Paradise Uncovered

Kashmir in early spring: snowfall, sunshine and multi-coloured tulips

5/3/2016 8:00:41 PM
written By : Pamposh Dhar Print

“Who goes to Kashmir in March?” asked a friend when Itoldher of my latest travel plans. The answer was simple. I wanted to experience Kashmir in all its seasons, including early spring. Living in an always hot and humid Singapore, I truly appreciate changes of season. But, I could not have imagined the treat that lay in store for me.

We landed on a cloudy Srinagar evening, but the next morning, I woke up before dawn and looked out of my window to see a gentle snowfall. Then it stopped snowing and the sun came out. Two hours later it was raining hard. In 12 hours, I had seen sunshine, cloudy weather, a downpour and light snowfall! 

That set the tone for the whole trip. I saw fields of mustard and green, snow-covered mountains that felt close enough to reach out and touch, and tulips in bloom against blue-tinged hills. One afternoon I saw the Dal Lake in Srinagar surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the stuff of picture postcards. Alas! By the time I got my camera ready to capture the breathtaking visual, clouds covered the higher peaks denying me the pleasure of a good shot.

Although the high snow-capped mountains remained mostly hidden during my trip, the lower mountains with some snow provided a beautiful backdrop to the delightful tulip gardens. The burst of colours, the delicate, bell-shaped flowers, and the mountains behind them. Can spring be visualised in any better way?

The highlight of my holiday was undoubtedly a trip to Aaru, above Pehlgam. Surrounded by mountains completely covered in snow, we soaked up the view from a glass-plated balcony in our warm pherans and jackets. Then we went out and indulged in a snow fight. Playing with soft balls of snow brought out the child in me. This was followed by a sumptuous meal of Rogan Josh, Goshtaba, Kashmiri Kababs, Koftas and Haak. In mellow mood now, we sat back to enjoy an evening of music and dance. We sat on beautiful Kashmiri carpets in a room heated by a bukhari, sipping Kehwa served from a large silver samovar. 

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