Summer vacation is a boon on plains. In summer the temperature goes up and one feels upset. The atmosphere grows sultry dull and close. We thank God when our schools and colleges close for summer vacation and we get ready to go to a sonic health resort to spend them.
Last year our college closed on the first of July. We had made up our mind to go to Pahalgam. We boarded
All the passengers took their seats and the bus started. We had a memorable journey. As many as twenty passengers were going to Pahalgam direct. They were a jolly company. Two of them were good singers. They entertained us with their sweet songs throughout our tiresome journey.
The bus passed through wild and dull scenery. The road ran through small hillocks which looked barren and rocky. Of course, the Tawi flowing far below in a broad valley on the right side and distant hills presented a picturesque scene.
The bus stopped at Nagrota for a few minutes to pay the road toll. Next it halted at Nandni where the passengers had tea, sweets and cheese pakoras. After 15 minutes’ halt, we started off again and crossed a small tunnel.
At about 10 a.m. we reached the beautiful towns of Udhampur situated on a hillock. Beyond Udhampur the road went around a mountain and took a number of curves. At every stop, we seemed to ascend higher and higher, and the view of the plains and valley far below appeared charming.
At about 11 a.m. we were at Kuda famous health resort. Here the weather was very fine. The scorching heat of the plains was left behind. We took some refreshment and ice cold water of the spring.
Next, we passed through thick forests, growing on either side of the hilly road and crossed Patnitop, the highest point reached so far. The road then descended through curves to Batote, another fine health resort. Here we took lunch and stayed for about an hour.
Then we left for Ramban. The road went up and down hills and wound in and out of forests of pine and deodar. We had on our left a precipitous descent and on our right mountains covered with thick forests. The curves were narrow and blind. There was every time a risk of an accident.
Near the Khuni Nallah, the brakes of the bus failed and it struck against the mountainside. Had it gone to the other side even by a few inches, it would have fallen into a deep ravine and all of us would have been no more. All of us got out of the bus hurriedly and thanked our stars for a lucky escape.
It took about an hour to set the brakes right. We reached Banihal at about 4 p.m. The driver took some supply of petrol here and passengers had tea and some
The bus then started climbing some long curves and reached some 7000 ft. above the sea-level. We entered the Jawahar Tunnel which links up the Kashmir valley with the rest of India. This is one of the longest tunnels in the world.
When we came out of the tunnel, the lovely valley lay before us. After a few descending curves, we reached Qazi Kund and then Khanna Bal. The road is plain and straight here. The scenery is beautiful. The tall and straight poplar trees growing in rows, ripe cornfields, flowing waters-all these presented a delightful scene.
From Anantnag to Pahalgam the road runs along the Lidder river. There are high and low mountains covered with thick forests. The scenery is grand. We reached Pahalgam at 8 p.m. This is a delightful hill station. The journey was really memorable.