A Trip to Paradise on Earth!

As you might have guessed, I am talking about our recent trip to Kashmir! We had an exciting holiday last week to J&K – places we had been wanting to go for a long time now. In this post, I will briefly cover some of the highlights of our tour:

Day 1: Left Bombay for Delhi by flight and then took an overnight train to Jammu.

Day 2: Had a Darshan of the famous VAISHNO DEVI shrine near Katra. Total time taken for the entire trip from Katra to temple(14km uphill)& back took an unbelievable 15hours which included walking up hill, Darshan and walking downhill. This strenuous temple visit left us completely exhausted.

Day 3: Reached the Hill station PEHELGAM by road. Stayed overnight.

Day 4: Roamed around beautiful hills & valleys of PEHELGAM. The best part of sightseeing at PEHELGAM was our visit to the so called BARAF POINT(the point which is completely covered with snow and ice). Some of the scenes are, indeed, breathtaking, like for instance, the natural formation of an Ice Bridge. The beauty of this so called BARAF BRIDGE is better described through a photograph below:

Here are a few more exciting pictures of various other points in Pehelgam:

We reached Srinagar by night for a stay overnight in a BOAT HOUSE situated in the middle of the Dal lake. Here is a picture of the boat house where we stayed.

The Boat house is well furnished with furniture made out of choicest walnut wood carvings and great looking Kashmiri carpets. The SHIKARA ride(boat ride on Dal lake)was extremely relaxing as you can see from the picture below:

Day5:Relaxing tour of Srinagar Gardens – Moghal Garden, Shalimar Garden and Chashmashahi Garden and finally some shopping. You can see the beauty of the gardens in the pictures below:

Day 6: Trip to GULMARG – this turned out to be the Grand Finale of the entire tour. The picturesque Gulmarg is located at about 6000ft above sea level. But what we really enjoyed was the further climb to jaw dropping heights of 10,000 ft in the the first stage and 13,400 feet in the second stage. This was made possible by CABLE CARS, which are referred to as GANDOLAS in the local language.This is supposedly the heighest point ever reached by Gandolas in the world! Quite apart from this impressive statistic, what we saw and experienced was completely out of the world. The Gandola would lift up almost vertically and parallel to the ice capped mountains. At the point where we landed finally after about 20 minutes of exciting ride, it was ice and snow all around and there was fairly heavy snow fall. It was hazy with a visibility of no more than 10 to 15 metres. The low oxygen pressure and snow fall ruled out any possibility of roaming around on the peak. We managed to take a few snaps before heading back to our GANDOLA to go down.
Here is an attempt to capture the grandeour and majesty of Gulmarg ice peaks:

Day7: We headed to Srinagar airport to catch our flight for an uneventful journey back to Bombay.

In the next post, I will share some valuable travel tips for the sake of those who may like to make a similar tour.

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Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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