Kashmir Valley is one of the most beautiful places not only in India but in the World. The natural beauty, mesmerising Chinar Trees, Deodars, captivating landscapes and snow clad mountains make Kashmir truly a heaven on Earth. The nature has given Kashmir amazing and serene valleys with lush green ambience. During summers from April to August you will see enchanting Green Kashmir, During September to November the entire valley turns red and yellow due to the change in colors of the Chinar Leaves. In winters you see completely a White Kashmir with snow covered Chinar and Deodar trees.
People of Kashmir are known for their hospitality. They give a very warm welcome to their guests and treat them as their family members.
During my visit to Kashmir in June 2011 I found that Kashmir and its people are no different than others. In fact I found them so honest, generous, kind and full of hospitality that my perception about Kashmir changed overnight. The politics of two countries never let Kashmir grow to the extent it deserved. The people of Kashmir want to live in peace. They want to live normal and peaceful life and want to enjoy the life with family and friends. Common man is not at all concerned about what the politics is going on for this beautiful piece of land.
The entire Kashmir valley was disturbed and remained closed for almost a year couple of years back due to infamous stone pelting issues. A handful of youth misguided by local politicians took to stone pelting and disturbed the entire valley. It is so surprising when I saw that all the roadside homes have their glasses of windows broken.
2011 have been a great year for Kashmir with negligible militant attacks. There has been a huge tourist rush to the valley in 2011. It is after so many decades that Kashmir witnessed millions of tourists in 2011. It is really delighting to see such a inflow of tourists in Kashmir.
The people in Kashmir are too very happy with this development and they are not paying heed to the strike or Bandh Calls by the separatists or any politician. The day I landed in Kashmir was a Bandh call given by one section of leaders but hardly there was any response to this call. The markets were open and the movement was so normal.
The Lal Chowk Kashmir and the surrounding areas which used to be the center for all agitations looked so beautiful without any protesters. It was just impossible and so dangerous to move around the valley couple of years back but things were so normal as if I was roaming in my home town. The army presence was negligible except for in and around airport. The army is no longer present in the cities or villages.
The businessmen are so happy about this positive development. The common man now can send their children to school without any fear and he can walk around with free mind.
The youth love to play hockey, Cricket, Volley Ball, Basket Ball and other games and you can see all the play grounds of the schools and colleges busy during evenings and can hear the voices of the youth enjoying in the playgrounds. That was truly amazing.
It is very unfortunate that such a misconception was being developed about Kashmir and about people of Kashmir. I would say people in this part of India are far educated, well behaved and honest as compared to many places.