Next morning began our Srinagar tour. We started with the Valmiki temple. It was 500 steps from the ground to the temple. 500. Never had we thought about the exercise we were going to get on this trip. This temple was an old one, located opposite the Dal Lake. The view from the top, by the temple, of Srinagar was quite good. Next we went to the very famous Shalimar Bagh. It is a beautiful Mughal garden which was built by Emperor Jahangir for his wife. The beautiful park sets a tone of romance with its colorful diverse flowers, water fountains and shallow terraces. It was there I tried the local woman’s dress in Kashmir.
Since we had spent the previous day in Amarnath, we had to skip some of the places of interest. We did have a booking for a house boat on the Dal Lake. Srinagar’s Dal Lake is the influential highlight of the city. From the pavements, we sit on the hued Shikharas that took us to our house boat. After dropping our luggage and checking out that beautiful house boat we had booked, we sat again in the Shikharas and swayed around the river under the sunset. It was quiet, peaceful and all very pleasant.
It was our last night in Kashmir, next morning we were to fly to the next part of journey to Jammu. I didn’t want to leave Kashmir. I wanted to go back and sit by the brooks in Gulmarg, lie in the Baisaran Meadow, and wake up again in Panchtarini.
Kashmir is very rightly known as the heaven on earth, because being there, you realize that it is. Heaven is hidden under the beauty of the nature. Purely and completely nature. And if you haven’t been to Kashmir yet, please go. You can thank me with Kashmiri Pashiminas, when you return!
Things to remember when travelling to/in Kashmir:
- Always carry identification proof, wherever you travel.
- It is advised to wear conservative clothing, because of the conservative culture. Helps avoiding unnecessary attention.
- Always inform the hotel staff as to where you are going, when will you return, and give them driver’s information for emergencies.
- Give your driver’s information to somebody back home and make sure somebody or the other always know where you are.
- Avoid wandering alone in Gulmarg and Pahalgam, especially, after dark.
- Due to territorial restrictions, only post-paid cell phone plans work in Jammu and Kashmir. Make necessary requirements.
- The economy of Kashmir largely depends on tourists. Be kind to the horse walkers, the Shikhara sailors and shop owners. However, this doesn’t mean you should accept all or any inflated amounts of money they ask for. Always bargain.
- Bargain about the money before using the service.
- Book all house-boats in advance. They get too expensive last minute, and during peak seasons, there often isn’t any available.
- Many places, like the Amarnath Cave, restrict photography. Kindly respect their re