Heaven on Earth

For some, travel is a hobby, and for explorers like me, travel is a soul-searching process. It's that journey of transitioning from bustling city life to finding a connection with the calmness and serenity nature has to offer.
Srinagar is a city with surreal beauty and soothing feel of the chilly air. As the flowers bloom, so do the happiness on the face of every traveler who visits the heart and the summer capital of the ever-beautiful Kashmir, nestled on the shores of the pristine Jhelum River.

Lost in your current like a priceless wine

After settling down my luggage, the first thing I did, is go out and stroll. Getting yourself familiarized with the place gives me an idea of what to expect without letting my FOMO act up. So here, as I was taking a stroll, listening to locals and other tourists chatting, sharing very amusing stories guessing from their wailing hands and dramatic expressions. 

I immediately observed that due to the boom of tourism here, Srinagar is swamped with fancy cars and dining places adorned with elegant interiors. Still, on the other side you will see local men and women wearing gorgeous hand-embroidered pashmina shawls, traditional old Kashmiri vibe.

The place is bestowed with natural beauty and charm, which I witnessed from the traditional boat ride wearing Phiran. Getting those #BohoGirl kind pictures in that outfit floating around the dal lake in shikaras has been very soothing. Listening to boatmen telling different tales about the place gave me a peek into the exciting life of locals. 

The enchanting Nishat Bagh and Mughal Gardens have such a divine aura that had me spellbound to the place. Every flower that ever bloomed at these gardens, stands witness to a romance blossoming through shy smiles and tantalizing small touches shared by the couples taking walks here. You can never guess if they are admiring the splendid beauty of lush greens and jewel-like flowers or are they admiring their significant other!

I cannot put into words how gorgeous the view at Shalimar Bagh is. The place that displays Mughals' excellent craftsmanship, was constructed in the year 1619 by the Mughal ruler Jahangir for Nur Jahan. The Shalimar is a Sanskrit word that literally means Abode of love. Being at this place, I can't help but daydream about having an epic romance. 

The intricately carved wooden houseboat will make you think about your life's precious moments as your vessel floats on the still water bringing calmness to your soul.  Watching people pray with their belief and trust in our creator at this Muslim shrine – Dargah Hazratbal. Surrounded by lush green lawns can have that effect on you. I literally got chills after experiencing tranquility by just being at the premises. 

Sublime and surreal saga of self-discovery

I took a walk on the boulevard street during sunrise. The cool breeze of the early morning made my lips feel dry and brought shivers down my spine. But as the sun started rising up, the street was soaking in an orange hue, illuminating the surroundings and creating a mesmerizing picture. I was so lost in the moment that I even forgot to capture that in my lenses. 

Snow-clad mountains, crystal lakes, holy shrines, meadows, and lush green valleys, Srinagar is not merely a place but truly a heaven on earth that will give a scintillating feeling that will soothe your soul.
Klaus O
December 13, 2021
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