Kashmir Autumn Festival and its Message

kashmir autumn festival, jammu and kashmir, pari mahal, srinagar, pahalgam, gulmarg

 

Shikara rides, snow-capped mountains, musical evenings, and cruises – this is Kashmir Autumn Festival for you!

There is a negative perception about Kashmir which has affected the tourism industry and the local Kashmiris for years. For instance, take the case of skiing guide, Farooq Bhatt, who has been supplying jackets, shoes and skiing gears on hire from the past two decades to the tourists in Gulmarg. He travels from the nearby Tangmarg to serve the guests from around the world. He also guides and helps the tourists to ski near the gondola (state-run cable car service) in Gulmarg. Over the years, his income during the seasonal visit of tourists has drastically reduced from Rs. 1000/ day to Rs. 400/ day.

 

kashmir autumn festival, jammu and kashmir, pari mahal, srinagar, pahalgam, gulmarg

 

The department of tourism of Jammu and Kashmir therefore organised a familiarisation tour to boost the morale of people like Farooq as well as others who are involved with tourism & hospitality industry of the state. The tour, lovingly called as the Kashmir Autumn Festival, was held during the mesmerizing autumn from 25th October 2018 to 27th Oct 2018. It was mainly aimed for writers, bloggers, artistes, entrepreneurs, Instagrammers and government officials from across the country. The objective of the festival was to change the negative perception about the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir valley and woo back our loving tourists.

Around 100 guests graced the three day Kashmir Autumn Festival and were acquainted with the breathtaking beauty of Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg. They were introduced to the myriad shades of valley, its people, traditional and popular music, an array of mouth-watering Kashmiri food and warm hospitality of the locals.

 

Day 1: Srinagar

Beginning with an inauguration ceremony at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), overlooking Dal Lake adding to the charm, Rigzin Samphel (Secretary Tourism of J&K) addressed the guests with a warm welcome. He mentioned that “Kashmir is not unsafe for tourists” and factually told everyone that there has been a 40 percent rise in international tourists. Post his speech, all guests were taken on a heritage tour from Pari Mahal, Chashme Shahi, Nishant Bagh and then finally ending with a cruise on Dal Lake.

 

kashmir autumn festival, jammu and kashmir, pari mahal, srinagar, pahalgam, gulmarg

 

Day 2: Pahalgam

While mentioning the facts at Pahalgam Club, the chief executive officer of Pahalgam introduced the guests to the ground level problem. He told them that Pahalgam accounts for 70 percent of Kashmir’s tourist attraction and yet we have only received seven lakh tourists this year as compared to eleven lakhs in 2011.

 

kashmir autumn festival, jammu and kashmir, pari mahal, srinagar, pahalgam, gulmarg

 

He toned down the seriousness of the matter and introduced the guests to the warmth of local people who offered them tea, local bakery and scrumptious lunch of gushtaba, rogan josh, lotus stem curry, chicken and fish at the serene Pahalgam Golf Course.

Post lunch, the tour headed to witness the dreamy Aru Valley, a haven for trekkers where time comes to a standstill in this far-off corner of Kashmir. As the day progressed, guests were amazed by the affection and warm hospitality of local venders and small traders, the reality of lack of income and opportunity visible on their faces.

 

Day 3: Gulmarg

Gulmarg, one of the most magnificent destinations in Jammu and Kashmir, was saved for the last day for our guests. The town has been welcoming tourists since colonial times with its colder climes, long walks, treks and golf course skiing.

On the final day at the Gulmarg Golf Club, guests of the tour were served with Harissa (a type of Haleem), kebabs, Kashmiri breads and different types of sauces with fries under the blue sky. Lunch at this serene place was a traditional affair followed by hot sips of Kahwah.

 

kashmir autumn festival, jammu and kashmir, pari mahal, srinagar, pahalgam, gulmarg

 

A local manager, Abdul malik, of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) came face to face with the guests about the fall in tourists over the years. He mentioned that Gulmarg is known to provide peace to every mind that visits and a comfy stay at some of the best hotels of the state.

In this way, the wonderful three-day trip came to an end with delectable dinner, music and cheerfulness at a hotel in Gulmarg.

 

Through this article, we, The Kashmiri Life, call you to visit the magnificent Jammu and Kashmir and experience the warm hospitality of locals. Your visit means livelihood to many of our traders and vendors. Kashmir is safe as ever and people are welcoming as they always were. Visit us!

Snowfall in Kashmir

Snowfall in Kashmir

Snowfall in Kashmir

Winters are here already and there is no place better than Kashmir to celebrate winters especially ‘THE SNOWFALL’. A layer of snow over the mountains, eminent chinar trees and sunlight transmitting through the clouds makes a scenic view. You can’t even distinguish is it heaven or some place on Earth. No, I am not exaggerating but the beauty of Kashmir is for real, Winters are more like festival in Kashmir. Although it is freezing cold, temperature even goes to minus but it’s still so much fun. Now let’s have a look what all things you can do during the snowfall in Kashmir and make it even more joyful.

