You may heard about Kashmir in the international news in recent years that they are fighting for independence from India’s rule, and there are constantly riot and demonstration on the state capital Srinagar. Honestly many people still skeptical about the safety traveling in this region. I have done some research on the activities happen there, it does show that there are suicidal bombs killing people every year in the middle of the city. I am partially curious about the reality in Kashmir, partially attracted by the untouched beauty under the Himalayas.
Due to an accidental encounter with a Kashmiri guy Muddasin in the hotel in Jammu, we traveled together by bus towards Srinagar from 7am. Despite we missed the bus and had to pay twice and share shitty seats in an overcrowded one with 2 flat tyres incidents, we managed to arrive Muddasin’s village at 10pm. I was planning just to stay one night, but eventually stayed four. It is the first time of their family to host foreigner, they provided everything they have to make me feel comfortable. I simply just gave up my plan to go to Leh and spent more time with them, understand their culture, as well as their strong will to be independence.
The most unusual thing I have tried is the salty tea they drink every morning, together with dry bread. It is not a breakfast at all! That’s why I was a bit burn out during the day, not energizing. Their dinner, on the contrary, is huge and late. No doubt that most of them have big bellies, it is hard to digest all the rice right before you sleep, that put pressure to the spleen and stomach system and weaken Earth element.
Anyway, thanks to their family that I got a chance to wander around in their village, seeing people harvest their crops, rearing sheep and cattle, or just gathering to chitchat. I bought their traditional costume ‘Pharan’ which is a long robe with nice pattern, during colder days, people used to put their arms inside and leave empty sleeves hanging off. I find it very funny to look at!
The natural scenery of Kashmir capture my soul, it is still an untouched beauty that you might feel going back to the past….