Saturday, May 17, 2014

Trip to Kashmir - A different perspective

Kashmir.. snow clad mountains had always mesmerized me "Heaven on Earth". Right from the state being projected as Switzerland of India to Shammi Kapoor movies, this was the destination I was eager to visit. Though I would suggest you to refrain from traveling by road and do book your flight ticket to Srinagar, since Srinagar is not connected by Indian rail network. Though if you you can reach till Udhampur station by rail network, and after that travel for around 10 to 12 hours depending on the traffic and landslide situation till Srinagar, this journey drains you physically and mentally, due to rough mountain roads.

When you are in Kashmir you realize, that Kashmiris live, in a totally disconnected world for almost six months in a year. During this time they don't have access to lot of amenities we enjoy, whether it is electricity or water or help from govt. It is because of the National Conference govt that now Kashmir is safe heaven, and tourists needn't fear to travel or roam in any region of Kashmir. Though you will find Indian Army and BSF jawans patrolling in every nook and corner with high end weapons which you would only see on Discovery Channel Future Weapons show.

During the summers Kashmir receives lot of tourists, but since Kashmiris are uneducated, they are unable to identify and treat tourist accordingly, which leads to bad impression amongst tourists. Whether you go to Sonmarg, Gulmarg or Pahalgam Kashmiris are always fighting with tourists and also in-between them quite aggressively, when it comes to getting money out from tourist pockets. They will force you to use their sledge service and pay leading to disheartened tourists. This has been then one of the reason foreign tourists don't have Kashmir on their cards as tourist destination, the other being terrorists.

Kashmir would have evolved as the biggest tourist destination, much better than Kerala had they marketed and focused, rather than driving Kashmiri Pandits out of the state. Kashmiri pandits one of the most educated lot of people left the state almost 10 years back when terrorists started spreading terror and killing them for free Kashmir or (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). When the country was moving towards the 21st century, Kashmiris were still grappling in terror stuck state making living out of nothing. For any state to develop, they first have to increase literacy levels, "education acts like launcher".

Just analyze Kerala as a state, what it has which no other state in India doesn't have? Highest Literacy, can think of only this, but still they have been able to market the state at par with  Pattaya (except prostitution part) Kashmir needs to study Kerala model and accordingly brand itself to become a tourist capital, since the state majorly depends on tourism for its live hood. Along studying the Kerala model, Kashmir needs to increase the literacy level of the state as a whole. Education helps to open and change the mindset of people, just speak to any taxi driver in Kerala and then talk with a driver from Kashmir, you can easily spot the difference.     


shalini srivastava said...

Thanks for sharing information….
Kashmir is really known as paradise on the earth…
kashmir tour package.

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Ajinkyatours said...

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susmitha crimson said...

Nice post, very interesting. Thank you for sharing your trip experience.

Holiday Destinations in Kashmir