Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Kashmir - A Beautiful Paradise

My wife went for a 10-day vacation recently with a private tour. It was a special custom made trip for just 10 ladies who consisted of many happy Tai-Tais who are always socializing together. My wife is a new recruit in their gang and probably the youngest too. 

The trip was organized for them to see the best autumn foliage on the hilly slopes of the Kashmir mountains. This year, the winter came too early and snowed heavily instead when they arrived! All the pretty flowers and coloured trees with fallen leaves were blanketed by thick white snow instead! It was an unexpected change of weather that kept them all freezing indoors instead as many mountain roads were closed. I think the gang of crazy aunties still enjoyed as many had never seen real snow falling heavily from the skies!

My wife sent me many photos everyday and I was blown away by her photography skills as some looked like National Geographic's quality. So I must share just some 36 photos for you to enjoy.




My smart wife was the only one who brought her face mask along. She is already a seasoned traveler for Winter trips and cannot go outdoors without a mask as she has chronic sinus and asthmatic issues that could be easily triggered by cold fog and dusts. Their plane landed in New Delhi and the whole city was covered by very thick polluted air! She sent me a misty photo without any buildings or people but that was New Delhi!!



The next day, they flew from New Delhi to Kashmir after some quick local sight seeing around the capital. The view of Himalayan Mountains were breathtaking and heavenly from the aeroplane.



The wintry snow just started falling around Kashmir's forests. 





This lovely photo of the Kashmir University reminds me of the location shoot for "Winter Sonata" at South Korea's Nami Island.




They stayed at the Boat House on the lake in Kashmir besides other 5 star hotels around New Delhi and Agra. These unique Boat Houses are common in India's Kerala, Srinagar and Kashmir regions.




Their boat houses looked so luxurious inside complete with hanging crystal chandeliers, Kashmir carpets and well equipped bedrooms with a Butler in attendance to service them round the clock! The butler service really raised my eyebrows. It sounds like a Maharajah's Harem with many beautiful wives from Malaysia on holiday! Too bad, I cannot share their photos for privacy.




Life is very peaceful and slow moving in Kashmir. Even the boats glide so slowly that you don't see waves! 




Many colourful boats are docked together like a close family. 





Most ladies do not need to work at all in Kashmir, so this was a rare sight. She was selling some fresh fishes in the cold winter temperature.




My honey went to stroll along the village roads with the Tai-Tais.




Guess what is this place??




This place is a bakery!!! The customer stood there without a smile. 
Life must be hard.





The ladies stormed inside the bakery to see a young man sitting on the earthen kiln that baked the Naan-styled breads. He was so stunned to see so many sharp eyed Chinese aunties looking at him. Luckily he didn't fall inside the oven and get roasted! Muahahaha





The tranquil and quiet roads in the village.




Suddenly, the owner returned and pushed her pony inside the room. Just like she "parked her car" in the porch beneath her house.




A random shot of the beautiful faces of the Kashmir folks. Most of them have the nicest facial features with beautiful eyes in the Northern India's Himalayan regions.



Random shots of the snowy slopes and river on the Western Mountains of Himalaya.







Enjoying a hot drink while watching at the flock of sheep passing by.




The shepherd taking all his sheep out for a walk, most probably for a wool trim!




The lake beside the mountain. 




This was not planned in their itinerary, so they took the rides since it had snowed. The rental fees were very expensive.




 An old man selling his wares.




Street peddlers selling their kebabs.




They had no end of peddlers visiting their Boat Houses to sell their souvenirs. Everything was too expensive yet my wife bought them to support their income. 



Most of the time they took cozy naps inside the Boat House's Harem since the thick snow had closed many roads leading to the tourist spots. A lesson learnt, never visit Kashmir in late Autumn as the risks of snow falling is greater.




The apple trees got all the aunties crazy and excited! The apples were so tiny like duku langsat yet they took over 1000 selfie photos! Muahahahaha




 The tour guide would not hesitate to keep showing them souvenir shops and local products.






They were shown many famous and finest Kashmir Carpets that were hand woven using ancient weaving machines. The prices are higher than the Himalayan Mountains!!




 The jewelry and trinket boxes made from colourful laquered paper mache.





The jewelry boxes for cat lovers.





 The morning's floating market on the boats.




