I visited Kashmir for the first time in August 2006. The tender beauty of Dal lake in the morning, the cheerful Lidder river en route to Pahalgam and the majestic fir trees in Gulmarg- add to it a very hospitable people, and one wonders if Kashmir is cursed for possessing too much beauty. The presence of army at every 100 meters or so in Srinagar, too many restricted areas and the dead silence of the roads after nine pm or so, tells you things are not normal in Srinagar.
Our tour organizer, http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/EcoTourism/Discovery-Journeys.aspx made sure that we could make the most of our trip by organizing stay in the elegant but grand houseboat called “ Lotus Retreat” and arranging for all transport in and around Srinagar, taking care of all permissions etc.
Seeing how silk is extracted from silk worms in a traditional factory, catching rainbow trout in a government sponsored center at Pahalgam, seeing the grey langurs in Dachigam, the laughter of the Lidder-these are memories I will cherish for ever.
See a side show of my stills at
A trip report on our visit to Dachigam National Park has been posted at
and here is a short video of me rowing the shikara in Dal Lake