India in pictures

It looks like Switzerland

9:48 AM

The Incredible India most foreign tourists have in mind, are the desert plains of Rajasthan. Many of course will know the lush greenery of Goa, and think India is a land of perpetual sunshine and heat, and tropics...what they might not know, is that a part of the Himalaya is actually in India, and with it, the same climate you'd find in the Swiss Alps, not to mention landscape.

The picture above was taken in December in Manali. When I posted that picture along with many others on my Facebook timeline for my family to see, my mom commented that it looked a great deal like small villages in the Swiss Alps, complete with the slate stones roofs, and she is right, it does strike a strong similarity. In this picture my SILs and I left the guys at the hotel and went hiking on a small trail to Vashisht, the oath took us through an apple orchard and small mountain houses, while being surrounded by white capped peaks, pine trees and fields. Manali is in no way unique, the same type of landscape can be found all over the Himalayas. So much for India being all tropical or desert uh?


  1. Beatrix1:02 PM

    Kashmir lies in the western Himalayas & looks a great deal like Swittzerland too. The temperate climate & seasons in Kashmir are much like Switzerland also with snow in winter (skiing & sledding are common at higher altitudes), lots of Fall colors, & mildly warm summers with meadows full of alpine flowers.

    Architecture in Kashmir is quite similar to what you see in Switzerland also - houses have high peaked roofs (to shed snow) are often brick covered in plaster, & feature ornate wooden carvings & heavy wooden beams.

    Large parts of Kashmir are heavily forested like Switzerland also. Kashmir has deciduous forests of beech, oak & chinar at lower elevations & coniferous forests of pines, firs & spruce at higher elevations. Wild blackberries grow in brambles around Kashmir too- but beware of cranky bears that like berries also!

  2. Kashmir is one of these places I want to visit one day, my BIL was posted in Jammu at one point before we were married and showed me lots of pictures of Kashmir as well, it definitely looks like Switzerland...a lot :-)

  3. Beatrix7:22 PM

    We visit the in laws twice a year in Srinagar, so I've been pretty much everywhere in Kashmir.
    Things that are very much unSwiss in Kashmir-
    1) Like the rest of India, Kashmir has TRASH everywhere :(
    2) Get used to having guns pointed at you always, you will be aware of the Indian military presence.
    3) Due to ongoing strife, Kashmir's economy is completely kaput. You will be begged & pleaded with to buy something ANYTHING even though there's hardly anything to buy.

  4. I suggest you take a trip to Ladakh which is up north of Kashmir. I went there two years ago. It has little greenery, only mud mountains but the wilderness is beautiful. We went to the Pongdong lake which is seven hour drive from the city of Leh. You first go upto to 18000 feet where a small restaurant is located and then come down to about 3000 feet. The lake itself is beautiful and clean, blue, green and you can see throught he water. All along with the paths there are small villages and not a soul in sight. The climax of the film "Three Idiots" was shot there. Now, the lake regularly features in various advertisements. I have never seen snow so it was a new experience. The cold winds are like knives. Ladakh has lots of monastries, palaces and beautiful natural beauty.
    A word of cuation. First timers to Lakash may face breathlessness. If you walk a few steps vigorously, you will feel breathlessness because of lack of oxygen. Many people come to Ladakh and return immediately because they feel ill. There are ofcourse medicines like "Diamox" to get over it. I actually took a homeopathic medicine to counter breathlessness. Now a days lot of people are going there. It is very different from other hill stations.

  5. Kashmir was actually a the favourte location for Indian filmakers in 1960s and 1970s. The most famous one is the song "Kashmir Ki Kali"

    It remained a favourite location for a long time till 1989, till the political situation destroyed it. People who go to Kashmir are overwhelmed with the military presence there. But the military is not deployed for fun, they are not on picnic. Everyday soldiers ger killed in Kashmir. There are there because both India and Pakistan has not be able to resolve the Kashmir issue.

    The filmakers then shifted to foreign locations, especially Switzerland. Yash Chopra, the great bollywood filmaker, king of romantic movies, short a lot of films in Switzerland and popularized the place among the Indians. Many Indians went ot Switzerland after seeing it in the movies. Mr. Chopra was given honorary citizenship of Switzerland for his contribution towards tourism. There is a lake name after him there called "Chopra Lake". The great filmmaker died recently but his "Swiss" legacy stays on

  6. Always wanted to go there, and will certainly do it once. Altitude sickness is no joke, the problem with our fast paced lives and the little time people have to holiday means that people going in the mountain want to start being active right away. One of the best way to tackle the lack of oxygen is to take rest, spend the first few days not doing any physically demanding activity and let the body adapt to the change in oxygen levels. People who go to the Mont Blanc have the same issue, the "aiguille du midi" has a lift that take you up there and a lot of people feel disoriented and dizzy going up because they aren't used to the sudden change in altitude


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