Exploring the unexplored

Trip to Ringbala Village is a surreal experience
"Road beyond Tchuntwari is a fair weather gravel track which adds to the adventure and thrill due to steep gradient and sharp turns at few places."
"Road beyond Tchuntwari is a fair weather gravel track which adds to the adventure and thrill due to steep gradient and sharp turns at few places." Author

BY JYOTI CHAUDHARY

In May of year 2022 I was planning my second trip to Jammu and Kashmir. The question lingering in my mind was to reach an offbeat place still untouched by commercial tourism.

This quest to explore the unexplored arises because visit to a commercial destination doesn’t give one the desired rejuvenation. That is the reason more and more people are going for offbeat destinations nowadays.

Fast forward to the trip proper which I will relive while trying to give a visual description for future offbeat tourists like me.

I will skip the less important details of reaching Srinagar and hiring a taxi for our final destination which are generally same as any other itinerary of valley.

Ringbala village is located in Kupwara district and one can reach it by road in six hours from Srinagar by moving along route Srinagar – Sopore –Kupwara – Kalaroos – Machhal – Tchuntwari - Ringbala.

Road beyond Tchuntwari is a fair weather gravel track which adds to the adventure and thrill due to steep gradient and sharp turns at few places.

The beauty and offbeat charm of the area started dawning on me as soon as I crossed Zimmewarkhan Gali or Z Gali (A pass en-route with mesmerising views of Kashmir valley and encircling ridges on a clear day).

As I drove down from Z Gali fresh gusts of winds uplifted the mood and the tiredness was taken away by mixed aroma in the breeze of pine leaves and numerous aromatic herbs.

The journey on winding road with soft music in car felt surreal till I reached Tchunwari.

Beyond Tchuntwari journey till Ringbala was a mix of adventure and soaking in one mesmerising view after another.

The view of rolling meadows, the open Ringabala valley and the meandering Ringbala Nar ensconced between forested mountains is hidden like a treasure from the visitor till the last leg of journey when the track ascends from Chakki village to Ringbala village.

I was welcomed by graziers and their cattle with a look of friendly curiosity and as I approached the village children and villagers working in their farms joined the gathering of curious onlookers.

The first look of the Ringbala Village and the adjoining valley made me envious and mesmerised at the same time. I was envious of locals that they get to live in such heavenly place and was mesmerised by the beauty of the place.

As the day turned night and night gave way to another dawn the view from my room kept changing hues like a ‘Firestick’ screensaver. Once you see the beauty in these screensavers while watching TV you long to be at such a place and I was now part of the screensaver.

Even in the month of May I could get the luxury of experiencing snow, pristine lush green meadows and steeped cultivated farms at the same time.

Trek to the nearby mountains was a soulful one where there was no hurry of reaching a place from where the view would be better; it was trek without destination which automatically takes one into self-introspection mode. This made me wonder, is it the reason rishi-munis chose remote mountains for meditation.

Finally, I would say that even a Nobel laureate in literature will find it difficult to describe the beauty of this place in words.

So, one will have to visit the place to experience the Swiss Alps and Yorkshire meadows at one place sans the hassles of travelling a foreign country.

Jyoti Chaudhary is a homemaker with a panache to experiment and explore new things. She can be reached at: jyotichaudhary.21@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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