It’s a long and old story but I like to share it with all of you. Before this trip, I used to live in Mumbai and my hometown is Kolkata and I am a proud Bengali rather than calling myself BONG.
It was a transition period of my life as I was relocating permanently in Kolkata and left Mumbai forever. This introduction is important to understand the psychological condition I was going through. I was happy as I will be able to stay with my family but at the same time, I was so uncertain of my career opportunity in Kolkata. So it was a mixed feeling of happiness, anxiety, and fear.
My roommate who is also my best friend suppose to visit me but tickets were unavailable and she found tickets for Kashmir were available that time. So I borrowed some money and started my journey with another friend from Kolkata in sleeper class train in chilling cold of January. It was so cold in Punjab that both of us slept in the same berth to keep us warm though we had two separate berths. Here is a photo.
Our train was more than 6 hours late due to fog and I found my roommate was waiting at Jammu Tawi station for 8 hours to receive us. From Jammu, we went to Udhampur which is 1 and a half an hour away from where one of our friends worked at Air Force. He would be our guide for this trip. Here is his photo.
Next day we hired a car to reach Srinagar. Here I have to mention that I never saw such a beautiful and zigzag road in my life. Guess what happen to me in this 6 hours journey to Srinagar. I had a heavy breakfast that made me vomit all the way to this trip. Rather than enjoying the trip I got so tired and sick so guys make sure before going this type of trip you be prepared with medicine and all useful things you need on the way(water, bags to vomit and anti-vomiting medicines). On our way we saw Pahel Gaon and Green Tunnel.
We reached Srinagar in the evening and it was an off season to visit Kashmir so we got houseboat over Dal lake at a very Cheaper rate. It was a nice experience staying in Houseboat. They had Bokhari which keep houseboat warm and electric blanket to keep the bed warm. One problem you may face that in the evening electric supply was paused one an hour(it was a rule to save electricity) but we enjoyed it as candle light made our evening more enjoyable. Here is few pic of our Houseboat.
This is the next morning over dal lake as we found snowfall just started first time in Kashmir that year. Here are the photos….
Next morning we headed towards Gulmarg. We shared a ride with local people as it was cheaper only 60 rs per person and then from entry point we took a car where the back wheels are tied with the chain as the way was slippery due to snow. We got stuck for 2 hours as Army convoy was passing that time. The way was awesome surrounded by white snow and huge Pine and Oak trees.
After we reached we took Gondola to reach the height of Gulmarg. It was two phrase cable car. There is also chair car available which will take you to the highest point of Gulmarg where people go for skiing. Here are few photos.
We are maggie here with hot milk coffee and I found it was the tastiest maggie I have ever eaten as the maggie was cooked with Kashmiri masala. We did snow cycling and enjoyed playing with snow with each other. We stayed there till 3.30 pm then we had to come back as snowfall started.
We came back and enjoyed dinner at a restaurant called Ramaya in Srinagar. I must say the food was awesome I still remember the taste of the chicken I ate there.
Next day we went for local sightseeing around Srinagar and Dal lake and bought dry fruits and warm clothes for family and relatives.
We did not have much time as my friend had to join duty so we came back next day. This trip helped me to rejuvenate my energy and start a fresh but how that comes at the later part of this article for that that I wrote here.