In search of lasting tranquillity
Srinagar's two lakes, Dal and Nagin, are both peppered with houseboats. New Delhi - A dense mist lifted, revealing mountains and water suffused with the magic of early morning light. Framed by the carved porch of my houseboat, the world of Dal Lake looked utterly serene.
The extraordinary beauty and that burst of aggressive energy were, I felt, entirely symptomatic of the haunting nature of the Kashmir Valley. For a good 20 years, this fabled land in north-west India has been as notable for its tragic problems as its dreamily picturesque qualities.
However, in November, the Foreign Office eased its warning against travel to parts of the region. Over the previous 12 months, outbreaks of unrest in the state of Jammu and Kashmir had diminished significantly.
So, the advice against visiting the cities of Srinagar and Jammu was lifted, along with the caution against road trips between these two places. Road blocks have since been removed and the presence of the Indian military has been greatly reduced.
With the summer tourist season under way, the hope is that other areas in the state will also be considered safe by foreign governments.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Independent on Saturday