 

ADVENTURE SPORTS

Kashmir provides you multiple options for the bunch of activities you can do here, for an incredible, one-of-its-kindexperience. Skiing, Sleigh Riding, Ice Skating and Ice Hockey are some of the best sports that will give you the adrenaline rush.

 

Snowfall in Kashmir

For Skiing, Gulmarg is the prime destination as it is one of the world’s highest lift-served ski resorts. Another attraction there, is the Gandola Cable Car lift which is one of the highest cable car projects in Asia.

 

Snowfall in Kashmir

For Ice Skating and Ice Hockey, Srinagar and Pahalgam are the ideal location. Don’t know how to play any of these sports? No need to worry as there are many trainers available who can guide you with these sports.

Still looking for more excitement? Try Heli-Skiing, to experience another level of thrill.  In Heli-Skiing, a chopper gets you to the   Like others, Gulmarg is the perfect spot for this too.

 

A SHIKARA RIDE

You must be thinking when it snows all around then how a ride in a river is possible. Yes, it is! The temperature during the winters goes to a certain level that makes the rivers and lakes in the region partially frozen. Dal Lake is perfect place for a ride in Shikara with your loved ones. The beauty of Dal is even more enhanced during the snowfall. It’s quite mesmerizing to be on a boat and soft snowflakes falling down silently. There are no ‘rush moments’ so you can completely relax and enjoy the beauty of Kashmir.

Recently, a group of college students from Kashmir have developed a ‘Shikara App’ for booking the rides. This has become a very convenient option for the people and has gained popularity.

 

Snowfall in Kashmir

 

SNOW CAMPING AND TREKKING

Imagine stepping out of your tent in bone chilling weather and you are surrounded by snow from all the direction, isn’t it a dreamy site? Kashmir is the one of the best places for winter camping and trekking. Away from all the crowd, camping creates a peace within your heart and mind. Mount Nun Kun Camping, the trek to Sankaracharya and Mount Harmukh Camping are some of the location you can consider for camping.

Snowfall in Kashmir

SNOW FESTIVALS AND FAIRS

Festivals and Fairs are the top attraction for the people during the season of winters. Every year in the month of January Snow Festival is held in Gulmarg. People come with full enthusiasm and attend all the fun activities and cultural shows. It’s a 3 day festival that includes a number of activities like snow cycling, snowboarding and skiing. However snow cycling is the most popular. Cultural shows represent the Kashmiri heritage and arts.

We can definitely say Snowfall in Kashmir is an experience we all should have at least once in a lifetime. Snow makes Kashmir happy!

of what?

 

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

15 Things to-do in Kashmir: A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

Like a lot of people, I am also tired of making and cancelling travel plans with friends and family because of someone’s unavailability or too many suggestions. Well, I see solo-traveling as the only solution for now! However scary at first, as you travel solo- being entirely responsible for yourself, you will discover exactly how capable you are. The hardest part about solo travelling is the ‘beginning’. Once you are on it, there is no going back!

Now a days, people have come out boldly and encouraged solo travelling; brushing away the myths of solo being too risky and unsafe. It not always a ‘follow your heart’ journey. One must understand the value of planning in advance to have smooth travel or stay (or at least be little prepared for the hitches) by researching places to visit, things to carry, read reviews,  download maps etc.

 

So, I welcome you all Solo-Travellers to my beautiful valleys of Jammu and Kashmir. Here is a list of things you can do to make your solo travel much more adventurous and memorable.

 

  1. Feel at home with Kashmiri families and experience the most loving hospitality ever.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Meet the locals, play with children and breathe in a wholesome positivity of nature.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Take an introspective ride in a Shikara at Dal Lake.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Fond of views? Visit Taj Vivanta in Srinagar to look at the most magnificent panorama of Dal Lake.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Visit a Houseboat. Let the sunlight drench you.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Detangle your thoughts in the peace of Mughal Gardens.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Talk to the nature in the intense beauty of Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Accept all your blemishes in a traditional Kashmiri attire.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Gather heritage stories of Kashmir from the locals over a cup of noon chai (Pink Tea).

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. If you wish, break some rules, try something fancy and yet traditional.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Live your DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) moment in Tulip Garden, Srinagar.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Unravel the mysteries of Kashmir, visit downtown Srinagar.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Shop and do not stop.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Feel the warmth of earth, cold of water and density of air in the Lidder river of Pahalgam.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

  1. Walk the grass at Doodhpathri to feel the dew drops as they absorb in your spirit through happy feet.

15 Things-to-do in Kashmir_ A Whisper to Solo-Travellers

 

Tough, tiring, unsafe, lonely- these are some of the myths attached to solo travelling. Here is what I have to say to my fellow solo travellers, tough, tiring or exhausting, we know it’s worth our while and definitely the most splendid experiences of life.

