Sunday, May 18, 2014

10 Important Things for a Kashmir Visit

Paradise is beautiful, but unfortunately has some rules we need to follow when in or about to be in Kashmir.

1.    Forget your prepaid phone connections – they just don’t work there. For security reasons Prepaid SIM cards are a total no no, so get a postpaid connection to stay connected or you will have to live in the era of cellphone-less days during your Kashmir Trip.
2.   Houseboats, hmmm let’s see - Though houseboats are amazing it is always better to stay in hotels and spend just a night or 2 in houseboats merely for experience. Also just an observation Houseboats on Nagin lake are better than the ones on Dal.
3.   Take a night stay at Pahalgam, come what may – Sonmarg Gulmarg Patn and a lot og such places are pretty close to Srinagar and can be visited in a day’s to and fro journey from Srinagar but there are a lot of places around Pahalgam that are not to be missed, and here if you do the same day to and fro job you will lose out on a lot of amazing places.
4.   Hazratbal Shrine – Though it is an attractive location, unfortunately women are not allowed after a certain point and as for others, the prayer timings make it a really weird place to visit. It feels like you are waiting for eternity before visiting and experiencing, so one could easily give it a miss.
5.   Let the Bargain queen in you rise and soar – Kashmir in peak season is much commercialized. Agreed there is a lot of poverty around, but at certain places the rates are just not reasonable so do bargain, but don’t overdo it either please.
6.   Water Issues – If you have problems adapting to water food around places, you will surely suffer in Kashmir. The water tastes quite weird, so if possible buy and carry your own water – you won’t want to fall ill during an awesome trip now, would you?
7.   Be Cinderella but shift the time to 8 pm – Try and get back to where you are staying by 8 o clock in the night. The road in Kashmir become haunted alleys past that hour. You could obviously take a stroll around your place but being close is important.
8.   No Ladies, Don’t worry – You would hardly see females in the market areas of Kashmir post 7 p.m (that was the timing during winters, summers not really sure) but that doesn’t mean you can’t roam around. Kashmiri people are really cool to talk to and the markets are awesome, so just be the way you are, you might feel weird but don’t let that affect you.
9.   Afridi or Sachin - Cricket for Kashmiri’s is Shahid Afridi, no India no Pakistan so just accept it and avoid political talks with locals, it might get weird.
10. No handbags! – Yes while returning you are not allowed to carry any hand baggage with you in plane, unless of course you have a laptop or tablet. And if you do they will switch it on and ask you to show else chuck it in the normal luggage, so keep the batteries up and device running.

Hope this post is helpful to you guys, because travel needs to be fun and by taking care of these certain things you can enjoy an unhindered blissful trip. Happy Travelling!

An account of my trip to Kashmir can be found HERE.

1 comment:

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