The chirrup of birds, the gentle swish of the breeze, the
sapphire coloured sky, and all at 2408m above sea level - this is Aru. Far
far away from the routine urban life, Aru is a meadow bordered on one side
by a ravine of the Lidder River. A little stream also flows past in the
The English Backdrop
Dotted with stone and wood houses, resembling an English hamlet, some of them are built in the typical Gujjar-shepherd style-flat roofed, squat and backed against the hillside. One can stroll through the meadows of burnished green and gold grass and chance upon the tourist bungalow or stop by at little roadside stalls known as "Dhabas" and the mandatory "hotel".
A Natural Bounty
Once in Aru, one will feel like a shepherd, away from the travails of modern life. One wonders if one really needs to go back and leave all the beauty and serenity to the lean, high cheek-boned Gujjar or Bakerwal herd of men and dark-eyed women and children whose natural habitat it is. In fact one's heart fills with envy at their luck in belonging to this land of beauty surrounded by conifer-covered forests with the mighty Himalayas peeping up over and above the conifers. Idyllic, this place almost looks like a picture postcard.
If one wants to flex those legs a little more, one could trek for 24-km to the Kolahoi glacier at 3,200 metres. Or one could spend the whole day unwinding. Walk in the resinous, whispering woods with the sun shafting in; stretch out on pine needles; bask in the honey-glow of sunset.
Air: Nearest airport is Srinagar
- 107 km via Pahalgam.
Rail: Nearest railhead is situated in Jammu.
Road: Taxis and buses ply from Srinagar to Pahalgam and from there one can take a taxi, pony or can trek towards Aru.
Accommodation is available in the tourist bungalow run by the state tourism department and a couple of budget hotels.