Having been born at this supremely ethereal place, I couldn’t have asked more from God. I didn’t realize how deep an emotional connection I have with this place until I stepped out from here and went elsewhere for higher studies. Although knowing that it wouldn’t be forever and ultimately I would be back, the thought of visiting here occasionally, that too a time-bound visit, was quite a distressing one. Kashmir is that one word/name which when abodes in the ears causes two visions synchronously – one being that of miseries or carnage and the other one being of the heavenly lands, snow-laden exquisite mountain ranges and an immense beauty with splendid sprawl of nature.
Neglecting or diluting the obnoxious course of it for just a while, I would want to relish and celebrate its esoteric realm of natural elegance, chastity and charm.
Being exclusively subjective as I mention this, every nook and every corner of this place radiates a divine beauty. Besieged by captivating hills on all the sides is the place called ‘Baramulla’, a town situated northwards of Kashmir. This place is an absolute beauty, and envelopes numerous places of tourist attractions and bears tremendous potential to host high tourist influx. Gulmarg, one of the most well-known tourist destinations, is cradled by this place. Known for its ‘Gondola’ rides (electric cable car), horse riding, skiing and snow skating in winters, this place is an absolute delight both in winters and summers. Even in the suburbs of Baramulla, there are such locations that are much known only to locals and not many outsiders or in fact no outsider knows about them.
On treading towards the upper terrains or the hilly areas of Baramulla, one witnesses a magnificent view of the beautiful, welcoming landscapes and the ridges, and also the view of the entire town. With amazing camping sites and tranquil stretches of roads with fulfilling meadows alongside, the highland roads stretching towards the outskirts of Baramulla even have calming streams flowing alongside, perfect for a relaxing long drive (roads going towards ‘Boniyar’ and ‘Uri’, northwards of the Baramulla town). Baramulla is the place I’ve lived; its essence is one that soothes my soul, its soil is such that when I touch it, it feels like caressing the palms of my hand, its air when goes down my chest freshens every part of me as if cleansing from within.
The Not Much Known Beauties
Not only Baramulla but regions beyond this place are a feast for the eyes as well. Pahalgam, Sonmarg, and Wular Lake are some of the prominent tourist destinations. However, certain places are not very prominent yet amazingly beautiful. Often, these are the inner villages or are the places that have a tiring trek. Therefore many satisfy themselves with just the superficial part. However, the pearl is always inside the shell. Famber Valley, of Kishtwar area, is one such divine beauty. Words won’t do justice to what that place bears. White clouds greeting the mountains, one could have a feel of touching these white structures floating merrily. Extending grasslands such that, in the midst of which if one stands and takes a look around, it would feel as if nothing existed except for peace and rapture.
The upper reaches of Pahalgam has breathtaking lakes, the waters of which flow in such currents as if humming some song of nature and praising the supreme ‘Creator’. Some of these being, the Tulian lake, the Sheshnaag lake, the Tarsar lake, and the Marsar lake. Looking at the reign of blue through these waters is a ‘moment’ of life. All these places grip you so tight in their enchanting glory and their unbridled harmony that one would want to spend an entire life in these places praising the holy creator. One is definitely amiss, if not having the opportunity to see nature in its very natural and uninterfered form.
To get to see these magnificent beauties, one needs to trek up these massive alpine lakes and bear witness to their absolutely breath-taking grandeur. I didn’t aim to present all the full-fledged details about these places, but it was just a nudge to prompt people to look-up these places and delve into the beauty of this place that has forever been suffering in poignance, surely deserving better and best.
Briefly, Kashmir is a divine child resting on the pinnacle, all poised and alluring, contemplating some spiritual mysteries, and locks every sight in its splendour with its ungauged beauty and divinity.