Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab

5th Oct 2018
Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 1/6 by Mayank Soni
Lolab Valley’s dreamy meadows, vast forests and pastoral pleasures exude the kind of beauty that inspires poetry

The spectrum of stunning landscapes in Jammu and Kashmir can seem unending. Obviously, paeans have been composed to the more popular travel spots in the region, every visit to the state unearths a less explored treasure, untouched by modernity.

One such instance is the valley of Lolab, which has been immortalised in the works of Kashmiri poet Allama Iqbal. Marked by stunning meadows and dense forests, the valley’s beauty owes itself to its lifeline, Lahwal river. Life in Lolab embraces the leisure and warmth of a rural existence.

During harvest season, families gather in paddy fields and enjoy hot cups of tea poured from copper samovars. Lolab Valley is a three-hour drive (114 km) from Srinagar and the best time to visit is between June and September.

Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 2/6 by Mayank Soni
Chandigam is one of the most picturesque villages in Lolab, blessed with towering oaks, deodar and pine trees. The place is best explored on foot as it gives you a chance to interact with locals and get a taste of their open-hearted hospitality
Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 3/6 by Mayank Soni
Lolab is dotted with traditional homes, built from logwood, that lend a rustic charm to its villages. People seem to hold on to a different time period here, oblivious to the intrusions of modernity elsewhere
Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 4/6 by Mayank Soni
The women of Lolab not only manage household chores but also shoulder field work in the summer. The last paddy crop is harvested in September, after which the community prepares for a long winter
Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 5/6 by Mayank Soni
Even the remotest village in Lolab is invested in the idea of imparting formal education to its children. This explains the preponderance of schools throughout the valley
Photo of Kashmir’s Enchanted Valley, Lolab 6/6 by Mayank Soni
Like the rest of Kashmir, Lolab’s cuisine is dominated by Central Asian breads introduced by generations of travellers along the Silk Route. Every locality here has its own kandur (baker)

Connect with me on Instagram , Facebook , Twitter