Category Archives: A to Z 2017

Unending beauty of Kashmir #AtoZChallenge

I had spent around a week in Kashmir & each day was beautiful than the previous. The weather, rivers and mountains – all have a rhythm of their own. After our wonderful stay in Pahalgam, we returned to spend days in Srinagar.

Day 4 Srinagar

We spent our day visiting the gardens & Shankaracharya Hill Temple.

  • Nishat Bagh

    It is the second largest Mughal Garden in Kashmir with twelve terraces.  There are mountains in the background & splendid view of the lake in front.  It was a sunny day & there families were enjoying picnic in the garden. The garden has a lot of variety to offer to the visitors & you are kind-of awe-struck!

  • Shalimar Bagh

    The largest of all Mughal Gardens in Kashmir. It is another wonder of the Mughal Empire built by Jahangir to please his wife. All the gardens look similar, but it was disappointing as the fountains here were not working.

  • Chashme Shahi

    This garden is famous for the story of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru getting the spring water to Delhi for his personal use. There is a fresh water spring which flows through the center of garden. It is believed to have medicinal properties. The people were collecting water in containers. It might have once been a source of pure water, but how can we be sure of it at present day!

  • Pari Mahal

    It is located near to Chashme Shahi. The place is not too crowded. If you are interested in historical monuments, then the place would please you. It is inspired by Islamic architecture. You can get a bird’s-eye view for the valley from here.

  • Shankaracharya Temple

    The temple is located on a hill-top & you need to climb approx 250 stairs to reach the top. Camera & cell phones are not allowed and it is guarded by Army personnel. Interesting fact about the temple is that it also has some Persian inscriptions. Also, the temple is sacred to Buddhists. That’s what I like about historical places; they are amalgamation of different cultures.

After spending the day exploring the city of Srinagar, we had done shopping for handicrafts in the local market. The whole day excursion was tiring we had dozed off to sleep soon.

Have you visited Mughal Gardens in Srinagar? Which one did you like the most? Do share your travel tales! 🙂

School’s over, summer is here! #AtoZChallenge

Image Source :http://www.clipartkid.com

The sun has decided to burn out everything in sight this year. The temperatures are already soaring high & it’s only April yet. It’s a tough job to leave home between 11:00  – 16:00 hr. And for people like me whose office timings are late, its cruelty. I miss my school ‘s summer vacations when I could laze around whole day. 🙁

Actually, I am jealous of kids as of now, they get to enjoy summer vacations. But, what about us adults, we also need a summer break. Someone please go tell it to all the companies. It was fun being a kid. You could wake up late, sit & do nothing. Those summer camps where we used to enjoy with our friends. Why did I grow up?

My favorite part of summer vacation was enjoying mango delicacies. Eating the king of fruits in all it’s glory. The chirpy evenings were we used to roam around on our bicycles or visit friends at their home. And, the endless binge watching cartoon sessions Tom & Jerry, Flintstones,Popeye, etc, etc…

Our two months vacations were spent visiting new places. My dad being an avid traveller always had a plan ready for a summer trip. That’s how I got my travel bug. 😉

The only thing which I disliked about vacations was the holiday homework. I used to forget about it till the last week of vacations. The one week before joining school was busy catching up on the assignments & projects. Thanks to my mother & sister I could complete them on time. 🙂

Somewhere along the lines we all grew up and the kid is us lost its way. Let’s decide to be kids again – the innocent & carefree souls who get to enjoy summer vacations!

Do you miss being a kid? How did you spend your summer vacations? Eagerly waiting to hear your summer tales.

 

Rejuvenating Pahalgam, Kashmir #AtoZChallenge

The mountains are calling and I must go…”  -John Muir

Pahalgam is located on the banks of  Lidder River. On my visit to Kashmir, I had stayed in Pahalgam for two days. This post is in continuation of the Kashmir trip series, you can enjoy the last post here.

Day 3 Pahalgam-

We woke up with the first ray of sun shining on the mountains & giving them the golden touch. After having breakfast were set for the day.

First stop for the day was Betaab Valley. The valley is famous for the shooting of Bollywood movie Betaab. It was earlier known as ‘Hajan Valley’. It is spread across a large area with a river flowing in the center. The snow-capped mountains in the background give it a picturesque view. For the crazy camera lovers, it’s the place to be!

