Kashmir - Paradise regained
Shammi Kapoor might as well have been singing about Kashmir and not Sharmila Tagore in this song – Tareef Karun Kya us ki, Jis ne tumhe banaya! Whichever God it be, be praised for giving us the paradise that is Kashmir.
Ye chaand sa roshehra,
Zulfon ka rang sunehra,
Ye zeel si neele aankhein,
koi raaz hain in mein gehara.
Taareef karun kya us ki,
Jis ne tumhe banaya.
In his inimitable style Shammi Kapoor danced to Mohammad Rafi’s energetic song in the oh-so-typical Kashmir pose – on the boat in the middle of Dal lake. Kashmir – once the favourite of Bollywood go-to places being later replaced by the ever alluring Switzerland by the Chopras and the Johars.
Kashmir is now coming back with a bang – And why not… It is our paradise regained.
The place is building back its reputation and glory again in recent years not withstanding all the undercurrents of disputes and claims the name usually comes with. It is now definitely on the international map of tourism and is only poised to get better.
There would never be a better time to go to Kashmir. And to inspire that, we have put together a list of unmissable things you can do in Kashmir – There would be something for everyone in here.
The serene shikara boat ride along the waterways in Srinagar, which leaves you wondering if you are in Venice instead. This calm and peaceful ride does make you clear on why from the Mughal emperors to the British Memsahibs rushed to this place in droves.
With the pristine white snow as far as you can see, Gulmarg is also the adventure destination to beat. A host of adventure activities to do – like skiing, paragliding and river rafting. There are treks of all ranges from extremely difficult right down to stroll in the park. Some of the more well known being the great lakes trek. If you are not the adventure type, there still is nothing better than the alpine trees and the clear blue sky that make for a picture perfect postcard.
First Switzerland… then Venice… Now Netherlands! Yes, you do get what 3 countries can offer you in one state. Welcome to Kashmir! Do note that Tulips are in full bloom in Kashmir only in April.
The world famous Pashminas. You will have to take one back when you are here, though the usefulness of those in the Bangalore, where we are based is a question that only climate change and time can answer. In any case, while you are at it… looking around, learning a bit and trying your hand at weaving one is always in scope.
And last but not the least… the people
Maybe staying so close to nature does make you beautiful – from the inside out. All of us need to give that a try, once in a while atleast. The colours in the attire look all the more beautiful because of the white backdrop. Is your camera on overdrive already?
The snowy paradise in an otherwise essentially tropical country, Kashmir, on an India map, is right at the top and looks like the head of India and rightfully so, if you consider the bounty of nature. For someone who has only seen different shades of green, the riot of colours this place can offers is some of the best indulgences you could treat yourself with. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head north!
‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on redefining the way women travel in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream – to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women from across the globe.
F5 Escapes offers fixed departure all-women group tours, customized itineraries for families, groups and solo travellers. We also do in-city engagements which include #JustGo travel meetups, workshops to educate women on travel safety, sustainable menstruation, motorbiking etc.