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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


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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


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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


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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.


5 Mesmerizing Lakes in Jammu and Kashmir



“A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.”      

                                                                                                                                                -William Wordsworth

Can you ever think of witnessing the blue sky, captivating meadows, turquoise waters and snow at the same time? Yes, it’s absolutely possible in the beautiful state of Kashmir! Just imagine spending your day in a Shikara under the divine sky and seeing snow capped mountains, isn’t it a dreamy site?

Lakes are always welcoming in nature especially in the valley of Kashmir. They create a magnetic aura which is very hard to resist. The serenity and calmness of the lakes perfectly cut off the worldly chaos and all you could hear is the sound of rowing the boat and chirping of the birds making the moment perfectly perfect. So we present you the lakes of Kashmir that are completely inevitable to visit.




dal lake


Popularly known as ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’ and  world renowned ‘Dal Lake’ is the most attractive place in the heart of Kashmir. Surrounded by big mountains and mughal gardens, it has maintained its popularity so far. The most significant feature of this lake is it gives you the 360 degree views of the Himalayas. A ride in Shikara, floating market along the way, the flora and fauna, the scent of kesar will give you the typical Kashmir feel. On the other hand it also perfect for adventure seekers offering you water sports like golfing, water skiing and hot air balloon ride.




tso moriri


Tso Moriri Lake also known as the ‘Mountain Lake’ and is situated around 250kms ahead of Leh. It is one of the highest lakes in the world and thereby, attracting a lot of tourism. A stone-sandy road that passes through the Rushpu Valley leads to Tso Moriri. This lake provides the perfect ambience for nature lovers, travelers or a photographers. The most attractive feature of the lake is the beautiful sunset view that can behold anyone. And when it comes to festivities, Korzak Gustor is the ancient festival of the Buddhist that is celebrated here every year reviving its tradition and culture.






The land of high passes, Pangonk Lake is arguably the most amazing place in all of Ladakh. The sheer beauty of this lake is the fact that it changes various colors ranging from the shades of blue, green and even appearing red sometimes. The trans-Himalayan mountain in the background makes for a stunning and scenic panoramic view. The most fascinating fact of this lake is that the water freezes even after being saline. There are many migratory birds like seagulls and cranes are the treat for the bird lovers. Apart from this you can also do the camping on the shores of the lake making it a delight for the adventure enthusiasts as well.






Nigeen Lake lies  at the foothills of the Zabarwan mountains located to the east of the city of Srinagar. Nigeen means “The jewel in the ring”. Flanked by plenty of poplar and willow trees, this lake is perfect for the lone-time lover. It is known for its pristine waters and relatively less crowded as compared to the Dal Lake. There are both houseboat and shikaras and the people can soak themselves in its serenity. It is also the perfect place for swimming, water skiing and motor rides.






Walur lake is India’s largest freshwater lakes and is fed by the river Jhelum. Its natural beauty being located amidst snow-covered hills is totally beyond description making the place worth visiting. The water is placid and calm in most seasons of the year. Thousand of the birds and water fowls can be spotted here easily. It is bird watcher’s delight to spend time here. Moreover a variety of fishes making it a ideal place for fishing enthusiasts as well.

So these are the most amazing lakes of Kashmir that should be visited. So hopped on to that boat, make million memories and appreciate the beauty of the lakes so that Kashmir lives on in our heart forever!

A Majestic Stay: 5 Best Hotels in Kashmir

Snow peaked mountains, Captivating views, Picturesque Scenes, anyone can imagine, It’s Kashmir!

It is indeed a true paradise on earth. Being the one of the most beautiful state not only in India but the world also, it has attracted a lot of tourism. Kashmir is at the rim of the bucket list in the list of the people’s dream destination. But before planning the trip there are many things you need to keep in mind & one of the most important is to select a place to live! HOTELS!!

Being a wide spot for touristy, Kashmir offers you a variety of hotels to live in. From house boats experience to lavish five stars hotels, one can easily choose depending upon the budget and their requirements. The most popular places like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Sonamarg have variety of hotels; let’s have a look what the place has to offer us for an unparalleled experience!



