Srinagar is known for its scenic beauty but what no one talks about is the people there. It was an absolute delight to meet such warm and polite people, which is quite rare in today’s world. Most places in India make you wary of strangers who wouldn’t mind staring at you and make the most of it by brushing their hands here and there. However, in Srinagar we did not face any such problems because nobody was really bothered. Contrary to the image created by media, people there weren’t raring to jump at you with arms and ammunition. A visit to Srinagar wouldn’t have been complete without a shikara ride on the Dal Lake. The man riding the shikara introduced us to Kashmiri folk songs, but otherwise his playlist belted out songs fit for a party. The thing that made the ride even more fun was the Maggi that we ate in the middle of the lake. We were completely frozen because of the rain and mist, but it was certainly a ride to remember. Surely, the food at The Lalit was mindblowing but then it wouldn’t do if we didn’t try the street food. They say that true love is the one who accompanies you anywhere or rather follows you. Cliché much?! I can never get enough of Rajma Chawal, but hadn’t expected to get it in Srinagar out of all places. Krishna Dhaba should be on every foodie’s list especially for Rajma Chawal because the aroma and the scintillating flavor will captivate you. The new friends we made there loved it so much that they had it packed to take back home. The next stop on our list was Chashme Shahi or The Royal Spring: another feather in Shah Jahan’s elsusive turban. This garden is blessed with seven natural springs that are high on mineral content. It is said that the water from these springs is so pure that it can cure pains and diseases. How true is the claim is anybody’s guess. No doubt the water was cold and heavenly and if nothing else then I did discover something new, which wasn’t ever there in the textbooks. Lal Chowk has been made synonymous with riots and constant fights between the natives and the defence forces. We too were deterred by someone from going there, but we relented because the traveller in us refused to play the role of a meek tourist. It wouldn’t be right to say that somewhere deep down we weren’t skeptical but our determination paid off. There wasn’t much to explore because of the rain and falling dusk; however, moving in and out of shops and talking to people proved to be an experience in itself. I would say that one should take out a few hours to learn more about the market. Well, having explored almost every nook and corner in Srinagar, it was time to enjoy other places as well. I cannot wait to tell you about what we did later, but for that you will have to read my next post. It is a promise that I won’t take much time to share a new leaf from my travel diaries.
P.S. This post is second in the series about Srinagar; many more interesting thoughts are soon to follow. Also, if you just came across my thoughts then don’t forget to read about the first leg of my beautiful vacation.