Finally, it was time to experience the magnificent Himalayas.
If you belong to GSB(Gowd Saraswat Brahmin) community, Amrita Travels is the best travel agent for tours in India and overseas. We explored entire Kashmir(Srinagar, Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam) in the tour. Murlidhar Kamath(Kamath Maam) from Amrita travels accompanied us throughout the trip. The duration of the trip was one week. We had booked our slots during their special offers and discounts so the trip cost estimated to ₹37k per head inclusion of travel, stay and entire trip. For the month of April 2014 we booked our slots.
At the Mumbai airport we met all our tour comrades. All were Konkanis(GSBs) so the trip was more like a big family trip. Truely said, when a Konkani meets another Konkani they just start conversation as if they are distant relatives meeting after a long span.
The temperature in Mumbai was around 32 degree C.
The dazzling moment was when our flight landed in Srinagar and the flight attendant announced the temperature in Srinagar as 13 degree C.
|Tempo Traveller throughout the trip|
The same evening we had horse riding & shopping to nearest bazar(market). I bought a hand-embroidered with beautiful flower handbag, kashmiri dress material & mini shikara boats.
Next day we went to cricket bat factory, Awantipora ruins & Saffron & walnut shop.
Third day we went back to Srinagar where we stayed in beautiful house boats.
Encircled with Dal lake, it was an amazing experience. Salesmen used to visit us in our boats to sell Kashmiri artifacts & jewellery. Our favourite pastime was Antakshiri and T20 cricket series on television.
I had a very thrilling & adventurous experience as I lost my balance while skiing in Dal lake.
There was Meena Bazar in Dal lake. The most common outfits of kashmiris is phiran.
|Me wearing phiran|
|Inside House boat-Salesman selling jewelry|
Chinar is a famous tree in Kashmir, parts of which are used for medication purposes. You can find Char Chinar(Four Chinar) island in Dal lake.
As we know that there are millitants in kashmir, at every edge of roads you will find militants guarding.
Manasbal is a delightful lake situated on the Jhelum Valley at a distance of 18 miles from Srinagar via Shadipor, and 17 miles via Nasim and Ganderbal road. In the month of April in Kashmir we even experienced heavy rainfall. So it is said,
Mumbai ka fashion and Kashmir ka mausam ka kuch bharosa nahi
Pakistan is 150 km from Baramulla.
Snow here, Snow there, Snow everywhere.
At Sonmarg & Gulmarg we witnessed the highest amount of snowfall. There was no other color except white everywhere- snow and fog still it was the best sight ever. Gondola rides and sledges are the channels to travel over snow.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden previously named as Model Floriculture Centre, Sirajbagh, Cheshmashahi, Srinagar, is the largest Tulip garden of Asia spread over an area of about 12 hectares. One of the famous song which had its shoot in Tulip Garden is Dekha Ek Khwab by Rekha and Amitabh.
|Kheer Bhawani Temple|
I am thankful to Amrita travels especially Kamath Maam for organising such wonderful trips with like minded people and for bringing konkanis from all over the world together in the form of trips.
Kashmir is indeed heaven on earth and is incomparable to any place in the world. I am totally mystified with its beauty and at the same time plight of the natives by the weather, millitants and terror.