Village Shop, Aru, Jammu & Kashmir.
I’m back in New Delhi after a short trip up north to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu & Kashmir is India’s most northern state, which borders with Pakistan (west), China (north) and Tibet (east). Except for Ladakh, which is the Buddhist part in the east of Jammu & Kashmir, the state is not a common tourist destination for Westerners, although Hindus from the rest of India do travel here for pilgrimages (most importantly the Armanath Yatra). Indeed, because of dispute over part of the territory of the state with Pakistan, many governments advise “against all travel to rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh; all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than Wagah; and all travel in Manipur” and “all but essential travel to Srinagar and Imphal” (in the words of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office).1 Continue reading »