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287 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The ...
Day 6 : LehWe stayed at Leh for local sight seeing.Leh, is one of the sexiest place I have ever been to, people are honest, surrounded by beautiful mountains, wooden art can be seen in bulk. Leh, was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh district, with an area of 45,110 kilometers. The town is dominated by the ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace-the chief residence of the Dalai Lama.
We woke up quiet early at 5:30 A.M. and after having a cup of hot masala tea we took a stroll by the lake. We took our camera and walked down to the lake to witness and capture the magical change of color of the lake from sea green to bright blue. I could not restrict myself from dipping my feet into the lake water and it was icy cold.After returning to our camp and having breakfast we drove back to Leh carrying the unforgettable beauty of the lake.During our return we halted at Changla pass for few minutes to enjoy the breath taking view of the snow covered Himalayan range. In the evening we explored Leh market. The popular items for the tourists are the locally woven woolen garments, Pashmina shawls, Tibetan handicrafts, Buddhist mask and paintings.Since apricots grow in plenty in Ladakh, it is another popular gift we can purchase. We picked some shawls, dry fruits, apricot jam and Tibetan souvenirs for our family and friends. The dragon motif is very popular in Tibetan art. Bargaining is a common practice while shopping in open markets and you pay on the basis of your negotiating skill. However government run shops are there where prices are fixed.
After having breakfast in the early morning we drove out for local sightseeing to Hemis monastery which is famous for mask festival, Thickshey monastery, 3 idiots’ school and Sindhughat for spectacular view of Indus river. We returned back to hotel for late lunch and again headed for a short trip to Hall of fame- a museum constructed and maintained by Indian army in memory of the martyred soldiers who lost their live in Indo-Pak and Indo-China war along with Shanti Stupa- structure built by Japanese Buddhist as symbol of peace.
Day 12: Korzok – LehAfter one of the most scenic treks, drive towards Leh at the end of the trek.
15th August The day India got his Independence.Big day for us!! Our destination was Hunder ( Nubra Valley ) which is nearly 130 km from Leh. KharDung La, the highest motorable pass, 86 km from leh, in between Leh and Nubra Valley having haight 18380 ft.
"Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive" ~ Counting StarsI understood the true meaning of this song when I saw the raw beauty standing still and frozen, the wind biting through my skin and the gentle rays of the sun penetrating my body.Leh! the high desert capital city shuts down for almost three months during winter. The otherwise lanes that our flourishing with tourists and motorists is completely abandoned at this time. The day starts and ends in the afternoon. One can barely see the sun through the constant shower of flakes of snow.Visiting any place during the best season is one kind but travelling to the same region when the conditions are not suitable is an insight into reality. Majority of people crave for adventure and excitement but only few have the heart to experience it. If you are one of those people, read on to know about the land that is detached from the outside world in winters, how to get there, what to do, where to eat and more.
Another new day and another new road to uncover. On day four we headed straight to Sangam point which is the confluence of River Indus and Zanskar just beside NH1 highway located at 20 miles from Leh. On the way back from there we stopped by at magnetic hill (its a section of NH1 where the vehicle is believed to move uphill due to magnetic pull) and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib which is run and maintained by our Indian army. After a little of local sight seeing in Leh, our driver dropped us at the Leh market in late evening hours for some shopping and dinner with which our elaborate guided tour came to an end.
306 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity ...
The drive to the first campsite, Jobra, lasts just over an hour taking you up the valley, with numerous hairpin bends (some really steep) with some occasionally sightings of apple orchards, right on the road.The campsite at Jobra is a short hike through a thick pine forest. As the trees cast their shadow over the trails, the weather remains pleasant even in bright sunshine. With the thundering Rani river right on your trail, it seems just the perfect setting.
The trek goes a full circle, starting from the green locales of Manali, to the cold barren Spiti and back to square one.
Manali is another ultimate destination for the adventure enthusiasts. The magnificent snow covered peaks and the pine fringed trails along with the endless orchards and pleasing views of Manali has always attracted tourists and adventure seekers. The terrains of Deo Tibba, Chanderkhani Pass, Hanuman Tibba and Rohtang Pass are the best places for heli-skiing at Manali. With the slopes as high as 6000 m, you will definitely be thrilled and have the adventure of your lifetime while heli-skiing at Manali.Auli is a beautiful place with virgin locales and breathtaking views. Auli is also getting noticed as a skiing destination. You will definitely gain the pleasure of heli-skiing at Auli as you fly upto 3000 m and then ski down the pleasant slopes of Auli.