I hope this small piece of guidelines will help you and make your trip to Kashmir a better experience. Feel free to ask anything more about travelling to our valley. All the very best for adventures, travel safe and sound!

tea banner

Jammu and Kashmir for Tea Lovers

Chai, Kahwah, Noon chai, pink chai, Chai jaai, Rochak tea stall, sharma tea stall, bawa tea stall, the chai factory, jammu and kashmir tea stalls, tea rooms in jammu and kashmir.

 

After a long tiring day, what is your tonic to relieve stress? Mine is a hot steaming cup of Chai (Tea). There is something about good-old cup of tea that makes you so happy.

Feeling bored, have chai.

Feeling tired, chai is the answer!

Want to have a conversation with a friend? Let’s get chai!

In short, tea is the answer to all your life’s problems! Isn’t it tea lovers?

To add to the charm, nature is full of the variety of teas such as green tea, Kahwah, pink tea (noon chai), etc. and we humans, the born experimentalists, get creative with our teas as well.

Being a Kashmiri, chai has been a constant- contagious need of my lifestyle. Imagine sipping your tea while looking at a field of almonds, or beautiful Shikaras floating in Dal Lake, or quivering with cold, looking at them snow peaked mountains while palms warm up on a cup of Kahwah. Yes my friend, that is, but just a glimpse of, having tea in the arms of Jammu and Kashmir. Right from the lush green fields to crystal frozen lakes, the state is full of tea points. Let’s take you around some of the best ones in our valley.

 

Sharma Tea Stall: Bliss for the travelers

Located on the way to Udhampur in Jammu along NH1, Sharma tea stall is a hot spot for the travelers as well as people of the region. It is famous for its refreshing tea made by the elderly tea brewer, lovingly known as Pandit Ji. If you are around the place or is planning to visit Jammu, don’t forget to toast a cup of tea at Sharma Tea Stall, a perfect start to your journey.

Address: Kacchi Chawni, Ambphalla, Old Heritage City, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

 

 

 

Bawa Tea Stall: The college day’s tea stop

Each one of us has had a favorite tea stall outside our college campuses, a tea stall that we would rush to in our breaks. Bawa’s tea stall is one such stop for all the students of the University of Jammu. Here, the chaiwala (Tea brewer) knows his customers by names and brews the most mouth-watering tea around the area. If you are staying in Gujarbasti, this is the tea place for you.

Address: Bahu Rd, University of Jammu, Gujarbasti, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

 

Chai, Kahwah, Noon chai, pink chai, Chai jaai, Rochak tea stall, sharma tea stall, bawa tea stall, the chai factory, jammu and kashmir tea stalls, tea rooms in jammu and kashmir.

 

 

The Tea Factory: Place for a cozy tea date

The first meeting, chai, and a cozy ambiance are a perfect combination for a cute little date or a get together. If you are looking for one, The Tea Factory is your all in one stop. On top of it, with a perfect combination of killed chai and bread butter, the café has a long menu of snacks as well. Go grab a bite.

Address: Shop No. 20, North Block, Bahu Plaza Jammu Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Chai, Kahwah, Noon chai, pink chai, Chai jaai, Rochak tea stall, sharma tea stall, bawa tea stall, the chai factory, jammu and kashmir tea stalls, tea rooms in jammu and kashmir.

 

Rochak Tea Stall: Serving tea amidst the beauty & wilderness

Located on National Highway 144A in Sundarbani, Rochak Tea stall is an old place that has been serving tea since generation to the locals and visitors. With the beauty of Sunderbani and the fragrance of Rochak bhaiya’s, chai one can easily transcend his/ her stress. If it falls on your route, take a moment to de-stress here.

Address: National Highway 144A, Sunderbani, Jammu and Kashmir

 

Chai, Kahwah, Noon chai, pink chai, Chai jaai, Rochak tea stall, sharma tea stall, bawa tea stall, the chai factory, jammu and kashmir tea stalls, tea rooms in jammu and kashmir.

 

Chai Jaai Tea Room: A room for rich conversations

No doubt that the tea at a small tea stall is heavens. But having tea at a fine- dine tea room? That’s a different level of aesthetic altogether. A recent development in Srinagar, Chai Jai Tearoom is set up with a luxurious ambiance inspired by the tea rooms in England. With its graceful cultural interiors, it is a perfect place for people, especially women, who love to celebrate life and indulge in rich conversations that sprout from the existing cultural ambiance of the room. If you are a tea person, you wouldn’t want to miss this elegantly dreamy place.

Address: Mahattas Studio, 1st Floor, The Bund Road, Munshi Bagh, Dhanibuoy building, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

 

Chai, Kahwah, Noon chai, pink chai, Chai jaai, Rochak tea stall, sharma tea stall, bawa tea stall, the chai factory, jammu and kashmir tea stalls, tea rooms in jammu and kashmir.

 

These are only some of the tea stalls/ rooms in Jammu and Kashmir, tea is contagious and so is its availability. Keep searching for the taste that warms your soul inside out and notifies us so we, tea lovers, can add to our lists.