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Old 28th June 2013, 20:07   #46
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Awesome pics, all of them. I visited Kashmir in April but limited myself to Srinagar-Gulmarg-Pahalgam. Looking at your pics I realize what I missed. May be need to cover these exotic places some other time.
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Old 29th June 2013, 14:36   #47
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Hi Rajiv, well deserved 5 stars for this travelogue.

Just amazing pics and what to say of the lovely weather in those pics.
Have visited kashmir before but always done the touristy bit but reading up your travelogues shows what's really missed out and what paradise is all about.

Last edited by mavrikm5 : 29th June 2013 at 14:44. Reason: added extra line
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Old 29th June 2013, 15:48   #48
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Day 2 Cont...

Our drive till Doda was all fine but weather was pathetic, it was hot, and somewhere near Doda, we decide to switch on the AC as it was getting much hot inside the car due to straight sun. Road was good to ok with some bad patches but overall fantastic stretch. It starts getting congested as you reach Kishtwar. We reached Kishtwar at around noon and it was hot outside. Nandini and myself took a walk in the big meadow in front of the Kishtwar mosque which was lovely. On a cool day, this place will be awesome but not today. So after a 20 minutes break we rushed towards Sinthan.

First bad incident while we were crossing chattroo, I was passing a bus at a tight spot, and while I was almost parallel to the bus, somebody from the passenger threw water bottle or something similar on the windscreen, luckily it didn't broke but when I checked outside, there was a small dent on the bonnet. That was sad and blow to our impression about Kashmiri people. But then I thought it could be some kids throwing stuff around and was not targeted to a non kashmiri.

We moved on, passing through smaller villages and finally through Chingam, roads are very narrow around there and both Google maps and MMS were confused for this section. From Chingam, road condition started getting worst, initially it was bad road, but then it converted into water flooded bad roads. We crossed the first check-post which is around 15km before the top. The South Indian army guy posted there was very cheerful and confirmed that it will take atleast 45 minutes to cover 15 km, but I guess we took almost 2 hours to cross it.

There was water all over the road with slush and deep crater. One of those crater was really big, so I decided to get down and inspect it properly before I go in. While I was doing so, a local Sumo driver came behind us and started honking frantically, there was no place for him to cross us. I signaled him for one minute but this guy kept honking, I kept my cool, ran back to my car, crossed the spot carefully with this guy following me bumper to bumper and continuously honking. After crossing the spot I gave him the way to pass, and while crossing me, he commented something which irritated me big time, he said "kyon aate ho idhar?" "Why do you come here". From here on it was my revolt against all Taxi drivers, who are all rude to there core, with may be few exceptions. Priyanka rightly suggested to let him go as we are at unknown place and in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway my mood was completely spoiled and I was thinking, was it a right decision to visit Kashmir? Even road was not helping and was getting worst. I wanted to reach to a place and relax for sometime, but there was no place to stop. I have driven on some of the tough roads in India but this one got on my nerves. Somehow I gathered my senses and energy and moved towards the top, which was not very far.

Once we reached to the top, I just lost all my anger. It was all covered with lovely snow, with just 5-6 tourist or may be locals playing around. I guess other than body, snow also cools down the tempers and angers . Unfortunately Nandini was sleeping at that time so we decided not to wake her up, and after few pics around, we moved on. As we reached on the other side of the pass, what I saw was a gift from god, black tar road on which you can rip your car like anything. I was expecting another 3 hours of painful descend but it just took us 1 hour to reach Daksum.

JKTDC GH at Daksum is right on the road and difficult to miss. We parked our car and looked for the caretaker, asked people around for him and all of them were busy searching for him, as if PM has arrived for checkin .

This guy arrived promptly, allocated us the room. As we were not carrying the printout of the booking confirmation, we only had the email on phone. He made us talk to the officer, who immediately welcomed us and directed the caretaker not to worry about the printout.

Many kids from around the village gathered around us out of curiosity and Nandini found some lovely friends to play with for the rest of the evening. We just relaxed for the rest of the evening. All the anger was gone and things were looking good, I started getting the much talked about high level of hospitality from people. We were happy and we were enjoying. That was a good sign.

Now the difficult question, should we really go for another roller coaster drive to Warwan?


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Old 29th June 2013, 16:00   #49
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Day 3

As per our plan we had to drive towards Warwan today, crossing the Margan pass, which was another 120 km of bad road drive. We were driving all the time for last two days and Nandini was not getting any free time to play and enjoy, so we decided to skip Wawan for this time and take a full day break at Daksum. This gave enough time for us to enjoy Daksum and to Nandini some lovely friends.

