Srinagar

Visit Srinagar in spring and you would be very much inclined to believe that heaven indeed exists on earth. Millions of flowers bloom in spring infusing the valley with their vibrant colours and fragrance along with rain showers that add to a divine experience. Situated at the heart of Kashmir, the valley wraps a shawl of different hues for every season. The city of Srinagar lies on both the banks of the River Jhelum with many bridges connecting them.
Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The city is enchanting in every season and it has more in store for visitors. The serene beauty of Dal Lake and Nagin Lake are well known as are the famous Houseboats on Dal Lake. Mughal Gardens, Chashma Shahi (the royal fountains), Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies), Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring), Shalimar Bagh are a feast for the eyes. Some of the holy places in Srinagar are Hazratbal Shrine, Jama Masjid, Hamza Makhdum, Kheer bhawani, Sarika Mata temple and Shankaracharya temple.
Srinagar is connected by National highways and has an international airport. Many picturesque valleys and adventure tourism sites are also accessible from the city.
Best time to visit: March to September
Languages spoken: Kashmiri
Climate: Rainy spring season, pleasant summers and very cold winters with snowfall
Natural Wonders: Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh
Holy Places: Hazratbal Shrine, Jama Masjid, Hamza Makhdum, Kheer bhawani, Sarika Mata temple, Shankaracharya temple
Places of Interest: Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal

The Unplanned Travellers

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Harish and I was chatting over tea in office cafeteria and planning to go on a road trip somewhere in India in his car with friends. It started turning in to shape when one of our friend “Vikas” agreed to join us and finalized the destination to Goa “Mohali to Goa”. Next day he called up and cancelled his plan due to some work assignment and we were back to same stage of planning. Harish had a passion to cover Leh Ladakh on his bullet which he bought recently for this purpose only but could not plan the trip so far. Finally both of us agreed to go along on one bike 😊

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With Love from Kashmir…

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Continuing my exploration of the beautiful valley of Kashmir, my second visit was more like returning back to my second home. The enthralling beauty and the warmth of the people haunted me long enough to make me revisit Kashmir and I boarded the indigo flight for a 5 day visit.

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Baralacha-la pass at an altitude of 4890 meters

To Leh by road : Journey from Chandigarh – Srinagar – Kargil

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Had a lunch/prayer break at world’s second coldest inhabited place Drass (after Siberia). Winters in Drass are cold with average lows around −22 °C and as low as −45 °C at the peak of winter. The lowest temperature was recorded around −60 °C during 2005. We were told by some locals that everybody in mountain keeps at least 4 to 6 months food stock for emergencies.

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Paradise on Earth- Part 4

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Pahalgam turned out to be very beautiful too, with the roaring Lidder and the rocky snow clad mountains complimenting each other. After finishing our breakfast, we headed for our first destination, Betaab Valley. It is so called as it was once the location for the filming of the film, “Betaab”. It was also the background in many scenes from the Ranbir Kapoor starrer, Rockstar. To reach the valley, a detour has to be taken from the road leading to Chandenwadi. It is located beside a much calmer portion of the Lidder, and with its artificially planted forest, does give the feel of being in the UK. Although Betaab valley is slightly commercialized, it has a very calming effect on the nerves.

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Top reasons to visit Kashmir

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Other Other famous cuisines include: Kahwah (GreenTea) and Noon Chai. Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. One must taste the unheard “Kamal Kakri ke Pakore” near Nishat Gardens in Srinagar. Kashmir offers a vast variety of Kebabs. Non-Vegetarians must enjoy the mouth watering Chiken,Kebabs etc. But then, Nothing can beat the very own Lucknawi Kebabs! (Seriously),

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Kashmir – The crown of India

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Sindhu was flowing just behind the hotel. So the sound of the full flowing river was continuously available. We saw the setting sun in its full glory. Entire surrounding was magnificent with absolute calmness, except chirping of birds and roar of the

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Amarnath Yatra – Jammu to Baltal base Camp

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जम्मू से आगे पुरे रास्ते में जगह-जगह अमरनाथ यात्रियों के लिए लंगर लगे हुए हैं। खाने-पीने की कोई समस्या नहीं। क्योंकि हम लोग नाश्ता करके नहीं आये थे और अब तक हमें काफी भूख लग गयी थी। हमने गाड़ी वाले से कहा की किसी लंगर पर गाड़ी रोक दो, नाश्ता करना है। ड्राइवर ने बटोट से थोड़ा आगे एक लंगर पर गाड़ी रोक दी। लंगर राजपुरा के पास का था। लंगर में डोसा, पानी पूरी, आइस क्रीम, कुल्फी, कोल्ड ड्रिंक, जलजीरा, दाल चावल, रोटी सब्ज़ी, पॉपकॉर्न, हलवा, खीर और गरमा गरम चाय सब कुछ मिल रहा था। जितना चाहे प्यार से खाओ पर झूठा बचाना सख्त मना है। खाओ मन भर, न छोडो कण भर। वहां ड्राइवर सहित सभी लोगों ने नाश्ता किया, गर्मागर्म चाय पी और पौने घंटे बाद ठीक 12 बजे दोबारा से यात्रा शुरू कर दी।

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