In my earlier post “Kashmir – The Paradise On Earth” , I had described the beauty of Kashmir in Winter Season. In that trip I experienced everything – Beautiful Lush Green Gardens , Flowers in full Bloom , Snowfall , freezed Gulmarg everything, really which I wanted to see . It was a true beauty. This beauty again forced me to witness the Summers of beautiful Kashmir. I had visited Kashmir 8 months ago. So, this summers me and my friend Tarun made the plan to visit Kashmir. We searched the flights online one month in advance ,but to our surprise some flights were even full one month in advance. Then we booked our flight tickets in Spice Jet that too on a very high rate mainly because of the summer vacations. The date to leave was 14th June ‘ 10. But just one day before that is on 13th I received phone call from my friend that tommorow ( our scheduled departure ) there is a Bandh or Curfew in Srinagar. He was really tensed. I was also really confused that our full plan was made and the curfew was imposed there. This type of situation is really tense in Kashmir.
Then I called my other friend Tariq who lives in Srinagar . I enquired him about the current situation. He told that where our Hotel Meridian is there that place is safe , the only area of Concern is the Lal Chowk area and the Downtown area. After listening his words I was confident and decided to leave tomorrow only. We left our house at 7 am . Our flight time was 8:30 am. A little tension in mind we boarded the flight.
The flight took off at correct time. By 11 am we were in Srinagar.
The weather was very pleasant there , though we still had to wear a cardigan. After coming out of the airport , we took the tourist bus of the Airports Authority which left us at our hotel at around 11:30 am. As we already knew that there was Bandh in Srinagar that day , all the roads were empty with all shops closed and no person roaming on the roads. The only people were the soldiers who were standing all throughout the route. I really salute our Indian Soldiers as they keep standing day and night just for the maintainance of peace there.
The situation was really looking tense there. We were really taking God’s name that we should safely reach our Hotel as early as possible.When we were sitting in the bus a stone just hit the roof of the bus. This was a clear indication that protests were going on at that time.Everybody was really frightened at that time. But it was just a little incident. Then we reached our hotel.
We were really feeling bored inside the room just when we decided that we should visit Lal Chowk ( sounds little crazy Lal Chowk in Curfew ). We just walked towards the Lal Chowk.
View of Jhelum River
The beautiful Jhelum River with shining houseboats and also notice the mobile tower in the backdrop on the top of a hill.
Just when we reached Lal Chowk not even a single person was there. All shops were close and the road was blocked by the soldiers. That time we were really scared.
I really feel scared after seeing this picture. Lal Chowk is seriously the most dangerous place at these times. The Jungle Laws of Kashmir states that the Curfews are so common in Kashmir that now even it is not declared officially. They come to know from the local news.The drop gates and the blockages are made in the Downtown area whenever there is a possibility of Public Protests.
After seeing the situation there we just proceed to our hotel very fast as we were alone there. REASON OF THE PROTESTS
Angry mobs clashed with security forces in Srinagar Saturday following the alleged killing of a teenager .Seventeen-year-old schoolboy Tufail Matoo died during street protests on last friday.Youth hurled stones at the police teams.Police had to baton-charge and use tear-gas to disperse the agitators.
After coming back to our hotel , our local friend Tariq came there to meet us. Just when we were sitting and talking in the lawn , we just heard a tyre bursting like sound. Tariq told us that it was not a tyre burst , but it was a blast like sound as these sounds are very commonly heard there. Then he immediately called up his friend to know what had happened they were talking in Kashmiri language. Then he told us that the police had thrown a Tear Gas Bomb to disperse the protestors at Lal Chowk. We were really shocked. We were there at the same place just 10 minutes before :Huh. This was the first time when we heard a blast sound.
By this time it was late evening and today we had experienced everything even the tense part of Kashmir. After that really scary day it was night time then. Then our Hotel waiters called us and told that in the main hotel hall a group of Kashmiri folk dancers were performing a dance. We went in the hall. There were a bunch of 5 dancers and 5 people were giving music and singing local songs. It was a really very energetic and a refreshing dance which even refreshed us.
That night we slept a little early hoping that tomorrow everything would be fine.
DAY – 2
Just in the morning we came to know that the curfew was removed now which was a good news for us. So then we took the bus and went to the Boulevard Road to visit the Dal lake.
Kashmir Arts Emporium – Boulevard Road
The shore line of the lake, about 15.5 kilometres is encompassed by a boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats and hotels. Scenic views of the lake can be witnessed from the shore line Mughal gardens.The ecosystem of Dal Lake is ecologically rich in macrophytes, submerged macrophytes, floating macrophytes and phytoplankton.Macrophyte flora recorded in the lake’s aquatic and marshland environment.
Then we took a ride in the Shikara. By chance I got the same Shikara person with whom I took the ride 8 months ago. He immedaitely called me and said – ” Bauji aap to pehle apni family ke saath mere hi shikare pe baithe the ” . I was really astonished to see his memory. Then we took a ride.
The Shankracharya Temple is situated at the top of this Hill. Please see carefully.
However I had visited the Shankracharya Temple before.
The beautful market inside the Dal Lake.
A person enjoying Water Sports in the Dal Lake
It is known as the Boston Gulistan. It is basically a Garden which is made on multiple house boats.
A moving Shikara Shop selling fruits in the lake.
After roaming around we went back to the Hotel. The next day we had reserved to visit the Pulwama District.
In this post I have only described a little of Srinagar. Anyone who wants to know about the Mughal Gardens and the whole Srinagar kindly see my post – ” Kashmir – The Paradise on Earth ”
Thanks for reading…
To be continued…….!!!!