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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kashmir - a dream comes true


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. 

31 comments:

  1. you beat me to it, PNS! havent yet begun my kashmir saga!!!!

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  2. Lovely pictures and narration of the places. I had been there few years back and enjoyed the place.

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  3. Happy to know that you have touched Kashmir! This place reminds me of Afghanistan...

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  4. This a lovely preamble with such breathtakingly beautiful views taken your journey to Srinagar. This is like an appetizer:) Now waiting for the main menu!

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  5. Isn't there a direct train to Srinagar? I am waiting for the next posts as I do want to see how the place looks like. I felt that we lost one of our best tourist destination (earlier), but now I am glad to see that people are going back. I guess it's a win-win for them as well, as they can get more revenue. Let's see what this place has got.

    Destination Infinity

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  6. :) Now this place I have been to , we went for a tour which started from jammu too and visited places like anantnag, kokernag,gulmarg , srinagar and loads more.. . College times were fun times

    Bikram's

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  7. @DI: Thanks for visiting. As of date there is a direct train only upto Udhampur. The line is under construction. a 11.50 km tunnel has been dug up. People of hopeful to see a train at Srinagar within two years. Peoplke have in general understood the futility of Militant activities in the valley.

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  8. Very live presentation with beautiful picture which presents themselves as subject .

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  9. Incredible journey. This has been a dream for me long now.

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  10. wow...jannnat ..... I had visited upto Gulmarg (10 yrs bk) but due to terrorist attack we stayed hardly 1 hour .... hoping to visit once again.

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  11. I have fond views of Srinagagr and my visit there in 1979..Glad that you enjoyed it, for since the 70's we see Kashmir only through movies!!

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  12. Waiting for the rest of the travel, Sir and I am happy to be following your footstep, I have Planned J&K in October

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  13. I'm so happy for you that your dream came through.
    Beautiful views, looking forward to see more.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mette

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  14. The child is indeed cute, and so is his look in the snap. Yes, am waiting for the entire collection of snaps to come by.

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  15. Thanks for the journey to Srinagar through your narration and lovely pictures. Looking forward to more posts on this beautiful valley.

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  16. beautiful narration and good photos...

    thanks for sharing and visiting my blog

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  17. Beautiful post PNS ..reminds me of my trip to Kashmir..!

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  18. Hello PNS,

    Fantastic. Your journey sounds very interesting and exciting. I am waiting for the other installments to know more abut your wonderful journey. Excellent photos.

    Wish you all the best,
    Joseph

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  19. Great pictures my friend!
    Breathtaking!!!!
    I thank you for the interesting tour!
    many greetings

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  20. A lovely post PN! It brought back the memories of my honeymoon in the valley. The pristine beauty captured in pictures are very nice!

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  21. PNS Ji, I am eagerly waiting for more stories on J&K!

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  22. Beautiful area, although that road looks a bit treacherous. I'm glad you were able to visit after waiting so long.

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  23. Wow! No wonder they call Northern India the rooftop of the world!!

    Those precarious mountain roads with no crash barriers remind me of hillside roads I've been up in Spain. You'd turn a sharp corner to find the rocks festooned with flowers and flickering candles and shrines of the Virgin Mary ~ marking the site where scores of people came off the drastic bend and ended up 200 ft down!

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  24. What a picturesque and lovely place.
    Have yet to go there and soon I will :-)

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  25. Lovely pictures PNS. This place on my wish lst I do not know when will I visit this..

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  26. Wow! Indeed J&K is paradise on earth! JK esp, Ladakh is in my wish list! Hope I venture one day!!!
    Looking forward for your upcoming JK posts!!!
    My Travelogue

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    Northern Beaches Conveyancing

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  28. Lovely pics, particularly of the Tawi river!

    I have never been to Kashmir- looking forward to further posts.

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