The only lesson in school I followed thoroughly and touched my heart deeply is a lesson describing the beauty of Kashmir (By Nayini Krishnakumari, Kashmira Darshanam) in Telugu subject. The narration and the mesmerizing beauty of Kashmir captured the attention of most natorious girl (it’s me here 😀) who hardly bares attention to any topics. Does this mean Kashmir has its own magic around and touches the souls of anyone? Or the girl’s hidden love for Nature and to explore places have been awaken? Few questions won’t have answers and it will just happen and happens for good. This made to develop immense feeling to visit the place and see it’s beauty with naked eye and experience the heartfelt feeling.
All wishes won’t come true easily! Being a 90s kid and from conservative family where travel is preferred least, dream couldn’t come true as a child 😑 But the feeling stayed forever! The girls imagination didn’t vanish and it imprinted as a silver lining deep inside. The Deodar trees, the tribes of Kashmir, the valleys, the streams, fresh air and sounds of birds, every inch of the narration was remembered long.
Finally, ‘The’ day has come with years of planning and saving money to make a trip to experience the imagined beauty ‘Kashmir’. Everything was connected deep with what was described and read in the lesson and fell in love with Mountains. That’s one feeling which can’t be described in words and remains within till death – Mountains, can’t I never take my sight off from you? There is something in them which makes anyone to fall in love.
With all the pre home work and work outs to build core strength and lung expansion, high altitude passes has been touched and experienced (training body and mind is equally important when you doesn’t want to fall sick at high altitudes and ruin the moments). It’s always good not to catch up with AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) as the only option left would be an immediate decent 😐. When the body and mind are trained well, one doesn’t require to take ‘Diamox’ till certain altitude ( I could reach an altitude of 13k feet without medicines – PS it varies from individual to individual). One cannot predict the harshness of the weather and what happens next. I still remember the camp at ‘Sarchu’ (more like acclimatization camp) which made me cry as I was not understanding what was happening to my body. One night made me feel equalent to 10 nights at Sarchu due to its harshness. Though the weather is harsh, one can never skip sleeping on bare land and star gaze at Sarchu even at low temperatures and harsh winds. I can see clear milky way with naked eye. It’s totally a worth feeling to experience the stars and milky way sleeping on ground and completely get lost into it.
I have been to dream Land of mountains (J & K) twice till date covering major parts of it. Few places to list are Old and New Jammu to know the history and culture, Katra, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, all motarable passes, Zanskar, Drass, Srinagar, Kargil, Pangong, Leh Ladhak, Chatpal, Pahalgam etc. More about the places, culture and food will be detailed in next blog. Keep watching the space🙂
PS, people who haven’t experienced this beauty yet, please plan a vacation asap🙂 I bet you won’t be disappointed. But be a responsible Traveller and don’t leave any trash damaging the resources! It’s our duty to preserve and safeguard the Nature.