The Himalayas of India:  Ladakh and Srinagar, Summer 2013
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Wednesday 26 June 2013 - Friday 28 June 2013 - Dal Lake, Kashmir, continued:
I have a Kashmiri family. They live on the other side of the world in a beautiful place called Kashmir. I eat with the family in the back room. We eat on the floor. Someone rolls out a large decorative cloth. We wash our hands. Then we tear into the goodies.

Almost always, Nazia, his wife and the others prepare the meals, but today, Fayaz wanted to cook a chicken dish...and also some trout. Some of the family had gone fishing, and brought back some trout.

And here's some of the meal that we were eating.

Yesterday, John, Jimmy, Sajid, and others had gone fishing at a place about 70 km from here, catching 14 trout. This evening, we had it, which was fried with hot chili paste and served with fried rice, fried eggplant, fried onion, and peas, chicken, rotis, and other fun stuff.

Saturday 29 June 2013:
I got up at 4:30 to go to the early morning vegetable market, where people on shikaras (small paddle boats) loaded with vegetables hawk their wares.

This was a fantastic idea except for one small detail: it was raining.

We went anyway because we have no sense.

Other foreign tourists were here as well, the most I've seen in one place since arriving in Kashmir. But these tourists had hired shikara paddlers with deluxe shikaras with roofs, where we were just two soggy guys paddling a shikara from the houseboat. It was okay, though, that's what rainjackets and hats are for. I used a hotel shower cap to wrap around the body of the camera, and hid it in my coat during the times I wasn't shooting, which worked like a charm.

An early wet Saturday morning at the vegetable market on Dal Lake.

The early morning vegetable market, Dal Lake style.

The vegetable market of Dal Lake.

Later in the day, I joined some Viru, Showkat, and Jigar, a group of friends extended family members, in a late-afternoon/evening excursion to Hazratbal Mosque, perhaps most noted for having a whisker of Prophet Mohammed.

Shown here is halwa, delicious sweet halwa, outside Hazratbal Mosque.

Hazratbal Mosque, Srinagar, Kashmir, India.

Hazratbal Mosque, Srinagar, Kashmir, India.

We then went to the tranquil Jamial Masjid, built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD.

Jamial Mosque is composed of 370 pillars of wood, and one of the best surviving examples of this sort of architecture.

After visiting Hazratbal and Jamial Mosques, we headed to Lal Chowk, a popular shopping area for locals and travelers.

Lal Chowk in Srinagar, where they have everything for your butt, oh yes.

Lal Chowk, Srinagar.

Mummy Please eatery in Lal Chowk, Srinagar.

In the three times I've now been to Kashmir, I don't believe I have ever eaten at a restaurant. The food is so great and varied at the houseboat that I've never had a full meal at a restaurant.

Remember, follow the little forward and backward autorickshaws to navigate.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

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The Himalayas of India: Summer 2013


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