A photo-blog of Jehangir’s paradise…
Besotted with the beauty of Kashmir, the Mughal Emperor Jehangir is said to have proclaimed: “If there is paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”.Centuries later, Kashmir’s heavenly perfection still envelops you so naturally. It is still Srinagar.
The graceful simplicity of Srinagar shines through in everything you see…the vestiges of Mughal architecture, the sprawling gardens of the emperors, the undying spirit of the locals to survive, and the calmness of the Dal Lake. The city seems to have been caught in a time warp, while the world has moved on!
Explore the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Pari Mahal for a first-hand experience of how Jehangir spent his time while at court in Kashmir in the 17th century. Explore these exemplary pieces of Mughal ‘charbagh’ landscaping, with their limpid fountain pools, terraced water channels and exotic flower gardens.
Allow yourself to dream about Jehangir and Noor Jehan taking a leisurely stroll nearby, accompanied by their entire entourage, stopping to smell a delightful rose or sit under a shaded canopy.
Gaze at the tall mountains that stand majestically, witness to the thousands of years of history. Observe the roses of varied colors – red, pink, peach, orange, yellow, clustered in bunches all over. Breathe in the sweet smell of gainda flowers that fills the air. Lose yourself in the glory of nature that surrounds you under the open skies. Walnut trees proudly declare their lineage. Pine and fir trees stand like guards. An eagle flies by, then glides for a while. Dragonflies flutter their wings. Jugnus whirr in the gardens, graceful weeping willows, their long branches dangle and sway in the gentle breeze. Study those crinkled and folds in the mountains. Think about timelessness. Wonder about how tiny you are.
Later, take a shikara ride on the Dal Lake dotted with wooden houseboats and surrounded by mighty mountains. Watch life on the lake, as it been since several decades. Smiling children rowing off to school. Shops on shikaras selling local handicrafts, daily provisions, even small cafes and tea-stalls! Drink in the sights of the clouded skies casting shadows, the silvery water shimmering and rippling in the winds. Observe the circular road, encircling the sparkling diamond that shimmers with the rays of the sun and the tall, thin poplars that surround the lake front. Peace, calm and serenity will engulf you as you sip warm kahwa and listen to the shikara-rower narrate tales of yester-years. In the distance, hear the sounds of the namaaz, soft, musical strains blending with the atmosphere.
And imagine…what if peace made a comeback!