Srinagar – Pahalgam – Sonamarg – Srinagar
October to March – Possible Year Round
Experience celluloid’s love for Kashmir. It might seem strange but the world’s biggest film industry in one of the world’s hottest countries is obsessed with snow. That’s right, snow. So many films – even gangster movies set in sweltering Bombay cut almost at random to a dance spectacular on a mountaintop. Once you have been to Kashmir, you will see why. Perhaps the sixties would not have been so swinging were it not for the Elvis Presley-like Shami Kapoor’s antics in the snow. From Rajesh Khanna – the original Bollywood megastar – to eternally beautiful Sharmilla Tagore and of course Amitabh and Shah Rukh Khan, Kashmir is an affair to remember!
Kashmir has long been a center of historical, cultural and social significance and even tumult. The modern state has existed since the 1846 treaty between Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu and the British East India Company. Anything this good is worth fighting for it would seem.
The only struggle you have is choose between coffee or the local delicacy – Kahwa tea on the deck of your house boat. Kahwa means eleven – the number of ingredients – including almonds, raisins and local saffron – that go into this delicious brew.
Dinner in the market place with its great bustling vibe will. You’ll soon be tapping your toes as if you’ve been enjoying Rajesh Khanna songs all your life. Pahalgam market is somewhat unlike the other mall road markets of other hill stations in India with broad roads and more organised shops. Spend some time browsing and shopping in the bazaar.