The west side of Dal Lake is more rural and steeper. Rice is grown in terraced plots of earth. The Srinigar Valley is a lush valley and that is easily evident in this area. My friends lived in a large house at the end of the small road just to the left of Nishat Bagh. I rented the middle flat of a new house just a little bit down the same road for something like $30 a month. Swami Lakshman Joo’s home and ashram was also on that small road , at the bottom just off the main road circling the lake. We were the only ones on that particular road.
It was a pleasure to walk out the door and up to the end of the road to continue hiking in the hills above NIshat Bagh. Small villages, enclaves and farmland all with a view of Dal Lake. Eagles, countless birds and not to many people at that time.
Taking the bus home was always an adventure. The drivers seemed to take pleasure in pretending they didn’t hear the westerner shouting out “Tarsa Hey!” (Stop here!) No cords to pull to signal where you wanted to stop, just your vocal chords to make use of. Usually after two or three shouts, and some amused chuckles from the locals, the bus driver would acquiesce at the next stop to let you off. It made for nice walks and good photo ops, though.
The men would smoke from their water pipes during the day. There was always a can with some embers going to keep the tobacco lit. At the end of the day, there would often be a little bit of the ever plentiful hashish thrown in for relaxation.
Hope you enjoyed these. In the next few days I’ll be posting one more set of photos. They’ll be of Swami Lakshman Joo’s 65 birthday celebration. Till then….
thanks for taking some LIP from me,