“Agar Firdaus bar ru-e-zamin ast, hami ast o-hami ast” (If there’s heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here). -Jahangir, Fourth Mughal emperor.
“The valley is an emerald set in pearls, a land of lakes, clear streams, green turf, magnificent trees and mighty mountains where the air is cool and the water is sweet, where men are strong and women vie with the soil in fruitfulness”. -Sir Walter Lawrence.
Just like many of you, I’ve grown up listening to all the wonderful stories about how beautiful and heavenly Kashmir valley is in the books, from friends and family & of course internet as well.
I was awestruck by how stunning and picturesque Kashmir ALWAYS managed to look in postcards and pictures. Sometimes I also thought the pictures on the internet might have been photoshopped. But after the days I spent at Kashmir, without a doubt I declare that NONE of those super stunning pictures on internet or elsewhere could do any justice to the gorgeousness of the place in real.
A few months ago, I’ve been to Kashmir for my Mommie dearest’s birthday & my dad isn’t much into travelling but the only place that he ever wanted to visit was Kashmir, so bingo! I & my little brother decided to make it happen.
There’s lighting & thunder, miracles & wonder, waters & valleys, rocks, pines & snow. HEAVEN ON EARTH! Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience, or a state of mind, or perhaps an ideal.
On the day we arrived, we just relaxed, went for a nice long drive(entered into the Kashmir university), drove along the Dal lake, tulip garden(that’s apparently open only for 3-4 weeks a year).
Day 2, we’ve been to the spectacular Pehalgam, that’s a series of posts in itself, there’s a point that’s called “mini Switzerland” as you climb up the mountains. On the way there, we’ve also been to saffron fields, bat manufacturers, wood & copper carving etc.
Day 3, we’ve had a plan to go to Sonamarg but due to some political & terrorism issues, we were advised it’d be safer if we stayed back at Srinagar. We spent that day visiting Mughal garden, going on the famous shikhara ride(no, I didn’t dress up as a Kashmiri Kali), floating market, had some AMAZING local food(Alert: heaven for foodies also wink). Ate till I bloated, literally!
Day 4, the beautiful Gulmarg visit. 16,000 feet above sea level, in the midst of the incredible Himalayan range(thank god for some sun that day blush). A full day in the lap of nature’s best shades, beauty & bliss. Some ice skating, ATV craziest & scariest bike rides & came down the mountain on a wooden sledge(being a Kashmiri in Kashmir). Surviving on Maggie & my MOST fav Kashmiri tea. That day was truly heavenly!
Day 4, we checked into the best houseboat of Kashmir “Sukoon”. Since the next day was my mom’s birthday, I had the responsibility of planning the surprise(also coz my dad and brother thought I’d be great at it wink). My plan was to just chill & laze around, spend some quality family time, great food, fantastic view, in the night we informed the chef to make a customised cake, surprise mom at 12 crisp, that’s it. A pickup boat was sent at Dal lake that morning, along with their staff to welcome us & the lavishness began, the regal & cutest of all boats there. The best experience ❤️
In truth, kingdom of Kashmir surpasses in beauty all that my imaginations had anticipated.
At Kashmir I could escape all the ordinary, live all the fantasies & magic that I didn’t know exist in real, attained utmost peace & calmness that a mind can ever imagine. Kashmir is soulful.
P.S: A lot of pictures & videos weren’t attached to the blog due to some technical reasons. I shall soon come up with a YouTube travelogue wherein I’ll drop all the details.
A mind that’s fetched to new experiences cannot go back to its old state. Experiences have that immense power of broadening your horizons. Jannat-e-Kashmir did that to me! ❤️