Jammu and Kashmir

The beautiful mountainous landscape of Kashmir valley, numerous shrines of Jammu and the remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture of Ladakh, justify the exclamation of Emperor Jahangir, If there is ever a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.
The northernmost state of India is home to many beautiful valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Srinagar is the summer capital and Jammu the winter capital of the state. The official language is Urdu, while the main spoken languages are Kashmiri in Kashmir Valley, Dogri in Jammu and Ladakhi in Ladakh. Most people speak at least a little Hindi.
One can arrive here by air to Srinagar and Leh or board a train till Jammu or Udhampur. By road entry is via Jammu upto Srinagar and via Manali upto Leh.
Kashmir Valley is a land of beautiful gardens like Shalimar and Nishant gardens, vast lakes like Dal Lake and Manasbal Lake, pristine streams and friendly people. Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Patnitop are hill stations offering enchanting view of Snow Mountains. Raghunath Temple, Bahu Fort, Mubarak Mandi Palace, Peer Baba, Vaishno Devi, Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat Shankaracharya Temple, Amarnath, Bhimgarh Fort and Ramnagar fort are some of the pilgrimage and historical sites.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh is famous for monasteries. Zanskar Trek is a great adventure tourism destination. Nubra Valley, Lake Moriri and Pangong Lake offer truly amazing landscapes high up in the Himalayas.

THANDI HAWAYEN LEHRA KE AYYEN… Meri Kashmir Yatra Part 7

By

Mr. Bhajji was clever enough to place the vehicle among the local vehicles and we crossed the vehicle only to find a toll office on the left side where a person was noting the number of the vehicle. If it was the local vehicle , those were allowed without paying any tax. If the registration number was outside state and not a tourist vehicle registered in Jammu and Kashmir then tax was levied. So folks no option but to pay that tax to reach the main snow point.

Read More

माता वैष्णोदेवी यात्रा भाग – ७ ( जम्मू – JAMMU – २)

By

रघुनाथ मंदिर जम्मू और कश्मीर राज्य के जम्मू शहर के मध्य में स्थित है। यह मंदिर जम्मू कि पहचान हैं.यह मन्दिर आकर्षक कलात्मकता का विशिष्ट उदाहरण है। रघुनाथ मंदिर भगवान राम को समर्पित है। यह मंदिर उत्तर भारत के सबसे प्रमुख एवं अनोखे मंदिरों में से एक है। इस मंदिर को सन् 1835 में इसे महाराज गुलाब सिंह ने बनवाना शुरू किया पर निर्माण की समाप्ति राजा रणजीत सिंह के काल में हुई। मंदिर के भीतर की दीवारों पर तीन तरफ से सोने की परत चढ़ी हुई है।

इसके अलावा मंदिर के चारों ओर कई मंदिर स्थित है जिनका सम्बन्ध रामायण काल के देवी-देवताओं से हैं। रघुनाथ मन्दिर में की गई नक़्क़ाशी को देख कर पर्यटक एक अद्भुत सम्मोहन में बंध कर मन्त्र-मुग्ध से हो जाते हैं।यह कहा जाता हैं कि मंदिर में तैंतीस करोड देवी देवताओं कि स्थापना हैं.  मंदिर का मैं केवल बाहर से ही चित्र दे पा रहा हूँ. अंदर के फोटो लेना वर्जित हैं.

Read More

Disappointing ‘Wular’ – The largest fresh water lake in Asia

By

Each year during Amarnath Yatra we try to cover one new place of Kashmir excluding Srinagar. By this method we have covered Aru Valley, Betab Valley, Lidder valley, Pahalgam, Anant Nag, Avantipura, Verinag spring ( the chief source of the river Jhelum) Sonamarg, Gulmarg,  Mansabal lake etc. During 2009 Amarnath Yatra, we had planned to visit Wular Lake. After Darshan we started returned journey from Baltal towards Srinagar early in the morning.

Read More

Yeh Dekh Ke Dil Jhooma… Meri Kashmir Yatra (Part 5)

By

This exactly is not a tourist area but one gets to see the actual life of the people away from the gritty nitty of tourism. Common people full of common aspirations wearing tired and sullen faces (a result of not so good economic condition) dominates the scene. Shikara wallah then brings you to Meena market, a group of 4-5 showrooms selling Shawls and other woolen stuffs, carpets, Sarees and all. One argues with them that we do not want to buy anything but the common refrain is EK BAAR DEKH TO LIJIYE…

Read More
Another view of the tree at the complex

Taarif Karoon Kya Uss Kee… Meri Kashmir Yatra (Part 4)

By

After about one and a half hour we were in front of the temple. We had been questioned 2-3 times on the way by paramilitary forces as they thought that we were proceeding towards Sri Amarnath Yatra unofficially as the Yatra had not started till then. As we had no plan as such, it was duly told to them.

