I have been to Kashmir quite a few times in the past few years mostly because my work takes me there, but this is the second time I made a trip to the “heaven on earth” ever since I started writing on the blog.
The general feeling among the citizens of our country a few years ago, when I first visited, used to be one of extreme fear due to the long history of terrorism that haunted the valley since the 1980s. Even now whenever there is an incident involving Kashmir, people instantly become wary of visiting the place.
I have however felt differently about the place and no matter how many times I visit the beautiful valley, I am always impressed by Kashmir’s awe inspiring beauty. But what I say is no different as Kashmir has been described as heaven on earth since time immemorial in books and movies. The curse of terrorism though makes you feel that the valley has stood in time, ironically giving it a virgin beauty due to absence of commercialization.
As much as the picturesque views of the valley, the gastronomical delights Kashmiri culture has to offer are unmatchable. I have had the good fortune of having food prepared in a Kashmiri household and believe me if you are non vegetarian food lover, you’d be spoilt for choice with what the Kashmiri Wazwan has too offer. Food transcends borders, religion and culture binding all genuine food lovers as friends. My friends from Kashmir believe in that & the hospitality extended to me is beyond words.
Whether it is the natural beauty, the food or the hospitality, Kashmir is truly blessed. It is however very sad, that due to a few selfish people and the hype created by the media, small events still continue to haunt this amazing culture and the valley continues to suffer for no fault of it.
Despite this, I would definitely suggest a trip to experience the hospitable culture, the stunning landscapes, the flawless natural beauty and the amazing food. My feelings are summed up in T-shirt slogan I saw a kid wearing … “I am in Kashmir, Heaven can wait”.
(Note: All pictures have been taken through an iPhone camera)