Day 3: Batote – Anantnag – Pahalgaon – Anantnag – Srinagar

Posted: July 8, 2007 in Rides_n_Travel

We started Day 3 at 5.30 in the morning. Now we were riding in a better weather and at some altitude on that quite decent Jammu – Srinagar highway. Hilly roads and we were getting acclimatized to the curves. Witnessed some beautiful landscapes. One can see a lot of Army activities on this highway. Every 500 mts there was a small troop and they were checking for land mines and stuff. It gives a shrill initially and one can sense some tension in that belt. We spoke to some jawans and they told us that this continues 24×7. We were amazed to know that military is deployed even on the surrounding mountains, and they have there bunkers all around the place. Whatever said and done, one gets a real feeling that ‘nation sleeps because these jawans are awake’. We salute the continuous efforts of Army to maintain such peace.

We crossed Jawahar tunnel around 9 AM to have a first glimpse of Kashmir Valley. Not much traffic was there till Jawahar tunnel as it opens at 9. We reached Anantnag around 11 and there met one of Prasoon’s friend who is doctor in Army. We always thought that it would be safer to move with army. After talking to him we got to know that its more safe for civilians and tourists than army. Army personnel can not go out of campus alone in military dress. Terrorist aims Army first. There in the army campus we noticed that Prasoon’s bike needed some oil and to get that oil from adjacent petrol pump a local person was asked who was in civil dress. After this revelation we decided never to ride along with Army convoy 😉

As we were having complete day at our disposal, we decided to take a detour and go to Pahalgaon which is somewhere around 40 kms from Anantnag. The road to Pahalgaon was mostly in good condition. Here we witnessed some of the mesmerizing views of Kashmir valley. Pahalgaon is a beautiful place and a must visit if time permits. We reached Pahalgaon at 2.30 and thought of leaving by 4.30 so as to reach Srinagar which is 40 more kms from Anantnag, in time. Reaching Pahalgaon, we were so captivated that we lost track of time and finally it was 6.30 when we started back for Anantnag. We reached Anantnag in 1 hr doing good speeds and noticed that at 7.30 all the shops were pulling shutters. Till Anantnag, we never observed any place closing this early. So, we quickly had a cup of tea and started for Srinagar.

We reached Srinagar around 9 PM and after Anantnag we were bit doubtful about closing time of Srinagar. As, we were about to enter Srinagar, we were stuck in a huge traffic jam and to our astonishment Srinagar was well alive even at 9. We looked out for a decent houseboat which took us another 1 hr and got one around 10. Promised houseboat owner to comeback by 11. Had a leisure dinner and by the time we were through and unpacked our bikes, it was around 12.30. After parking our bikes when we reached houseboat around 1 AM, the houseboat owner was furious at us. He reminded us ‘Remember this is Kashmir!!’ and we realized our mistake.

Total distance covered: 300 kms

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