Lidder valley camping (Horseback trail Kashmir).
What do you remember in your life? Something which you have done for the first time or something that completely blow your mind. The visit to Adu valley was something like that. I will never ever forget that trip. Those cherished memories of journey on horseback, friends we made will remain with us.
So much of warmth and love from people who are living in the most troubled area changed our mind.
Travel is really fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness. This quote by Mark Twain is true.
Here I will narrate some of our experiences and info which can be useful for your own adventure planning.
This trek is nothing like your regular forest trek. The air is fresh like inhaling mint. Climate is soothing cool and water crystal clear. Forest looks friendly not scary. This is a little portion of the paradise, really !
The trek starts from Aadu ( Aru ) village that is around 10 kms from Pahalgam. The valley is lush green in summer and occasional rain showers makes it fresh all the time. This village is more peaceful compare to Pahalgam. Regular activities of tourism are available here. Yet it is not touched by the vices of touristy places till now. It is so nice that you do not need to do anything. Just taking a walk by the river side will freshen up anyone's spirit.
Rich green meadows make the mountain slopes beautiful that is just behind this small village. Lots of activities happens here like zorbing, para sailing, skiing ( in winter ) for tourists. For traveler the road to Lidder is goes through the beautiful pine and deodar forest. One can go on his own but journey becomes beautiful when you have a knowledgeable local companion.
Local shepherd huts dots the open meadows. Some huts are underneath the giant trees. They are known as Gujjar and Bakarwal. Shepherd kids playing with their sheep or horses is a common sight remind our childhood.
The crystal clear water directly comes down from the glacial lakes and peaks gives a unique colour to the Lidder river. The sound of gurgling water in the valley reverberates high up reminds your her constant company.
Route to the campsite is wonderful and not so tough. Even kids can go on horseback trails / walk to the campsite. It is moderate uphill so even if you feel like walking on your own it can be done. But riding on horseback is not a everyday thing ; it gives you a different kind of high. Also your viewing angle is higher once you are on a horseback.
The sight of numerous horses grazing is very common HERE. This is what you do not see on a regular basis. We have seen hundreds of horses in this journey.
People here have distinct looks. some looks handsome some fearsome. But most of them are open for a picture. You may feel you are straightaway walking into a giant movie set where everyone is like a warrior. Their features, attire and adorned horses put up a spectacle for sure. If you visit anyone's hut they will definitely offer you a cup of Kehwa ( Kashmiri Tea).
Another beautiful shot of the river while returning back.
Halfway our journey we descended to this place. It was looking so beautiful that I was thinking to camp here. Unfortunately we couldn't but if you have time then for sure spend one night by the riverside over here. And count the limitless start high up.
At last we reached to the grand theatre of nature. One path leading to Kolahoi glacier and another to Tarsar Lake and Rohil Basmai Valley. And this place is exactly in between them.
The tree cover is spreading thin here due to the height and rugged mountain peaks started coming out of the earth's womb. This particular peak looks like straight out of the famous show Game of Thrones.
If you are going with your kids to the campsite they will have the most memorable holiday with horses, sheep, shepherd kids and the river. Don't you think so this is exactly the backdrop of their fairytale.
Their infectious laughter makes us forget all the worries of back home.
These kids helps their parent in daily chores as well play with sheep. A truly outdoor life worth living!
Anagha went alone with us but while returning she had friends from the valley. They even took us to their home and treat us with Kehwa.
Anagha's new friend from Lidderwaat.
This shelter is a prominent landmark of the campsite. It is a good place to protect you from natural forces in case if weather changes. This is the main camping site for the best view of the valley surrounded by the Lidder from three sides.
Evenings spent here are quiet spectacular. This is the post shower golden glow.
A noble shepherd from Rajouri ( Jammu ); he visits Lidder in every summer with his sheep and family. A hospitable and principled guy; father of 4 daughters and 2 sons. Most of them are far off from the affairs of the state living quietly with their families. Traveling to such places opens up an bridge between us and them showing below the surface we all are same. We met many shepherds like him en route across the state; all are hospitable and full of warmth. Travel more and have local experiences to know the heart of Kashmir.
In case if you wish to know more for your journey do connect with us.