Travel Therapy: My Trip to Kashmir – Heaven on Earth

Travel Therapy: My Trip to Kashmir - Heaven on Earth

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A holiday is one of the best ways to get refreshed and feel rejuvenated. Most of you will agree with this. Whenever you travel, even for just 3-4 days it will make you forget your stress and transport you to another world. Saying goodbye to such memorable trips is often difficult. But, the memories are so beautiful that they hold a special place in our hearts forever. For me, the trip to Kashmir was one such memory. Here, I share some wonderful moments from my trip with you.

Kashmir. The name itself brings to your mind images of snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, flowing water beds, houseboats and so on. I was pretty excited and looking forward to travelling to Kashmir with my husband and my masi’s family in the month of April two years back. On arrival, we first visited Srinagar the capital of Kashmir famous for its Dal lake and houseboats. Our first stay was in the houseboat. The houseboat was a very pretty structure and had some unique wooden carvings and designs in the interior giving you a feeling of staying in some kind of a palace! The curtains, the furniture everything gives you a home-like feeling. There were plenty of rooms in one houseboat so, both our families stayed together. A small garden was attached to it which made it more beautiful. The famous Shikara ride was the best thing. Sitting in a Shikara and watching the scenic mountains and waters, while dressed in a Kashmiri outfit! Yes, we clicked pictures in the traditional outfit. The water ski activity took place in the lake plus I was lucky enough to have witnessed moon rise while on the Shikara ride, a rare sight! Next in line was, Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam. A resort right in the heart of the valley, such a picturesque view. Here we were sitting in the lap of nature! Zero-point was so much fun. It’s a place where you go on the snow, and enjoy plenty of activities. We did ice ski and took rides on the snow scooter. It was the most memorable day. Wearing huge gumboots and walking on the snow, falling here and there, making snowballs while shivering! It was one crazy day!

Other activities included going on a horse ride to reach a place called Mini Switzerland. You ride on ponies there, as they can cross the crisscross mountain paths with ease. Really horses are very talented indeed! It was raining when we reached Switzerland. Breathtaking views awaited us, we got wet but enjoyed thoroughly. Other places included Betaab Valley- a calm and serene grassland offering snow mountain views and rivers flowing by. Then we did another activity wherein you walk on the snow using a stick for support, you push the stick in the snow and move ahead! It was like snow trekking. This place is known as Chandanwari. You can go till the top and enjoy the beautiful snow on the way. The wonderful cable car rides awaited us next. It takes you to a great height. As you reach various stations, the cold increases, the final station has a number of activities on the snow. I was just happy being with nature.

Any trip is incomplete without local shopping! The famous Kashmiri kahwa, kesar and walnuts that’s what we purchased. The local hand-embroidered dresses are a speciality too. We had the famous apple juice also. The Kashmiri biryani and wazvaan are famous local dishes. Other sightseeing included Shalimar gardens, Tulip gardens and the Mughal gardens. The Hazrat Bal situated in the Dal lake is a very beautiful mosque.

Well, this is just a short summary of the trip. It can go on and on. The trip was for ten days. All I can say that the term “Heaven on earth” is apt for Kashmir. Nature has got immense healing power, no matter how much the technology advances nobody can beat the power of nature’s way. Once you’re in sync with nature you will surely forget your sorrows and stress and marvel at this magical creation of God. When I close my eyes, even at present I can feel that I was so happier and healthier around nature. It didn’t matter that I was not online, or checking messages as I was busy exploring the glory of God!
To sum it up, I would quote “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” —Khalil Gibran

Hope you find therapy in your next travel too! Do share any of your travel experiences, and how did it impact you. Would be great to know! See you on the other side soon!

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