Vivanta by Taj


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Vivanta by Taj is categorized as Luxury Mountain Resort on a hill overlooking the Dal Lake, Mughal gardens and Zabarvan ranges of snow clad mountains in Srinagar. You may find Vivanta by Taj in almost every part of world but the experience you get here will be unique and different. It is beautifully color coordinated with earthy warm colors and it’s the famous Kashmiri Kahwa tea is a must try at the tea lounge. It is recommended for all luxury travelers to Srinagar looking for exclusivity and best of luxury experience.

Location: Srinagar

The Heritage by Heevan


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As the name suggest, it is entirely built on the concept of traditional Kashmir and is definitely among the luxurious stays. Its traditional wood architecture, this hotel is perfect stay for those who specifically wanted to get the real feel of Kashmir and its beautiful culture. The guests are offered with famous welcome drinks, Kashmiri Kahwa. It is recommended for all the Leisure travelers looking for a stylish heritage style accommodation.

Location: Srinagar


Kashmir Mahal Resorts


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It is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by snow covered mountains. Kashmir Mahal is a stay for those who are looking for great hospitality within a budget. The place offers you well maintained rooms and gardens, awesome food and excellent hospitality. You can sit in the garden and have a sip of the tea with a captivating view. And the best part is the resort offers scrumptious complimentary breakfast too. Isn’t it a deal maker?

Location: Srinagar


Hotel Rah Villas


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This is the most offbeat place to stay away from the busy city and has every element that will keep you close to the nature in every way possible. The vision of this place very much from different from all the stays you see in Kashmir. Their whole focus is to make you escape to the Himalayas to have an amazing experience of nature and warmth of the Kashmiri village life with hint of small luxuries. So there are both the varieties and you can decide which type of vacation you are in the mood of.

Location: Sonmarg


 WelcomHotel Pine-n-Peak


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Elegance with subtle modern touches is the best way to define this stay. Being the only resort in Pahalgam, it has attracted many tourists in few fractions of seconds. Untouched from the chaos of the roads and markets, it is snuggled in the layers of untouched snow and fir laden paths. The perfect elevation of the plateau results in the best views is accorded with the Pine-n-Peak. For adventure junkies, river rafting is a good option. For those looking for leisure, golf at the Pahalgam Golf Course and fishing at the river will crack the deal. Stay at Pine n Peak will make sure you take back million of memories.

Location: Pahalgam



No matter what you to choose to stay at the end of the day, it’s about creating moments and making memories not just in photographs but in your heart too. So what you waiting for, get on the ride. And get, set, go!

Kashmiri wedding

Kashmir – An Ideal Place for Wedding Destination

Kashmiri Wedding Decor

“Will you marry me?”… “Yes!” So what’s next? Wedding Destination? Oh! Yes. Mostly Indian couples believe they should invest in big fat wedding ceremonies away from the hustle and bustle of the urban life and so choosing a  wedding destination is becoming popular these days. The Maharaja style Royal Weddings or serene and calm beachside Goa Weddings are so yesterday. These days a new place is becoming a main point of interest and that is KASHMIR: Heaven on Earth.

The ethereal beauty of Kashmir is totally unmatched. Away from the chaos and noises of the cities, in the serenity of nature, every girl would wish to say “I do” in the most romantic and exquisite way. So what place better than Kashmir to celebrate the idea of falling in love? Not just a wedding, the various places in Kashmir provides the best backdrops for capturing pre/post wedding shoots. From colorful Shikaras to breathtaking locales, it’s the perfect combination to capture all the prettiness! Lets a have looked in what all ways Kashmir creates the magic.


Kashmir never loses its charm

Perfect shoot locations


Though Kashmir is attacked many times but it still manages to retain its eternal beauty and impress every time someone comes across it. The Himalayas further adds scenic views, creating a feeling of exploring the place. It’s worth every buck for the people who want to embark a new journey as the best pre-wedding shoot location. Hence, anyone can easily plan a pre-wedding shoot here with great wedding photographers. Not only the locations but also the untraveled roads and its natural beauty gives it a legit edge.


Ethnicity and Traditions

Kashmiri Attires


So when you have decided the ‘paradise on earth’ as your wedding place, you definitely would want to make every arrangement unique and worth it.  Make your wedding quite different from the quintessential Indian weddings by wearing an ethnic and traditional Kashmiri attire on your wedding. You will not only look elegant and classy but different as well.


The Magnificent Cuisines

Kashmiri Authentic Cuisines


When everything in your wedding destination is super duper special, the food also needs to be special. Because food will make a huge impact so the Worldwide cuisines like Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mughlai, you must have tried for sure, but have you tried our own Kashmiri Cuisine? Undoubtedly, the cuisine of Kashmir is something that your guests will for sure remember for forever. Prepared with fresh herbs, the aroma of the exotic vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, served in a very authentic Kashmiri style, will definitely satisfy your and your guest’s taste buds.


Quintessential Kashmiri Music

Kashmir evenings


Live music in the evenings, in the valley of Kashmir, what else can anyone wish for? The big fat Indian weddings not only consider food and clothing, people are always ready to spend a lot of money on guest’s entertainment as well. And when it comes to Kashmiri music, the soothing sound of the traditional musical instruments like sarod, Jal Tarang is a treat your ears. So here’s the time to turn that thought into reality. Think differently and surprise your guests with live music bands and regional artists. They will have the time of their life.


Well, there are many other reasons too that will make Kashmir an extraordinary and lavish destination for a wedding. Memories here that you will make, will be cherished for a lifetime.

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Visiting Jammu and Kashmir? Do a Little Extra

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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by”, you really concentrated in school if you recognize these lines from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken). Frost, in his poem, has beautifully described that one might enjoy what has once been experienced by another; but to discover something new is to truly realize the enigma of nature. The choice to be different, the choice to explore a different perspective is what brings joy and peace to mind.

But then, why does my title narrate something that is experienced by someone else? Because a little guidance never hurt anyone, and hearing to experiences generate curiosity to discover more of such hidden treasures. And what better place to explore at than the serene, mystical and wide fields of Jammu and Kashmir?

So, here is a photo grid of ecstasies wrapped in awe that introduces you to some offbeat things that one can do in Jammu and Kashmir.


  1. Choose Homestays with Kashmiri Families and learn about the real Kashmir, accompanied by delicious native food delicacies.


  1. Hit a snowball and get hit by many more, there is abundant of it.


  1. Beat the cold in Kashmiri Hamam, a place that warms you inside out.


  1. Go river rafting in Gulmarg and Sonmarg. Yes, that’s possible!


  1. Ride Snow Scooters in Gulmarg, new addition.


  1. Eat Tujjis (Barbeques) at Khayam Chowk.


  1. Try water skiing in Dal Lake, go desi style.


  1. Meet the talented craftsmen of the valley.


  1. Revisit your childhood and make a snowman.


  1. Visit Gurez Valley, the high Himalayas.



Well, such lists don’t really have an ending, therefore, I have tried to mention some of the unique things that one can plan to do while visiting Jammu and Kashmir. Hope they help you experience a different side of the Kashmir valley and summer capital Jammu. Also, keep updating us and help us add more enigmas to our list of 10.



Short- Films and Jammu & Kashmir

Short- Films and Jammu & Kashmir


With the rise of Popular Culture in cinemas, literature, music and various forms of art, what can be a better form of expression than the latest trend of Short- Films? Undoubtedly, the most precious attribute of our valley is its multidimensional cultural heritage. The surreal beauty & its creative incarnations, emotions of people and their Kashmiriyat, multiple festivals and its colors need an outlet of expression; and our Kashmiri youngsters have chosen Short- Films to present them.

Short- films have become a significant medium of story-telling in the field of video- making. With a flexible approach these merely 10-30 (approx.)  minutes long films leave a deep impact on their viewers. See how our Kashmiri filmmakers use this popular platform to depict their perspectives on and about Kashmir and try to convey their messages through a realistic depiction of the changing times.


Let’s take you down to the list of some of the best filmmakers from the valley who have expressed their emotional & curious experience in Kashmir via their outstanding short- films.

  1. Aamir Wani and Ruman Hamdani’s Kashmir Through My Lens


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Aamir Wani, the silent gem of Kashmir, is a photographer and writer. Kashmir Through My Lens is the depiction of his creative outlook on Kashmir. Through poetry and scenery, Wani has deciphered the most euphoric and enigmatic colors of Kashmir.

Want to have a look yourself, click here


  1. Jalal Ud Din Baba’s Saving the Saviour


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Jalal Ud Din Baba is that blessing in disguise for Kashmir that spreads smiles wherever it goes. Saving the Saviours defines his way of sighting inspiration through his stories into people. In the film, a 15- year- old makes a living by cleaning the trash from Wular Lake. The boy becomes an example of strength and positivity.

Watch here 


  1. Siddhartha Gigoo’s The Last Day


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Gigoo is a rising novelist and filmmaker, who while studying literature in Delhi exercises his passion of uprooting his experiences as a Kashmiri. The Last Day is a eulogy to those Kashmiri Pandits who lost their home for no good reason. Sad as it is, Kashmir still weeps its loss.

Watch the beautiful depiction here

  1. Hyder Habib’s Firaaq


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Hyder Habib is an aspiring filmmaker who began to make films with a hand full of passion and a bunch of friends. A real struggler, his film Firaaq describes the pain of separation through the journey of a young boy. It instills the essence of belonging in viewers and helps them to realize their emotions towards a person or a place.

Watch Firaaq here 


  1. Ruman Hamdani’s Srinagar: Through a Tourist’s Eyes


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There are no limits when it comes to storytelling, but, to put it in the right way, truly, and with utmost justice, is what makes a good story. And we have Hamdani for it. Ruman is not only a versatile filmmaker but also an ace human being. Watch, Srinagar: Through a Tourist’s Eyes, the story of an Italian girl, who was told that her visit to Kashmir would be scary, and to whom Ruman proved wrong. In the end, she could not stop herself from falling in love with the valley and its people.

Watch the journey here 

Of Lost Home and Acceptance: Jammu and Kashmir

Of Lost Home and Acceptance: Jammu and Kashmir

Of Lost Home and Acceptance: Jammu and Kashmir


Kashmiri Life is a platform where we look forward to the experiences, memories and wonders of Kashmiri people while living in Jammu and Kashmir. We look on the bright sides of the valley, the emotions attached to its divine beauty and day to day life.


But yesterday, we received a tale/poem about belonging for one’s home. The writer was anonymous but quickly perceived as a displaced Kashmiri residing somewhere around the globe. The poem appears to talk about the beginning of dispute in our valley. It talks about the past- its warmth and glory, then the dispute and finally the present residential situation of the writer. And, the acceptance that comes after a long period of 30 years. It carriers the narrative through the medium of a cup, which she/he probably used for having kahwah as a 20 year old. The interpretation is open to all, we perceive what we feel.


We preferred to share it for the emotion that it carries, it’s vital to all of us, a unanimous feeling of belongingness to home. Please let us know if you too connect with it.


Of Lost Home and Acceptance: Jammu and Kashmir


Of Lost Home and Acceptance

Some warm water, a pinch of tea leaves

I sit in her verandah, drenched in serenity.


Golden glow, she says, kahwah you are my dame,

Smiles and giggles, takes a sip from my vain.


She plucked a flower, put it in her hair.

Picked me up warm, leaned in her chair:


Maa had told her about the clashes today,

Deep thoughts, crescent forehead and shivery mane.


Papa, in evening had a helpless face,

He wrapped a hand around me, smile efface.


Next, I was packed into a wildered sack,

With others, the kettle and tea leaf bag.


When I saw light, the world was no more green.

Black and white, no coos and soft breeze.


She picked me up, cold. Put me in a drawer,

I sit here now, terrified in horror.


She has grown old now, it’s her 50 some birthday,

I got to see the light again, today.


A 20 year old, she runs in my memories,

Her 50 some face, blurs the imagery.


She let a tear out, picks me- her elf.

Now I sit & glare at blues, from her new shelf.

– Anonymous

Let the Trees of Kashmir Guide You

Let the Trees of Kashmir Guide You

Let the Trees of Kashmir Guide You


“A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.”

When we think of icons we conjure up images of people, places, things that withstand the test of time symbolizing our beliefs, cultural history and traditions. Today let the trees of Kashmir, that stood all the test of time, guide you through an emotionally attached landscape of the place. Kashmir has grown old with the thousands of trees that line up the beautiful valley lapped on the majestic Himalayas. These trees have seen plenty of history pass by their trunks. Trees are not merely another living being; there are secrets that they have been keeping from us, these trees are friends, they talk to each other, some trees bully each other, some share deep love and some are loners.
The scenic beauty of Kashmir is magnified by its symbolic Chinar or Maple trees and Pine trees. It is symbolic to the region and it is believed that once you’ve visited Kashmir you will emotionally get attached to the trees, their shades, colors, beautiful flowers and captivating characteristics.

What is it about the silent companions that make them so captivating?

Pine Trees of Kashmir

The radiant red, yellowish-brown and mauve Chinar dotting the Autumn landscape of Kashmir, the needles of the tall Himalayan Blue Pine that survive the chilliest winters, the matured dark grey bark of the evergreen tall Deodar from the snowy slopes of the Himalayas, the pretty light green foliage and long thin leaves of the Willow trees that sweep lightly with the wind and the leaves that turn yellow in the fall are all native to the Heaven on Earth.

While these home-grown trees and their characteristics have attracted a lot of tourists, movies, writers, poets, wildlife, let us today walk you through some of the notable landmark trees of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chinar Tree

The breath-taking panaroma of the Nishat Bagh and the splendid Chinar
Jammu and Kashmir has declared the majestic, around 700 years old Chinars as the state tree. Though the chinars dots most of the valley’s shrines and mosques, this massive and splendid Chinar tree growing at the old Mughal Gardens in the famous city of Srinagar is marked as a heritage tree.

The Kashmir garden that made Shah Jahan green with envy – the Nishat Bagh and the remarkable double-trunked Magnolia
A lively garden on the eastern side of the Dal Lake, with waterfalls and a double-trunked magnolia by its side.

Chinar Nishat Bagh

The serene Nagin Lake and the large Chinar-

The Lake nestled at the foothills of the Zabarwan ranges in Srinagar is the same, the shikara boats are the same, and the large chinar tree on the Nagin Lake where the boat dock is the same but the dreams of the man who rows the Shikara, the fast-changing shades of the lake, the tourists enjoying their vacations keep changing.


Alchi Demon Tree (Populus ciliata:Salicaceae) : A demon mask accentuates an old and broadly branching tree at the small trinket market at Alchi, Ladakh [JK : Alchi : On path to Alshi monastery]


On the banks of the Indus river of Leh, lays the Alchi monastery and the famous Alchi Demon tree
A demon mask draws attention to an old and broadly branching bodhi leaf tree at the small knick-knacks market at Alchi, Ladakh.

Willow tree

A small Willow tree that stands guard and keeps watch
A small willow tree is encountered in the spectacular rocky gorge leading to the village of Dar from the Indus river crossing at Nor La.

Char Chinar

A must visit at Dal Lake, Char Chinar Island
A visit via shikaras to the island crowned by four large chinars.

The Char Minar Chinar
This four-trunked monster is the largest and most elaborate of the old Chinar trees in Srinagar and is planted just below the Mughal Gardens.


Leh Palace Ridgeline Trees (Populus ciliata:Salicaceae) : Set in a dramatic notch just along from the Leh Palace is a poplar tree decorated with prayer flags [JK : Leh : Just along the ridge about level with the Palace]


Leh Palace Ridgeline Trees
Set in a dramatic notch just along from the Leh Palace is a poplar tree decorated with peace, wisdom, compassion and strength – prayer flags.

The list is not over yet, we will keep adding.
The valley of Kashmir is decorated with many such heritage deciduous trees that bring cheer to people who live there. With a lot of trees facing the axe in the Kashmir valley these days, we need to increase awareness of the effects of tree felling on our environment.

