Yes Kashmir is khaas in every possible way. I don’t have any single doubt in its against the quote saying, “Is dharti par agar kahi swarg hai, to Kashmir me hai.” I had the same perspective when I got a chance to visit there at the new year of 2019. Its been years since Kashmir was on my bucket list. I always wanted to feel Kashmir in real, but never got any chance. Its funny that, till then I believed that Kashmir is a name of place like city or something. When me and my friend reach Srinagar, we were asking locals about Kashmir. Then we got to know the reality that Kashmir is not a name of place, it’s the region that we called Kashmir.
Its interesting that Kashmir is named after Rishi Kashyap, who was travelled for several years in looking peace. Kashmir was the place where his wish got fulfilled, he finally found what he was looking for – “Peace”. He meditate in this place for several years so that the place named after him – “Kashmir”. How beautiful.
We visited in Kashmir in hard core winters, but the beauty of Kashmir was still intact and will remains in my heart forever. Unfortunately, we didn’t got the chance of catching Snowfall, but believe me, it was thrashing cold out there. We reached there post noon. It must be around 4pm after a very long journey from Jaipur. I couldn’t hold my excitement to explore this beautiful place which is famous as Jannat. After settling and getting freshed up, in guest house. We directly went to Dal Lake.
Its evening outside, and literally cant describe the cheering beauty of setting down of sun in glowing lake like a gold. We easily hired a personal ride of “Shikara”. Shikara is beautiful handcrafted boat. Due to off season, the charges were around Rs 1100-1200 , which were quite high for that period of time i,e pre covid. As we both don’t know how to bargain up until then atleast. We opted for it. The ride included complete area covered around Meena Bazaar.
The Shikara Ride
Firstly, let me tell you about Shikara. I haven’t seen such beautiful boat and it was looking more mesmerizing when the rays of sun kissing the quite water. Dal lake was completely frozen like a glass. Literally, the two person who were rowing the boat were crashing the ice with their oars, and then making a way for the Shikara. I still remember the sound of crashing of ice. Trust me, Shikara ride will take you to the unforgettable ride from luxury Shikara stay homes and to the most famous market of Kashmir i.e. Meena Bazaar. Atleast once in a lifetime, you all should experience Shikara of Dal Lake.
Meena Bazaar is situated in the middle of Dal Lake where you can find anything. It consists of handcrafted element for the attraction of tourists. When we reached in Meena bazaar, obviously we are not going to hold our excitement of buying stuff from there, a place where we are visiting for the first time. I bought a saree from there. If you asked me describe me about the view of Meena Bazaar, it will become a tough task for me, but I must give it a try. A lake in peace surrounded by mountains, freezed by temperature, cold blue water which is changing colour due to golden hitting sunrays of sun in a colourful boat named Shikara, taking us to the colourful market named Meena bazaar. Its been 4 years, but Iam still not over from that view.
Evening in Dal Lake
When we were returning for the journey of shikara ride, the sun was setting down, and the cold was becoming more freezy. It was unbearable cold for both of us in the first to survived. We were wearing 2 jacket at a same time but everything just vanished out of our consciousness against cold. It was our very first experience of such extreme cold season. I just left one portion of my body uncovered than, my face, but still cant hold my watery eyes due to cold. Fortunately we completed the ride.
The Night in Srinagar
When we came outside the shikara, the night welcomed us with freeze. Every single step I was taking towards my destination becomes a tough task, like every step is pushing me backwards. My foots were frozed, fingers in my shoes swallowed due to extreme weather and also because of a bit tight shoes. Somehow we reached at a Punjabi restaurant for our dinner. The tables and the chairs were covered with the dew, We wiped off the dew with the tissues and make a place for our sitting. Sitting on those wooden chairs were exactly felt like we were sitting on ice cube. The dinner was absolutely fine but the weather was turning into a bomb with each passing minute. And finally reached at our stay somehow. That’s how I survived my first day in Kashmir.