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4.21 

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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member
Bettiah India
Not worth the time...
May 08, 2016 07:40 PM 13032 Views

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KASHMIR may be the "Heaven on earth" but Srinagar can no longer be considered a part of it.


Climate


After alighting from the flight in the evening, the first thing I noticed was the absence of chilling cold, opposite of what expected. It was nice though, however the driver told the temperature rises up to 35 degrees during the day; and it was true. Not a good characteristic to be called a hill station. However nights were cool.


Local sightseeing


After spending the evening at the hotel, next day was for the local sight-seeing. The first stop was the famous Dal lake. There were multiple no. of ghats to have a ride of shikara. The duration of ride is flexible and the price bargain-able. A Shikara usually has sitting arrangement for 4 but our family of 5 adjusted on one.


The one hour ride was quite good. We enjoyed the peaceful polluted waters of the lake. The distant mountains and their reflections were superb being interfered by the vendors on boat, trying to sell you various things.


Next was the Tulip Garden which was already closed for public access. We moved on to the Mughal gardens - Chasm-e-Shahi, Nishat Bagh and Shalimaar Bagh. Whereas Chasm-e-Shahi has a fountain(having some "holy" thing in it and we were advised to drink it) at the very top of it, the other two were just gardens; flowers and grasses along with sitting arrangements at various places.


After that we visited the Pari Mahal which was like a "view-point" for Srinagar. We didn't visit the Shankaracharya Temple which was on top of a mountain and had almost 300 steps to climb.


The nearby spots were over and we were back in hotel by 7.


Pahalgam


After breakfast we left for Pahalgam, next day. At approx. 85 km, it was a 3 - 4 hours of ride. En- route, we stopped at an apple orchard; no apples in the trees though(off- season). We also had the Kashmiri drink, Qahwa and it was just wonderful.


On reaching Pahalgam, horses were hired for sightseeing. Sightseeing included the distant snow clad mountains and the lush greenery spread everywhere beneath it. And few small waterfalls too. Nothing much better compared to the scenery you experience on the way to Pahalgam. After lunch, we spent the afternoon beside the river Jhelum.


On the way back, we took a detour towards Anantnag and visited Mattan temple.


Gulmarg


Next day, we left for Gulmarg. It took 2 hours to reach there. You have to park your vehicle and then take a horse or walk on foot towards the gondola which is a little over 1 km from the parking. Don't know what's the logic behind it!


Speaking of Gondola, there are two stages to it. You can either book for both the levels at once or book the ticket for 2nd level after reaching the 1st one. The 1st level had plenty of snow but it didn't feel freezing there. It was just nice out there with simply a jacket - no heavy woolens, no mufflers, gloves or warmers required during the summers.


Without much of excitement offered, we marched back from 1st level itself.


Local taste


We were invited for dinner that night by a friend of my father. There I had an experience of wazwan. Its not a single cuisine but a collection of cuisines, consisting of various sheep and/or chicken dishes. Before starting, we were made to wash hands, not at the basin but at *tasht-nari, * a combination of jug and a pot which was passed on to each of the person to wash his/her hands.


This was just an unique experience, except that nothing was captivating enough of Srinagar to make it memorable.


Early morning, next day, we left!


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