Why you must visit Gurez ?
Yes you heard it right. A special corner of the paradise where you actually need to make efforts to reach. But at the end it's totally worth it.
What is so special about Gurez valley? It is so close to the Indo - Pak border.
Must be dangerous right ? Absolutely wrong. It is one of the most peaceful region just like anywhere else on the earth especially for travellers. Even the road to Gurez is much better than Kaza - Manali route.
What you need to do is plan a journey from Srinagar early morning. Leaving the calm lake of Srinagar behind you need to cross the biggest freshwater lake of Asia ; Wular. It is indeed a sight to behold.
Then comes Bandipora ; climbing up starts from there upto the scenic Razdan pass and then descend into the little piece of paradise known as Gurez.
The water here is literally different than any other river . And if you have heard about Gilgit Baltistan where we are not allowed to go this region is geographically similar to that due to the close proximity.
Stories about the famous poetess of Kashmir Habba Khatun are woven around this hill where she used to live. This land is full of stories from centuries. A valley on the crossroads of famous silk route now forgotten by the rest of the world. To know that a visit to local village and elders is must.
The winter is cold and harsh here so the houses are big and warm made of huge pinewoods. They are much different than other mountain houses anywhere else in the Himalaya. Heavy snowfall make people built high houses so humans and animals can survive those long cold months until summer and again prepare for the winter.
The region is completely different than other valleys of Kashmir. That makes the hills and forests more interesting . You can have dark forest as well vast open spaces and meadows adorned with colourful wildflowers.
Some peaks are standing tall with minimum vegetation just like guards of this valley. Must be looking beautiful once covered up by the blanket of snow in winter.
The warmest part of this valley are her people. Everywhere you go they welcome you and radiates smile. Well mannered and soft spoken people of this area wins our heart and you feel at home.
When we were searching for a tea a gentleman invited to his home and offered us tea, cookies and cake. This happens in Gurez where you need not to know the other person yet they treat you like a family.
Valleys here are gentle and full of variety in flora and fauna.
The road is not bad as it is portrayed on many blogs. It is definitely adventurous and rough but with a careful driver and experienced guide this tour is sure fun not only for a traveller but a family who seeks good time together in peace.
The visit to any place is not complete without meeting local; listening their experiences & stories of the place. Our daughter enjoyed every moment by making friends with children and seniors. After all they makes the place habitable.
The variety of wildflowers is in abundance .It is so much that after certain time you cannot click more flowers. Every few meters the change in flora is visible. That makes the travel even more interesting.
The small village of Gurez valley is certainly frozen in the era bygone. Those wooden houses and alleys gives it a charm. And walking through the market, talking to locals, shopping local variety of fruits / food is pleasure. Even for a second also you do not feel like outsider here. Everyone smiles at you just like they knows you since longtime. This place is really magical.
The region is broadly divided into there valleys Gurez , Tulail & Baghtor and all of them are different. Forest, desert, meadows, ice, peaks, gentle slopes everything is present here in it's distinct way.
Lastly if you are worried about the stay you have couple of options which are certainly more scenic than anywhere else you have stayed before. So when are you planning you trip to Gureiz valley!
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