Kashmir–Heaven On Earth

Got badly sun-burnt, lost my sun-glasses, lost a water bottle, nearly got lost myself a couple of times – and yet this turned out to be my best vacation ever!

I went for a trek recently, visiting the great lakes of Kashmir. 21 trekkers, 5 guides, a team of helpers, tents, sleeping bags and mules to carry them – more than 80 kms in 7 days – all in all a trek to remember! There were at least 3 SLR cameras with semi-professionals operating them, so I did not bother clicking a single photograph. Luckily, others did.

The amazing Vishnusar lake – the water was icy cold and only 3 out of 21 ventured in for a swim; though no one lasted for more than a few minutes.

Vishnusar

(courtesy: Varuna Raina)

The pretty Krishnasar lake had a bit less water this time around – the land mass I’m standing on down there is usually submerged. All the good though, cause it made for a good amount of reflection!

Kashmir

(courtesy: Anand Rathi)

 

Vishnusar again – though now in early morning mist

Vishnusar (anurag)

(courtesy: Anurag Srivatsava)

 

The magnificient Gadsar lake –

Gadsar (anurag)

(courtesy: Anurag Srivatsava)

 

water-background

(courtesy: Khurram Haque)

 

Although the photos look great, nothing can describe the actual moments spent in the mountains – cold breeze kissing one’s face, sunlight dancing around the snow and water causing beautiful effects, valleys filled with colourful flowers, sheep and horses grazing lazily on the green grass – these just have to be felt. I can go on and on – a hot cup of tea or a warm camp fire in cold evenings, a refreshing swim in a cold lake after a tiring trek, the step that you cautiously take on a fast-disappearing trail, which if you miss, could be your last – all these just make you live in the moment and forget about past and future just the same.

 

PS: For a day-by-day account of the entire trek, head-over to Varuna’s travel logs.

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