When contemplating Kashmir in the present day, images of militancy and conflict often come to mind. However, there was a time when this region was an untouched paradise, brimming with lush beauty—a true heaven on earth. Kashmir beckons us to revisit this idyllic era, a time before the shadow of militancy darkened its landscapes and made many areas inaccessible.
Romesh Bhattacharji embarked on his first trek in Kashmir during the 1960s, marking the beginning of a enduring love affair that spanned decades. Venturing into even the most remote corners, now requiring inner-line permits, he earned a reputation for possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of the Himalaya. In this book, he intricately details the topography and geography of the region, accompanied by hand-drawn maps, unraveling the allure of Kashmir’s hidden corners, the grandeur of its lakes and meadows, and the exquisite beauty of its valleys and peaks.
With eloquence and captivation, “Kashmir” weaves a spell that will leave you yearning to embark on your own adventure through this breathtaking land.
Romesh Bhattacharji says, “Every fragment of Kashmir, be it in the Valley or in the mountains girdling it, is sublime and thrilling. Reaching an area is easy in today’s Kashmir, but to choose a corner to visit and to plan how to get there requires maps — these are difficult to get. Kashmir describes the popular and remoter parts of the state, pinpointing them on rough maps, whose sole purpose is to give an idea of their location. In 1962, I started trekking in Kashmir. At that time, I had only books and articles by Englishmen to guide me. That is when I first had the idea to make maps of some of Kashmir’s finer places. Sixty-two years later I have managed to write a book to accompany them.”
Swati Chopra, Associate Publisher, HarperCollins says, “Kashmir: Travels in Paradise on Earth is a worthy addition not just to books on trekking and mountaineering, but to the extensive corpus of books on Kashmir as well. While issues related to politics and militancy have remained central to Kashmir’s narrative, this book brings the spotlight to its natural beauty, its pristine mountains, and its unexplored valleys. For that alone, it deserves to be read, for it transports us to a time when Kashmir was a haven for those seeking peace and solitude, and one could spend days wandering its lush meadows and hiking through its dense forests and steep mountainsides.”