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Travel: Snapshots from Kashmir

July 26, 2014 12:47 IST

Image: Reflections at the Dal Lake, Srinagar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi Mridula Dwivedi

The landscape of Kashmir is so beautiful that even if you stand in the middle of a traffic jam and click a picture, chances are, it will have something stunning, says Mridula Dwivedi.

I visited Srinagar and Pahalgam recently. I was greeted by excellent weather. I was told that I should come back in autumn as that is when the Chinar (maple) leaves change colors. Here are 10 pictures of my visit to this 'heaven on earth.' 

Reflections at the Dal Lake, Srinagar

The advantage of staying in a houseboat is that you wake up and go to sleep with Dal Lake as the backdrop! You can take a picture anytime, you don’t have to come to the venue. The scenic lake is your venue! This was early morning at Dal Lake, clicked from the houseboat.


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No one can get enough of shikaras

Image: Shikara ride, Dal Lake
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

The floating shikaras are a way of life and a prime tourist attraction. It is fun to sit in one and drift across the Dal Lake.

You will see more basic boats being used by people for almost everything, from going grocery shopping, to paying a visit to the neighboring houseboats!

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Floating vegetable market, Dal Lake

Image: Floating vegetable market, Dal Lake, Kashmir
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

I paid a visit to the early morning floating vegetable market at the Dal Lake. Your houseboat would know the location and will arrange a shikara for you.

There were a few tourists at the market but the market is mostly for the locals and by the locals.

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Mr Wonderful Flower Man

Image: The flower seller, Dal Lake, Kashmir
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

I met Mr Wonderful Flower Man on the floating vegetable market trip. He lives in Hazrat Bal and comes every morning to sell flowers on the lake to the tourists and houseboats.

If I meet him next time I will ask him to take me to Hazrat Bal in his boat!

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Birdwatching

Image: Birdwatching in Kashmir
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

The advantage of getting up in the morning is that you get to see a lot of birds. These swallows considered our houseboat as their private playground.

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View of Srinagar from Pari Mahal

Image: View of Srinagar from Pari Mahal, Kashmir
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

Srinagar is famous for its Mughal Gardens like Nishat and Shamilar. Pari Mahal is also a Mughal Garden which offers amazing views of the city from its terraced folds. The garden in itself is also well kept and beautiful.

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Jhelum River, Srinagar

Image: Jhelum River, Srinagar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

Not only is there Dal Lake to explore, there are cruises on Jhelum River too. Due to lack of time I could not explore the river this time. Neither could I visit Nagin Lake.

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Street photography

Image: Street photography in Srinagar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

I usually shy away from street photography but on this trip to Kashmir I had company. Siddhartha Joshi blogs at The Wanderer and knows no fear for street photography.

It was because of him I was also able to capture this handsome Kashmiri man!

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Pahalgam

Image: Lidder River, Pahalgam
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

Kashmir is well known for its scenic beauty. Now they are trying to develop it into an adventure tourism destination as well. At the Lidder River, Pahalagm a small stretch is open for white water rafting now. It was fun to experience it. The water was oh so cold!

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Paragliding in Srinagar

Image: Paragliding in Srinagar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

I could not personally experience the paragliding at Asthan Marg in Srinagar. We climbed 1.5 kilometers to reach the paragliding point. It was fun walking. I was quite content with the views and watching others take off.

Mridula Dwivedi is an academic from India who is passionate about trekking and travelling. She blogs at Travel Tales from India.


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Simply write in to travelpicsga@rediffmail.com (subject line: 'My Travel Story'), along with pictures of the destination you're writing about. We'll publish the best ones right here on rediff.com!