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Think eating out in Kashmir, and you think of cosy restaurants with carpeted flooring, wood panelling and a sumptuous wazwan spread. A fantasy-themed cafe – one dedicated to the iconic Game of Thrones, no less – is a clear break-away from this norm. This is what makes the Winterfell Cafe on Boulevard Road by the Dal Lake an exciting new attraction on Srinagar’s map. Set up by two friends, Kamran Nisar and Ummar, Winterfell Cafe Srinagar is not just a tribute to the most legendary TV series of our times but also a glimpse into the refreshing new outlook of Kashmir’s youth or at least a section of it. I had first learnt about this GoT-inspired cafe while researching an article on fantasy-themed restaurants in India, and it had been on my radar since. So when a trip to Kashmir materialised, a meal at Winterfell Cafe Srinagar went right at…

You’ve probably read to death about the mainstream must-see destinations in Kashmir, right from Gulmarg to Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Srinagar. I wanted to explore the beauty of Kashmir from a different vantage point. If you too are looking to indulge in similar sights that are off the beaten path, this look-back at my journey through Gurez Valley will inspire you to explore the hidden gems of Kashmir. My research on the terrain and topography of the region helped me zero in on exploring the untouched beauties around North and South Kashmir. Choosing the road less travelled path and being one with nature is a wonderfully liberating experience. I believe it is “better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times”. Planning this trip to Gurez Valley on my own turned out to be a challenge, as most of the areas don’t have proper connectivity via phone or…

Summer is just about knocking at our doors with a whack, sending us scuttling for respite even before the mercury has risen to its true potential. In Kashmir, the onset of summer means different things – like the spring making the famous tulip garden in Srinagar dance in full bloom. The seven terraced garden sprawled over 30 hectares of land was set up in 2007 as a draw card to advance the commencement of the tourist season by two months. It is considered the biggest landscaping undertaken since the Mughals transformed the region’s vista in the 16th century. Kashmir Tulip Garden – The Tulip Festival Kashmir Tulip Garden is also famous for The Tulip Festival each year since its inauguration. The garden hosts the annual Tulip Festival to celebrate the blooming of these magnificent colour bulbs. The two-week long festival that commences sometimes between last week of March and early April…