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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:07   #16
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

Simlpy Amazing, The beauty of Kashimir so well captured in camera & equally in words. Surprisingly you have not mentioned anything about Royal Gardens, built by Mughals especially Shajahan, like Shalimar, Chashma Shahi and Nishat Bagh. In fact Nishat Bagh just overlooks Dal lake.

There is song titled Kashimir by Led Zeppelin. That's how intimidating this place is.
I humbly suggets that next time try going up to Baramulla & you'll love the place like anything. Make sure that you buy a return ticket because the sheer natural beauty of the place may not let you do so.

Raab Rakha.

P.S.: We request you to share the costs/prices of services availed. This can help others to have a fair idea of costs involved.

Last edited by ariesonu : 23rd June 2011 at 10:10.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:49   #17
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

Lovely travelogue and pictures, Thanks for sharing !
A 'high up in the misty mountains' experience narrated in a 'down to earth' style, superb.
Kashmir has always been a dream so far after hearing so much over the years from a lot of people but closest I've been is to Kulu, Manali, hope to make a trip to Kashmir soon. As others here have mentioned, details of places to visit, stay and cost involved would help many of us plan such a trip.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:58   #18
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That's a beautiful travelogue. Having just returned from Srinagar (4-7 June) and Ladakh (though we gave Pahalgam and Gulmarg a miss due to time constraints), I can appreciate your words even more. Looking forward to the rest of it.

When was your trip?
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Old 23rd June 2011, 11:02   #19
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

great pics and travellogue. really fascinating and informative. have heard a lot about kashmir and its beauty. your descriptions just adds to it. hopefully will be able to 'drive' down to this paradise on earth some day :-)
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Old 23rd June 2011, 11:33   #20
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Both, your eagerness and your excitement are so well put in words in the log sir. Kashmir is truly a heaven on Earth, which I too plan to leisurely explore sometime soon.

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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
...To walk alone in the Himalayas is something you have to experience to understand what I went through. Its an awesome feeling...
I can totally empathize with you in this. Been lost (in nature's beauty and my thoughts) on those lone walks in Himalayas so many times. Once got severely scolded by wife when a 15 minutes walk ended up being more than a 2 hour "lost in nature" reverie.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 11:39   #21
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Thanks DKG for this lovely Kashmir travelogue. Have never thanked this much to any other travelogue on the Forum.
Lots of mesmerising photographs and coupled with your intense emotional attach to the place, reading through your log makes a immediate connect with the feelings you have experienced and at the same time almost whirls up the same emotions inside that you have expressed.
Have never been to Kashmir, just saw it on tv and pictures. Will make it atleast once in lifetime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
The drama that unfolded before my soul was way too much for me to handle. It was excessive in intensity and beauty and I actually figured it would be easiest to cry to release some of that awe and intense beauty that seemed to permeate my very being at all levels.
Loved what you have written here. Could not be any better

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Where was your houseboat located? How much did you pay? Any contact details?
For those with cars, where is the nearest car parking lot - and how safe is it?
It will be great if you can share with us some details of the hotels that you stayed at each of these places.
Same queries as HVK sir asked. Please provide detailed info if possible.

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 23rd June 2011 at 11:43.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:22   #22
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

I travelled from 4th June to 10th. The package I opted for was from Makemytrip and it cost me with return fare from Hyderabad for a single occupancy room stay and all meals and taxi use Rs 45000. On twin sharing it works out to Rs 34000 ex Hyd.

Day 1 Houseboat Mother India

Experience: Overall very charming and pleasant
Room: Decent
Food: Average
Recommendation: Yes

Day 2 Alpine Ridge Gulmarg

Experience: Average
Room: Average
Food: Average
Recommendation: Should shop around for better stuff, but good hotels are expensive in Gulmarg

Day 3,4 Paradise Inn Pahalgam

Experience: Comfortable and neat
Room : Nice
Food : Decent
Recommendation: Yes

Day 5,6 Comfort Inn Srinagar

Experience: Very comfortable
Room: Excellent
Food: Good
Recommendation: Yes

Peak season rates:

Deluxe Houseboats: approx Rs 4000

Hotels : approx Rs 3000-4000

Off season rates are low and drop as low as Rs 800-1000 for a houseboat. A lot depends on the houseboat quality and finish and standards maintained. Its best to see before you opt.

Basically if someone were to ask me if I'd patronise Makemytrip again for a holiday package the answer is yes. It was a pleasant experience for me and I had a Xylo for the first four days and a Winger the last three days. It worked out as a good deal for me as I know if I had booked on my own the economics wouldn't have worked out.

In the end a lot depends on your personal attitudes and preferences. For me at Rs 45k I needed a decent bed, hot shower and decent food and comfortable car. I got that. I could have nit picked about details and spoilt my vacation. I chose not to.

