Kashmir Firdaus e Jahan of Incredible India

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Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

When you think of White Christmas—a Christmas day with lot of snowfall, you think of Northern Europe and Northern USA and Canada. Siberia is the coldest inhabited place. No one will believe me when I say the second coldest place in the world is in India.

The place is called Drask in Kashmir. It is a fact many thousands lose their life due to extreme cold wave conditions in North India every year. I have always enjoyed the winter in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Bihar, UP, and Haryana where the temperatures are close to zero degrees in Winter. Do I need to tell you how cold it is in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Khand? If you want to visit snow clad mountains of Switzerland, you need to pay a lot, so these states are a better option. You will do your bit to encourage tourism in India. In fact, winter is my favorite season of the year, drinking endless cup of hot tea and pakodas.

To many India is considered as a country where it is always hot, which is one of the biggest myths about the nation. Indian climate is as diverse as its culture and its people. India is also home to some hilly regions where it can be cold than most of the famous winter destinations around the globe. There are several places in India where the temperature are very low, and also best during the winters and quite breathtaking. It is considered quite romantic to visit. 

Think of the song in the film Roja

“Ye haseen vaadiyan ye khula aasman,
Aa gaye hum kahan aye mere sajna,
In baharon mein dil ki kali khil gayi
Mujhko tum jo mile har khushi mil gayi”.

So, pack your bags as I am going to take you on a wonderful trip across many states of “Incredible India” and show you the snow-clad mountains and places where you will see a carpet of snow. Let me tell you it’s absolute heavenly to play in the snow, make a snowmen and call him Uncle Frost with his coat cap and holding a cigar, dress him up and also make snowballs and throw at your friends and family, even when the snow freezes our hands while making them! Moreover, you can imagine our beloved Santa climbing down the chimney. You can sing “Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way”.

While writing this I am imagining myself in these “haseen wadiyan” and wish I settled down there. If you are like me, and you’re looking for the places to see where it snows in India, there are many places. However, it gets disappointing when you visit a place with the hopes of rejoicing in the snow, but the weather fails you and it does not snow at all. Therefore, these places will not disappoint all the lovers of the snow. If you want to enjoy the untouched snowy landscapes, pack your bags and plan your trip to these places this winter, provided Corona cases are low.

Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop, and Ladakh in Kashmir

I am going to talk first about the beautiful state of Kashmir, called “Firdaus e Jahan” or the paradise of the world. When you think of Kashmir remember movies like “Kashmir ki Kali, Roja” etc., A beautiful Kashmiri girl wearing Kashmiri dress and in a house boat in Dal Lake will live forever in our memory. Gulmarg is a breathtaking place. Some scenes in the blockbuster movie “Sharmilee”, starring Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee were shot here. My favorite song “ Khilte hi gul yahan” sung by Kishore Kumar shows the pristine snow-clad mountains and even an Army base. Today Gulmarg offers many popular winter sports, that you see abroad. You can expect temperature up to -11 degree Celsius here.

Sonamarg often called “The Meadow of Gold’ is really not a meadow of gold, but white pristine snow. In fact, I would call it “White paradise” as it  becomes breathtakingly beautiful with its lakes, glaciers and miles and miles of white snow. Apart from the breathtaking views, one can enjoy river rafting and trekking too. The winter temperature here also can be up to -11 degree Celsius.

Pahalgam’s incomparable beauty lies with many rivers, and with snow-peaked mountains. A quiet long trek in this place is all you would need to unwind from the stressful Urban jungle, and feel the peace and calming touch of nature. In winter, the mercury falls to -8 degree Celsius. Patnitop is similar to an enchanted, fairy land with its snow cover and thick forests. The place is full of natural beauty that makes trekking, skiing and paragliding a wonderful experience. The temperature here is around -8 degree Celsius. In the newly created Union Territory of Ladakh, winters are absolutely splendid with its breathtaking carpet of  pure snow and an adventurous life. Even though the temperatures are very low every year, it's is considered a great experience to do winter treks with frozen lakes, brooks and waterfalls. The temperature can go as low as -11 degree Celsius.

 

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