Truly Heaven on earth
10.07.2010 - 11.07.2010 20 °C
Journey :July 10th-11th ,2010
Our enchanting journey started from Srinagar,Nageen lake.After almost floating amongst the fluffy clouds for about 3hrs aboard the Spice jet air from Bangalore to delhi to our destination Srinagar .The anticipation was immense, wanting to discover this enchanted land.Finally we reachour destination Amidst tight security and a million checking points at the airport. There was a Curfew imposed on that day.It was a very strange feeling watching the police and the Army personale scattered all over the Srinagar airport.But,our spirits were high
And the anticipation to explore the floating paradise was even more desperate. So we drove to our destination “The nageen lake” on the outskirts of the city, where our very own‘Shikara’A house boat was waitng.Where we would be spending our nite.
The uneasy calm across the city, with no traffic, no people on the roads and shut shops gave a very eerie feeling in Contrast to the spectualar landscapes of high mountains with lush green pine n cheddar forests and tiny streams meandering through their canopy. We were already feeling the bliss and the serenity strewn across as we drew closer to our destination.
Nageen Lake of Kashmir is an offshoot leading from the famous Dal Lake, located to the east of the city, at the foothill of the mountain Zabarwan. Shikaras or houseboats, ferrying people to and from the lake, are a fascinating feature of the lake. There are arrangements for water skiing with motor boats for the water sports enthusiasts. This is the First sight of the whole lake from our Shikara,So peaceful with still waters. The mountains and the blue skies reflecting in the water .It was a picture perfect shot. Truly spectualar.
We took a small boat ride from the road across the other side of the lake where our shikara was waiting for us.Our Shikara “Nageen princess”, owned by Wagnoo Mohamed was a treat to our eyes. Pampered in luxury where ever ones eye goes. The intricately carved patterns on caramel cheddar wood was an artists delight .The rich hand-woven kashmiri carpets with phulkari(intricate floral embroidery very unique to Kashmir) curtains covering the huge wood carved French windows welcomed us into a warm and memorable time. It was like experiencing a dream. so unreal to be true….
After a small snack we headed to explore the lake in our very own small shikara.Few of my water sports enthusiasts friends took up the water skiing options there.As were floated past the endless waters of the nageen lake and explore the place and its famous floating market that was a 31/2hr ride through the lake. Its a nature enthusiasts delight with the high mountains on one side and floating lotus gardens on the other. Truly romantic and breadthtaking.For people there, its like their own small world on the water.
Every thing is mounted or floating on water. Old wooden houses and the genuine smile of the locals as they travelled in their small shikaras waving and greeting us truly spoke of their simple and modest living, the warmth and how the beauty of the entire place kept them grounded. Little paddy fields grew over a thin layer of marsh land, their very own lil organic vegetable farms formed their back yard. Ducks and geese were a familiar sight .It was a floating paradise ,an entire small township over water.
As we cruise thought the serpentine lake and its small roads on water ,we coudnt resist to take some breathtaking snapshots of this paradise.Totally in awe of the beauty of this lake , we reached the floating market .It was a very noisy and chaotic place but the serenity of the still waters below them and the spectualar landcapes sourrounding them made them very welcoming. It was just like visiting a market with noisy vendors calling us into their stores,resturants and florists .But the only difference they were all on water. Floating in their small boats. We stopped Over for the famous ‘Kawa’(a spicey drink made out of boiled tea leaves and flavored with rich spices like the cinamom,cardamom and sugar)It totally lifted our senses. And not to forget the lip smacking kashmiri kababs.The shops offer various possibilities of souvenirs and gifts for tourists and are very reasonably priced.
A Few more snapshots of this floating paradise
The sunrise is a breathtaking sight .With the still misty waters and the crimson light scattered all over the skies. The whole environment looks so ethereal yet astoundingly beautiful with the crimson light of the rising sun from behind the mountains.
Almost,mesmrised and totally lost in the beauty and serenity of this enchanting land.I almost forgot our stay had also come to an end .Its hard to leave a place like this, but the million memories and heartwarming experiences that each of us were take along forever is a very content feeling. Lastly, the perfect ingredient to a memorable journey is the company you are with. Love u guys…for making
every moment in your company truly...special!