A SILENT VALLEY

In photos: Kashmir’s stunning, fiery, and forlorn autumn is missing its tourists this year

Quartz india
Quartz india

Kashmir is in its blazing autumn glory.

The Dal lake’s charming houseboats, the Chinar trees soaring towards the sky, the bloom in the saffron plantations—all slowly getting enveloped by the descending mist—make this Himalayan corner one of the world’s most scenic places. Its glory flames up further in October and November as leaves slowly turn golden-yellow and then shades of deep, fierce crimson, making the entire region look like it’s on fire.

But this year, it will all be in vain.

For almost five months now, a deep lull has set in across Kashmir due to the turbulence following the killing of a young militant, Burhan Wani, by Indian security forces. Since then, parts of the state have been locked down by intermittent periods of curfew.

In July, Kashmir saw 90% of its tourists flee due to the upheaval. All hotel reservations for the following months were canceled given the situation.

Here are some images of autumn in Kashmir over the recent years:

Kashmiri boys take a walk inside Nishat Garden, covered with fallen Chinar tree leaves on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. Kashmiris collect fallen leaves in autumn months to make charcoal for use during winters.
Kashmiri boys at a Nishat Garden strewn with fallen chinar leaves on the outskirts of Srinagar, the state’s capital. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A boy rides a bicycle on a road leading to Pari Mahal garden on an autumn day in Srinagar November 7, 2012.
A boy rides a bicycle on a road leading to the Pari Mahal garden. (Reuters/Fayaz Kabli)
Kashmir-Dal Lake
Kashmiri youths practice kayaking in the Dal lake. (Reuters/Fayaz Kabli)
A Kashmiri villager collects saffron flowers from his field in Khrew, 25 km (15 miles) south of Srinagar, November 3, 2009. Saffron has been grown in Kashmir since the Mughal period, which began in the 16th century. In highly drained clay-loam soil, the saffron crop is sown on an estimated 17,000 hectares of land in Kashmir in the months of May and June and the flowers are harvested at the onset of autumn. It takes some 170,000 flowers to get a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of the precious spice.
A villager collects saffron flowers from his field in Khrew, 25 kilometres south of Srinagar. (Reuters/Fayaz Kabli)
A Kashmiri carries a bag of leaves from the Chinar tree to be turned into charcoal, as she walks throug the Mughal garden Nishat on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 12 November 2015. Leaves have begun changing colour as Autmn arrives in Kashmir.
A woman carries a bag of chinar leaves. Kashmiris collect the fallen leaves in autumn to make charcoal for use during winters. (EPA/Farooq Khan)
Glorious autumn in Kashmir.  Young local   Muslim stroll through a garden dominated by Chinar trees whose leaves have turned a fiery red, in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir,  02 November 2012. As the autumn sets in, the leaves of gigantic Chinar trees in Indian Kashmir turn first pale and then fiery red. The people collect these leaves and latr burn them to make charcoal.
Locals stroll through a garden. (EPA/Farooq Khan)
Kashmiri men walk in a garden, covered with fallen Chinar leaves on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Kashmiris collect fallen leaves in autumn to make charcoal for use during winters.
As autumn sets in, leaves of the gigantic chinars first turn pale and then a fiery red. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
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