January 18, 2023

Postcards from Kashmir with Utsav Mamoria

Winners of the Giveaway
Sudip Maji
Sanand Dekhane
Litishka Jagdeo


This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with the slow traveler and podcast host - Postcards from Nowhere, Utsav Mamoria!

Today's destination: Kashmir!

Nearest Airport: Srinagar Airport (SXR)

Nearest Railway Station: Udhampur Railway Station (UHP)

Prerequisites -  Ensure to check for ground conditions before traveling

Packing - Pack warm clothes depending on the time of the year

Time of the year - N/A

Length of the itinerary: 1 month

Itinerary Highlights:

Utsav starts off the episode by taking us to Arq-e-gulab, one of the last remaining rosewater makers of Kashmir and shares the state of the occupation and it’s origins
We also talk about Khanaqah-e-Moula, one of the oldest mosques in Kashmir - very unique for its wooden architecture as well as some stunning interiors made of papier mache.
Utsav’s next visit was to the carpet makers of Srinagar who make handmade carpets - again one of the last remaining generations of this traditional art form.
Next stop is at Burzahom - an ancient archaeological site that has ruins that date back to 9000 years ago. There is also a very unique stone depiction of a hunting scene and its surprising connection to astronomy. We also talk about the sad state of the archaeological remains and the conflicting needs of the locals and preservation.
We also cover some touristy spots like Aru valley and Betaab valley (of the movie Betaab fame, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh). Utsav talks about his experience trekking to the Shesh Nag lake and his encounter with the hospitality of the native Gujar bakharwal shepherd community. We also discuss about the challenges this community and their occupation faces.
We next talk about Utsav’s visit to the Ganesh Temple in Pehalgam also called the Mamleshwar temple and the story of Ganesh and Karthikeya circumnavigating the world.
One of our final stops is a visit to the Kargil war memorial and Hunderman Museum of memories, talking about the village of Hunderman and how it exchanged hands between India and Pakistan during recent conflicts, and how the people’s lives have been impacted.


Utsav’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whywetravel42/
Utsav’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/utsavmamoria
Link to Utsav’s podcast - https://open.spotify.com/show/1wBEmLH3UjoMV0kbMgy5gy?si=LULYcnCYRdWvb5YwkiGBrQ

Links to Utsav’s series on Kashmir:

The last rosewater maker of Srinagar

The Art of Writing Time: Persian and Sanskrit Chronograms

Gujar Bakarwals - The forgotten people of Kashmir

Kargil, Hunderman and The Museum of Memories

Srinagar, ancient carvings and Supernovas

Kashmiris, Hangul and the Manual of Life

The Vanishing art of Kashmiri carpet weaving

Sheshnag, deadly hikes and a thousand year old tradition

Zbayul, the invisible village of Ladakh

Cover Photo by Raisa Nastukova on Unsplash

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