HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION
A trip to the hills is the best way to spend one’s vacation. When the plain burns with heat, we look to the hills. To go to a hill station is the best way to spend the summer vacation. We dream of the hills throughout the year. We have to save money and make other preparations for the hills.
Last year we decided to go to Kashmir. It is the best hill station in India. But it is very costly and very far off. Very few families can afford to go to hills in these hard days. Kashmir is a paradise on earth. It is a land of Snow Mountains, lovely lakes and sparkling rivers. The roads of Kashmir are full of beauty and charm.
From Delhi we took the night train for Jammu. The train reached Jammu early in the morning. From Jammu we took a bus for Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. On the road the scenery was grand and glorious.
On the way it started raining cats and dogs. It rained so heavily that the roads were broken and our bus could go no further. So we halted at Ramban till roads were repaired. We had to stay there for a week. For three days the rain did not stop. It took another three days to repair the roads.
When we left Ramban, we crossed Banihal Pass which is the highest mountain pass on way to Kashmir. Here we were on the top of the world. We found snow on both sides of the road. Leaving Banihal in the evening we reached Srinagar late in the night. We spent the night in the Tourist Centre and hired houseboat the next morning.
Living in a house boat is a special experience. The boat stands in the Jhelum River or the Dal Lake. Our houseboat was in the Jhelum River near the bridge known as Punjab and Kashmir Hotel. The houseboat is connected with bank for light and water supply. Boats also come to sell fruits, carpets and other goods.
After staying for a week in the boat we went to Pahalgam. It a hill station in Kashmir which has snowy mountains all round and sparkling streams flowing through the town. Many people live in tents on the side of the Lidder stream. It looks like a tented town. We went climbing in the mountains around the town of Pahalgam. Up in the mountain we found a bridge of snow, with water flowing under it.
After a week we returned to Srinagar again. We had an excursion on the Dal Lake and visited Shalimar Garden, Nishat Garden, Chasma Shahi and other gardens. We also went to see the Wuler Lake. Then we went to Gulmarg and spent a week there.
Gulmarg is the best hill station and there is perpetual snow round the year. It is famous for golf course and skating in winter. Many Europeans visit this place and stay here. Nights are very cold and it rains here almost every day in summer. Weather is fine for a few hours during the day when people can go climbing the mountains and collect lovely flowers.
We returned to Delhi after a month’s stay in Kashmir. It was the best experience of my life. After spending sometime in Kashmir one does not like to visit any other hill-station. No other hill-station has the thrilling charm of Kashmir. One remembers Kashmir forever and ever. It is rightly called the paradise on earth.