I had gone to Kashmir this summer with my parents. We had lots and lots of fun. Our first stop was at Srinagar, so we took flight from Bengaluru to Srinagar via Amritsar. Due to ever changing climates of Kashmir, we experienced lot of turbulence. I was very scared when flight was shaking, I even screamed. After “Srinagar” we stopped at “Sonmarg”, “Gulmarg” and “Pahalgam” returning Srinagar for House Boat stay and return flight.
On the first day in Srinagar, we visited a garden named “Shalimar Baug”. It was such a magical place. Trees and plants full of flowers. Ohh!!! It was such a beauty. Again, on the last day when were back in Srinagar we visited two more gardens, “Parimahal” and “Chashmeshahi”. Gardens are named after their locations.One gives mesmerizing view of Srinagar from hill top and other one is built around a natural spring. On rose plants and climbers, one could see very few leaves because leaves were covered by the roses. There were other types of flowers too. I just loved them, they were in various colors like Red, Orange, Pink and even white.
During our house boat stay at “Dal Lake” we took a “Shikara Boat Ride”. I rowed the Shikara and it was a great experience. I was surprised to see flowers, vegetables and chat stalls on the Shikaras. There was a complete market inside Dal Lake for clothes, show pieces etc. Being in Srinagar is like sitting in lap of mountains; there isno corner from where one can’tspot Snow Mountains.
The next day we went to “Sonmarg” in a car. Our drive was through hilly areas and views were awesome. On the way we saw two rivers “Sindha nala” and “Jhelam”, both with gushing and sparkling clean water. My parents said we were not going to stay there overnight. As soon as we reached there we saw lot of cute ponies. We learnt from local people over there that to get to the mountain, only way is to take a pony ride. My pony was “Bulbul”, mummy’s Badal and papa’s “Sultan”. Our ponies were even cuter!! The route to the mountain was scenic and there was a wind spot, where one could hear wind blowing and echoing. Though we had horse caretakers with us, the horses didn’t need any guidance; they knew the route and were very careful even while climbing up and down. Sonmarg has big ice glacier which was slippery so I could actually slide.I enjoyed ice sledge, played in snow and threw some snow balls at my parents. I hated leaving the place because it was lot and lot of fun.
“Gulmarg” was our next stop. It’s named Gulmarg because it gets fully covered with flowers (gul) during summer. We went at the top of the mountain by a cable car which is called “GONDOLA”. We were lucky to see fresh snow because there was a snow fall just two days ago. One can enjoy Skiing and do you know what? I did snow cycling. It was very cold over there and windy too. Snow went into my snow shoes which we had rented. My legs started getting colder in no time and I thought they were frozen; so one must take good snow gears along.
After “Gulmarg” we started for “Pahalgam”. On the way we visited “Apple” and “Saffron” plantations. My mother shopped lot of saffron from Kashmir. Saffron shops offered us a special Kashmiri drink called “Kehawa” which is made up of Saffron.
On the first day of Pahalgam, we visited a river named “LIDDER”. We climbed rocks and crossed a wooden bridge. There were people enjoying river rafting too. We ate Bhelpuri and Mango chat and it was very tasty. Like Lidder, we tried to play in other rivers too but water was freezing cold. Next day we visited “Aru Valley” and “Betaab Valley”. It is so beautiful that people even call “Pahalgam” as “Mini Switzerland”. People over there said few movies were shot there like “Bajarangi Bhaijan”. In Betaab Valley, I carried a cute rabbit. I even did zip lining activity and there was river crossing too.
Overall the place is extremely clean; I didn’t even spot a single plastic bag and garbage pile. People over there are very friendly and kind.