For many years I wanted to visit the heaven called 'Kashmir' and then, when it materialised, it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Day 1: Reaching Srinagar
Our first day of journey started- local sightseeing in Srinagar- it was cold and was raining cats and dogs. All tucked up in our woollens we first headed to Shankaracharya temple- a temple devoted to Lord Shiva. We then headed towards various gardens. Srinagar is a land of gardens and shrines. We visited Chasme Shahi first- one of the Mughal Gardens, an idle place for a floriculturist! Ethereal water flowing from a dome was believed to be a holy water having all ayurvedic medicinal values good for health. People were filling that water in their water bottles. We then went to Tulip garden- the month of April being the perfect time when all colours of tulips bloom. That sight was stimulating, rich in all sorts of colours. After that we went to Nishat Garden and Shalimar Bagh (garden)- both unique in their own ways.
No words can do justice to the beauty of Sonamarg. It was a scene straight out of a postcard. To end our day we went to Hazratbal Shrine (dargah)- a holy place. It contained the hair of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Day 3: Gulmarg
This trip was going quite unexpectedly and adventurous. We started our journey for Gulmarg and reached there in approx 1 and a half hours. Because of our previous day experience this time we were more careful and more prompt in bargaining. We took jackets and boots on rent and entered Gulmarg. The first word which came out of my mouth was "Wow". It was the land totally covered under snow. We booked our tickets for Gondola (cable car) and the view was incredible
Day 4: Pahalgam
Pahalgam was totally different from other places in Kashmir. All other places were mountains, but this was a valley- popularly known as mini Switzerland. It was drizzling, little snow and too much greenery.
Day 5: Srinagar
We hired a shikara- a boat in Dal lake. We thought that it would be normal boating for an hour or so- but what we saw kept us amazed. There was a full floating market inside Dal lake.