 A family man on his way home after doing his marketing.




 My wife enjoyed this slow vacation which gave her ample time for self reflection.







From Kashmir, they flew back to Delhi and proceeded to see the famous Taj Mahal in Agra.
 



Where is the Taj Mahal? 
It has sadly turned yellowish in the thick polluted air.



***


31 comments:

  1. How lovely to go for a holiday in Kashmir. Yes, I heard that it is beautiful over there. I enjoyed the photos and my favorites are 5, 20 and 31. So when are you going there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to label the photos with number. Thanks for reminding me.
      Kashmir has been a popular shooting spot for many Bollywood movies but it is not in my bucket list. I always wish to visit Jaipur only as they have the most interesting historical palaces of the Maharajahs!

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    2. You are right...Jaipur is gorgeous but then so is the whole state of Rajasthan...

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    3. Hi Thomsonboy. It is a pleasant surprise to hear from you. I look forward to visit Jaipur and hope you could share more photos of all your trips.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the photos! Too bad it was a ladies only trip else you could join too!

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    Replies
    1. I always believe that all ladies trips are good and necessary for the girls to have their own happy time. Men could be a nuisance when they tag along. LOL.
      When they have "Men-Only" trips, it always have to be Thailand and no where else.

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  3. You're right about your wife's excellent photography skills...some looked like they came out straight from a postcard (especially the first few ones)...but it was also coupled with your good narration skills! ;) P/S: I probably wouldn't buy any naan from the baker though after seeing where he put his feet (hmmm, the baked bread could be resting on that spot when it's taken out)...haha! >_<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would agree that she has better photography skills than me even without any formal training. Now I plan to post another Part 2 of her Kashmir photos soon.

      You are indeed hilarious about the young man's feet! I also had same thoughts as the earthen jars are never washed too, not to mention the spot of his resting feet. The folks could still survive. kikikiki

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  4. I heard of friends going to Kashmir too but never really seen their pictures.. these are really breathtaking!

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    1. I don't think this Kashmir would attract you as you have been going to UK every holidays. I believe that I will enjoy UK better as I would not pay so much money to see a peaceful and quiet place. I can do that at home and close my curtains. Muahahaha

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  5. nice photos of people and sceneries! I enjoyed the view so much even by just looking at the pictures

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    1. You should organize an All Ladies trip to see Kashmir too!

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  6. Kashmir is always in my bucket list when comes to India but it's hard for me to gather a big group of friends to visit India. Even though you didn't join them but by just reading your post, I feel like you were there with your wife instead.

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    Replies
    1. I was a copywriter for many years, so I had to pretend to write about all the properties that I never owned.

      I prefer to travel like your style with the maximum just 2 persons! Bigger groups would need an official tour guide.

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  7. I enjoyed going through the photos and reading your captions, thanks for sharing. The carpets remind me of my trip to Turkey, where they also try to sell them to us. It would be interesting to stay in boat houses, something different, where you wake up to a view of the morning sea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad that you enjoyed looking at the photos. I think it would be a nice experience to sleep on the Boat Houses for once in our lifetime. It is so stable and does not sway like those cruise ships.

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  8. Replies
    1. Yes it is beautiful and you should bring your mum there!

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  9. Thanks for sharing, it's beautiful indeed.

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  10. Beautiful place! My boss comes from Kashmir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you find your boss different from the other Indians?

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  11. Your wife is so smart! The scenery really looks so amazing! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The scenery is nice. That's why I need to share lah. Part 2 coming!

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  12. Wow, that beautiful Kashmir University picture reminds me of Nami Island in autumn .

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    Replies
    1. That's what I thought too about the trees.

      The university is sadly in poor state which I didn't want to show as the government is biased.

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  13. Looking cold in Kashmir. One of the local lady did not wear shoes in the picture. Interesting trip.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! You are so observant to notice no shoes worn. I didn't realise it. Life is quite tough there for development and progress.

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  14. I wanna hide into her luggage and go with her to Kashmir!!!
    the cold misty weather reminds me of Bhutan!

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    Replies
    1. I am sure Bhutan is much more interesting to visit. That place is in my bucket list but their high visa charges is making me think twice.

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  15. I enjoy looking at all these pictures. Nice! Just like those post cards. Thanks for sharing, Anay!

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