Kashmir – The People Of The Valley

If there is one thing travel has taught me, it is that the world is far more complex and layered than we perceive it. That beneath all the superficial differences, people are just people across cultures and geographical boundaries. That their hopes, dreams, travails, even in the most vilified of places, are similar. I have always believed this in my heart, but travel has unequivocally underscored the universality of human life.

We were as humbled by the warmth and kindness we encountered in Kashmir as by the unparalleled beauty of its landscape. I conclude my Kashmir dairies (for now) with this gallery of people from the troubled valley. Just regular people like you and me.

Young Kashmiri girl.
A young girl in her mother’s shop in a village near Doodhpathri. She’s studying commerce in Srinagar and hopes to land a good job in the city when she graduates….inshallah.
One of many lovely moments from our sundeck on Sukoon.
Friends at the floating vegetable market.
Friends, at the floating vegetable market on Dal lake, Srinagar
Shalimar Garden
Deep in contemplation in Shalimar Garden, Srinagar
Two lovely little ladies beside the river in Doodhpathri
Congregation at the Shah-e-Hamadan shrine, Srinagar
Mother and child, on our walk through a village enroute to Doodhpathri. (I think it was Mujpathri)
Gujjar nomad woman, Dodhpatri
A gorgeous Gujjar nomad woman in her hut in Doodhpathri.
Village school near Dodhpatri
At a village school near Dodhpatri. The littlest one in the printed headscarf just decided to accompany her older sister to class that morning!
Gujjar Nomad, Dodhpatri, KAshmir
Gujjar Nomads return to their mountain homes after a winter sojourn in the plains – Doodhpathri
A sly little one looking for an excuse to skip lunch!
Old Town, Srinagar
Awaiting his turn to buy fish – Old Town, Srinagar
Honoured to be included in a group portrait with students of an Army Goodwill School on a trekking trip to Doodhpathri.
Catching up with news we were happy to shut out for the entire duration of our stay – Old Town, Srinagar.
Twins perhaps, but of unalike temperament! – Old Town, Srinagar.
Shepherd, Dodhpatri
My sweet shepherd model – On the road to Dodohpatrhi.

As you might have guessed by now, Doodhpathri was the highlight of our trip. It is relatively untouched by commercial tourism despite being just 42 km from Srinagar. Restaurants were practically non existent apart from the odd tea stall, so go prepared with food and water if you plan to stay all day. The J&K Tourism Board is trying to promote the area and we noticed a few brand new guesthouses on the perimeter that we wanted to check out for a future visit, but they were all shut. We learned later that the forest department lets out some lodges nearby.

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Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

88 thoughts on “Kashmir – The People Of The Valley

  1. Such gorgeous enticing photographs Madhu. I could really feel your connection to the place and the people. And yes – ‘travel has unequivocally underscored the universality of human life’. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Madhu, this was a beautiful photomontage – photographs and memories!
    I agree with your observation that people are people everywhere and people are good, kind and humane, by and large.

    1. Thank you Ashu. Interacting with people is always a highlight of travel for me, and you are right, people, everywhere, are mostly good.

  3. Very true, Madhu,
    Once we get past our ignorance, fear and preconceived ideas – we realize people everywhere are just like us. Lovely photographs.

  4. Something is very soothing about these pictures.. ☺️ the one where the small girl accompanied her sister reminded me of my childhood days.. I used to do the same when I went to my village.. with my cousin I will sit there in her primary school where we all used to sit at the floor in a one long room school… Life was easy.. 😇

    1. It was so much simpler and carefree wasn’t it? Glad you could relate to this gallery Swarnali. Have a great weekend!

  5. I agree, people are people and any encounter I have with people is always the highlight of a journey. These photos tell so many stories of lives so different from mine, a joy to see Madhu, thank you. Where are you going next?

    1. Always the highlight for me too Gilly. Have just been to Belgium and back! That’s a whole new story coming up. Am having trouble with WP in the meanwhile, being constantly signed out for some reason.

  6. Yes people around the world share the same needs and aspirations. It’s too bad cultural environment gets in the way of sharing those together so often.

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