Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kashmir Tourism in Summer

Here Arrives New Blissful Summer! 
As you walk past Dal lake, you can see a picture being painted of a beauty, a beauty so realistic yet never imagined. With colours and faces everywhere, lights and noises everywhere a different hush, a different bliss, a new summer is here!
As the mercury has started soaring in the valley life seems to have come to a full bloom for Kashmir. A walk along the Dal lake gives a picture of the delight the summer heat has brought.

Since the last unrest it is now that people seem to have been enjoying the outside more than just the inside their homes. Streets have become claustrophobic for the pedestrians and cars are honking away, with people ready for a new destination everyday.

A young boy dives into the Dal splashing water all over and creating ripples in the lake, as various other children around him jump in joy. The summer has set in. As you look at the opposite side you can see the popular parks abuzz with the activities of tourists and locals of the valley enjoying some hot snacks and getting mesmerized with the ghazals and music being played or performed live. The famous ‘Chhalli’ point looks livelier with parked cars and windows drawn down and some young faces enjoying hot `Chhallis’ sprinkled with salt and lemon juice.

On the other side while you walk on the Boulevard Road along Dal, you can see many colorful shikaras like the gondolas of Venice more like ferry rides taking tourists up and down in the lake. Often you can spot a vendor selling Kashmiri craft in some of the Shikaras while photographers making tourists wear Kashmiri traditional dress and clicking pictures can also be seen. Far at a distance you can see family pictures being taken in the Char Chinar island in between the Dal lake.

You can also see some European tourists and some Indian tourists on the decks of the house boats basking in the sun, reading magazines and newspapers or often just looking over their house boats at the majestic view of the Dal lake.

Around the valley you can also see huge number of children, school students and college students, standing in queues in front of the ice cream vendors and gol gappa stalls. Shoppers are seen relaxing and taking ice cream breaks and cold drink sips while little kids are seen with caps and colorful sun glasses. 

Family picnics have also geared up for places to visit in kashmir  the valley; not only the Boulevard Road but other tourist spots in and around Kashmir valley have been the hubs of locals and tourists in the past few days.

“Tourism is in its in full swing as of now. As we had expected, every resort is receiving its due proportion of tourists,” said an official of the tourism department.

“Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Manasbal are doing extremely good as far as tourism and business is concerned,” he added.
Daksum, Doodh Patheri, Aharbal, Wullar lake, Nageen lake, Yusmarg, Bungus Valley are the recently developed tourist spots that are picking up pace in Kashmir. Families settled outside, students studying abroad and in and around India are back in Kashmir and making the most of their vacations while beating the summer heat and are venturing around these new exotic places of Kashmir.

Asma, a student of Delhi University says she is glad to be home. She added, “Kashmir has always been home and it feels great to come here. Delhi has tall buildings and more freedom, but it lacks the scenic beauty like Kashmir has. We get more family time here and we can go around to the mountains and gardens and enjoy.”

“Life is so fast and hectic outside,” says Irtiza who lives in the US and works in an IT firm. “Life becomes smoother and more relaxed; I can almost feel my pulse at a smoother and calmer pace. It is breathtaking here, my family and I are enjoying and making the most of the one month I have here till I fly back,” he adds with a smile.

From Shikaras owners to top business men, every one is doing a great job. And as the summer soars in, they are expecting a greater trade this year. “Last year our business was bad, we lost a lot of money, but with God’s grace we are doing fine this year,” said Imran a shawl weaver.

With the kashmir tourism season just taking over, tourists as well as the traders are hoping for a great summer this year. And so do we, walking past Dal, picture this beauty into a reality and the threshold reaches new horizons!

No comments: