The first acquaintance with the world-famous Kashmir was through the Hindi movies of the 80’s. The desire to see that paradise with one’s own eyes was fulfilled during the two-week tour of Jammu and Kashmir in August. It was literally a tour of Jammu and Kashmir. The places were Srinagar, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahelgam, and a relatively unknown place was Dudhpathari. The first week of this trip, which was divided into two phases of two weeks, I was in these places and in the second week I was in the recent sensation Ladakh.
To save cost, take a bus from Dhaka to Kolkata. And to save about two days, I thought it would be better to go by plane instead of train. There are two ways to go to Kashmir by train. One: From Kolkata to Delhi then from Delhi to Jammu, from Jammu to Srinagar !! It’s a matter of two days. Or by Jammu Express from Kolkata to Jammu (by two night train) then by bus from Jammu to Srinagar. Here too it is a matter of two days. Better a poor horse than no horse at all. If you buy a ticket a month ago, it will be available much cheaper. The funny thing is that the fare of 3 tier seats of Rajdhani Express is a little less than the fare of plane! On the day of arrival in Kolkata, I spent the night at the hotel and the next morning I boarded Indigo Air and reached Srinagar in the afternoon after a two-hour journey to Delhi. The houseboat had already been fixed at the New Bul Bul Group of Houseboat at 8th Boulevard Road. Hotels are everywhere, but houseboats on Dal Lake are a part of Srinagar’s tradition. The rent is not much higher than a hotel. 1500 rupees including morning and dinner can be said to be cheap. The only way to get from the wharf to the houseboat is to hunt, which can be expected from the houseboat’s own system. A prepaid taxi fare from the airport or train station to Dal Lake Ghat will cost Rs 720. If you tell the houseboat in advance, they will arrange the pickup at a lower cost. It is better to book the houseboat in advance considering all the aspects. There was no time to look anywhere else that day, except to walk along Dal Lake on Boulevard Road at night. Talking to the manager of the houseboat, I rented a car for 7 days at Rs. 2200 per day. Bargaining can be further reduced. Usually 1800-2200 rupees per day. There is no need to stay overnight to see Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Dudhpathri, it is better to do it on a day trip from Srinagar. You only need to stay overnight in Pahelgam because you cannot visit Pahelgam in one day. Pahelgam is the most beautiful place in Kashmir. Anyway, I went to Sonamarg on the second morning. The only attraction of Sonamarg is to hire a pony for Rs.1000 per head to visit Khazias Glacier. You can also go by car. It was snowing despite not being winter. You can also do sledging if you want. If you want to enjoy the true beauty of Sonamarg, you have to go in winter, between October and March. After seeing Sonamarg, I returned to Srinagar in the afternoon.
The next morning I left with Box-Petra for Pahelgam. The hotel was the Castle Rock Resort at Rafting Point. Extraordinarily beautiful place. Looking out the window and porch of the room, the famous Lidder Lake and the mountain range behind. Great view. Freshened up at the hotel to see the famous “Baisaran” “Mini Switzerland”. You have to take pony here too. Even if the rate of the municipality is mentioned, the bargain has to be done. We bought four ponies for 4,000 rupees. The road is very dangerous, you have to go up and down somewhere. Conquering both hardship and fear When you reach Baisaran all hardships will be gone by seeing the beautiful place that catches the eye. Totally restless. Back at the hotel in the afternoon, there is nothing to do but watch TV because the weather in Pahelgam is different from other places in Kashmir. Even in summer, it gets very cold at night.
The next day we had to rent a car from the taxi stand to see the rest of the attractions of Pahelgam such as Aru Valley and Betab Valley. Let me say here that no matter where you go outside Srinagar, only tourists can go to the taxi stand by car. To get to the local tourist spots, one has to hire a taxi from the municipality. The rent is fixed according to the quality of the car. We bought a Maruti Eco for Rs 1,600 to see Aru Valley, Betab Valley and Chandanwari. The rule is to allocate 1 hour in each spot. If it is more than one hour, the rule is to pay extra Rs. 300 per hour. Although one hour is enough to see. Aru Valley is a very beautiful place. Betaab Valley famous Sunny Deol – since the movie “Betaab” starring Amrita Singh. On the way from Chandanwari to Betab Valley, don’t forget the view of Betab Valley from above. Chandanwari Ahamri is nothing, even if you don’t go there. After seeing these spots, it was night to return to Srinagar. I got on another houseboat Ambassador. This is also the 8th ghat, you have to go hunting. The next two days I wandered around Gulmarg and Dudhpathari. The main attraction of Gulmarg is the two phase gondola. The first phase Gulmarg to Kungdoori costs Rs 600 and the second phase Kungdoori to Apparwath costs Rs 900. There is also a chair lift from Kungdoori but only for winter. The experience of going to Apparwath Peak 14403 feet above sea level was great. There is little difficulty in breathing due to the height. There is also sledging. You can also do skiing if you want. As soon as they get down at the Gulmarg taxi stand, the pony vendors will surround them and show them to take the pony. There is no need to rent a pony. It is much better and more enjoyable to see on foot. I returned to Srinagar in the afternoon. The next day I went to Dudhpathari. In my opinion, after Pahelgam, Kashmir is the most beautiful place
Ayaga is the milk stone. In addition to the green meadow there are many more beautiful spots out there.