First things was to ensure that we can stay in the guest house for another day, which was affirmative by the caretaker as there was no booking for next day.

So day 3 was a relaxed day, no need to start early, no need to target any destination, no driving, no bad roads. Though I was up last night till midnight, I still could not stop myself getting up early to see the sunrise, which was not much dramatic anyways due to clouds.

Meanwhile all those kids who visited us last evening came back in the morning, they took off from school to play with Nandini . No worries, we have full day, lets do whatever. Around 10 Am we moved out to first check the Daksum Sheep Breeding farm. The caretaker, who was new to the place, refused us the entry as this is a restricted place and permission are required Anantnag for the entry.

But on request from Nandini he allowed us in, and even allowed us to drive all the way to the end. He accompanied us and showed us some of the beautiful places inside the farm. What an amazing place it is and should be open to tourist soon.

We spent around an hour inside and then decided to move out and find a place where we can camp for the rest of the day and we found a wonderful spot. In next 30 minutes we had full camp set for us, with all cooking stiff in place. We enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing near daksum river and taking some short walks around, eating maggi and drinking coffee. Packed up and reached back to guest house at around 5 pm, where Nandini's friends were waiting for her to play

It was one of those days where you just soak yourself into the nature without any hurry or rush. It was a good decision to drop Warwan as never wanted to do a "been there and done that" kind of trip .

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Old 1st July 2013, 12:29   #50
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
We are planning like this, thought nothing confirmed

Gurgaon - Pathankot - Pooch - Rjauri - Bufliaz - Mughal Road - Peer Ki gali - Shopian - aharbal - Verinag - Vailoo - Warwan - Aru - Trek to Kolai Glacier (if possible) - Lolab - Sadhna Pass - Teetwal - Bangus Valley - Kupwara - Rajdhan pass - Gurez (and places around) - (few other places)-Anantnag - Daksum - Sach Pass- Gurgaon


Let me know if you have some more recommendation

And you have left nothing out!! Assure you it would be fantastic travel but you would have to work upon the permits from now for Gurez and Bangus, if do not have any contacts. We got it by a very lucky chance as nothing was predetermined, and more too along with two AK-47 police guards for Bangus.


Absolutely enjoying this travelogue- to repeat, nothing like a good family outing and drive.
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Old 1st July 2013, 20:28   #51
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

I was just searching madly for the like button on each and every click...
Super photography , loved the long exposures.
It would be great however if you cold share the Body /Lens/Filter details
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Old 2nd July 2013, 08:48   #52
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

I need to say this, Awesome Photography. Made my day. Waiting for some more
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Old 2nd July 2013, 14:48   #53
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Fabulous pictures Rajiv. Have you started your prep (permits etc) for the Bangus valley trip? Heard its quite a pain and involves verification and co-ordination between the JK and our local police?
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Old 3rd July 2013, 15:03   #54
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Hi Bharat, Those pictures are really awesome! You get a feel of being in the place. You have a fine taste. Share some more of your pictures.
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Old 5th July 2013, 23:51   #55
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

very Nice Amazing picture ! looks like you like wide angle shots .

really loved each and every picture u posted
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Old 6th July 2013, 11:39   #56
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Dear Rajiv, Thank you firstly for the mesmerizing pictures-it kept me glued till i had to reply! it was revealing to know that there are other places that one can visit and enjoy without keeping to the beaten track.
Planning a trip in the second half of Aug till mid Sept, by Ritz, to Leh (Hopefully). as you have rightly stated no plans whatsoever-go where we can and stop whenever the need arises.
Waiting for the rest of your T-Log!!
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Old 24th July 2013, 20:34   #57
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Day 3
Rajiv, that is an amazing travelogue, made perfect with sets of picture perfect photographs!!!
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Old 29th July 2013, 14:27   #58
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Hats off to you for those beautiful set of pics ,it is really sad that terrorism is rearing its ugly head again in the valley.
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Old 29th July 2013, 17:37   #59
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

I was supposed to visit Jammu/Katra/Srinagar from 1st June to 12th June but unfortunately cancelled the program. Cancelled bookings in Wangnu House Boats and JKTDC guest houses and lost a lot of money.

As already commented by me on FB, I envy you for being in such places and enjoying Nature in all its glory.

But my envy is misplaced since your talent in capturing those moments on film is such that, you make us all, a part of the experience!

Thank you very much for such photos bharath.

- Sai
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Old 29th July 2013, 21:58   #60
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Default Re: Kashmir - Heaven, where you live to experience it

Kudos Rajiv for bringing Kashmir to us through those top class photographs. But its not fair on us mango people when you post these picture perfect photographs, envy!!!!
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