“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Travel – is the food for my soul. A thing of joy which knows no bound. Given a choice, I am sure every one of us would be a traveler. Travelling gives you a global perspective to the meaning of life. What’s common here, might be bizarre there.
My first memory of travel is when I as a child I travelled to my hometown for summer vacations. For me, it was no less than a festive occasion, where I would get to meet my grandparents. The train rides were exciting – buying comics & snacks. Trains passing through the serpentine rows of trees & paddy fields. occasional whistle blowing to alarm every one of the incoming train. These memories are forever etched into my brain.
The first plane ride is also equally special to me. The excitement of flying amidst the clouds, which looked like cotton candy spread across hectares of area. 🙂
My parents are travel enthusiast so there was never an end to exploring new places. As an adult, I have visited many of those place again. Travelling with friends or solo has added new twists to my travel experiences. Some funny experiences, some scary – but all of these has taught something new.
I have this idea of travelling across the length & breadth of India solo. Awaiting when I would be doing it. Maybe this year or next. But, still plans our underway for it. Idea is to travel afar to new places & meet random strangers. Learn their life stories & share some of mine.
Do you have some travel plans which are yet to fulfilled? What motivates you to travel?
“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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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! 🙂
The next place on my Sri Lanka itinerary was Bentota. You can read my previous blog post of Sri Lankan journey here. Bentota is all about sun & sand. We had stayed at Cinnamon Bey Resort. The hotel is located at beach front, so we had access to beach 24*7.
Our hotel was surrounded by coconut trees and vast lawns. It all presented a beautiful picture for the eye. Most of our days were spent sunbathing on the beach or in the pool. The beach remains sparsely populated and has few eateries to enjoy local delicacies.
The rooms had private balcony facing the seaside & it gave us breathtaking views of the sunset & sunrise. Who doesn’t love such a view? There is also a Turtle farm nearby set up by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) in association with the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka.
For our last day in Srilanka, we travelled from Bentota to Colombo. The day was spent in local sightseeing and shopping.
Places to visit in Colombo-
- Independence Square
- Odel Shopping Centre
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihar
I had an amazing trip and there is so much left to explore. What other places have you visited in Srilanka and what did you like most about it? Do share your travel tales! 🙂
‘Agar Firdaus bar rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast.’ – Amir Khusrau
‘If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.’ – Amir Khusrau
I had visited Kashmir in summers and it truly is Heavan on Earth. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about how I fell in love with Kashmir.
Have you visited Kashmir ? Do share your experiences..eagerly waiting to hear about it. 🙂