Comfortably lying in the wide Kashmir Valley, all surrounded by snowy peaks, and permeated by the Islam, Srinagar has caught my imagination since the first sight. Even whether this town has been renewed through the centuries for its tolerance towards the different, coexisting faiths, after the insurgency in the 1989, almost all the Hindu Pandits were driven out the region. The Islamic culture, though, seems to have always been the most relevant throughout the ages, as the beautiful Chashme Shahi, Nishat, Shalimar and Harwan gardens testify.
Walking through the old city makes you really breathe a Middle-East breeze. Though, probably due to the influence of all the surrounding cultures, the application of the Islamic Law doesn’t seem to be as strict as in other parts of the world, especially regarding the condition of women, active part of the society and daily life. The young people speak a very good English, since the school system is turning into a full-English education. This allowed me to join a couple of young fellows in their walk to the Jamia Masjid, where I could discretely admire the rituals of the approaching prey of 5pm. Before this, I had also found on my way the Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara, an important religious site for Sikhs.
The best way to enjoy the sunset is a walk up to the Shankaracharya temple, where the sight over the city and the Dal Lake, set in its bucolic frame, will stick in your mind as an unforgettable shot. On the way down, a fed group of kids besieged me and guided me to the lakeside, through the colorful and narrow roads of the suburbs.