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About Kashmir

The Kashmir valley is famous for it picturesque natural beauty and among other sights, is known for its Dal Lake that reflects the surrounding snowcapped mountain peaks. It is unique as there is no valley so large (5000 sqkm) at such a high altitude (1600m). Flanked by the Pir Panjal range and the Himalayas, this densely settled and much coveted land is truly a paradise on earth as stated by Mughal Emperor Jehangir on his visit to Kashmir, “if there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.”

The word Kashmir is an ancient Sanskrit word which literally means Land of Rishi Kashyap-mar who saved the people of that land from a demon. Initially, an important centre of Hinduism and Buddhism, Kashmir was succeeded by the Mughal empire, Afghan empire and lastly by the princely Sikhs.

Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised. In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing and sledge-riding along the gentle slopes (in Gulmarg, a 2 hour drive from Awakening). In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes, angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in richly carved houseboats are some of the favoured activities. For golf enthusiasts, there is the spectacular 18-hole championship golf course, Royal Springs, designed by Robert Trent Jones, one of the world’s foremost golfcourse designers, overlooks the Dal Lake, just a 15 minute drive away.

The languages spoken are Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and English