My Indian journey started in Kasmere. Right after the transfer to domestic flights in Delhi, where they take your picture and fingerprints. Then I flew to Srinagar, registered at a local office, they like paper surveys (it just be a lot of fun to scan all and file it to registers…irtificial employment I guess). In Srinagar region, there is an absolute must – Dal Lake. You hire a room in one of many beautiful handcrafted houseboats on the lake.
It is kind of waterslum, the biggest benefit is that it is calm and peaceful. It is a great option to slowly adapt to this different culture and skip the cultural shock. Normally, there are people everywhere, also cars and dogs…
So a few days to slowly down, catch a breath and sync the speed is a good idea. There is a local vegetable market on the lake, they take you there on a Shikara (wooden boat), you need to start at 5 in the morning though. Or 5:30 if your driver gets too high on hasish the previous night.
You can also go up on the roof of the houseboats to think and watch the movement around. There is a hill with really ancient temple, fortress, dozens of great gardens. Some of them even offer a cool down in great artificial rivers, mountain ridge to the east. There is enough to do for a week, still a chance to find your peace or both.
As a pale skin person get ready to be watched, approached for selfies, asked how you are million times. It is nice at the beginning but when you suddenly have nowhere to hide, relax or move without the curious eyes it’s no that much fun anymore.