We headed away from the city relaxing in a shikara, and passed water lilies floating on Dal Lake before reaching the Shalimar Gardens. Built by the Mughal emperor, Jahangir for his wife, Nur Jahan in the early 1600s, the gardens were in sharp contrast to Srinagar.
Manicured gardens, water tinkling from a fountain, and a pillared pavilion offering shade, created a peaceful setting before the lake. It was easy to imagine Persian poets idling by the tank, ruminating over their next verse or classical dancers performing with the lake as a backdrop.
The gardens provided the perfect resting place. Ahead, was our journey back to Jammu and on to what I would soon discover—the turmoil of Varanasi.
Featured image courtesy of Adam Jones, Wikimedia Commons