KASHMIR - THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE
Seated on the extreme north are the provinces of Jammu, Kashmir & Leh-Ladakh. The northern part of India shares a close proximity to the Himalayan mastiff and experiences beautiful seasons of Spring & Winter. The valleys of Kashmir are either blanketed in powdery white snow or layers of flowers - which equally are breathtaking sights to behold. The mountainous terrain is dotted with patches of sea green lakes, where vibrant boats called shikaras float by.
Nearly 90% of the population are Kashmiri Muslims, who reside along with the Kashmiri Pundits and Gujjars. They wear loose buttoned garments that extend till the ankles. The fabric of these gown-like garments varies depending on the season. Women coordinate this clothing with their heads covered with accessorized skull-caps or shawls tied to their heads to protect them from the sun. Men sport turbans. Kashmiris have distinct Indo-Greek features resembling their ancestors who migrated from the West to settle here.
Since Kashmir is a cold region, the cuisine depicts generous usage of warm spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and garlic. Most of the Kashmiri dishes are meat & gravy based, eaten over helpings of steamed rice. Dum Aloo, seasoned with a thick gravy seasoned with the earthy flavor of the cumin and garnished with fresh coriander is sure to warm you up. The Kashmiris drink a pink colored tea called Sheer Chai, that gets its rose-tinged hue with the sodium bicarbonate they add during its preparation.
YOUR KASHMIR BUCKET LIST
- Srinagar - This city sits beside Jhelum and is as pretty as a postcard picture. highlights are the boat rides in Dal Lake and grand architecture of the Mughal Gardens & vintage mosques.
- Pahalgam - It is the base point for the religious tour to Amarnath. The village has a rich trout population, which is caught using creative fishing methods that are fun to try during a visit.
- Sonamarg - It is home to two of the preeminent shrines, namely the Amarnath & the Sheikh Noor-Ud-din Dargah which attracts thousands of religious enthusiasts every year.
- Gulmarg - You can ski through the snowy valleys of Gulmarg, or glide through the Gondola cable ride. Do visit the luscious Strawberry Valley to pick some of your own before you go.
- Leh-Ladakh - This arid mountain-ridden region is the best place to embark on a bike tour & indulge in Tibetan cuisine & visit exotic monasteries like the Spituk Monastery, the Hemis & the Likir Monastery.
DO YOU KNOW?
The Magnetic Hill, which lies in the Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway, is a location that defies gravity. If you park your vehicle at the spot that has been designated with the help of a marking, all you need is to turn your ignition off. Your vehicle will start gaining momentum and start moving on its own, wheeling upward at a pace of almost 20 kmph. The sheer magnetic force of the topography is said to pull the vehicle uphill. It is a thrilling experience and should be tried by everyone once in a lifetime.
NEAREST CHECK-IN POINTS
- Nearest Railway Station – Jammu Tawi Railway Station.
- Nearest Airport – Srinagar International Airport, Jammu Airport, Kushok Bakula Rimpocche Airport.
- Nearest Bus/Vehicle Stand – National Highway A1 runs through entire Jammu & Kashmir, connecting the entire region with the rest of the Indian mainland.