What comes to your mind when someone mentions Kashmir? Curfews, military, stone pelting, crisis, chaos, militants and several other negatives that make it seem like a risky destination to travel in. Have you ever wondered what has created this image of Kashmir in your head? Most likely newspapers, news channels, and social media, which are full of stories that make us feel nothing but extreme sadness about the situation in Kashmir.
Being a traveller, I have come to an understanding that till the time there are means to reach a place and people are living and going about their daily lives there, it is safe. I travelled to Kashmir in 2005 when I was 15-years-old during a summer vacation with family. And now in 2017, I wanted to relive the tranquility of the Dal Lake and the strange calm that I experienced amidst such pristine beauty all around. So, without wasting any thought on what could go wrong, I booked a flight to Srinagar for my birthday.
Having travelled around in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam and other places of tourist interest earlier, I wanted to travel to a place relatively offbeat this time, in spite of what my father had to say – "Don't go to remote places like you do, it's not the same."
While researching about destinations in Kashmir, I came across Gurez Valley. I was blown away by the godly beauty of this place and decided to check it out for myself.
I travelled to this magical valley and here is what I found: