India is a rich country in terms of scenic beauty. Ranging from the Marina Beach of Chennai, to the Howrah in Kolkata and the Elephanta caves in the west. There is a lot to drool upon for the visitors. However, the one region that is immediately popped up for the tourism in India, is none other than Kashmir. And no wonder it has been a main character in various blockbuster movies like Kashmir Ki Kali, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, etc. If asked from me, I would say, I want to visit the cinematic beauty of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The plan should look like this somewhat.
Departure and Day 1
As most of you might know already, I live in central India. So to reach Kashmir, I would have to go through New Delhi in the most feasible cases. So the first night of my 6 day long trip would primarily consist of an overnight train journey from Bhopal to New Delhi. After which, I will board a flight from New Delhi to the first destination in Kashmir, Srinagar. A bunch of options can be found among the Domestic Airlines for the same. After that, pretty much most of the first day would be spent in sightseeing in Srinagar. A visit to Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh, and a peaceful Shikara ride in the Dal Lake perhaps.
On the second day of the trip, I would rent a taxi to leave for Sonmarg, the Meadow of Gold, as it translates. A full day among the scenery of Sonmarg, and the visits to Vishansagar Lake, Krishansagar Lake, Gangabal Lake, Gadsar Lake and the Satsar Lakes. Perhaps that would be enought to give a sound sleep for the night as I further proceed on the trip the next day.
After capturing Srinagar and Sonmarg in my memories in the first two days, I will set out to Kargil by a cab. Many people remember it for the Kargil War, but it also has a peaceful environment with various monasteries like Mulbekh and Phuktal. And spending some time there is definitely on my list. Also I would like to experience the serenity of the Suru Valley there. Towards the end of the evening, we would like to make a move towards the Dah(Dha) and Hanu villages, the two of the Brokpa villages which the tourists can visit.
On the fourth day, after spending the time in Dah and Hanu, we will make a move towards the final major destination in our travel plan, Leh. However, before reaching there, we would make a stop at the Lamayuru Monastery. After a brief visit to the monastery and nearby attractions, we set again towards Leh. Here I would make sure to visit the Shanti Stupa, the Leh Palace and Stok Monastery for sure among the many other attractions.
Day 6 and Return
With the stop at Leh, our journey would also come to an end. And following it, I would board another flight for New Delhi and from there, I would leave for Bhopal through another overnight train.
I am sure this journey would be exciting and enlightening apart from being peaceful. I recommend, you too should set out on a Yatra like this. Go check out the Flight Schedule now and plan a tour.
Photo courtesy : MacKay Savage (www.flickr.com)