Essay On Scenic Beauty Of Kashmir Images

Written by Divya Goyal | Updated: August 25, 2015 1:09 pm

Dal lake in the evening (Source: Divya Goyal)

Most of us have grown up listening, ‘Kashmir is heaven on Earth.’ But how many of us have actually visited this heaven? Most of you would agree that Kashmir in our minds has been synonymous to terrorism and this image takes over the charm of the Valley, whenever one thinks of visiting Kashmir. I too had some apprehensions but after this trip, I’m glad they have been busted.

Born and brought up in Punjab, I always wanted to visit this heaven at least once. My visit to Kashmir came in the most unique way with just me and a friend- two girls leaving for Kashmir darshan. If you are a professional and cannot spare more than 4-5 days for your trip, even then Kashmir can be a perfect destination for you. Here’s why:

Srinagar

Srinagar city serves as the central point with major attractions like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Yousmarg etc.

In Srinagar, gardens like Shalimar, Nishat and Chashme Shahi take you to the royal landscapes of Mughal era. However nothing can beat Shikara ride in Dal Lake.

DAL LAKE | This lake is the heart of Kashmir visit which will leave you mesmerised (Source: Divya Goyal) PAHALGAM | When it’s raining (Source: Divya Goyal) Nishat Garden (Source: Divya Goyal)

This lake is the heart of Kashmir visit which will leave you mesmerised. A floating Post office – the only one in India – stands witness to the legacy of Dal Lake along with a floating market. From seeds of black roses to miniature wooden Shikara boats, you can buy some interesting Kashmir special stuff with a lot of bargaining. The grandeur of Dal Lake lies in majestic mountains opposite the lake also housing the Pari Mahal and Botanical Garden. Pari Mahal offers a grand view of Dal Lake from its top. For the shopaholics, Lal Chowk market is the perfect stop to roam around in the evenings. Book your date with Dal Lake for an evening as floating shikaras with sunset in backdrop will make you realise why Srinagar is indeed the heart of Kashmir.

Yousmarg

Yousmarg is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Kashmir (Source: Divya Goyal)

Through the apple and apricot orchards and scenic lakes, Yousmarg is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Kashmir. On the way, apple laden trees will convince you to take multiple halts and peep into the orchards. A picturesque valley, Yousmarg is a place where you can sit quietly for hours under chinar and deodar trees. Hire a horse for not more than Rs 700-800 and visit Doodhganga- banks of a small river uphill with waters as white as milk.
Pahalgam

Visit Betaab Valley in Pahalgam – where Sunny Deol starrer ‘Betaab’ was shot and you would feel like never coming back.

This place can be your best memory in the entire Kashmir trip. The sound of crystal clear blue water touching the rocks and hills gleaming like gold will follow you throughout your road trip in Pahalgam. There is not a single point where waters stop following you. If that is not enough, visit Betaab Valley- where Sunny Deol starrer ‘Betaab’ was shot and you would feel like never coming back. Green waters of Betaab with snow-clad peaks of Amarnath shrine in the background is like a dream. With its separate taxi union, you have to hire taxi from Pahlagam taxi stand for visiting Betaab valley, Aru valley, Chandanwari etc. Lidder river banks are equally mesmerising.

35 kms from the holy cave of Amarnath, Chandanwari is known for its ice glacier which however has turned brown from white due to human settlements. One can visit Chandanwari and enjoy a cuppa and snacks at small cafes aside glacier but if you are on a short trip and time is gold, then Chandanwari can be skipped. Betaab valley is a must.

On the way to Chandanwari, among the multiple breathtaking views is the one where three water streams converge at a point. Also, the view of Betaab valley while on way to Chandanwari is to die for.

Gulmarg

Gulmarg (Source: Divya Goyal)

Valley of flowers – is what I will describe Gulmarg as. If you are visiting Gulmarg in non-snowing season, like me, blossoms in purple and white with misty hills and chinars in background will take your heart away. It is the only place where you can feel a little chilled so a light warmer, shawl or jacket will help. Gondala ride- world’s second highest cable car works in two phases. You can book your tickets in advance on government website instead of falling in net of guides there.

If an adventure buff, you will love the snow on phase 2 which however requires a lot of hard work to climb the slippery rocks and mini heart attacks. If not, you can enjoy ride till phase 1. On the downhill are the two must visit places- a small church in Gulmarg valley is where the opening shot of Yash Chopra’s ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ was shot. The church offers a 360 degree view of Gulmarg valley. Either hire a horse or take your vehicle through pucca route to reach the church. Also nearby is a small Rani Temple which the last Kashmir ruler Raja Hari Singh built in memory of his wife.

