Golden-brown rice fields, streams bringing down crystal-clear water from the mountains, cicadas “singing”: these are the indicators of the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of the autumn in Kashmir.
Movies, poets and storytellers have shown and described the splendour of Kashmir in ways us mere mortals can never hope to do. Situated at the foothills of the Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas, Kashmir, known as the Crown of India, is truly a paradise on earth. Home to abundant woods, sparkling rivers, golden chinars and snow-capped mountains, the valleys of Kashmir offer positively stunning views of azure blue skies & lakes.
Generations have passed but the beauty of Kashmir remains the same, mesmerizing us, alluring us, beckoning us! Here, nature changes its hues beautifully every season making Kashmir a year-round destination. However, if you want to experience Kashmir’s beauty in full bloom, then you must visit it during summer through autumn i.e. June to November.
The chilly winds of cold winter make way for the mild summer days & stunning autumn evenings. This is the best time to visit Kashmir as the weather is at its best. No need to carry heavy woolens and thermals. You can enjoy the treks and hikes through the valleys and admire the surrounding beauty at a leisurely pace.
As farmers in the countryside prepare to harvest paddy, trees laden with apples show signs that the fruit is waiting to be picked. In the hilly areas, the maize crop and walnut trees are also maturing for the harvest. Besides apples, grapes, for which north Kashmir’s Lar area in Ganderbal district is famous, are also picked in the beginning of the autumn season. One of the highlights of Kashmir in autumn is the saffron fields of Pampore, for which Kashmir is very famous. During late autumn, people of Pampore with tens of thousands of villagers wearing home spun clothes can be seen picking flowers at a furious pace, and heaping them into wicker baskets. Their chatter and laughter rings through the clear air and all you can do is marvel at a sight like no other anywhere in the world.
For fishermen, Kashmir’s mountain streams with trout are like a treasure trove during the autumn months. Interestingly, trout was introduced in Kashmir by the British rulers early in the 19th century to address the nostalgia they felt for the fish. In fact, one of the major attractions for foreign anglers has been the high quality brown trout found in Kashmir
For fishermen, trekkers, water sports lovers and also for those who come to just lounge and relax, autumn is the best season to visit the Valley. A nip in the mornings and evenings and the gentle warmth of the autumn sun are so refreshing.
Towards the end of autumn, the chinar trees change their colour from green through crimson to yellow. It is a spellbinding spectacle that holds the viewer in awe. While some believe that the chinars were brought to Kashmir from Iran, others say they came from Greece. One Persian visitor is known to have exclaimed, “Che Nar” (What Fire!) after seeing the fiery leaves of the tree in autumn.
And, as the autumn advances, thousands of migratory birds from far off Siberia, China, the Philippines and Eastern Europe start arriving to spend the winter months in the local water bodies that host these visitors. Whichever way one looks at it, autumn is undoubtedly the king of the Valley’s seasons. If you haven’t been to Kashmir in autumn, you just don’t know what you are missing out on.
Team Veena World