Lots of thanks to Landmark Trees of India in helping us with the list of heritage trees of Jammu and Kashmir.
Wondering how to spot the trees? Fear not, we’ve got you covered:
Landmark Trees of India

10 Real- Unusual- Heavenly Pictures from Kashmir

10 Real- Unusual- Heavenly Pictures from Kashmir


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”- Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

Kashmir is heaven on earth. No doubts! But what makes it beautiful? Its landscape scenic beauty? Snow covered length? Or Sun drenched sky?

“Well, it is the human eye!

It’s in the eye of the seeker,

In the soul of the bearer.

Because what is beauty but truth,

What is heavenly but snood?”

Surely, the splendidness of the beauty of Kashmir can’t be described in words, nor can it be recited in verse. But through this article, I have tried to put forward an unusually beautiful part of our valley in the form of photographs picked up from Instagram profiles of various people- each with a different perspective and lens.


The journey to heaven begins:

  1. The Blue Sky


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Kashmir is generally covered in clouds and snow and sunlight skipping beats in between of clouds. But rahul_gallery has a different story to tell. His picture defines beauty of departure in the form of love between dawn and the night.

  1. The Streets and Sheep


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This photographer, sneha_ailsinghania writes the story of the greenery of the month of june in her photograph. She captures the herd of sheep, their beautiful flowing hair, quest to reach leaves on trees, and in it, embraces the beauty of Kashmir.


  1. The Snow Sloppy Fields


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Yamini.1gupta decides to take on the candid. The candid trees that tilt a little, the sun that looks like a huge focus light and the snow slope that defines a bit of field is the basic couture of her photograph.


  1. The Greens of Dal


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No sun setting pictures of Shikaras, no flower dressed shores! thepioneerofthenorth0822’s definition of Dal Lake is a common Kashmiri man taking his Shikara through an untouched and yet beautiful stream of the lake.


  1. The Heartland- Gulmarg


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I am exceptionally in awe of Gulmarg and its beauty. Seen it, been in it and with it; but never have a picture expressed Gulmarg in an omniscient manner. Kashmir7888 has discovered this this lens of the valley and no words justify its beauty!


  1. The Winds of Winter


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The dark is beautiful in Kashmir, because the white snow shines through the trees. This amazing- amazing picture from amazingindia_ explores the real winter in Kashmir.


  1. The Shadows and Land


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101india has never failed to identify most uncommon aspects of India and so it does justice here. Five shadows, shades of ethnic surreal land and Kashmiri Sufi getup; what else does one require to soak their eyes with magnificence?


  1. The Confused Chaos


kashmir, best pictures, winters in kashmir



There is beauty in chaos, charm in confusion and it is only at Dal Lake that one can witness this fusion. captivatingkashmir captures an equally charming picture of Shikaras, mingled and tangled in each other, which is in fact the real beauty of the lake.


  1. The Tip of the Top


kashmir, best pictures, winters in kashmir


The crescent valley of Patni Top tatters its road in snow, and what comes out of it is only awe. in.prateek captures a chilling moment in the valley that many have dream to witness. The mist and the snow is the blur that defines it all.

  1. The Divine Divinity


kashmir, best pictures, winters in kashmir



reeneta_dutta’s genius of photography has made every bit of the sky, free birds and their shadows on ground speak the language of divine. Even the Dargah Sharif must have smiled to this scenic scenery.


Feel free to share your views on the photographs and share with us more such unusual captures.

Heart-Warming Stories from the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir

Heart-Warming Stories from the State of Jammu and Kashmir

This year as India celebrated its 72nd Independence Day let us remind ourselves that ‘Unity in diversity’ is something that has always been our first identity and a matter of our pride. With India celebrating its Unity in diversity we bring you heart-warming stories of communal harmony from the most diverse state.

Kashmiriyat’ is the symbol of unity in diversity through centuries that embodies the philosophy of amity, love, inclusiveness and tolerance. You’ll be overwhelmed to see the mutual love and brotherhood every Kashmiri has. Why are we ignoring the existence of a Kashmiri brotherhood? May be because the agenda of a few media is to show communal violence, and the reality of Kashmir and its Kashmiriyat and the many good things happening around the corner are often being ignored.

