The popular state of Azad Kashmir is one of the most beautiful destinations of Pakistan to visit, located in northern region; this mountainous area is covered with white snow, lush green valleys, rivers, lakes and beautiful fruit orchards. These qualities make the place a favorite holiday spot of a myriad of nature lovers. This place is the ‘Paradise on Earth’ due to its nature splendor.
One doesn’t go to Kashmir to or merely ‘visit’ Kashmir. I went there and found myself in the midst of a dream, it was surely a beginning without any ending, whether it’s about the roads that don’t let you see anywhere else, or the flowing streams of crystal-clear water that reflect the rays of the sun or the range of mountains that keeps you captivated till you can no longer afford not to not blink your eye: Kashmir, in a single word, is a paradise, a bliss.
Writing about the journey to Kashmir is a huge task and one needs to rise beyond the barriers of word-limits to write about it.
I started my journey to Kashmir by entering Kundalshahi, a place that gives just a glimpse of beauty of Kashmir. There was a bridge that allows only 3 cars to cross it at a time, below flows the Neelum River. The passage was exciting as well as horrifying as there was a truck floating in the river due to the landslide.
I stayed in the nearby resort named as Jagran Resort that is famous for the stay of Quaid-e-Azam. 59 Km away from the resort was a spot Keran that separates India and Pakistan through a fast flowing river of Neelum. On one side is the village that faces the India, most of the houses are abandoned and it looked like people escaped from the place to save their lives.
The noise of firing could be heard with soothing voice of flowing river. Families enjoy the calm atmosphere of this place until the firing started and most of them were picnic-ing at the spot.
Afterwards I visited Banjoosa, it is an artificial lake and there is resort too. In winters, the lake gets frozen and people ice-skate here, whereas in summers, boating is done with presence of ducks and swans.
Swans and ducks bath in the rays of sun, even 24-carat of molten gold would have cried out in shame at that mesmerizing play of sunlight and birds on the mountain-tops. The scenery is so beautiful and breathe taking that I had no choice but to fight with my eyelids. The moment the eye blinks, something or the other is lost into oblivion.
The fresh dew on the small leaves that flanked the road as I was reaching to the Lasdanna near Bagh district, the exquisitely pretty little flowers which one had to strain their eyes to notice, the clad men, women and children off to their daily morning chores, the many nameless streams of transparent blue water running down from the mountains: nothing, absolutely nothing could one afford to not see and appreciate.
As I reached the top of Lasdanna, I could see the snow-covered Himalayan Mountains from far away, I tried to take the picture but the beauty my eye captured couldn’t be captured by any camera lens. Sitting there and just watching the view of white birds flying blending with the black crow making chess in sky was peaceful. Phone with no service, no Wi-Fi yet every worry in the world seemed to take a backseat when such scenic brilliance presents itself in front of the eyes.
It was a crazy, unconditional sort of happiness visiting Kashmir. I left the place with abundance of thoughts in the mind; I absorbed all the colors, freshness, loyal sunrays and undulating range of mountainous scenery.