Kashmir! Jannat as they say!!
It was a dream come true expedition as I got an offer to join a friends group of my colleague, that was heading to Jammu & Kashmir in the summer of 2018. When he asked me, it was like a "surely yes" nod. We planned it for many months and finally on the initiation day, we took a flight to New Delhi and on the next day took the Shatabdi to Jammu from Delhi-Rohila station. The train delayed a little so that from Jammu after breakfast, we started around 11am for Srinagar with a pre-booked tempo-traveller.
It was a great trip, as by the side of Chenab river, we headed towards Kashmir. There were many small tunnels as well the Patnitop tunnel, after which we saw first the snow-capped Himalaya at the setting sun backdrop. At Anantnag, we took a halt and by the night, we reached our hotel. The very next day, I went for a morning sunrise walk by the side of Dal Lake. Serenity of the lake has no words to describe. There were many Shikaras looking for a ride which I deliberately skipped. Interestingly, there were florist who were sailing flower and seeds which is part of a flower market on water! Alas, I had no bag-space to fill at the beginning of my Ladakh journey, so bare handed, we started for our trip towards Sonamarg.
We saw many school going kids at Srinagar which I liked a lot. The road to Sonamarg is extremely pleasing and Sonamarg is absolutely heavenly. We hiked a little up at Sonamarg and finally started to climb the mighty Zoji-La (pass). It was very nerve-tiring ride for almost 3-4 hours which finally ended at the bosom of snow-clad Himalaya. We had some fun-related activity and after some time, headed towards Dras.