The first part of this series can be found here.
The second part of this series can be found here.
The third part of this series can be found here.
After waking up a little early to this amazing view, we checked out of the hotel and headed into town for our trip into Betab valley. We couldn’t take our private car here so we needed to hire a local car from the stand to take us there. You pay them based on the number of points you wish to see.
Betab valley got it’s name from the movie Betaab starring Sunny Deol, that was released in 1983. It had several scenes shot here and subsequently it has regularly been used as a location for movies. The day that we were here, filming for a Tollywood movie was in progress.
Our Little Guide
While we don’t usually hire guides, there was an enthusiastic little guy who offered to guide us for a small fee. He told us that he was studying in Std 8th. With so few tourists around, it really looked like he could do with some money so we let him accompany us.
No one but us
Betab for me was a place of desolate beauty. Besides us there were just 5 -6 tourists walking about. While that is a sad thing for the locals it really let us appreciate it’s beauty with nothing else to distract us.
After spending about an hour at Betaab Valley we headed towards the Chandanwari glacier. These are a few photos taken while were driving towards it.
Once you reach Chandanwari you can do a small trek up. Most people don’t go right up to the top as it can be a little strenous. But we chose to go up higher than most.
It was a fun climb upto the top. The view from up there was worth it. Our boots would often sink into the snow right upto our knees. Having snow get into your boots can be quite an unpleasant experience and I had to stop a couple of times so our guide pull out my shoes and empty it of the snow. Neverthless slipping and sliding down the glacier was a fun experience.
While we were on our way back to Srinagar we stopped at the Avantipura ruins. It was most recently where the song Bismil from the movie Haider was shot.
We stopped once again at the dry fruit shop from the previous day as our driver had to pick up a larger quantity of Kesar for a previous customer worth almost Rs 15000 to courier back to him. As it was the 4th day into our trip I noticed that there were signboards proclaiming a polythene bag ban at several places. When I thought about it I realised that while Kashmir wasn’t a perfectly clean state it was much cleaner than you might expect. It may be hard to say if this can be attributed to the plastic ban or due to it’s nature as a tourist state but I hope that things continue to get better.