My trip to India: Jammu and Kashmir, Pahalgam
June 6, 2011
June 6, 2011
After a very tiring activity in Katra, reaching the top of Vaishno Devi temple, I slept like a baby. I think i got at least a 10 hours sleep. The next morning we started our road trip to Pahalgam, 285 km – 8 hours. In Hyderabad – Delhi train we met an Indian woman with her son who had visited Kashmir. They gave us some useful tips and advices. The most important advise was ” Don’t go from Jammu to Kashmir by road” but we did not listen. Well, 8 hrs on a 285 km road !! you can have an idea how winding was it !!
Yes, we did Katra-Jammu to Pahalgam-Kashmir by road with a local Kashmiri driver. The road was not in a good condition and it was raining heavily but i could not divert my sight off the window. I enjoyed every minute of the 8 hrs, although we could not stop for some pictures. We reached Pahalgam around 5 pm and we checked in Mountain View Hotel. This hill, Pahalgam, is one of the most beautiful palaces in Kashmir valley. Situated in South Kashmir 96km from Srinagar, Pahalgam is the most sought out destination in India. It is called as valley of shepherds or hidden valley. Oh ! Kashmir.
We dedicated one day to Pahalgam which is comfortably enough. After we checked in we went to check their shops for some hand made Kashmiri Souvenirs and their famous women dresses. We had a good tour around the shops and we bought some stuff. Again Kuwait !! A shop owner asked me “where am from?” and i said ” Kuwait ” he smiled and told me that his brother is running a shop in Fahahel – Kuwait which sells Kashmiri stuff. Pahalgam is a very small village in Kashmir Valley. What a coincidence !! Anyway, after that we looked for a restaurant to have dinner and warm soup. Although we were there mid April but it was freezing. April is Spring in Kashmir but it was freezing because they had a strong storm a week before we reach there. Sleeping time, resting and getting ready for tomorrow.
Early morning, as Always we were fighting who should take a shower first and who gets more sleep. We started our day with horse back riding in the woods. It was freezing and we were not ready at all. I was wearing layers of clothes and The tour company gave us boots and a thick rain coat, THANK GOD! It was cloudy with some fog. The journey was very peaceful, only the two of us with two local horsemen to guide us through the woods.
It took us an hour to reach the top of the hill which was flat, green and as big as a football stadium. We walked around and had a hot tea with milk. We’ve been told that this site was used for shooting movies several times. The place was very green with water melting from snow and sometime it just flows from the ground out of nowhere. I saw a picture of that place when it was sunny, i could not recognize the place. It is really beautiful when it is sunny. The combination of blue sky and green trees is just speechless. The whole trip took us around 3 hours then we went back to the hotel, checked out and headed to Srinagar, Kashmir’s Capital, with our driver. The driver stayed with us for the whole Kashmir’s trip. Specially, that most of the hotels in India provide a free accommodation to drivers.
I could not wait to reach Srinagar because of what i heard about its beauty and history. It was 97 km away from Pahalgam which was 3 hrs drive. We enjoyed red Saffron and yellow Mustard fields along the way to Srinagar. What i loved the most about India in general and Kashmir specifically that it is virgin, Specially Kashmir. People in Kashmir looks really beautiful as i always heard, IT IS A TRUE INFO. They are Afghan. You can see their life buy driving on the road. Markets, Schools, Mosques and people mostly on the main road.
End of Pahalgam. Kashmir Pt.1