by Emma Simmons

In the fall of October 2008, I traveled to Kashmir, India with my photography mentor, John Isaac, to assist a photography workshop through the Maine Media Workshops.  Kashmir was a place I wasn’t sure I would be so lucky to experience at my age due to the current turmoil which has happened in the past years.  In the past few years John had traveled back and forth roughly fifteen times for his book “The Vale of Kashmir.”  It was John’s stories and descriptions of the landscape, both beautiful and serene that inspired me to join him on his next journey.

For photographers like myself, it is hard to describe an experience, a special place, or a culture with only words.  Instead, I allow my photographs to speak for themselves. Spending eight nights on a beautiful houseboat on Dal Lake in Srinigar, Kashmir, we spent our days waking up at sunrise to the call of prayer and enjoying a nice cup of Kashmiri tea before venturing around the beautiful country.  Whether it was the floating market that was its own little oasis on the Dal Lake at 5am, or driving up into the high mountains and stopping in small rural towns, I was completely taken aback by the sincerity and kindness of the people whom I photographed in their natural surroundings.

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Man pulling rootstocks for the floating garden on Dal Lake, Srinigar, Kashmir

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Kangan, Kashmir

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A family walking through the village of Rezan, Kashmir

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School girls in Kashmir

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Kashmiri girls playing at Shalimar Bagh, one of the Mughal gardens of Kashmir

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Sunrise on the Dal Lake

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Local Kashmiri man in his storefront in the old city of Srinigar, Kashmir

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Jamia Masjid mosque in the middle of the old city in Srinigar

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Women stop to chat on the Dal Lake, Srinigar, Kashmir

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The views of Sonamarg,Kashmir. Sonamarg means ‘the meadow of gold’

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Mr. Wonderful selling flowers on the Dal Lake, Srinigar, Kashmir

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Emma Simmons is a professional photographer who splits her time between the east and west coasts. Although permanently residing within the continental U.S., her passion for photography has taken her across the globe. Check out the world from the eyes of Emma at http://www.emmasimmons.com (Twitter
@ESimmonsPhoto)

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Tagged: Eco-Tourism, International Vacations, Photography

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