Food, dhabas and saffron

Being a Punjabi, you cannot live without desi food for long. Don’t worry because a hub of Punjabi dhabas like ‘Punjab Di Rasoi’, ‘Dilli Kitchen’, ‘Krishna Dhaba’ etc offer sumptuous Punjabi north Indian food near Dal Lake. While Kashmir special food is a paradise for non-veg lovers, if you are a veggie like me- the best deal is to go for special Rajma chawal and Kashmiri Dosa- the best Kashmir street food. You can cherish Rajma rice in Kashmiri flavors while Kashmiri pulav loaded with dry fruits is a must-try for people with sweet tooth. Instead of buying saffron from markets, head to village Pampore, known for saffron farming and get pure saffron from farmers straight from the fields.

Kashmir special Rajma chawal and Kashmiri Dosa (Source: Divya Goyal)

People

On foot, me and my friend lost our way while coming back from a church in Gulmarg. It was almost 8 pm and the valley was quiet with the footsteps of just two of us breaking the silence and a few grazing animals. An old uncle, driving his Maruti and sporting a skull cap- proved to be messiah and dropped us back. “Are you children mad? Roaming in the valley at this hour on foot,” he chided us in a fatherly tone. Our taxi driver on tour- Nazir- was equally helpful along with some Punjabis- Balwinder and Sonu- we met there and they helped us cross the swampy muddy patches in valleys. Please carry proper shoes with hard sole in Kashmir.

Kashmir is never going to disappoint you. It is a lot more than blasts, blood and terrorism.

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By Shahid R. Siddiqi. Axis of Logic

Note from the editor: Tomorrow, February 5, is Kashmir Solidarity Day.

See Shahid R. Siddiqi's article on Kashmir published yesterday at

Axis of Logic: Today We Are All Seditious!- LMB

A shepherd in Morey Plains

A mountain lake in Kashmir

Kashmiris are known for their beautiful flowers and pastoral scenes

Kashmiri fishermen on Dal Lake

A precious cove on Dal Lake

... and a rare Kashmiri mountain goat!

A mountain home in Kashmir. We are told that it's a place of cherry blossoms, crystal clear waters, saffron fields and peaceful lakes, stunning gardens and regal Chinar trees. In the mountains, valleys and countryside, Kashmir's splendor and natural beauty is on display throughout the seasons.

Warning: Disturbing photos of the Indian
occupation of Kashmir follow this article.

Indian occupied Kashmir, once called the paradise on earth, now stands in ruins six decades after it was forcibly occupied by India against the wishes of its people. The peaceful demand for self determination by the Kashmiris in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, the commitment given by India’s founding fathers and the charter of human rights, has met with state violence and repression of unimaginable proportions. Kashmir has seen dramatic abuses of human rights, with the people in chains and their political leaders imprisoned without trial. They have been treated as if they are not human beings, as if they have no rights.

Kashmir Valley is one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world, with over 500,000 armed security forces, who indulge in indiscriminate killing, injuring and maiming of innocent men and women and even small children. Women are raped with impunity. A recent report on Human Rights violations states that that between 1989 to June 30, 2010 the number of Kashmiris killed at the hands of Indian security forces stands at 93,274. Additionally, there have been 6,969 custodial killings, over 107,351 children orphaned, 22,728 women widowed and 9,920 women gang raped. In the month of June 2010 alone, 33 people were killed including four children, 572 people were tortured and injured and 8 women were molested, 117,345 people were arrested and 105,861 houses or structures in the use of the communities were razed or destroyed.

The state or the central governments refuse to explain their actions. They neither investigate human right abuses nor do they punish those responsible. Human rights groups blame the culture of impunity among security forces in Kashmir on a controversial Armed Forces special Powers Act (AFSPA) which grants soldiers wide and unrestricted powers to detain or eliminate suspected terrorists and destroy their property without fear of prosecution. India conveys an impression that it is engaged in an insurgency, a “battle against terrorists”. Critics call this provision a license to kill.

All eyes are on India and all fair minded people of the world wait for the day when it will honor the commitment given by the father of the Indian nation, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when he said on November 2, 1947:

“We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given […] not only to the people of Kashmir but the world. We will not, and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have a referendum held under international auspices like the United Nations.”

Warning: Disturbing images of Kashmiri
victims of Indian Occupying Forces below
.

Note: These photos were hacked once and removed.
We have now replaced them.

Indian soldiers attacking civilians in Kashmir in 2009
People of Kashmir Demand The Right Of Self Determination
Indian soldiers attacking Kashmiri protestors
A Kashmiri protestor fighting back.

Read his bio and more analyses and essays by
Axis of Logic Columnist, Shahid R. Siddiqi

Contact the Author

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