A Night In Sonmarg !

Tripoto

Nights in Sonmarg

I visited Kashmir in summers of 2005 and as said, it is indeed heaven on earth. During our journey, we had 2 days for Sonmarg, a remote area in Kashmir. A place of dreams it happened to be. Beautiful…

Sonmarg is 80 kms from Srinagar by road. We reached there in evening. We had booked a cottage in Sonmarg, it happened to be of red and green in color, situated in a green valley surrounded by snowcapped Himalayas. The backyard had 2 horses in stable. Horses in real ... in my backyard! Amazing!

The cottage had 2 rooms, 2 dormitories and a kitchen and 2 hosts for us. Cottage did not have beds and electricity! The host made us dinner by the time we settled down. We slept in sleeping bags provided by cottage and had candle light dinner on floor! No tables.

As we were done with dinner, we came out of cottage and were astonished by seeing the surrounding and sky. It was perfect and my human eye was unable to believe it. It was inky blue sky pierced with lots and lots of stars, clustered and scattered all over. It was like sky was small to have all the stars together. I did not know of constellations back then but just of Ursa major and I wasn’t even able to locate that.

A clustered sky, I had seen this first time. Never been to a remote area before, I thought sky is as void as it is in city. But this experience changed it all. Already dazzled by night sky, I looked at mountains … as if silver glitter was spread over peaks. Shining subtly under starry sky.

Dazzled and cold, I went to sleeping bag. We had fireplace for warmth. God this place is so earthly!!!

Mornings are like a painted picture. A clear sky with shining sun, green fields all around and a silent river flowing far behind our backyard, snow on mountains shining brightly and on lower parts of mountains goats grazing. If I knew Wordsworth back then, I would rather read it there in middle of all this.

My brother went for a horse-riding and I was beautiful to watch him. I was standing in middle of cottage garden and watching all this and it’s like too beautiful to believe that an ordinary painting of mountains, a home, river on backside can be true. Blessed are our hosts!

Today If I get chance to visit this place again, I would take- Constellation and sky Map with me to locate all constellations and galaxies, A telescope and a camera to capture all of them. And go on a moonless night to watch the stars better.

Photo of Sonamarg by nivedita
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