A Ride to "Heaven"

28th Dec 2017

Mesmerizing view ; 14,000 Ft

Photo of Mesmerizing view ; 14,000 Ft by Surbhi Mittal

Being said that Kashmir is a 'Paradise' on earth, I believe its exceptional beauty cannot be contained in words and pictures. It is the careful blending of pleasant sound made by flowing river with cold breeze arising out of snow- covered valleys which makes you feel like you are on 7th heaven. The serenity of place holds the power to make you forget about daily life routines and indulge fully in whatever nature offers to your senses.

A rewinding of our four day trip takes me to the moment we reached Gulmarg from srinagar airport and checked in to 'The Meadows' a beautifully crafted, wooden structure, standing amidst snow covered hills, where we were offered kashmiri kahwa, a famous kashmir beverage, as welcome drink. From there, we went for an excursion to the valleys of gulmarg and experienced world's second longest gondola ride. Travelling on a cable with snow covered mountains all around, I felt like going through a secret rope-way to heaven.

Photo of A Ride to "Heaven" 1/1 by Surbhi Mittal

Beauty of a place is left unexplored if you limit yourself to usual activities like skiing, snow biking, sledging and tourist focussed major spots. Therefore to feed my desires of experiencing best of a place, I kept walking to areas that offered peace and untouched snow clad spaces.

Photo of A Ride to "Heaven" by Surbhi Mittal

Though we couldn't take our eyes off the beautiful valleys of gulmarg, we convinced ourselves to move, further, exploring different facets of kashmir, with a wish deep inside our hearts to visit the place again.

Day 2

Floating 'Luxurious Accomodations'

Photo of Floating 'Luxurious Accomodations' by Surbhi Mittal

We left for srinagar where a generous lady was waiting to host us on one of her lavish houseboats.

Photo of A Ride to "Heaven" by Surbhi Mittal

We reached there riding in a well decorated shikara from banks of Nigeen lake. The lake is serene with beautifully structured houseboats standing by the sides and shikaras floating alongside. The wooden architecture, traditional rugs, lamps and kashmir handicrafts gave the houseboat, a royal feeling. We spend the evening sitting at lake facing side of houseboat while experiencing soothing breeze passing by.

Houseboat dining "Candle Light"

Photo of Houseboat dining "Candle Light" by Surbhi Mittal

The day ended with a delicious and sumptuous dinner graced by light of candles. I have never found candle light dinner, so, romantic, not even when I had one on side of fatehsagar lake in Udaipur. Definitely, I have fallen in love with this style of hospitality.

After a eight hours long warm and relaxing night's sleep, I was awaken to a pleasant morning. Again, I went to my favourite place on houseboat that is lake facing side, where i could see birds taking their day's first flight, flaunting their carefully crafted wings. Surely, wings are an amalgam of art and technology. Life is at peace when you are around no one but nature. Riding in a shikara again we bid adieu to our host for the night and houseboat.

Day 3

Sun-rays + Snow - Aru Valley

Photo of Sun-rays + Snow - Aru Valley by Surbhi Mittal

Next, We head towards pahalgam, an epic place and best of kashmir. With Lidder river flowing sideways and snow covered landscapes, passing by, makes it a perfect escapade.

Rethink : Realise : Reinvent : Rejoice - Chandanwari

Photo of Rethink : Realise : Reinvent : Rejoice - Chandanwari by Surbhi Mittal

The place where you can rethink about your experiences with life and reinvent the ways, that can make your life better.

"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better" - Albert Einstein

'Embracing the natural beauty within' - Betaab Valley

Photo of 'Embracing the natural beauty within' - Betaab Valley by Surbhi Mittal

Starting with Aru valley to Chandanwari to Betaab valley, it felt like time is flying. To me, Kashmir is not just a place, it is an experience, a state of mind.

I wish to stay with my hangover for the beauty of Kashmir, till forever. My strong urge to experience the said heaven, took me to the valley and after experiencing it once, I feel the desire to visit those enchanting landscapes more often, to rethink and reinvent.