Archive | July 2013

My Latest Adventures – Srinagar – Part 3

The morning next day was bright and shine, contrary to our expectations as the weather reports earlier had suggested it to be cloudy conditions in Srinagar. Our schedule for the was supposed to cover the local tourist spots of the city which were- Pari Mahal, the Mughal Gardens and the very famous Dal lake. We left the hotel early morning for our very first destination which was “Chashme Shahi”. To our escort was a local taxi which was a Travera. The taxi driver was a local Kashmiri which was quite evident from the unique accent he had while talking. He suggested us to first visit Pari Mahal which was a few kilometers ahead of the Chashme Shahi gardens.

Pari Mahal has was something less of a palace (mahal) and more of a step garden. This terraced garden was situated above a hillock from where the complete view of the Dal lake could be seen. The Mahal had six terraces each having  beautiful and well maintained gardens. After enjoying the beautiful view of half of the valley from Pari Mahal we came down from the hill to visit the Chashme Shahi , which is known for a natural water spring coming out of it.  The naturally effluent water was really cold. The tourists stood in queues to get a photo clicked with the natural source of water.

Next up were the Mughal Gardens, first one was the Nishat Garden situated right in front of the Dal lake.  An interesting fact about the garden was its architecture. It had 12 terraces which represented the 12 Zodiac Signs. There were channels of water running throughout the stretch of the garden.  It was adorned by various trees like that of Chinar, Chestnut, Wlanut etc. The Garden was an assortment of garden, lake and mountains which gave it the look of Paradise. 

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Our next destination was the Shalimar Bagh.  The most pleasant sight in this garden was the beautiful Kashmiri school kids which came on an outing with their teachers to the garden. There was a huge fallen Chinar tree around which the school kids were playing games. The cascade of the Chinar trees were planted across the entire length of the garden, one of which was marked 400 years Under one of these gushy shady Chinars we relaxed on a rug which we were carrying, very handy to sit wherever one feels like.

The adventure shall continue in the next post …
Till then admire this cute Kashmiri girl who specially posed for the camera.

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My Latest Adventures – Srinagar – Part2

I found Chandigarh an exceptionally beautiful and well planned place. Now we were looking forward to our next destination and that was Srinagar. We got a bit confused as to how we should undertake the journey, by road or by air. We finally decided that it will be best for us to take a direct flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar.

After a wonderful sleep we got up fresh in the morning and were all ready to leave our friend’s house right on time. We had a fantastic start of our journey – the front wheel of the car got flat! Yes, the moment we all settled inside the car and were saying our goodbyes to the family, the driver discovered a flat tyre. We got delayed by half an hour to reach the airport, but managed to check in on time.

Our flight for Srinagar was via New Delhi. It took us nearly three and half hours to reach Srinagar. The skyline was clear and I could see the big Himalayan ranges. The moment our plane crossed the massive Pir Panjal range I had the very first glimpse of the valley. Needless to say it was breathtakingly beautiful!

Most of the people travelling were tourists and there was lot of excitement in the air. A young and handsome Kashmiri boy was waiting for us in the airport arrival lounge. Within minutes all our luggage was packed in the boot of the car and we were whisked from the airport to the hotel. We had planned to stay in a hotel near the Dal Lake (the famous lake of Srinagar). Two nights we had booked for a boathouse stay.

The hotel was exactly, how it looked in the brochure. It was exceedingly peaceful with spacious rooms and huge gardens. The beds were very comfortable with clean soft Egyptian cotton fitted sheetsFirst view of Srinagar. After freshening up, we were served tea and coffee in the room itself.

So finally we were here. Those who don’t know anything about this place, I would like to give a quick summery. Srinagar is situated in the Kashmir Valley and attracts large number of travelers from all over. This magnificent city lies on the banks of the Jhelum River which is a tributary of the Indus River. The city is well-known for its stunning gardens, lakes and houseboats.

We had plans to visit nearby places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Phelgam as well. In my next write up we shall catch up with our visit to the mugal gardens and the famous dal lake.

Till then Cheers!

My Latest Adventures – Srinagar- Part1

sukhna lake chandigarh

sukhna lake chandigarh

When our flight touched the soil of India, I was much delighted simply for two reasons. First i was back after a long gap and secondly this time we were planning to visit a place claimed most beautiful by many of my acquaintances. Long before staring our journey, I had purchased a book on Kashmir which had a brief history about the place and a detailed list of all the tourist sites.

We could have easily taken a connecting flight from Delhi to Srinagar, but one of the girls, Venus, in our group was from Chandigarh. She was an Indian and wanted us to visit her city first. Her parents lived there and I too was keen to see that place as I had heard that it was the first planned city of India designed by a French architect Le Corbusier.

Chandigarh surely is a beautiful city. I was fascinated by the greenery of the city, something lacking in most cities of India. The lay out of the city is very impressive. The city is divided into various sectors with a market place for each sector, interestingly, they do not have sector 13 there as the famous architect considered it an unlucky number.

We had a warm welcome by my friend’s parents. Nice and warm couple. The table in the dining room was laden with so many delicious snacks. Even though I restrain myself from not eating too much lest it upsets my stomach, I still had a fair amount of fill in my plate. Cup of tea never felt so good. We were asked to take rest for some time before going for a brief sightseeing in the evening. The moment my head touched on the pillows, I drifted to a peaceful sleep, never realized that I was so tired.

After two hours of sleep, Samantha woke me up. She looked quiet fresh and was looking really pretty in the Indian dress she was wearing. Venus asked me, if I too wanted to try the Punjabi dress but I declined….well maybe I was not too confident about carrying it gracefully.

We went to see the Rock Garden first. It was amazing. How could a man make such a beautiful place out of waste and broken items?! It is a big garden…all rocky with artificial streams….nice place to hang out on holidays. In its last section there were huge swings. Some cultural program was also going on. We did not stay there for long as we were to go and see the famous lake of Chandigarh. The Sukhna Lake is quiet near to the Rock garden, but the place was very crowded. People from all age group could be seen there. Some were taking a walk on the path next to the lake, some were just chilling with friends, and some were busy boating in the lake. We also descended few stony steps that leads to the water and sat there for a while. From there we went to see the Rose garden. One could see various kinds of Roses there. One little kid came to me and requested for a photograph with him. It was fun. From there we went to see the city center. A big shopping complex – with all kinds of things. I purchased a belt from a small shop in a corner. We loitered around the whole complex and later on went into the Indian Coffee House for relaxing and refreshing.

Next day we were to take our flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar. Some people who had already been to Srinagar suggested us to go via road from Jammu to Srinagar. As it takes nearly 8 – 9 hours on road, we decided to fly to Srinagar.

The story continues…..Cheers!

My Latest Adventures

Hi there! I have been away from this blog for a long time…..but now i am back once again. Oh! how i have missed not sharing the interesting moments of my life with you all.

Recently, i had the pleasure of going on a wonderful vacation to a place popularly called as ” The Heaven On Earth”. Well it is Kashmir in India. I and my friends had this wonderful opportunity to stay there for a fortnight. We had an amazing experience. From the weather to food to local customs and traditions we loved it all. Though there were some security issues…not that we faced any…but we were definitely advised to remain on the alert.

I have traveled through so many parts of India, that sometimes i feel like a native myself. India is undoubtedly an amazing country. One get to see so much variation…each state has its own flavor.

In the coming days i shall share with you my visit to Kashmir and i am sure you will love it as much as i did.

Stay tuned….i will be back. Cheers!