TRYST WITH HEAVEN

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“Up in the north, away from all the filth,

There’s a land of purity where angels descend.

And live between the rivers and trees,

There’s a place known as Kashmir.”

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India is a nation of diversity. From languages and cultures to climate and landscapes it is ridden with diversity, unique and one of a kind. And at the top of this unique nation, like a jewel studded crown on her head, is the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. India has its fair share of postcard destinations and scenic views but, from what it’s said and heard, the beauty of the Himalayas in Kashmir is unparalleled. Needless we wonder, adventurers and explorers from abroad, throughout history have been enamoured with the idea of the valley. If one’s looking for a destination which is as prepossessing as it is adventurous, then look no further than Kashmir. The valley is considered heaven on earth, and when it’s blanketed in snow, it exudes a charm few other places do.

The gates of heaven open in Srinagar. Here in the valley, nature has an identity of its own. It enthrals and beckons in equal measures. It is replete with mesmerising panoramas and drives, along with scenic and experiential excursions. Having reiterated it several times that all of Kashmir is beautiful enough to make your heart skip a beat but Gulmarg also known as the ‘Meadow of Flowers’, will make your heart sing and you’d be lost in its enigma. It is the prime ski resort in the country, owing to the immense snowfall it receives. To one’s surprise, skiing in Gulmarg started almost at the same time when it had become a popular sport in Europe. As a matter of fact, the Ski Club of India was established by two British Army Officers, in 1927 at Gulmarg.

Profuse with shrine, Jammu is rightly called ‘The City of Temples’. This land of ancient temples reflects upon the rich history of the region. Nubra Valley witnesses the union of Shyok and Siachan river. It’s stark landscapes, hacksaw ridges and altitude pumps up the adrenaline in the blood. Deodars and Chinars flank the alluring mountain side and looks nothing less than a painting.

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Patnitop, The Pond of the Princess, is a harbour to outdoor pursuits with numerous treks commencing from there. The sights of Pir Panjal range from here are second to none. Anantnag is a ‘land of countless springs’, getting its name from the great spring Ananta Naga. Pahalgam is a river town on the banks of Lidder river and is situated at the junction of Aru and Sheshnag rivers. It is from here where the holy Amarnath Yatra begins. Sonmarg or as it would translate to as ‘the land of gold’ is epitome of pristineness. The meandering Sindh River is a treat to the eyes. The emrald meadows and clear blue sky are a sight to behold and treasure for life.

Kashmir is a delicate reminder of the fact that poetry not always need pages and words. When the pages are torn and ink is faded, the living poetry can be felt through heartbeats and emotions.

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