It was back in 1994 when I first time went to Kashmir. I was just 6 years old. It was the first long trip of my life. Aah Kashmir. The name itself gives me lots of smiles.
My Dad was posted in Uri (J&K) which was quite near to LOC and very much prone to militancy. That’s why my rest of the family including me were staying at my Grandma’s home in Palampur for those four long years while my Dad was there. So in July 1994, when I got my monsoon vacations, Dad took us to Uri for two whole months. That was also the first time I traveled by an airplane! Being a child it really was an amazing and huge experience for me (flying in the clouds!). Though it was hardly a twenty-minutes flight, I felt like it continued for an hour. :D
Kashmir (Srinagar- summer capital of J&K) has magnificent and BEAUTIFUL mountainous landscapes. [I’m going to repeat this several times in my post]. I don’t remember everything from that trip but I surely have in my mind the images from every place we visited there. Some incidents, some talks, all hazy memories now. What I remember the most is the part when we went to the Dal Lake. What an amazing “shikara” ride. Kashmiris selling colorful flowers (esp Lotuses and roses) on their shikara itself, water glimmering in the sunlight… I remember my Dad bought one rose for my mom. There was a house boat which was more of a shopping place selling Kashmiri dresses and Saris. I remember jumping from my shikara to that house boat fearing that I might fall into the deep lake water. I really want to feel and experience that all over again.
There are many places to visit in as well as on the outskirts of Srinagar. There are lot many beautifully maintained gardens. I remembered us going to a Garden named Nishaat Bagh.
Now, I can only see the photographs in the albums my parents made for those pictures we took there. I feel I still have lot more to explore and lot more to appreciate. And that’s why I want to go there as soon as I get a chance.
Why does Kashmir top the list? Because it is the most beautiful place and truly a nature’s heaven on the Earth. Everyone should go there once in their lifetime. I know, all the militancy, politics and wars since independence have destroyed almost half of its beauty and attraction and also I’m aware of the fact that it’s not entirely over yet. But it will definitely get better. I wish, I hope.. The people there have already seen a lot in their lifetime. The only thing they deserve now is peace, in whatever possible way, but they deserve it. If I have to tell you, Kashmiris are one of the most beautiful people in India. ;)
These are some pictures I have collected over the past few years from the internet and from my lucky friends who went there. I will definitely put my own clicks once I have made a visit there.
It feels such a great pleasure to even write about it. Although I couldn’t share all of my memories, but I’m hoping that I can add some fresh and wonderful memories to the old rack very soon!