Location: Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir, India (34° 5′ 24″ N, 74° 47′ 24″ E)
Date: 18 August 2009 6.15pm
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5
Jammu & Kashmir is known to be a beautiful place. However, its main claim to “fame” had been the cause of four wars between India and Pakistan (and one between India and China). It was on the radar of many travellers but could never get there due to the bombings and disturbances perpetuated by separatists as well as the resultant Indian military lock-down- the latter is still very much evident in many parts of Srinagar, the capital. The situation had only turned better in the last couple of years due mainly to the dialogue and peace overtures between India and Pakistan. As a result, it never featured in any guidebooks- the only one that has a section on Kashmir is the latest issue of the Lonely Planet. However, I find that Lonely Planet did a horrendous job in the practical guide to Srinagar. Contrary to the information in the guide, there are loads of budget accommodation in Srinagar. Most of them are concentrated on the shore of Dal Lake, opposite Boulevard Road, only a few meters to the left of Dal Gate. Clean doubles with attached bathroom and 24-hours hot running water can be had for 200 INR at hotels such as Hotel New Zeenath and the likes.
(more posts soon on Srinagar itself)