Then, we took a taxi from Barsheni till Manali via Manikaran. We reached Manali at around 11 PM. Next day we covered few of the tourist spots of Manali like Hidimba temple, Vashishta temple etc. The best thing we discovered about Manali was that the city was alive till 2 AM. On ‘Maal Road’ we could see families and children having fun at such an hour while we were discussing our lives and future with a cup of icecream in our hands. That was our last night of that trip and we wanted to enjoy it the most so we were awake for the whole night until we got on board at the last bus and came back into reality from that dreamy place. That adventure will always be missed that time will always be cherished.
So here my journey to Gulaba Base Camp started from Manali. Manali has become overcrowded place these days. It took 2.5 hrs for us to reach Gulaba were one should take hardly 30 mins. So from here we are supposed to reach our first base camp which was 20 mins trail...hold on not the normal trail. We were supposed to climb a 70-degree steep mountain. And during that trail I realised why it is important to do warm up and to work out before going any of the trek. For 20 mins trail we took an hour. What is the difference in India hikes and YHA from my perspective? I did 4 Himalayan treks through YHA and there we used to warm up for 3 days in base camp so that our body gets acclimated for the higher treks. On the other hand, India hikes will directly take you to higher camps as they expect you to be completely fit for the treks. You are supposed to walk daily and send them screenshots on daily basis which is good idea. So finally we reached our Day 1 location at Gulaba (10,370 ft.). We had our refreshments ,then introduction and later on we were told about Medication, Go green Campaign and Overall trek info. Fortunately, we had very good trek leaders with us. We proceeded for dinner then to our tent. The tents were little small and we were told to keep our bags outside the tent still under coverage of tent but not really inside as there were two coverings of the tent. Around 2 at night it started raining heavily, I just popped out of the tent quickly kept our shoes under coverage and then slipped inside my sleeping bag. So here our day one ends ... Our Group at Gulaba Camp Day 2:
3. 'Jab We Met': I love mountains!!!
The weather of the valley didnt allow us to go, as the rain was approaching and we had to climb steep up to the mountain for 4 kms. We were upset but accepted the situation and made a plan to move old Manali. I was visiting Manali after long 3 years, There are many places to visit in Manali. The Hadimba temple, Vashisth hot springs, The mall road, Solang valley and many more. We hunted some good cafes there at the mall road it was snowing there. The sad part was my both the battery of the camera got discharged and was not able to click good picture. After the day out we checked into the beautiful Pinakine cottage, near Nehru kund bridge, Shanag Village. I recommend all the readers who are planning to visit Manali, book their stay in this cottage it has marvelous view and is situated in a very good location the services are best in a very minimal cost. And if you are in a big group and want some discounts then let me know . The next morning i had to catch the bus and was the time to go back to the pavilion .it was a perfect meet with my friend and was nice spent new year . and Time to say good bye to the mountains with a promise to see you soon .
Manali-DelhiToday was a free day in Manali and we had a bus booked for Delhi in the evening. We went to explore places like Hidimba Temple, and some cafés in Old Manali. Old Manali is a beautiful place with a lot of cafes and figure licking taste. We went to Café Bella Vista and Café 1947 both are superb cafés and food and atmosphere is overwhelming. We reached Manali Private bus stand at 6pm and said goodbye to the beautiful Himachal.It is always the same with mountains, once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
Manali-Solang- Gulaba PassToday we decided to take a bullet for a drive on Manali roads. We rented bikes at Rs 1200 each and left for Solang valley. There are two options for snow points near Manali 1.) Rohtang Pass 2.) Solang Valley. Due to heavy snowfall few days back road to Rohtang was closed. We went to solang and it was full of people. People mostly come there to enjoy adventure activities like Paragliding, snow skiing, rope way etc. We didnt enjoy anything due to traffic and we left Solang in search of a better place. We drove on the road which leads to Rohtang/Leh in search of a place where we can enjoy the snow. In search of it we came across Gulaba pass which is the highest point which is operational during winters. Gulaba pass was on hell of a experience we enjoyed playing in snow, making snowman , snow slides and what not. We left gulaba pass and reached back to manali at night.
