The University of Kashmir is located inside a huge old garden called Nasim Bagh, and it’s back entrance is just opposite the road from Clermont’s Houseboat. After we placed our bags in the room, we went out to have a walk. The area is almost empty and nothing like a campus area. Nasim Bagh is a garden with these huge trees dated from hundred years ago, and it’s really nice that they are preserving it despite setting up a university campus in there.
I suppose it was semester vacation or something that there arent many people around. Although, we passed by a student and talked to him. He was excited knowing us as tourists from Malaysia. Yeah, I was excited ourselves that we are visiting a university in our trip. Unplanned, but nice. As we walked along, we could see some house-like buildings with signboard like “Faculty of xxx”, “Center of Research” etc and they’re so sweet. Who says a university needs to have big buildings? I was imagining if I was studying here, in a university in a garden, literally, how peaceful is that? We also passed by houses which we guess belong to university staff, and seeing small children playing hide and seek. When I waved to them and said hi, they ran away to hide =,=
So this is the main building, which is the biggest building in this area, and another which houses some faculty.
There’s a huge field, with a yet another sight of cricket game (not surprised) but there are also students sitting on the field reading books and studying, which gives a good atmosphere. Okay, the weather is perfect for outdoor studying here – which isn’t possible in universities in Malaysia, unless you like to get all sweat and sunburned.
We passed by this small road with Hazratbal mosque dome seen from afar, so we knew our direction. There are ‘messages’ written on the fence walls, showing the fact that Kashmiri people are not happy being part of India. We dont have any stand for it, but we have met many locals as we met while in Srinagar, and when the talks go deeper, they would express their feelings about the independance. And we somehow come to our research conclusion that many Kashmiri people want freedom from India. Although it doesn’t seem to happen in near future. At least, not easily.
Nevertheless, the Kashmiri people seem to have a good life and are always smiling when we approach them. They like to give salam when they noticed that I wear headscarf and guessed we’re Muslims, and suddenly they would be even more friendlier. Walking around in Hazratbal is like discovering the other side of Srinagar, free from touristic matters. No auto-rickshaw drivers offering to bring us sightseeing, no tourist guides, no houseboat owners, no souvenir sellers. We even dont feel as tourist when we’re in Hazratbal, instead it feels as if we’re visiting our far away relatives :)
Again, Az loved to snap the faces of Kashmiri, whether directly or silently.. it doesnt matter! All these faces are priceless!
And the best photo we took of people in Hazratbal during this walk is apparently below pic of two young boys trying to give the most handsome pose when we said we wanted to take their photo. And, I guess you can tell what’s funny there.. :P