Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mission Kashmir - Pahalgam (Day 6)

It felt a bit dull with 2 of our friends leaving for Leh. Undeterred by that, we decided that the remaining 3 of us will head towards Pahalgam, a hill station south of Srinagar. We headed south of Srinagar on the Jammu highway in our usual Qualis. We stopped in between to look at some ruins of Avantipura which were on the way. The ruins were of some ancient temples.

Going further ahead on the highway we spotted a lot of shops selling cricket bats. The bats were made of wood cut from trees around that very area. Gogo, Irfan and me tried out some strokes on the variety of bats available in one of the shops, and decided to buy one ultimately. We got a decent bat for an amazingly low price of 200/= .

On the way to Pahalgam we decided to do white water rafting on a tributary of the Jhelum river. It was one of the popular attractions among people of all ages there. The experience was really out of the world for someone like me who was doing it for the first time. I was pretty nervous sitting on the bumpy raft initially but then got used to it somewhat to complete a 2km ride. Gogo even did it once again on our return drive from Pahalgam.

We reached Pahalgam just before lunch. We were so hungry that we directly headed out to one of the famous eat out's there called "Nathu's Rasoi". After helping ourselves to some good Chole Bhaturey and Aloo Pooris we started to explore this small hill station. Pahalgam is the place were most people start their Amarnath Yatra, so there was a lot of information about the Yatra all over the place. We ended up mostly wandering around the lush green meadows, some small parks and clicking patel shots. Ah, from patel shots I remember entering a coffee shop called "Cafe Login" in Pahalgam, where there was a huge Gujju family of 20 people already keeping the barista boys busy ordering pizzas and vada paavs ! ( in a coffee shop ! ). We managed to get a small table by the corner there, sipped our coffee while watching the Great Gujju Family eat the hell out of the place.

We headed back to Srinagar towards the evening after exploring Pahalgam and helped ourselves to some light dinner for the night. The next day was all about shopping in Srinagar so we needed some rest.

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