A South African went to Jammu & Kashmir and fell in love with the place. Here is what he thinks about the people and the beauty of Kashmir.
The first time I heard about Kashmir was when a friend of mine told me about this place. We decided to go there to a small city called Srinagar; it is close to the border of China and Pakistan. In the summers, you can go there with motor bikes. That’s how many of the tourists get there. But in the months of winter like December, I believe the best way to get there is by flying from Delhi and taking a taxi from the airport to the place where you are staying. Flying in winter is not that expensive as most people do not go there because it is too cold.
Srinagar hosts a small lake called, Dal Lake. You can stay on the house boats, for a few days and just relax. On Dal Lake, you will meet people from all over the world.
But the local people are probably the most interesting people I have met on this small island.
Some of these people have been staying on the lake for more than 45 years; it’s amazing when you meet people like that. The kids need to take the boat and cross the river to go to school during the day. I never experienced something like that, so it was new for me to see this.
It’s amazing to just sit with them and speak with people there, and to hear all their stories. Sometimes we were speaking with these people for hours and hours and didn’t say a lot back to them, because it’s just amazing to hear them, their stories and where they come from.
Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places I have been to in India so far; I will never forget our time there. My mind was changed every single day we spent there.
It’s hard to describe the beauty you have seen there for other people. The people are just amazing and I cannot put this beauty I have seen in words. On the other side of Kashmir you will get textiles and other things that’s hard to find in other places of India.
Kashmir, you will see me definitely one day again.
– Jaco Swanepoel