The route to Kashmir, a beautiful place, has been neglected because of its conflicts. If you uncover your prejudices and let it dry to death, you will realize that the world is a beautiful place indeed! Sometimes, it is healthy to go after your heart. If Kashmir was on your travel plans and you scraped it for its conflict issues, gather your things and set out, for Kashmir has a lot more to offer beyond its conflicts. There have been debates about Kashmir being an unhappy place due to the conflicts. Keeping that aside, Kashmir is a land that bore the grievances, yet never failed to offer its best. Here’s why you should take a trip to Kashmir.
1. The beauty that attracted Filmmakers
Kashmir has been the backdrop of many beautiful stories that left an impact on the minds of people. Artificial lights or visual effects can never replace the scenic sunset and the picturesque snow covered hills. These blockbuster movies have availed the beauty that Kashmir had to offer, Haider, Highway, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Student of the Year, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, 3 Idiots, LOC Kargil and many more.
2. Kashmiri cuisine
Everything that Kashmiris make tastes scrumptious for sure, but what will take you by surprise is the variety they have for one food item. They know approximately 30 different ways of preparing mutton. This place is a treasure land for non-vegetarians. The Kashmiri Muslim Wazwans are ardent lovers of lamb and mutton. Wazwan is a multi-course meal, which traditionally has thirty-six courses and all of these are meat based. Tea is another significant highlight of Kashmir and they have varieties in tea too.
3. Houseboats of Kashmir
Houseboats of Kashmir came into prominence after Britishers weren’t allowed to buy land. They built houseboats and resided in them. So, these houseboats of Kashmir still have the British motif, with a touch of Kashmiri culture added in. Some even have hotels within them that give you the feel of a King’s quarters. All of this, when teamed up with the scenic beauty of the Dal lake, is priceless.
Adventurous skiing is a must do at least once in a lifetime. To have the adrenalin rush through your veins and your vocal cords on a screaming spree, set out for Kashmir and ski to your heart’s content. The Apharwat mountain of Gulmarg is the best place to ski and professionals will assist you while you slide through the snow.
5. Kashmiri Kadhai/ Kashmiri embroidery
The embroidery of Kashmir is spectacular. There are different types of embroidery within Kashmiri embroidery. The Kashmiri suits are pretty famous. They have hand woven embroidery depicting nature or intricate patterns. Kashmiri shawls and carpets are in demand too. You, for sure, won’t leave without owning one of these beautiful creations.
6. The famous Kashmiri kesar(saffron) & Kashmiri apple
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and Kashmiri saffron is known to be the best. The farmers painstakingly separate the stigmas from the purple flowers. These saffron stigmas are used in sweets, food items and also in many cosmetics. It has health benefits too. It’s a must buy, if you visit Kashmir. Like the kesar, Kashmiri apples too are known to be the best.
7. Kashmir, a source of inspiration to many poets
Many poets have used the conflict as a subject matter to build poems on. They have portrayed the beauty of Kashmir and also juxtaposed it with the cruelty of the conflicts. Nature is not biased: it treats everyone alike. Uzair beautifully discusses these ideas in this poem ‘Suran’.
“The river carries with it
Snow of distant peaks,
Only a few miles west
it would be stripped
at the border, asked
to produce a permit,
shot dead or maybe not.”
8. Music of Kashmir
The rich music of Kashmir has its influence from the regions around it, due to its proximity to Central Asia, Eastern Asia and Southern Asia. Chakri, Rouf or Wanwun, Ladishah, Sufiana Kalam (Kashmiri classical) and Hindustani classical are the famous forms of Kashmiri music.
9. The people of Kashmir
Last but not the least, people of Kashmir are very warm and god-fearing people. They have sharp features and are strikingly beautiful. They are artistic and known for their folk dances. The women wear fancy jewellery, of which the headgears are pretty famous.
‘Beauty lies beyond fear’. Therefore, experience the Blissful Kashmir like never
Author : Leeba Thomas
Picture credits : Sanika Sule