Snow Capped KASHMIR of 2011 – Part I

What a beautiful New Year has begun. I am saying this because in 2011 my first trip was to the Heaven on Earth Kashmir. And believe me , when covered fully with snow Kashmir looks all the more beautiful. I have been here in all the seasons that is in Summers , Autumn , Winters and I have witnessed all the different shades of Kashmir .If someone has to see the nature in its full bloom ( lush green grasslands , beautiful smiling flowers , a hint of snow , blue rivers )then the best time to visit Kashmir is in Sep – Oct. But if someone like me who is crazy for snow then the time to visit is Dec- Feb. In this time Kashmir looks like a white carpet. The peaks are covered with shining snow. My previous Kashmir experiences are described in
1.http://www.ghumakkar.com/2010/05/11/kashmir-the-paradise-on-earth/
2..http://www.ghumakkar.com/2010/06/18/a-different-kashmir-part-1//

A starter pic to enjoy :-)


Snow Covered peaks from the top

Now let me start my trip. I had certainly not enjoyed the 31st night being at home. So definately a trip was awaiting. So when i got the time , I asked my friend Tarun to make a plan. But by now we were deciding about a place definately a hill station. Himachal or Kashmir were the main points to discuss. So we finalized to Kashmir. We booked our flight tickets just a week in advance. The date to leave was 16th January. I was really excited. I packed my bag and filled it with heavy wollens. we boarded the Kingfisher flight at 1:30 pm.


Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport.

The flight duration was one and a half hour. We reached Srinagar at around 3:15 pm. What I witnessed from the top was a sheer pleasant experience. The peaks were covered with a thick blanket of snow and the sunlight falling on it and giving a reflection was a beautiful treat to the eyes. Here is a video of the landing at the snow covered Srinagar Airport.

When we reached Srinagar , a totally different view from Delhi welcomed us. The huge chunks of snow were lying all around. An icy breeze was flowing.We took a taxi and went to our Hotel Meridian at the the Museum Road. As soon as we entered the Hotel, the hotel lawn which in my earlier visit was totally green, this time it was totally covered with snow. Then we just went in our room and took some rest. The hotel manager told us that a heavy snowfall had occurred here on Friday that is why all around there is snow.


The Hotel Lawn

After taking some rest, we took an auto and went to the Bouleward Road to see the Dal Lake. The Dal Lake to my surprise was half frozen but still the Shikaras were moving in it. To watch the semi frozen Dal Lake was a new experience for us.


The semi frozen Dal Lake.

We just kept on walking along the Bouleward Road. It was really a beautiful sight that we were walking in between the huge heaps of snow. After roaming there for couple of hours we came back to the hotel. The night temperature was minus 3.4 degrees celcius.

The next morning we woke up . As soon as I opened the curtains i still remember the view. A beautiful white coloured lawn with sunrays falling on it giving a golden shade. A view totally different from Delhi. Was I still in a dream. But the answer was no. Glancing through the window , I was thinking can I never stay here throughout my lifetime. Somebody has rightly quoted Kashmir as the Jannat and now I know why.It is reality.
Then we went to the Lal Chowk. It was nothing new same as earlier. Then we did some shopping. The whole day we roamed around leisurely and came back to the hotel late evening.
The next morning I called my local friend Tariq who took us to Pulwama in his car. Pulwama was around an hour drive from Srinagar on the NH-1A . Same situation was there. The national highway was also covered with snow all around.


Saffron fields fully covered with snow

We just enjoyed the drive to Pulwama. This is a video of the drive from Srinagar to Pulwama on the NH-1A .

Driving in Kashmir from Srinagar to Pulwama with snow all around.

We came back to Srinagar that day only. The next day again our friend took us to Dal lake in his car. We did some photosession and then he took us to his home and we enjoyed the local kashmiri food.


Pulwama

So soon these three days had passed. We had plan to go to Gulmarg and Pahalgam also in search of snow. But our snow search ended in Srinagar and Pulwama only . I had seen Gulmarg and Pahalgam earlier but my friend had not been there. But he was satisfied with such amount of snow. On 19th we boarded the flight from Srinagar and came back to Delhi by evening. In these three days the lowest temperature witnessed by us was minus 6.4 degrees. Even in the afternoon the maximum temperature was minus 2 degrees.

This one is my first part. My next part will contain a beautiful photolog of the white Kashmir. So stay tuned.

Thanks for reading

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