You can imagine actors running around in the valley and starting impromptu dance like in the Bollywood movies. Maybe I have a too filmy imagination. 😉

Our next stop for the day was Chandanwari. It is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra. Even in summers it was covered with snow. There are shops nearby where you can get jackets & boots on rent if required. You can also enjoy sledging here. The prices are decided upfront depending on the number of point you cover. But be sure to bargain as the prices are negotiable. And, also there are shops serving my favorite Maggi. I have an old addiction of eating Maggi whenever on mountains & it can be reaffirmed by this post.

We had also visited Aru Valley. The beauty of the place lies in the snow-covered mountains & the curved road surrounded by trees. The drive to the valley itself is exhilarating. The slopes are not too steep. We also enjoyed horse rides here. Keep soothing songs on repeat mode & be lost in the magical world of mountains.

By evening we were back in hotel room covered with blankets and sipping Kahwah. The night temperature was low as compared to Srinagar.

Have you visited Pahalgam or similar places? Do share your travel stories. I would love to hear them…

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Quitting or Staying ? #AtoZChallenge

(Image credits go to the owner)

It feels like yesterday when I had met you. You were deeply engrossed in your work with no interest in the things around you. I remember coming up to you to introduce myself. It was my first day in the team & you just seemed different & aloof, but a good kind of different. My first few thoughts were to get to know you better, to follow you around. I should have thought about quitting then!

I did not even realize that I have fallen for you until the day you went on a long vacation. We were connected through calls and messages. But, I could feel your absence. The coffee breaks and trips to cafeteria looked like mundane activities in your absence. How did I not realize it earlier?

You were always busy with one meeting or another. They said you are a critical resource. Huh, how much I disliked those useless meetings…It took you almost a year to open up to me. That’s when I got to finally know the depth of your soul.  You were like an open book then. I knew that your raised eyebrows meant you are in a ‘do-not-disturb’ mode. I sat there watching your every move. Even your breathing patterns were known to me. The heavy sigh after a code failure, the easy breathing once you finished your work for the day. I can recognize these patterns even today.

It’s funny how things do not work out. After a while, I understood your commitment lies in your work. You could not survive being in a relationship. We were good friends, no doubt about it. But I understood that work would always come first for you. It took me sometime to adjust to this idea. And, I eventually did. People say I should I have tried to talk you out of the workaholic mode. I should have stayed for long & given you a chance. I should not have quit so early. My heart knows that what I did is right. After so many years, I can see you are happy with the position you hold. Still not committed to anyone else except your work.

Did I make a wrong choice? Would things be different today if I had stayed? Am I quitter?  – We all may have different answers to the above questions.  The important thing is to do what your heart feels is right! 🙂

P.S. – This post does not bear any resemblance to real life events & is a figment of my imagination. 🙂

Paradise tales – Visit to Kashmir! #AtoZChallenge

One fine summer, I had visited the paradise of Kashmir and smitten by it. I have shared a photo blog about my Kashmir trip earlier here. This post is in continuation of the Kashmir travel tale series.

I had taken a flight from Delhi to Srinagar and stayed there for 6 days.

Day 1 – Srinagar

For the first day of our trip we had stayed in a houseboat on Dal Lake.  Our houseboat had intricate wooden carvings and an astounding view of the mountains in background. The houseboats are well equipped with all the bare necessities & the luxuries.

We were welcomed with sumptuous meal & cup of customary Kahwah (Kashmiri tea). Each sip leaves you rejuvenated. To be honest, I had bought several packages of the Kahwah & also visited shops back home for the same taste. But nothing matches the tea I had in Kashmir.

Unlike, the Kerela houseboats, these boats stay stationary. In the evening the lake buzzes with activity of the local market and we had taken a trip in the lake to visit the floating market.  I was amazed by the variety that the market offers jewellery, food,photo studios, clothes and the list is endless.

The day was well spent on the houseboat & enjoying the breathtaking views.

Day 2 – Enroute to Pahalgam

On the second day we had planned to visit Pahalgam. It was approximately 2.5 hours drive. In between we had also visited ruins of  Awantipura.  It has ruins of ancient Hindu temples and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.  Awantipura temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can only wonder how such massive beautiful architectures were created in old times.

The evening in Pahalgam was relaxed and we did not wander out much for the day. Be sure to tune in to the blog tomorrow to continue with my Kashmir travel.

If you have visited Kashmir, then do share your travel experiences about it! 🙂