255 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Amritsar has made a huge contribution to Indian history and is the holiest hub for Sikhs. The name of the city, which me...
Day 4 - Reach AmritsarHence, next day morning we checked out of the hotel and decided to head towards Amritsar.There are few buses which directly go to Amritsar one was in morning around 6.30-7.00 am and another one at 9.40 am. We could not reach for the direct bus on time and hence the other option available to us was to travel to Pathankot from Dalhousie to Amritsar (If Pathankot buses are unavailable take a bus from Dalhousie to Banikhet to Pathankot to Amritsar or private cabs)We booked a cab from Dalhousie to Pathankot and from there we took a bus to AmritsarPAJABA NU SAVAGATA - WELCOME TO PUNJAB folks!!Once you step on the land of Punjab, particularly Amritsar you will get a feeling that you have entered a flashback zone in Modern India (stepped into 1947 Punjab)Amritsar is a holy city in the state of Punjab because of its beautiful and unique Gurudwara - Golden temple. It is the spiritual and cultural centre for Sikh religion. As much as Amritsar is well known for Golden Temple, you will be amazed by the variety of food dishes in each lane specially near Golden Temple
Getting to know from the locals and my hotel reception, i followed their advise and went to LADDI KULCHA shop (a small kulcha shop) for having a brunch before leaving for home. And i must say it was the tastiest kulcha that i had ever had .It was time , so i before checking out from the room , i went to the GOLDEN TEMPLE once again and checked out and headed straight to the bus stand for getting the bus back to JAMMU.OVERALL TRIP COST: RS 2500-2800TRAVEL COST: RS 800-900( total to Amritsar and back home , inside amritsar,wagah etc )MEALS COST: RS 500(6 FULL MEALS+ SNACKS +TEA ETC)SIGHTSEEING COST: RS 350-500ACCOMODATION COST: RS 1100
It took me about 5 hours to get there bcz there were multiple stops and toll booths in the way.Finally there (AMRITSAR), bus stand is not far away from town hall area(where GOLDEN temple, jallianwala bagh is)Tip: if u dont have much baggage, just walk to the Golden temple(10 mins) if u cannot or dont want to walk , take an e-rickshaw(pay Rs30 maximum).I reached my stay place at 5:30 pm (one can also stay at room at golden temple, but don't know about availability and price). Checked in and freshened up , moved out to have my lunch cum dinner(bcz i didn't have lunch while travel). BHARAWAN DA DHABHA(restaurant , near town hall on the way to GOLDEN TEMPLE COMPLEX) was my first spot to visit for food. ordered a THALI and the taste+quantity+service was superb for RS. 160. I kept golden temple on my list at the bottom for day 1(bcz the night view is BREATHE TAKING) ,i went to the GOBINDGARH FORT(by e - rickshaw RS 40 )to see the 2 museums ,7D show based on MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH , WHISPERING WALLS light and sound show , walk around the fort ,live cultural performance ) all for a ticket of RS 250-300 per person. and i will never ever forget that amazing evening.
This post is about the foodie delights of Amritsar. Amritsar, apart from being the home of the revered Golden Temple, is also an absolute heaven when it comes to Punjabi cuisine. I recently had the good fortune of spending a day and a half here with my parents. While the primary aim of the trip was a visit to the Temple, the side attractions of various food outlets that we tried out were equally enticing!So here's a quick run-down of the places I tried out (too many on the list were left out due to paucity of time and inability of the system to handle so much food):Gian Chand Lassi Delicious lassi served in metal tumblers, topped off with butter and cream. People struggle to finish one serving, and once done, you are sorted hunger-wise for hours together. They also have something called "pede waali lassi" where they add bits of sweet pedas to the lassi! Located near the Temple in the narrow market lanes.Bharawan da DhabaThe place to have a vegetarian meal in Amritsar. While my parents raved over the dal and bharta and the crisp tandoori rotis, I went straight for the one thing I wanted here - the onion kulcha thali! The kulchas were hot, crisp, nicely stuffed and accompanied by some very delicious chholey. While most people head to the outlet near the Golden Temple, we went to the newer branch at Ranjit Avenue. Comfortable seating, good ambience, decent service. My dad still remembers this meal fondly!
