Showing posts from April, 2010

Drive to Sonmarg, the 'Golden Meadow' from Gagangir village

Of the many famous 'margs' (meadows) of Kashmir valley, Sonamarg (or Sonmarg) is among the best known. 'Sona' refers to gold. Since we were here in July much of the grass was still green and was yet to turn golden. But the place still provided a 'being in heaven' feeling. You can feel the tall mountains getting closer and surrounding you as you near Sonmarg. Click here  to see the above map on Fresh crystal clear streams gush out through the mountain passages The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government tourism boards remind me of the neat, clear and boldly printed boards for tourists in Europe and US/ Canada. The air was clean and pure. The place neat and clean. No rubbish or garbage strewn. The feel was truly  heavenly. A view from the hotel opposite the Thajiwas glacier The inviting meadows...straight out of a school book illustration of a fairyland The meadows on the way to the glacier are popular with

Glimpses of Kashmir valley's beauty- Drive from Srinagar to Gagangir Village (near Sonmarg)

One of the biggest advantages of visiting a tourist destination high up the mountains is the clean air and the minimal presence of dust. The tall mountains with streams flowing down in the valleys between them add to the beauty. Throw in near clean skies in the back drop, paste the slopes green with hundreds of thousands of trees, crown the mountain peaks with pure white snow, dot the entire landscape with pretty little villages and prettier end up having the vale of Kashmir.  The beauty of Kashmir valley elevates photography to another level. I had my share of indulgence when I flew into Srinagar and drove to Sonmarg hill station on the way to Kargil town via Zo Jilla pass. This was in June last year (2009) when I was there to witness WWF-India's Snow Leopard work. Fortunately I took time off on the weekend to process some of the images. Below are the ones of my drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg, which is a part of the Srinagar - Leh national highway. Some

From Jog falls to the 'green seas' of south-east Asia

A forest stream flowing near Makutta in a remote corner of Karnataka's Western Ghats near the Kerala state border I fell in love with rain-forests the first time I saw them on the drive to Jog Falls in Western Ghats. This was in early 1983, with my immediate family. These continue to awe me. The most recent being in south-east Asia. First impression, always the best I t was spring (early-April) of 1983. I guess I was in Grade 3  or 3rd Standard as we call it in Karnataka. I was visiting North Karnataka in a hired Ambi (Hindustan's Ambassador brand car) with my parents, my extremely naughty elder bro and kid sis. I had an aunt living with her Doc hubby and kids in Hubli, Dharwar District. We drove to Hubli, from hometown Tumkur, on the Bangalore - Mumbai National Highway 4. Those were the days when we crossed more trees than trucks through the drive. I still remember the neatly lined, fruit-bearing avenue trees. There were Jamun trees till near Kalambella village befo