We have been looking forward for an opportunity to visit the northern part of India called Jammu & Kashmir. However, militant activities thereat prevented us from risking ourselves for decades. Now that peace seems to have been restored a suggestion from a friend encouraged us. We decided to go in a group of 10. We had to decide upon the mode of conveyance. There are regular flights from New Delhi to Srinagar but the fares seemed to be prohibitive. Therefore we ended up booking ourselves with a reliable tour operator at Srinagar and surrendered to him for the week long itinerary.
Our actual journey began by train from Bhopal to Jammu Tawi on the 5th June morning. After over 24 hours we were at Jammu the next day morning around 10.30 AM. We had a very nice time for having had the company of a cute little friend and his frolics.
Two vehicles were already positioned there at the Jammu Railway Station to take us onwards to Srinagar which is at a distance of 300 kilometres. Jammu station seems to be built on a hillock because all the roads from there make you go down.
|Jammu Railway Station|
The journey by road was not all that pleasant although the vehicle was spacious and the terrain we traversed was picturesque. The vehicle was winding its way through the hills, sometimes going down to be very close to the Tawi river and some times going too up to catch the clouds. When we were happy to learn that we were half through our journey, we were caught in a terrific traffic jam. Incidentally the vehicular traffic between Jammu and Srinagar is very high and domesticated buffalos have a right of way.
Traffic moved inch by inch and after about 2 hours we were able to speed-up to be caught in yet another jam. This time we came to see a dam in a beautiful surrounding where some eating joints existed. The dam is known as Baglihar. Hydel power is generated there. We had our fill and continued our journey.
After completing around 240 kilometres, it seemed as if we are in the plains. We were at a place known as Kazigund, a small town full of activity. There were plenty of restaurants around and we thought of finishing off our dinner there but some wanted to reach the hotel, we were booked in at Srinagar. Therefore we rang up the hotel management to arrange for our dinner past 10.30 PM.
|Area surrounding our hotel|
By the time we reached our destination, it was well past 11.00 PM with a delay of 3 hours.
This post is just a preamble. Subsequent posts will take your through the beautiful valley, glimpses of people and a peep into the culture.