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Kashmir ( A trip to heaven ) – Day 2- Goodmorning Kashmir !! – Part 1

I am a early riser and have felt that mornings are the best part of the day. It’s so calm and lovely.The best time to talk to yourself ,to hear your inner voice , see the sun rising , sound of mantras and “Azaan” which makes the moment more pious and sacred, birds chirping . how I could have missed all this in kashmir so I preferred rising early and I am glad I did that as I witnessed the most splendid dawn of my life.
The sun was still hidden behind the snow laden mountains , and throwing a little light over the waters . The lake of tranquil waters was reflecting the tranquil sky.

Reflections..

Birds swimming in  the green waters of have started their day.Some were diving deep in the waters to look for their foods and the colorful small fishes were enhancing the underwater beauty . There was a variety of birds I  have never seen , ( waise bhi you dont get to see beauty in cities 😦 ) . I could hear the “Azaan”  in kashmiri language which was adding piousness. Lotus leaves all around me was adding more greenish shades in to that colorful mesmerizing morning.

Dal Lake premium residents
Sun , lake , mountains and Lotus wishing each other goodmorning

I could not recall any other morning as amazing as that coz I witnessed another God’s wonder that day ,a pair of duck swimming towards the place from where I could hear the Azaan. Their was a small piece of land , you have to climb 2,3 stairs to reach that place.The couple in white (I could not distinguish between a she duck and he duck ,but 1 duck was following the other so guessed , they are a couple 😛 ) stopped in the midwaters and  waited for all people in the mosque to leave. I guess they had an idea of the time because as soon as they came , the people were done with  the morning prayers and started leaving for their place in their shikaras. When all left ,they came near that dry area and started taking water of the lake in their beek and throwing it over their body ,brushing their bodies with their beeks and putting water again. This act was repeated several time and than they stood up , shrugged water from their bodies and moved in to the dry land and rested . It was now left over to Sun to soak water from their bodies. Now I knew the reason why ducks are so white :).  Is not that amazing .

Could you spot those white beauties taking a bath

By this time recital of Mantras could be heard from the Shanakaracharya temple on the top . I saw a women rowing the boat and making the morning more musical by the sound of the water striking with  the “patwar” . As soon as the day started rising, the activities in dal lake increased, the local people in the dal lakes started their daily chores , A vegetable seller with fresh vegetables in his boat , Some catching fish in the Dal lake for meal , some selling kurkure  kind if stuff and all on boats We spotted people taking cylinders also in the boat.

He was catching fish and having hukka and other things in his boat 🙂
They carry cylinders like this

The Sun has arrived by now and my friends also woke up so I enjoyed my must have “Steaming cup of tea”. My friend opted for a kashmiri kahwa. Kahwa is a kasmiri tea .It is if 3 types – 1 is salty they have milk it is with milk  , second one is tea with dry fruits and third one is with saffron . It was time now to get ready to walk in and explore other parts of this heaven. Shanakaracharya mandir , Nishat garden , chashme Shahi , Pari Mahal , Hajrat Bal, was on our itenary .

I am just loving it 🙂

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A trip to heaven (Kashmir – Day 1)

Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.
             In my early years , when I saw “Roja” , “Kashmir ki kali” and some other movies ,I use to wonder can there be a place as beautiful as kashmir. Snow laden mountains ,  magnificent flowers , lotus spread all over the lake and much more. Will I be able to visit such a place ever in my life. I am truly lucky and blessed that my long cherished dream turned in to reality , this May , when I reached kashmir.
It is truly said about Kashmir “Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast” .This visit has rejuvenated me and I am in so much peace with myself after being in Kashmir for 4 days . This has revived in me the inner peace and strength. I could not ask for more. I still feel in Kashmir , still dream of the beautiful landscapes ,I met there .Hence sharing with you all my Tete – a – tete with kashmir .
Well our trip started officially when we reached Dal lake and I stepped my foot in to the colorful shikara . Shikaras are colorful a little big size boats , with a comfortable sitting arrangement , they also called “Shikara Taxi”. There wereshikaras all over the Dal lake and many houseboats .

One of the Shikaras

We than headed towards our houseboat “New Bulbul” through the lanes in water. There was houseboats everywhere , lotus leaves or Water Lilly.Houseboat is a  complete house built over a large boat You will have everything in the houseboat. When I entered the houseboat, I was enthralled by the interiors . A small cute bedroom with a Kashmiri kadai bedcover, a dining room , with wooden carved table ,a small cute drawing-room with TV ,Small washroom with a bathtub. Carpet was spread across whole houseboat. The wooden carving on the walls of the houseboat was so intricate and beautiful that just can’t be described.

 

Drawing room Houseboat
Dining Room

After taking rest , we decided for a Shikara ride on dal lake was. So we had shikara taxi called “MayFair” at our service in few minutes with “Fayyaz” as our driver. Do you know that there is everything in Dal lake , schools , medical shops, etc. Can you believe it ? . Many people make their living by selling vegetables and other eatable on a boat. There were many houseboats all over the Dal lake some were personal too where people were living as we live in our apartments. Every houseboat has a boat  with it in which they go from one place to another in Dal lake. During our ride many people were coming to us to sell their stuff like jewellery , kashmiri handicraft ,flowers and so many other things . A must mention These people are truly salesman. They will somehow in fact anyhow convince you to buy their services. They have a pet dialogue “sab khaya piya  yahin reh jayega yadein sath rahegi”   🙂 and they are true in this also . We were also convinced by them to buy some jewellery and got ourselves clicked in Kashmiri dress .

Photosession in Kashmiri dress

 

Fruit chat vendor on a boat

 

Flower vendor

The view of dal lake from a shikara was such a great experience. We can see water all around and colorful shikaras , some were enjoying water sports also.. A kahwa during a shikara ride a must have .
Fayyaz told us about their marriage traditions. People in Dal lake marry during September. They  hire big boats specially used for water sports and all baratis and gharatis take a ride  in Dal lake on those boats , after that, all people come to bride’s place and take marriage vows , then after a gala feast all return to their places. “Vazwan” was what I heard  was  the famous dish served during marriage.
While he was telling us about their traditions we reached floating vegetable market.  They have vegetables gardens which float and to identify them, they hold it by some wooden pillar sort of thing.

 

Floating vegetable garden

Next was a proper market of clothes , wooden handicrafts etc.  built on boats . There are two types of market one is private and the other govt where you will get discounts. We bought some shawls and bedcovers from there kashmiri wooden work was also amazing.

Shops on Dal lake

 

Shops on Dal lake

By now our watch displayed half past 9 , it was time to get back to our Houseboat. After a delicious dinner in houseboat,  we wrapped ourselves in the cozy blanket ,in our cute little houseboat and slept.

Such a bliss!!