We keep reading instances of communal violence therefore any story that depicts that there is still hope is termed as ‘a rare display of communal harmony’. But here we bring some stories from Kashmir that suggests that the country has not yet come to the sorry pass and a few cannot change the DNA of India which celebrates and embraces diversity.

We Are Not Just Kashmiri Pandits or Muslims, We Are a Family
Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir have always expressed their love and respect for one another and have always valued them as part of the Kashmiri society. In difficult times they stood beside each other like a pillar and even as the times changed to happier ones as true friends they stuck around.

Let us lift the veil and celebrate the real unity in diversity.

Anwar Mir and Chaman Lal

Anwar Mir and Chaman Lal’s friendship

A friend in need is a friend indeed

Chaman Lal, a Kashmiri Pandit stays in Zainapora village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district. Like many others he did not migrate to Jammu in the 90s. With the passage of time Chaman Lal turned blind due to some eye complications.
Since then, the residents of Zainapora village, mostly Muslims, had been helping Chaman Lal in his daily chores.
Amongst his neighbours is Anwar Mir, a youth hood friend of Chaman Lal. In this sighted world that is always a challenging place for those living with sight loss, Anwar Mir has been a pure example of ‘a friend in a need is a friend indeed’. For the past 30 years Anwar has helped Chaman Lal in his daily chores. From taking stroll in the surroundings to visiting him daily everyday their special bond is a lesson for all of us.

While Anwar says,
I visit him every day. It is a routine for me. Lal puts his arm on my shoulder and we take a stroll around the streets. The same streets and shop fronts where we used to discuss our future some four decades years ago.

Chaman Lal says,
I was not blind by birth. It happened some 30 years ago but I’ve never felt insecure here. My friend is helping me here to move around. I was born here. I lived my life here and I will die here. Mir is always there in any kind of situation. If I have to go to a medical shop my friend helps me out. He is always there.

The local residents of the village to are a witness to the gentle breeze of this religious harmony and says,
Their 40-years of long friendship is a lesson for all of us. It purely is an example that a ‘friend in a need is a friend indeed.

Muslims attending last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit

Lending a Helping Hand in the Final Journey

In a belief that no one should walk their last journey alone, Muslim residents of Kulgam district of South Kashmir performed the last rites of Janki Nath, the only Kashmiri Pandit living among 5000 Muslims in Malvan, Kalgam. Janki Nath refused to leave the valley when all others in his family fled under threats. Therefore when he died he had no family member to perform his last rites.
Though many of us would call it a rare gesture, but his neighbours who described him as their brother thought it was their responsibility to perform the last rites of the deceased.

In another instance of communal harmony and brotherhood, residents of Sheikh Mohalla in Maharaj Gunj, defied the army curfew and stepped out of their homes to help perform the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit woman.

It is worthwhile noting that while people who read such positive news are shocked at first, but the valley has witnessed such heartwarming ‘Kashmiriyat‘ for decades and this bodes well for the future of Kashmir.

Kashmiri woman and her husband braved a curfew to get food across to her Pandit friend.

Walking miles to feed a starving friend

A Muslim couple braved a strict curfew and walked through the violent streets to bring food for their starving Pandit friends. As they received a call from their friend that they were running out of food, Zubeda Begum and her husband risked their lives and defied the curfew imposed in Srinagar with a sack full of food to their Hindu friend in Jawahar Nagar.

She (Diwanchand Pandit’s wife and Zubeda Begum’s friend) called me in the morning, saying her family needed food supplies. They have an ailing grandmother staying with them. I am taking the food to them. It is difficult but we are trying to reach them,” Zubeda Begum told the Daily Mail.

Everyone is suffering here. We are so glad that these people came here. This is where humanity lies,” grateful Pandit was quoted as saying

According to the couple, the risk and effort of their long walk were paid for with the warmth they received after reaching the doorstep of Diwanchand’s house in Jawahar Nagar.

This is where humanity/Kashmiriyat lies. It helps you stay positive and help others in the face of adversities.

Here were just a few instances where the spirit of humanity shinned brighter. We are confident that there are more such sunshine stories of communal harmony against the rumours of communal violence that continue to haunt and we will bring them forward.