Golden Temple is one such place where I get peace of mind because my mind is always full with thoughts, just like sky with stars. And I always crave for that rare peace so I have decided to start my trip with Amritsar. And Atari border (or Wagah border), how can I miss the evening parade when in Amritsar. Every Indian should visit this place at least once to experience the level of energy by Indians and Pakistanis.
Fondly called as Ambarsar, Amritsar homes the numerous rich stories and tales which encompasses the chronological narratives for centuries. Founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru Ram Das, Amritsar has derived its name from Amrit Sarovar, amidst which stands the sacred shrine of Sikhism—the enchanting Golden Temple.
237 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Located in Himachal Pradesh, what most people refer to as Dharamsala is actually Lower Dharamsala. This is where the bus...
McLeodganj is a small suburb in the city of Dharamshala. It is also the headquarters of the Tbetan - Government in exile and has plenty of monasteries if one wants to visit. Monks are a common sight in this small suburb. The peaceful McLeodganj is ideal as a last stop or destination as it provides the perfect atmosphere for calming the senses. McLeodganj is also called the 'Little Lhasa' or 'Dhasa' by the locals who reside over there. Various charitable organizations operate from McLeodganj for the Tibetan cause.
From Chandigarh, I had a full day of riding (on the roughest paved road I’ve ever seen) to get to Mcleodganj. What’s in Mcleodganj? The Dalai Lama and Mountains. I didn’t see the Dalai Lama, but I did go through the temple. Right before I had to give up my camera, they had this huge banner honoring Tibetans that had self-immolated…grim. Of course, I had to do a little hiking in the mountains. Back home, friends and I would often joke about how it’d be great to have a beer/food/etc. waiting at the end of a big hike or climb. To my surprise, this dream finally came true. At the top of this ridge line, there was a little shop where I warmed up with a nice cup of coffee.
The home of the Dalai Lama is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Lush green mountains, monasteries, western cafes. The place has a lot to offer. Weekends are packed, given its proximity to states of Punjab and Haryana, while weekdays are more calm and relaxed. We spent 2 days in the city, lazing around, exploring local cuisine and visiting the nearby monastries.
274 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
Lahore is the intellectual and cultural capital of Pakistan and a journey to this bustling city will remain with you for...
137 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Jammu is one of the fastest developing cities in northern India. Its Vaishno Devi Temple, which is one of the holiest pl...
Indian Himalayas is full of epic and memorable road routes. From the world’s highest motorable roads for adventure junkies to some of the most serene — there’s something for everyone. Where some routes — particularly the Manali-Leh and the Buddha Circuit in Spiti Valley — have seen a dramatic increase in the number of tourists in the previous years, some are still pretty untapped. They are, in fact, so untapped and offbeat in their nature that hardly any tourist visit them throughout the year, despite having all the facilities a tourist may need — from Google defined roads to enough accommodation options on route. And one such route in the Jammu region in J&K lies in and around the Bhaderwah Valley.During my recent motorbiking trip in Himalayas with Jammu and Kashmir tourism, earlier in September, under the campaign of ‘Exploration of unseen places’ in J&K region, we did a 7 day road trip from Jammu to Killar, and back. The trail took us to some of the highlighted (yet unfrequented) valleys and the many unspoken towns.From passes over 10,000 feet above sea level and roads otherwise known as the world’s deadliest, this is the routemap for Jammu to Killar road-trip in J&K:
I have heard a lot of legendary stories about Full moon party from my friends, and I have been looking to go there and break free from a long time, till I made a plan with two of my best buddies. We have been planning it for a while but nothing was coming in place. So one day we were sitting over a coffee and started discussing about it on a conference call and bang that was the beginning of a fantastic trip. I am from Jammu and my other friends live in Delhi and Bangalore respectively. The best option for all of us was to meet in Kolkata as the flights were very cheap from Kolkata to Bangkok.
