Kashmir: The Limitless Possibilities
After a series of Dubai Travel blogs, I am back with another exciting series of travel blogs to a place that is referred to as 'Heaven on Earth'. Witnessing snow-capped mountains from the flight was a delight for the eyes. The bird’s eye view of Kashmir made me super excited.
The Srinagar airport is an army airport, I saw a group of army men of our country wearing uniforms with discipline and grace. Our first 2-day stay was at Srinagar, we decided to book a houseboat a month prior. We collected our baggage and headed for breakfast at a local restaurant. Fortunately, we could find a houseboat during the peak season, I was extremely excited about staying in a houseboat at Nageen Lake, surrounded by water on the foothills of mountains. We then headed to a Pinterest-worthy picturesque place named, 'Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden'.
We were fortunate enough to witness the Tulip Festival 2022. Spring is a pleasant season, it’s that time of year when the valley of Kashmir looks like a colourful blanket of tulips and other flowers. People visit Kashmir during the peak winter season, but nonetheless, the valley looks exquisite with different colours and little butterflies. Situated at the foothills of the Zabarwan range, formerly known as Siraj Bagh, surrounded by the beautiful Dal lake a tulip garden is a must-visit place if you are planning to visit Srinagar.
The garden is full of pink, red, yellow, mauve, orange, and purple flowers. Fountains are surrounded by flowers and scenic valleys. Not only tulips are visible but this garden has several other types of flowers like roses and daffodils.
The garden has multicoloured flower beds lying together coordinated in colours. It feels like the scenic blue sky is smiling at the uniform tulips. The diverse range of colourful flowers made me feel awestruck. If you are a Bollywood fan it’s the right time and right place to live your Bollywood Silsila dream. If viewed from distance it appears as a rainbow strapped flower bed. The garden was opened by the Government of Jammu, and Kashmir opened the garden for tourists in the year 2007 and since then it has become a tourist hotspot. The main aim of the government to open it to the public was to boost floriculture and tourism. The area is spread over 74 acres, home to more than 50 varieties of flowers the garden is an absolute wonderland. After the visit to the Tulip garden, we decided to take some rest in the houseboat. Just like a cab drops us from one location to another, here in the Dal lake premises shikhara boat does the work. After having local Kashmiri food and Kashmiri kahwa we took a short nap and headed towards the Dal lake, floating market,
The Dal lake is the most popular tourist attraction in Srinagar. It is wrapped by the splendid Pir Panjal mountains and Mughal Garden. A unique market, away from the city traffic, where everyone waits in civilised queues. Smiles on everyone’s face in the surrounding makes the Dal lake more worthwhile. I even witnessed people using their fishing rods and showcasing their skills, since there is plenty of fish.
Florists selling various types of flowers, vegetable vendors selling vegetables. We even saw tiny eateries serving Kashmiri kahwa, Maggi noodles, tea, and coffee. The beauty of dal lake mesmerized me and made me question the city life with lots of pollution and global warming. It seemed as if God has created the most beautiful painting and I am gazing at it but after pinching myself I realized it is a part of nature. Shops were being developed on boats and people in Shikara were selling shawls, local and winter clothing apparel, accessories, fruits, vegetables, wooden art crafts, home decor, snacks, and dry fruit. I even saw a medical store on a boat. The creative home decor pieces were made intricate detailing with full of creativity and every art piece had its own charm and beauty, from the miniature Shikara boat, and houseboats to wall piece art these pieces were best selling items.
Children wearing bag packs and coming from school in Shikara made me feel so happy it was truly a cheerful mood and vibrant environment. The boat riders communicating among themselves in the local Kashmiri language made it sound so pleasant, even though we could barely understand it. The beauty was so high in standards that it cannot be compared. Riding in the Shikara boat I also witnessed the most perfect sunset of my life. Deep down inside my heart, I truly wished that time could stop and I could gaze at the sunset for hours.
At sunset, the temperature decreased and it started to feel cooler. It took us almost 1.5 hours from Dal lake floating market to go back to our houseboat at Nageen lake, sitting outside the houseboat waiting for dinner was an absolute serene feeling. I even took a shikhara ride to the old part of the city and it was full of small stores, houses, and crooked bridges. After reaching our houseboat we had dinner with the most beautiful view.
How can one end a day in Kashmir without having Kashmiri Kahwa? So we enjoyed our Kahwa and the feeling of cool weather alongside sipping the hot kahwa and gazing at the lake was blissful.
That’s it for this blog,
See you in the next blog
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