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Authored by Tanveer Badyari

Autumn, or “Harud”, as they say in local language, denotes the foggy season with different hues in air.  It is harvest time in India, and  one of the most expensive spices, “saffron”, gets harvested during this season.

The brown mountains adore the beauty of Kashmir and glorify its scenic gardens.  This season of mist brings countless joys to the tourists as they see thick foliage everywhere carpeting the paths and gardens.

During Autumn in Kashmir, tourists enjoy visiting apple orchards where they help farmer’s with apple picking efforts. This is the high season for apples in Kashmir.

Other sites to experience in fall in Kashmir include the University campus, uphill drive to Chashma Shahi, and the hilly road to the shrine in Brein. These places are very nearby major tourist attractions of Srinagar such as Dal lakeRajbagh and Nehru park.

Dal Lake.

Dal Lake. Photo CC by Tony Gladvin George

If you want to enhance your fall experience in Kashmir, a visit to Dachigam National Park is highly recommended. This wildlife park hosts Black bear and Snow leopards unlike those seen anywhere else in the world.

Though for Kashmiri people, autumn brings a different message. It alarms and keeps them busy in preparing for the winter which is not very far.

Foggy mornings encircle the vast fields and mountains ablaze with the amber look of ripe and mellow grass. Roses grow throughout from spring to summer and die away when the autumn ends.

As I walk one evening on the famed Boulevard Road I can see signs of autumn everywhere; sunlight crossing through the translucent maple leaves, hitting the array of mountains around the lake, willow trees of gold slanting in the brown earth in a hazy light. 

Autumn in Kashmir. Photo CC by

Autumn in Kashmir. Photo CC by Tony Gladvin George

Crisp leaves flutter down from trees like gold coins. Shepherds bring back their flock from nearby mountains, carrying baby goats in their arms and making themselves warm with their wool, their women carrying piles of firewood on their heads for cooking food at home. 

I see fountains of Dal Lake slashing the blue sky, a lone shikara loitering in the silent waves as the shade of mountains fill the lake.

During autumn, people collect the fallen leaves and burn them in a pile to make coal for their (kangri) traditional firepot. Handicrafts & curio shops become glossy with the brightly colored embroidered shawls of pashmina wool. A traditional Kashmiri woolen dress, “piren”, is made to keep oneself warm.

The outskirts of Kashmir provide incredibly romantic views; villager’s making stacks of paddy amongst large amounts of brown grass, mountain slopes cluttered with sheep, log huts on terraced rice fields along the winding Chenab river, pines & spruce trees lending a shade of green to the Chenabs stagnant waters, and donkey’s carry sandbags from the river shores.

Kashmir

A Goat by a stream in Kashmir. Photo CC by Kashmir Pictures

Above, a curvy road winds through the gorge and boys can be seen playing cricket in corn fields.  Freezing winds come down from the snowy mountains & reach to the gypsy women, who are covered in tweed ponchos making tea on burning logs.

As the curtain of fog rises from the meadows a fluff of black and white sheep stay cuddled with the grass. Before the winter starts shepherds take their herds out for grazing, after snow falls the earth will not be visible for four months.

S

Shepherds bring back their flock from nearby mountains, carrying baby goats in their arms.

Village women emerge from the forest trails carrying pitchers of drinking water, on their heads collected from the spring.

As one walks down the Boulevard road a crushing sound of leaves can be heard simultaneously with the footsteps,  a boat man ferries on the mist which hangs loosely on the lake carrying his goods and calls the customers which stay warm inside the houseboats.

Autumn has arrived in Kashmir.

Tanveer Badyari grew up in the wild parts of Himalayas in Kashmir and Ladakh. He is avid trekker in these parts and likes to share with world the undiscovered and matchless beauty of Himalayas by creating a vivid imagery with his descriptive writing.

He can be reached on his blog Himalayan Yeti, his website Kashmir Ladakh Tourism, as well as via Google +.

    18 Comments

  1. Sounds like a magic and beautiful place to explore. I always try to find national parks when I travel because it gives you a sense of the land, government, etc.
    Angela recently posted…Early Snow on Bootjack MountainMy Profile

    • It does, doesn’t it! We can’t wait to get to India – Tanveer’s writing means I can almost smell the Autumn from here!

  2. OK I don’t know why I am surprised that India grows apples but I totally am. India 1 Hannah 0. Haha Kashmir looks stunning though and I’m more than just a little bit in love with those goats.
    Hannah recently posted…8 Travellers to Keep Your Eye on in 2015My Profile

    • Lol loving your score card – heading over to see the goats is definitely an acceptable reason to travel 😀

    • I hope you manage to make it here during 2015 🙂

    • Thanks Lyn – Glad you enjoyed Tanveer’s article. I hope you manage a visit to Kashmir soon!

    • Thanks for the great guest post 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed the article – he has quite the talent for descriptive writing!

    • Seems like the goat is a popular man! Glad you enjoyed the post Jenna 🙂

    • Glad you’re inspired! Maybe I’ll meet you there!

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