Our Journey Started from Jammu and our destination for day one was Basholi, a small quaint town situated in the middle of hills of Shiwaliks. The major attraction of this town are the famous Basholi Paintings, Basholi bridge that connects JnK with Himachal and the beautiful Ranjit Sagar Dam lake. Though I didnt know about the paintings, I googled about Basholi when I came back :P that's why it is always advised to do proper RnD before you go anywhere. The road from Jammu to Basholi is still under construction with good and bad patches. The best place to stay is a Gov. Guest House which has a nice view of lake and the Basholi bridge with access to the lake as well.
We reached Jammu and then from there we book a Innova for Pahalgam it’s around 280km from Jammu but its very long journey (around 9hrs)You can visit :
Day-11: Pahalgam- Anantnag – JammuOvernight at Jammu
Next morning we start sightseeing for Jammu for full day. After finish the sightseeing we get back to hotel and took our lugguage and go to railway station & board the train for Delhi. I want to tell you here that God sent some persons for helping us and that was the persons who help us alot. God bless them.So, thats my unforgettable journey to the heaven on earth. ;) :) Please tell me how much you like it?
Today, bid farewell to your 'Kashmir - Paradise on Earth - Summer' tour as you are transferred to the airport / railway station in Jammu for your onward journey.
Welcome to your 'Kashmir- Paradise on Earth - Summer' tour! On arrival at the airport / railway station in Jammu you will be met and transferred to Pahalgam where you will check- into your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Pahalgam. None (Meals on your own).Request A Call Back
Never forget the spiritual aspects of travellingNext short road trip was to a Holy place, a 14Km trek to the Temple of Vaishnodevi in Jammu. This was the final destination for my recovery journey, and I made sure that the higher power was involved in my ordeal for a healthier life. It seemed like a fitting “rite of passage”. There, I worshipped and thanked God for giving me a new life. I was grateful for a new reason to live in happiness, after being through some hardships.
72 Kms from Awantipora
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Gulmarg is synonymous with beauty so stunning that finding another place like it would be impossible. From its overwhelm...
Gulmarg, the quintessential winter sports destination of India is no doubt a prime place for heli-skiing. The Mount Apharwat is the best place for the heli-skiers with its perfect slopes and snow. Apart from that the marvellous beauty of Gulmarg with its silvery peak and the line of fir and pine trees makes this place a delectable destination for heli-skiing.
Gulmarg: One word come “Gondola Ride” there are 2 phase in gondola ride.1st Phase: It’s normal so anybody go there oxygen level is good and there you will enjoy some good food, Bike ride to the snow, there you also enjoy sledging.2nd Phase : The view around you is like heaven on earth because of low oxygen level infants are not allowed on top. There you will enjoy skiing and sledging and reach on the top.Over all gondola ride is most amazing experience. Its height 1400ft (2nd Phase) I recommend to stay in Gulmarg at least one night. I enjoyed rain there and that was awesome if you are lucky then might be you will also enjoy and feel the rain.
This day we started off early and headed to Gulmarg. It was a day trip to Gulmarg and we went to Sonmarg for stay from there. Gulmarg was one beautiful place with lot of pine trees and valleys. Way to Gulmarg was fabulous.W e saw a valley flowing by road and stopped there for a while. After we reached Gulmarg , we had two options : Afarwat peak through gondola and khilanmarg through horse with several stops. We chose Khilanmarg as we experienced Gondola and snow a lot. And this was our best decision. We rented out jackets and we were on horses the next moment. In these places , the guide you get is as important as place. We got a very good guide here. The horses soon went into pine trees. We were seeing nature at its best. Our horse even crossed small water bodies and we felt like kings and queens. Then we were at a point where there were all snow capped mountains and the view was perfect. Next stop was view Reshi baba mandir/mosque from a mountain top. Then we headed to a childrens' park and this was magical. Park was green and there was water flowing through it with a small bridge across water. We were into water the next moment not even caring about how cold the water is. We spent a lot of time there. Then we headed to Khilanmarg. Khilanmarg had very murky ice. It was long time it snowed there as it was summer. We didnot do much there except for sledging in ice. Then we came down and started for Sonmarg. Our Sonmarg hotel was right in front of the mountain. We checked in to hotel, had dinner and relaxed for our next exciting day.