Very ironically many people from other families actually came up to me and complimented saying "We noticed you are so calm and busy enjoying yourself so much and least complaining" I replied "I am here for a week, its not worth fussing over issues that are not serious"

Interestingly some people felt I was getting VIP treatment as in best seat in the car and Jet Airways for flights. I don't think I was favoured, but I did pay 10k extra for a single room and perhaps they did book me on Jet for that? Not sure. Anyway I guess I lucked out and have no complaints

The best compliment however came from the drivers. I was sitting under a tree after visiting one of the gardens sipping a hot coffee when a couple of drivers walked up to me.

They said "Sahib sab drivers aap ki taaruf kar rahe hai (meaning all the drivers are complimenting you)"

I was taken aback and asked "why?"

they said "aap ek hi aadmi hai jo itna accha baat karte humse, kuch bhi cheez pe gussa nahi karte. Hum aap ko kahin bhi le jaane ke liye tayyaar hai (meaning you are the most polite and least complaining. we would gladly drive you to any place you desire)"

I thought that was such a fine compliment coming from the drivers. I smiled and told them "hum aap ki izzat kare to aap hamari karenge"

We smiled in shared satisfaction.

Last edited by DKG : 23rd June 2011 at 12:31.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:26   #23
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

Mindblowing pictures and excellent narration.Not many can capture the real essence of their moods in words and your travelogue seems to have done exactly that.Thanks for sharing.

Waiting for more pictures and please do share details of your stay and other trip related planning that went into making the trip a reality.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:32   #24
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

DKG, excellent narration and awesome pictures.Which is the best part of the season to visit Kashmir ?
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:51   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kphilip View Post
Which is the best part of the season to visit Kashmir ?
May and June as you still have snow capping the mountains and the sight of streams gushing down mountain sides is something to witness. July you should see more flowers but lesser snow. I think June was perfect.

But I do feel there would be a different charm to a fully snowed in Kashmir. Some day I will visit the place in peak winter too, to see a white Kashmir !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
please do share details of your stay and other trip related planning that went into making the trip a reality.
Truthfully all I did was pay for the trip and nothing else. Makemytrip do all the bookings and everything comes to you via email a few days before you travel. It really was a case of pack my bag (cabin bag as I love travelling ultra light) and board the flight

Last edited by DKG : 23rd June 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 13:00   #26
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

DKG: Gorgeous pictures and great narration.

We got only one life and there are many places to visit. Got to add Kashmir to my itinery too.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 13:01   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Where was your houseboat located? How much did you pay? Any contact details?
For those with cars, where is the nearest car parking lot - and how safe is it?
It will be great if you can share with us some details of the hotels that you stayed at each of these places.

HVK am enclosing a picture to show you the place where my houseboat was relative to the lake and boulevard road (banks of the Dal). Also marked is a very large parking facility where our taxis were parked. I noticed a couple of large parking lots on the banks on Boulevard road. I reckon it must be a pay and park facility so that's actually quite convenient.

The shikhara took 10 minutes to ferry to the bank from my houseboat and they charge Rs 10 per trip

Have listed the places I stayed at with approx costing in another post, kindly check that out. Pls let me know if you need any more info.

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Last edited by DKG : 23rd June 2011 at 13:07.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 13:29   #28
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

...errrr...how do I grant five stars to a thread more than once???

@DKG : Simply enthralling. You have given words to my feelings why I keep telling people visit Kashmir. Being from Delhi I am lucky that my trips have been self driven so that I could enjoy the journey at my pace. You missed Sonamarg and the lakes other than Dal/Nishat? Time constrains apart worth a visit.

One of the loveliest place that I remember is Yusmarg but I hardly hear of it now from travellers. Perhaps once peace gets its chance.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 13:44   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
...The best compliment however came from the drivers. I was sitting under a tree after visiting one of the gardens sipping a hot coffee when a couple of drivers walked up to me...
This is indeed a sad state of tourism in India. Many of the travelers are indeed high headed and do irritate the drivers and other folks who are trying to make the trip a good one for their customers.

On the other hand, if one's polite, patient and courteous with the locals, they indeed go out of the way to make you feel like a King.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
One of the loveliest place that I remember is Yusmarg but I hardly hear of it now from travellers. Perhaps once peace gets its chance.
Thank for pointing out this place. The pics I checked on the net of Yusmarg are just awesome. Added to the list of places when visiting Kashmir. Only catch is; the road to Yusmarg gets closed in winters. :(

Last edited by lordofgondor : 23rd June 2011 at 13:50.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 14:50   #30
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Default Re: Kashmir : Nature's bewitching drama !!

Thanks a lot DKG for sharing this fabulous travel experience with us. Wonderful pictures of naturally beautiful landscape. Please share details of the hotels and car rental agencies that you used.

Did you go via a package tour or rented these cars at your houseboat location?
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