Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Srinagar-Essence of Kashmir; An Account of the Trip

Srinagar-Essence of Kashmir; An Account of the Trip

Ratings: (0)|Views: 35 |Likes:
Published by J.N.Vohra
An accout of the trip to Srinagar
An accout of the trip to Srinagar

More info:

Published by: J.N.Vohra on Oct 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





By J.N.Vohra
When the plane was hovering over the Srinagar Air Port forlanding, I peeped through the window panes and couldtake a mobile snap of the snow covered peaks of 
Himalayas. The pilot of the plane announced “outsidetemperature 17⁰Celcius”, almost 16⁰ lower than Delhi
Airport, from where we boarded the plane. It was pleasantoutside in Mid-October.Earlier, I had made couple of visits to the valley for well-earned leisure tours with family. This visit was almost aftera decade. I accompanied Dr. Gulshan Sharma, presidentAsian Motivation Forum and a hardcore tourism fit withPh.D. in tourism from U.K. The purpose was to participate in the Indian Travel Mart (ITM) and to visitKashmir University where Dr. Sharma was to deliver lecture on
Skills and Employability
.A professor of a college was deputed to receive us at the Airport. Straight away we entered into talkwith the professor. He informed that three things hamper the development of Srinagar; Connectivity,lack of industrial setup and shortage of power.On way to our place of stay we passed in front of the fortified residence of Chief Minister Omar Abdullahsituated at Gupkar Road, the calm and serenity that prevailed around the place was not signifying anystory of turmoil over the death of a member of National Conference, few days back. Though, later manyof the persons I conversed with; taxi drivers, shopkeepers, hotel attendants, and Shikarawallas andothers, during our 4 days stay confined to Srinagar only believed that something sinister had happenedinside the habitation causing death of Haji Yousuf.We stayed at Jamal resort located in Ishber. The hotel is in closeproximity to the Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, and Royal Springs Golf Course.Jamal Resorts is promoted by JCI (Jamal Carpet Industries) Group of companies. The owner of the resort, a down to earth person thoughconsidered one of the rich of Srinagar, received us. We had a confortablestay at the resort.
Dal Lake
Dal Lake is the heart of Srinagar. We daily passed through its boulevard to reach to Zabarwan Park, theplac
e where ITM was organised. Our taxi driver informed us that ‘you drive about 27 kilometers around
Snow Covered Peaks as seen fromAirplaneJamal Resort
the Dal Lake from start to finish at a point’. The
Lake is surrounded by mountains on its three sides andfive basins and a number of well linked channels of Jehlum tributaries as source of water.The Lake reappeared in this part, in the desiccated Valley of 
- (According to folk etymology, the name "Kashmir"means in Sanskrit: Ka = water and shimeera = dehydrated. Itis also said that Kashyapa, a Hindu sage, had drained out allthe water and there appeared the magnificent KashmirValley).We could see hundreds of house boats (Shikaras) in the Lakefor the tourists to reside on the lake in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Though many tourists, mainly fromBengal and Gujarat were moving around the lake but not many shikaras were found active.
India Travel Mart (ITM),
During the inauguration of India Travel Mart (ITM), the state tourism minister declared that Kashmirreceived large number of tourists in this summer season. Record number of tourists visited MataVaishno Devi Shrine and to Srinagar and Leh-Ladhak Region, indicating that all is well in Jammu andKashmir. He said that ITM was organized in Srinagar to acquaint tour operators of other states about theKashmir tourism so that they can work in their respective states to increase inbound tourists in theValley. Tourism departments of Malaysia and Thailand also participated in the ITM.Srinagar is endowed with triple advantage of having unique tourism places for pilgrimage, leisure andadventure tourism. Pangong Lake situated at Leh-Ladhak region became popular after 3-idiot film inwhich this lake was shown. People at India Travel Mart were of the opinion that there should be moreflights to Leh-Ladhak from Srinagar and Jammu so that people coming for pilgrimage or leisure tourismcan also go for adventure tourism.At present there is only Wednesday flight from Srinagar to Leh. From Jammu, Air India flies only onMonday and Friday. With this arrangement leisure tourists from Srinagar opting to spend time withadventure necessarily have to extend their stay at Leh for 5 days, which is too much.
Srinagar, located on the Kashmir Valley at the banks of the River Jhelum, is summer capital of Jammu &Kashmir state. The capital shifts from Srinagar to winter Capital in Jammu City starting from the firstweek of November. A replica of state assembly is located in Jammu for the legislatures to jostle withduring winter assembly session. Earlier, we had witnessed on TV that a legislator had thrown a chairtowards the Assembly Speaker during summer session in Srinagar.Bi-Annually, entire staff of J & K Secretariat, menial to ministers, Raj Bhavan, High Courts, offices of DGPmoves to Jammu to their winter habitations. Unmindful of any mishap that may occur on 300 Kilometer
Dal Lake
route to Jammu and back, causing loss of some preciousGovernment records, many truckloads of records of these officesmove on one way traffic on national highway. Govt. functioningcomes to halt at Srinagar.A week long holidays along with temporary transfer allowances are
given to staff and officers for ‘Darbar’ move, to
& fro. Residents of Jammu, amongst the staff, await and rejoice this shift and so do thestaff belonging to Srinagar for their shift back in summers. As usual,this year also the darbar will move in the first week of November,they informed us. What a colossal waste of public money!
We were told that the practice of ‘Darbar’ move was started by
Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872, to escape extreme weather conditions of Jammu during summer andharsh winter in Srinagar. British when ruled India had made Shimla as their summer capital. They feltheat in planes during summer. At that time there was no provision of air-Conditioning. This practice wasdiscontinued after independence. Is it essential or relevant anymore to continue this tradition of 
‘Darbar’ move starte
d by His Majesty? The J & k state should find alternatives, such as room heating, tokeep the Government functioning in Srinagar itself during winters also. This will save lot of moneybesides many hassles.Maharaja Sir Hari Singh, who signed the instrument of accession to India, ascended the throne of Jammuand Kashmir in 1925 and governed the state till 1950. He was known for his reforms. He threw thetemples open to Harijans, banned the flesh trade by the women and allowed the remarriage by thewidows. Hari Singh was a secular king. Standing at Zabarwan Park our guide pointed towards the highmount seen on the other side of Dal Lake, where HariParbat Fort was situated. Inappropriately, I felt, thefort of Mughals and ascendants of Maharaja Hari Singh is now known as Kabutar Khana (habitation of pigeons).
Kashmir Goldmine
Long back a Kashmiri Hawker selling Pashmina Shawls in the streets of Chandigarh informed me, on myasking, in his own rustic understanding that neither Pakistan nor India would like to dissociate with theirclaim on Kashmir since both know about the goldmine underneath some mountains situated in the area.That may not be true but the abundance wealth which the area possesses is in the cultivation of Saffron,Sericulture, Dryfruits, Pashmina and Shahtoosh, altogether is not less than gold.The use of Shahtoosh, known as King of fibers is banned since it is believed that this fiber is obtained bykilling Chiru, an antelope, living on high mountains of Leh Ladhak. As this animal spices is vanishing, it isnow protected spices.Our guide drove us about 20 Kilometers towards a place Pampore, famous for world's best saffron. Wewere assured by the salesman, sitting in a roadside shop that what we got is pure saffron (@Rs.200 perGram) and best of the Akhrot Giri (Walnut kernel @ Rs. 1600 per Kilogram).
J & K Assembly at Srinagar

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->