While staying at Dal Lake, I decided to leave Nigin Lake or why! Nigin Lake is much clearer than Dal Lake and Nigin Lake is the best place to get a view of the lake and mountains at the same time from the houseboat. That’s why I chose New Buckingham Palace Houseboat to spend the last night. This houseboat with only two rooms is parallel to the lake, so the windows of the room offer a wide view of the lake and the mountain range behind it.
I kept the last day to visit Srinagar. First I went to Hazratbal Mosque. The hair of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is there, which is open for public viewing on certain days of the year. Then I went to Shalimar Bagh in 3 Mughal gardens. Many movies have been shot there. There are many fountains. After that Nishat Bagh and Chashmeshahi. There is a natural spring in spectacles whose source could not be discovered today. It is said that its delicious water is very good for the eyes. At the end of all is the Shankaracharya Temple from where the whole of Srinagar can be seen. It is not difficult to cross 350 stairs. Unfortunately, only one mobile phone, camera has to be stored.
In terms of luxury, Kashmir is the place of apples. Gulmas like the taste of apples sticking to the mouth. The most famous of the local food is Kashimiri Wazwan. Various kebab items are arranged around the rice in a large dish. In a separate bowl there are Rishta (looks like meatballs), Gustaba (it also looks like meatballs), Rogan Josh (red soup with castrated meat). The best place to eat in Wazwan is Residency Road, Mughol Dorbar on Ground Floor. Also not to miss the Kashmiri Kebab on Residency Road. The thin bread tastes incomparable to the rumali bread with mutton shik kebab.
Let’s come to the second stage of the journey. This time the journey is Ladakh rich in mountains. There are three roads to Ladakh. One: Plane that can go from anywhere, two: Leh via Rothang Pass from Manali, Three: Leh via Kargil from Srinagar. Leh can be reached from Srinagar in one day but it is better not to do that. Because the road will gradually rise to the top in a spiral which requires acclimatization. As Kargil is located between Srinagar and Leh, one can leave Srinagar in the morning and reach Kargil in the afternoon. The next morning we left Kargil and reached Leh by noon. The body fatigue is at a tolerable level. It is very important to take a complete rest after reaching Leh. And it is important to drink plenty of water. It is necessary to overcome the problem of breathing at high altitudes. It is better to do Leh sightseeing the next day because you cannot get a permit before that day. No permit is required to get around Leh but Leh’s main tourist spot is Nubra Valley (Turtuk, Hunder), 3 idiots known as Pangong Lake. It is not only for Bangladeshis but also for Indians to get an internal permit. If you ask for a passport at the hotel on the day you reach Leh and where you want to go, they will arrange a permit for you the next day at a cost of Rs 600 per person. This cannot be done manually but through a local tour operator. There are three monasteries to visit in Leh (Shey Palace, Hemis Monastry, Thiksey Palace), 3 idiots famous Druk White Lotus School, Shanti Stupa from where you can see the whole of Leh. If you don’t want to climb 500 steep stairs, you can rent a car and go upstairs! Magnetic Field will be on the way to Leh from Srinagar. You can also visit Gurdwara Patthar Sahib if you want. You have to reserve a car for 3 days to visit Nubra Valley (Turtuk, Hunder). If there are 4/6 people, it is better to reserve the whole car and if there are less people, they can arrange a share taxi at the hotel. Rainbow Guest House is the best place to stay and visit Leh. The day after getting the permit, we reserved a taxi for 2 nights and 3 days at Rs. 12,000 and left Hunder and went far to Turtuk. On the way from Leh to Nubra Valley is the Khardung La Pass, which Ladakh claims is the World’s Highest Motorable Road (18,380 Ft). When you get out of the car at Khardung La Pass, you will feel a little hard to breathe. At an altitude of 18340 feet which is very normal. I reached Turtuk by noon. Turtuk is the last village in Ladakh within 200 meters of the Pakistan border. Turtuk was once part of Baltistan, Pakistan. That is why, despite the fact that the majority religion in Ladakh is Buddhist, Turtu is 100% Muslim. Turtuk is a village with very beautiful clean hills. There is a 500 year old mosque. Also the museum where everything is recorded in phases from the first ruler of Turtuk. Interestingly, anyone who visits this family museum is the last descendant of that family! After spending one night there, Aslam Hunder returned the next day. Hunder is famous for its Sand Dunes and Bactrian Double Humped Camel. If you go to Hunder, don’t miss the camel ride. Although you have to wait a long time to get the serial. We took a half hour ride for 350 rupees. The best place to stay in Hunder is Tent. This experience is not found anywhere else except in Hunder and Pangong Lake. Although much cheaper than a hotel or guest house, it is negligible compared to the experience of staying in a tent. We were at Nubra Boutique Camp. In the off-season, I got Rs. 1500 for breakfast and dinner with a fare of Rs. 2500-2600. The next day Leh left Aslam Hunder. On the way back I saw Diskit Monastery. Lots of great monas
After spending the night back in Leh, I went to see Pangong Lake the next day. Even if you are not at night in Pangong Lake. You will be able to see it day by day. Tso Moriri Lake is another place that is even more beautiful than Pangong Lake. We could not go there due to lack of time. Pangong Lake is located in the village of Spangmik. On the way from Leh to Spangmik, you have to cross the Chang La Pass, which is claimed by India to be the second highest traffic road in the world (18.6 feet). It takes about five hours to reach Pangong from Leh. The roads are very bad and winding so you have to get tired. Yet from a distance the parallel lines of light to dark blue water of Pangong relieve the fatigue of the path. Comes to mind “All izz well”