Read More

Ladakh Calling… (Part 3) Sarchu to Leh

By

read it somewhere on a board “Darling I want you but not so fast” so we gripped our nerves & maintained a decent pace. As we started early & wanted to enjoy this particular stretch (Sarchu – Leh) of our ride to the maximum, we took frequent small breaks, enjoyed that heavenly feeling, and experienced the scent in the whistling air. We literally lived those moments, discussing about our bikes, tough terrains & beautiful valleys around.

Read More

Boomro Boomro, Shyam Rang Boomro… (Meri Kashmir Yatra – Part 3)

By

The scene was just marvelous and my thought was …. YE KAHAN AA GAYE HUM….. We see pictures of the lake in the news papers or sometimes in television but can not gauge the extent of this lake from those visuals, this is what I think as the mighty DAL which was in front of me had rows and rows of houseboats parked in it . THE HOUSEBOATS WITH EXOTIC NAMES APPEARED TO BE LIFELINE OF THIS LAKE. (Char Chinar, Dreamland, Kashmiri beauty, Gulistan, Gul Gulshan Gulfam and numerous other names ….).

Read More
Surya in Tent at Sarchu

Ladakh Calling… (Part 2) – Manali to Sarchu

By

Next morning I was up @ 05:30 Hrs & dived out of bed to see some positive signs of relief but the scene was frustrating & heart breaking. The conditions were totally overcast with little rain. Few Peaks were not even visible & were fully covered under the mist. On the other side of Bhaga River some mountain tops received fresh snowfall in the night.

Read More

भाग8: रुम्त्से (Rumtse) – कोकसर – मणिकरण – सुंदरनगर – नॉएडा…………… 16/17/18-सितम्बर

By

अगले दिन सुबह 8:00 बजे घर की तरफ दौड़ पड़े। शाम 7 बजे राहुल को घर छोड़ा और यहीं पर सबने अंकल का हिसाब-किताब भी दे दिया। वैसे तो अंकल के 2000/- प्रतिदिन के हिसाब से 20000 रुपया बनता था लेकिन अंकल ने गाड़ी की इंजन पैकिंग की मरम्मत के लिए 2000 रुपया एडवांस ले लिया था, वो कट कर उनको 18000 रुपया पकड़ा दिया। वो बहुत खुश हुए। अंकल ने आखिर मे कह डाला कि “आप लोगों की बदौलत मे भी लद्दाख देख आया हूँ। अन्यथा जिन्दगी मे कभी जाने का मौका नहीं मिलता”। राहुल को अलविदा कर दिया। हम सब लोग थोडा इमोशनल हो गए थे। 10 दिन एक साथ ऐसे सफ़र पर रहने से और एक दुसरे पर बिना संदेह भरोसा करने से दिल के तार जुड़ ही जाते हैं। यहाँ से अंकल ने मुझे घर छोड़ा। यहाँ से हरी और मनोज को वो दिल्ली एयरपोर्ट छोड़ने निकल पड़े। अगली सुबह हरी और मनोज का कॉल आया की वो सकुशल पहुँच गए थे।

Read More

Ladakh Calling… (Part 1) – Delhi to Manali

By

We started from Shahbad @ around 14:30 Hrs & reached Chandigarh soon without any further break. It was 4:00 in the afternoon & we passed through lot of “Thekas” (Liquor Shops) on the Chandigarh bypass road. Finally, we succumbed to the temptation & stopped at a decent place. Deepak & I happily ordered chilled Beer while Surya, a bit apprehensive for beer-n-ride, was having fun with his chilled Limca. We dozed ourselves quickly & without wasting much time we soon crossed Ropar, Kiratpur Sahib & reached Swarghat. On the way we negotiated well with the heavy traffic spilling out diesel fumes & with all the dust & pollution on our bodies we reached Bilaspur @ 18:30 Hrs. The sun was about to set & we took a small room in the Hotel “LakeView” at Bilaspur. It was time to cheers for successfully completing the 1st day of our ride. Without wasting much time we took out our B.P bumper & sat in the balcony with the lake view. We had good round of discussion & comments on the riding styles & also planned for our next day’s target – Manali.

It was drizzling in the morning & we were keeping our fingers crossed for those high passes on our way. We got up early, dressed ourselves & without having any morning tea or breakfast, which was a regular routine for all of us, we started journey @ 07:00 Hrs.

On our way crossed Bilaspur city & NTPC Koldam site on river Sutlej. By 08:30 Hrs we were dying from hunger & we finally took a halt near a road side dhaba “Evergreen Hotel” for breakfast. We had the best of the possible breakfast available on this route “Gobhi/Aaloo Parantha + lot of Butter with hot tea”. We tanked up our stomachs & thanked the owner for making such tasty fresh “Paranthas” & promised him to come back on our return journey. On the way we crossed some recognized towns like Sundar Nagar, Mandi.

Read More