The initial need that I had to reach the top had now being overtaken by the amusement of being on the track-path and sitting down at the cottages, having Nun chai (salt tea- Kashmiri tea). After a long journey up the mountain we finally reached. I could tell by the beams of sun that landed on my face, a reward for making it up so far. It was the most miraculous feeling I ever had, maybe it was the reason I was brought to India, to watch the blue skies kissing the mountain top, which was in the veils of white snow. I felt that I was on the peak of the world, and everything else is below my feet, and no one can reach me. I could see people climbing up below, like tiny dots. They would reach anytime soon. The feeling was so magical that I had not realized my palms turning red, with the unbearable cold that my body was exposed to for the first time in my life. Blood ran up to my top layer of paled skin to fight the strong breeze against me, but it was not powerful enough to kill the smile on my face out of the happiness. Surprisingly, Abid was not scolding me for not bringing proper winter clothes. Instead he was beaming, with a broad smile on his face that touched the corners of his ears as he watched me gradually picking my breath. He was equally happy as I was, to have been the pioneer to bring me to Kashmir, which till now has become a home than any other to me and will always be.
God himself showers light upon this place. And the people there, they couldn't be any more generous in their attitude. Even in a state of curfew, they helped the tourists, the families to get to a safer place, and offered them all the help they could give selflessly.
This summer vacations, my family decided to land on the one place that hits every Indian Middle class family's vacation list, yes-Kashmir! It truly is the 'Heaven on Earth', with the green flowing all around,naturally growing flowers making it even more beautiful, those horses, the hills, and the clouds completing the image of a fairyland.
Gulmarg ("Meadow of Flowers") is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is within the Himalayas and is within miles of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. ccording to CNN, Gulmarg is the "heartland of winter sports in India." Gulmarg was being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. As such, Gulmarg has been rated by CNN International as Asia's seventh best ski destination. This resort is famous because of its "Gulmarg Gondola," one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski.
The Kashmir valley in particular offers a range of travel opportunities. Gulmarg, a couple of hours out of Srinigar, is home to the highest green golf course in the world (2650m) and downhill skiing that delivers 1400m vertical and 13m of snow per season at an elevation of 4,200m. And in true Indian “cheap and best” fashion these luxury sports can be had at a fraction of the cost in Europe or North America. Or for those wanting to rough it up the state is full of all kinds of trekking, mountaineering, rafting and kayaking possibilities.
The ancient township of Awantipura founded by King Awantiwarman (855-883 AD) is renowned for the impressive ruins of the two temple complexes he built here in the 9th century namely Awantisvamin, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and Avantisvara, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Both the temples reflect Greek style of architecture. On arrival, check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Pahalgam (B)Request A Call Back
Later that day, we left for Srinagar- a distance of approx. 90 km. This journey takes the same route we took while coming from Anantnag for few kilometres and then takes a short cut bypassing Anantnag town through well-kept Kashmiri villages and apple orchards. This internal road after a journey of 45-50 minutes comes out on NH-1A near town of Bijbehera. Bijbehera city is famous for the factories of bats. Everyone even little interested in cricket knows about these famous bats from Kashmir. You can stop your vehicle at any of these shops and maybe catch a live demonstration and shop for bats if interested. This time it’s the Jhelum River that gives us company along the way. After approx. 20 km from Bijbehera, we arrive at Avantipora town. Awantipora is famous for the ruins of Awantiswamin temple (dedicated to Vishnu) and Awantishwar temple (dedicated to Shiva)- both of which are in ruins today. These 8th century temples were built by Awantivarman- the king of Utpala dynasty. The Avantiswamin temple is in fractionally better state than the other and one can observe interesting sculptures of Vishnu, Ganga- Jamuna and the king himself among others. Both these temples are now protected by Archaeological survey of India. Entry fee Rs.5 for residents of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Thailand and Myanmar. For others, the entry fee is Rs. 100. Another 13km ahead from Avantipora is Pampore- famous for the saffron fields. We did some quick shopping for saffron and dry fruits at a shop there and sipped a cup of Kahwa- the Kashmiri tea prepared using saffron and almonds. October is the right season if one wants to see the flowers blooming. When we visited, the fields were dry.