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Kashmir, The Beautiful Poetry of God

“Kashmir is the beautiful poetry of God, which He wrote while experiencing both the highest form of happiness and the deepest sorrow.”-Kashmir through the poet’s eyes

by Kolkata Today

“Kashmir is the beautiful poetry of God, which He wrote while experiencing both the highest form of happiness and the deepest sorrow.”-Kashmir through the poet’s eyes

Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir denoted only the Kashmir valley between the great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range. Today, it encompasses a larger area that includes the India-administered territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Kashmir’s economy is centered around agriculture. Fruit-bearing trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, apples, peaches, and cherries. The month of October is the season best-suited for apples, so tourists mostly go there to enjoy these delicious fruits. It is a great pleasure to pluck these apples from the trees and have them. The trees found here are mainly deodar, firs, pines, chinar or plane maple birches, and walnut. The Chenab river can be seen on the way from Katra to Pahelgam. The world’s highest bridge is built on the Chenab river, and it is a thrilling experience to drive through it. Historically, Kashmir has been known worldwide for its cashmere wool, which has been exported to other regions and nations. However, these exports have gradually been decreasing the abundance of the cashmere goat, thus leading to increased competition with China. Kashmiris are adept at knitting and making pashmina shawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. Saffron is also grown in Kashmir, and there are huge fields of saffron in Srinagar. As the cultivation process of saffron is very difficult, it is quite expensive. Srinagar is also known for its silver works, wood carvings, and silk.

Nature has endowed Kashmir with implausible beauty, and it is rightly called as the Paradise on Earth. Kashmir is known as the Switzerland of Asia as it is both geographically and climatically captivating. The scenic splendor of Kashmir attracts tourist not only from India, but from all over the world. The lingering cold breeze in the lush green valley and a warm cup of traditional kahwah tea imprints an everlasting impact in the minds of visitors. When the scorching heat in other parts of India becomes overbearing, Kashmir provides a cool respite to the visitors. The charming nature combined with the architectural wonders of the Mughal gardens add to the beauty of Srinagar city. Dal lake in Srinagar is famous for its houseboats, which were introduced for tourists by British businessman pre-independence. There are now several houseboats on dal lake, all of which are completely wooden with authentic woodwork decoration. Visitors can go for sikara-riding on Dal lake and have kahwah tea. While riding the sikara, sellers approach on their own sikara boats selling products like jewelry, shawls, fruits, and kahwah tea. Visitors can also go to the different bazaars situated in Dal lake by their sikaras and have a look at various Kashmiri handicrafts and how they are made. These bazaars are also set up in houseboats.

Gulmarg is also a very popular tourist destination. It is situated in the Pir Panjal range in the western Himalayas and lies within the boundaries of the Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. Gulmarg gondala is one of the highest in the world, reaching 3,979 meters. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour between Gulmarg and a shoulder of the nearby Apharwat peak, which reaches 4200 meters (13,800 ft). Even at this point, makeshift dhabas have been set up by the locals where visitors can have beverages and maggi. Gulmarg has been the shooting location for many Bollywood films like Bobby, Aap ki kasam, and Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani. Visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the landscape via horse-riding. The CNN describes Gulmarg as the heartland of winter sports in India and Asia’s seventh best skiing destination. Whether it is summer or winter, the beauty of the landscape in Gulmarg is always unparalleled. A snow covered hillock and white cotton-like snow falling on the lush green vegetation of Kashmir makes everyone spellbound. The unparalleled beauty of the mountain range and waterfalls is undoubtedly a breathtaking experience.

The exquisite beauty of Kashmir gets even further intensified during the autumn season. The personification of elegant peace and fragrance can be felt in the atmosphere as fall colours come into view because of the maple and chinar trees while tulip gardens add to the natural beauty. Kashmir also has the largest tulip garden in Asia, and a tulip festival is held every year in the month of April. Among the various activities that can be done in Kashmir, trekking is a must, wherein one can observe the soothing beauty of Sonmarg. A narrow road surrounded by hills takes visitors to the Zero point, from where the Thajiwas glacier is clearly visible, where one can see ice throughout the year. While on the road, the helipad of the Amaranth yatra can also be seen.

The people of Kashmir welcome everyone with a sense of unity and immense brotherhood. Kashmir also offers the best quality dry fruits to patrons. The diverse variety and options in the cuisine section also holds delights for everyone’s palate. With the sound of gushing water, the aroma of pine trees, the vibrancy of saffron, and an unfathomable calling, Kashmir holds a Pandora box of pleasant surprises for everyone.

By Swaroopa Mitra

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