Jammu & Kashmir is a state located in the northernmost state of India. Because it is close to the Himalayas, it’s no wonder the weather is relatively colder, and in winter, it snows.
Jammu & Kashmir is divided into three regions, namely Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Because of interfaith segregation, the majority of Jammu’s population is Hindu, in Kashmir is Moslem, and in Ladakh is Buddhist. The funny thing is, the state capital is divided into two; Srinagar is the capital of summer, while Jammu is the capital of winter. Imagine, the workers who work there move house every six months!
We have always heard from the news that the area is dangerous and difficult to approach because the military occupies it. Even in September 2014, floods occurred, so the road broke up.
To put it simply, we can fly directly from Delhi to its capital, namely to Jammu (capital of Jammu), Srinagar (capital of Kashmir), or Leh (capital of Ladakh). I chose to visit the last two cities. Actually, the intercity can be crossed by a road, but due to snow, the road is closed and not recommended. If you fly there, don’t forget to ask to sit in the right window seat. Gosh.. the views of the Himalayan mountains are truly spectacular!
Landing at Srinagar and Leh airports, as foreign tourists, we are required to register by filling out very detailed forms such as what hotel to stay in, what jobs to do. I was quite shocked to see so many armed soldiers everywhere, even along the road every 25 meters! Not to mention military trucks back and forth. Even though it feels like you’re in a conflict area, but that is normal. Understandably Jammu & Kashmir borders Pakistan and China, and even some areas are still in dispute. But I was a tourist actually just feel safe. And don’t forget to bring your mobile phone to play online slot games while on the road to visit there.
In Srinagar, I lived in a houseboat named Meena. This “houseboat” is located on Dal Lake, which has a really crazy view! Imagine, a lake whose water is clear like glass so that the reflection of the clouds can be seen on its surface, then surrounded by Himalayan mountains whose snowy peaks and purple almond-fringed hills. No wonder Kashmir is dubbed the “Swiss mini”! Every evening I take a Shikara (traditional paddle boat) around the lake and hang out on the roof of the houseboat waiting for the sunset.
Srinagar is famous for its beautiful gardens that have existed since the time of the Mughal Empire (15-18 centuries). Jama, I think the mosque is the most beautiful mosque in India that I have ever seen. The most unique place is the Hazratbal Mosque, which is believed to hold the hair of the Prophet Muhammad. Stranger still, in Rozabal, there is a tomb that is believed to be the tomb of Jesus! It is said that this rumor was spread by salespeople there so that tourists would stop by so that the merchandise sold. Hahaha!
What’s clear is that the Kashmiri guy who looks like a Persian is really handsome! Who is fond of white and handsome Indian boys, Muslims too, please come directly!
To meet the snow, I drove for more than an hour to visit Gulmarg. Besides being a center for people skiing, Gulmarg has the number two highest cable car in the world. Because it is located in the Himalayas, it reaches an altitude of 3,979 meters above sea level! From the first station, the snow had already reached the roof of the house. The gondola itself has a maximum capacity of 6 people, but I only sat together with a guide. The first stage is to Kongdoori Station (3,080 m), there was three times of electricity failure! Crazy, how can I not be nervous? The second stage went to the station on the top of the mountain, and I went down. Seeing the plains of snow like this, I immediately lying in the snow and do some selfies!
Leh itself is at an altitude of 3,524 meters above sea level. As soon as I landed, I was told to sleep half a day for acclimation so that I would not get mountain sickness. Wow, dizzy head and nausea! In the afternoon, I just walked around while laughing around Leh. This small town is located on a brownish-sandy ground similar in the desert. I visited, among others, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa, which is located on a hill. The view of the city of Leh, which is surrounded by snowy mountains, is so cool! When winter, the city is relatively quiet. Many residents choose to work elsewhere, which is warmer. Ladakhi people look like Tibetans. They are friendly and fun.
Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are scattered in Ladakh, including Sankar Gompa, Shey, and Stock Gompa. The most beautiful on Thiksey because it is on a hill, altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level, and 12 stories, so it looks parallel to the clouds! The largest monastery is in Hemis, located 45 km from Leh. The trip there was treated to a spectacular view. Mountains in layers with gradations of brown, yellow, blue, and covered with white snow at the top. Turquoise watery river. Hundreds of scattered white stupas and colorful prayer flags. The monks who were mostly children up to their red-robed years went hand in hand. And this surreal scene is accompanied by snow. Ah, how beautiful!