- by mrinal pant
Any form of impact, short-lived or lingering and lasting, depending upon the degree to which it has slashed its way into the smallest tendrils of our minds has the power to change us forever, mostly for the good. And nature is one of those rarified versions of God himself that never fails to impress. Traversing my way to the place legitimized as the paradise on earth, I stepped on to the valley of Kashmir almost 6 years ago and yet the experience is as vivid as it was just yesterday!
Words will fall short to describe the serene, mind-numbingly wondrous beauty of the place. It was breathtaking. We stayed in a sprawling house-boat in Dal Lake. The boat was huge and easily accommodated my family and the other two families that were accompanying us. And to our amazement, our house-boat was named “Navratna”, an eerily shrewd coincidence as the name was in congruence with the number of people residing in the boat, nine. It was a happy accident, let’s just say that. In the evening, we would take a ride in the shikara. Amidst the shimmering waters rippled with constant rowing, there we sat in a beautiful boat, far from discomfiture and deeming ourselves among the lucky few to have witnessed the nature in its finest and purest form. The most wonderful thing was watching the sunset while boating. The sky became an amalgamation of red and orange and its reflection fell on the lake. Moreover, as the sun was setting and we were approaching in that direction, it felt like taking a crimson-y bath in the midst of the limitless sky.
Though we had the option of horse riding our way towards Pahalgham, I decided to traipse in to it because I was scared. Now when I look back, I regret that I missed a golden opportuinity to ride the horse. Well if today I am asked the same, I wouldn’t have to rack my brains this time around, that’s for sure. After all, what is a trip sans adventure?
Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh are considered the USP of Kashmir. It is almost impossible to replicate their amazing beauty. Two vertical columns of square shaped patches, grassed and intermittently decked up with flowers are separated by a pond-ish space which catapults the entire place to the exorbitant heights of seamless aestheticism and organic beauty. The most interesting thing that we got to do there was clicking photographs in Kashmiri costume. It was once in a lifetime moment for me. Well not to brag but I did look stunning 😛 I wore a red coloured Phiran and adorned myself with a pair of head accessories. Though our visit was only for three days yet we managed to assemble enough memories. And there are places which I did not get to visit which are dying to be checked in my bucket list.
Even after 6 years, my memory of the visit is still afresh. I wish that the place was not marked by violence and unrest and that there could be a way to put an end to this carnage that has long overtaken the paradise, for it is important that the place remain a heaven and not turn into a haven for mentally and psychologically demented terrorists.
eChutti is a travel app to connect like minded travellers travelling to the same destination. Plan and publish a trip plan to find a travel partner. You may want to go on a Luxury trip or even a business trip, just publish your trip itinerary, anybody interested in travelling to the same place in a group will RSVP to your trip to join you.