Visiting Heaven On Earth – Kashmir Valley – Road to Pahalgam – Part V

Pahalgam is a town  in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.  This world famous hill station is 45 km. from the District Headquarters at Anantnag and is located on the banks of the Lidder river at an altitude of 7200 ft. After spending a day and a night in Gulmarg, we started for Pahalgam. The journey was for about 140 km but it usually takes about 3.5 hours due to the hilly terrains as also the traffic on the National Highway 1A.  I was quite amused with the name. The driver informed us that due to the petrol bomb incident at Jammu the previous day, there was a bandh (strike) called at Anantnag district as the driver was the from the same district.  We were a little concerned but he said that he would take us through a short cut, which will cut through apple orchards and zaffran or kesar (saffron) plantations. 🙂 so why don’t you enjoy the road for a

read more Visiting Heaven On Earth – Kashmir Valley – Road to Pahalgam – Part V

Visiting the giant neighbour – Beijing (part 1)

Beijing was originally called Peking and then the name changed to Beijing, only to be changed again and reverted back. It has an interesting history of name change with the change in the political scenario. Our first glimpse through the aircraft window revealed a rather brown and desolate looking landscape.  We were arriving there towards the end of winter season with temperature hovering around 3 degrees centigrade (at 11.30 in the morning and below – degrees in the night) and hence the flowers were not in bloom.  The winter is rather severe in most parts of China specially in Beijing and the surrounding areas.  My heart sank a little without the usual greenery that one is used to seeing in India.