waiting Anxiously to reach the highest point..

Reached Apharwat .. Freezing in Cold..

The Beautiful View of the Himalyan Range
 9) I simply fell in love with the Dal lake. I took a Shikara Ride and yes I really liked it. It was a bright sunny day and for the first half I really enjoyed the view and the boating and in the next half I dozed off.. :)
(In my defense I was really tired..)

There are so many other things which I want to mention here.. I guess I will keep editing this post for a long time. It was nice to be in Kashmir. I loved the peace and calm there. The heart and mind gets lost in its rustic beauty. I was at peace. I was at peace with myself and the world around me. Nothing really mattered. I am really looking forward to the day when Kashmir will be a terror-free zone..I am an optimist. There is a lot more that I experienced in Kashmir more than the photos above, more than a few words. I wish I could do justice to my trip and my post with better words... Remember word play is really not my forte..? 

"If there is a heaven on earth - 
It is here.. It is Here.. It is here"

You have to agree the heaven is in Kashmir...!!
It has been a long post and I don't want to bore you more.. Let me sign out before you close this window..
P.S: I am happiest when I am traveling period.


  1. Waaow...the photos look beautiful. :)

    Kashmir is on the travel-list of most people I know. And undoubtedly, should be!

  2. Dude - there's only one thing I'm more J of than the whole Kashmir trip - that papier mache elephant!! I want!!!!