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Old 28th August 2013, 20:59   #1
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Default The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.”
“If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here,”

Probably no other statement can aptly describe the Kashmir valley than the one above, passed down from generations and attested by all who see and behold it. Truly a land of enchantment, the place humbles all travellers with heavenly beauty, being unsurpassed, magnetic and inviting . Complemented by the stark beauty of Ladakh, the land is truly nothing short of paradise, if we can even set standards to it.

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Road Conditions :

The main intent of this section is to provide information for motorists heading into the Kashmir valley from Jammu. I have focused mainly on 1A and 1D, and other members are welcome to add or correct my comments provided below, for the benefit of others. This information is accurate as of August 2013.

National Highway 1A

NH 1A, the main arterial route from the rest of India into the Kashmir valley via the celebrated Jawahar Tunnel, is a well-paved and heavily-used highway, so expect delays based on the time of travel. The road is a 2-lane single carriageway, though earnest efforts are in progress at many places to convert it into a dual carriageway with two lanes on either side.

The section between Ananthnag and Pampore is heavily-used, so do not expect free lanes or even opportunity to overtake traffic, as the flow is dense, with trucks and army vehicles vying for space. Road condition detiorate in this section, with the worst section between Pantha Chowk and Pampore. The Srinagar bypass injects heavy truck and army traffic at Pantha chowk, leading to massive pile ups that can cause severe traffic jams. The Pampore - Pantha chowk congestion can be tactfully avoided by branching out into the industrial area west of the Jhelum river and join the highway back at the bypass.

Traffic congestion is predominant even in the Badami Bagh cantonment area of Srinagar, all the way from Pantha chowk up to the UN office.If you are not heading towards Dal Lake or its surrounding attractions, it is recommened that this section be bypassed.

The section of NH 1A beyond Srinagar towards Baramulla continues to be a 2-lans single carriageway, albeit with moderate traffic when compared to the section south of Pantha Chowk. Drivers heading towards Gulmarg have a reason to cheer, as the road to Gulmarg branching out of NH 1A at Narbal crossing is a dual carriageway with two lanes on either side, all the way to Tangmarg via Magam. The road condition is very good, and beyond Tangmarg, a well-paved single carruiageway extends for another 12 km into Gulmarg.

For drivers heading towards Pahalgam, good road conditions can be expected from both Srinagar ( Srinagar - Pampore - Awantipora - Bijbehera - Srigufwara - Pahalgam ) and also via Ananthnag ( Ananthnag - Mattan - Pahalgam )


National Highway 1D
Travelled up to Baltal only on this road.

NH 1D, the highway to Ladakh, via Drass and Kargil, is well-paved and extremely scenic, and though it gets a bit narrow at a few sections, it worth the hardship.The road is a 2-lane single carriageway,and some activity to pave an alternate parallel road by Project BEACON of the BRO was observed near Sonmarg.Nevertheless, motorists need to remember that this is the only access road from the valley to the high country ( Ladakh and Siachen ) and hence, army convoys have primary right of way. When large convoy movements happen, traffic is stalled and delays of up to 2 hours can be expected. Motorists wanting to bypass the Srinagar city traffic may branch out into the bypass east of Ganderbal and merge on to NH 1A, northbound towards Baramulla and southbound towards Ananthnag. Traffic congestion is to be expected in all small towns and villages, primarily due to local transport buses.

Last edited by raghunandanj : 28th August 2013 at 21:01.
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Old 29th August 2013, 16:45   #2
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Default Re: The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

In 20 hour only six thanks (and no post)!
By this travelogue, it looks like ‘Haven on earth’ has been lost in Leh- laddakh travelogues.
Thanks for existing photographs (who inspire like start towards kashmeer just now).
Please tell about dates you travelled and land slide problems, if any.
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Old 30th August 2013, 10:11   #3
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Default Re: The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

Excellent set of pictures.
What was the vehicle used during this?
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Old 31st August 2013, 14:41   #4
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Default Re: The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

Raghu, thank you so much, these photos are really drawing me closer to heaven on earth. Of late have been reading a lot about Srinagar and Leh, it's truly inspiring. Thank you once again for that spark to go North. Cheers.
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Old 31st August 2013, 16:25   #5
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Default Re: The Kashmir Valley - A Monsoon Photologue

Excellent photos Raghunandan.
Would love to read more details of the journey.
What was the mode of transport.

Please do share all details.
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