The words written above are believed to have been uttered by Mughal Emperor Jehangir, when he first set foot in the Kashmir Valley, so smitten was he by the exceptional beauty of the vale. Roughly translated, these words mean "If ever there was heaven on this earth, it is this, it is this, it is..." For the past two decades, however, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been in news for all the wrong reasons (read terrorism, administrative incapacity, civil unrest, regional strife and political opportunism).I feel so bad even talking about what went wrong with J&K. Therefore, I have decided to celebrate the beauty of my state and all the good things about it to ward off any bad impact that the dismal news arising out of there might have had on its reputation. So, for the next few posts, I will treat you to some rare glimpses into some of the beautiful locations of the valley (to start with). Similar photographs of Jammu and other areas will follow soon. So, enjoy friends.......
About the photograph featured above:
The photograph featured above is a panoramic view of the world famous Dal Lake, which is located within the summer capital of J&K, Srinagar. It is the most favourite destination for tourists, visiting from within and outside the country. It is a naturally occuring water body and is famous for the houseboats, vacation homes built during the British rule, that are one of the major source of revenue to the Kashmiris. Owing to pollution and overall negligence, the lake covers about 11 square kilometers of area, which is almost half of what it used to be two decades ago. It is divided into four basins called Gagribal, Lokut Dal (meaning Small Dal or Junior Dal), Bod Dal (Senior Dal) and Nagin. Tourist spots like Nehru Park, Char Chinar, etc are located as small islands within the Dal Lake.
Some year ago, the lake used to freeze over completely during the winter season, offering the people a chance to enjoy another facet of nature. However, due to global warming and negligence, the freezing Dal is soon becoming a thing of past.
Among other things, Dal has some interesting flora and fauna, including the lotus flower, Lotus stem (known as Nadroo or Kamal Kakdee, a popular Kashmiri vegetable), water lillies and water chestnuts.
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