Paradise Hidden: The Exotic Land Of Gool

Gool Valley covered in the white blanket of Snow.

Priya Chakraborty-Giri

Adjectives like magnificent, mysterious, grotesque, precarious, tranquil, secluded or elegant are always used for describing nature. Nature has its own magic wand especially when you witness Gool, some 53 kms from Ramban. It is an amazing experience that how two or more places on this Earth can be so incredibly beautiful.

Lush green meadows, snow-capped Pirpanjal mountains and gently rolling Basantadar ridge— they could not look more different, but each displays a kind of beauty all its own. If you were an ardent fan of the handiwork of nature, and one would like to catch a glimpse of the diversity of Gool. Blessed with all the natural bounties and dwelling on a panoramic location, this unexplored paradise is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. Gool is pleasant in summer and extremely cold in winter. In the first half of the year, weather is pleasant but it can be quite changeable. The exotic beauty of the Mahakunda ridge enhances the beauty at its best form.

Nestling in the shelter of lush and virgin forests full of deodars and lilies which cover many untrodden hills, Gool is a tiny hamlet with a small population. To add to the unexplored beauty of Gool, Daggan top is 10 km away. The route follows with the picturesque wild lilies scattered all over the road. Even nature presents Gool’s beauty in countless ways with the help of lush greenery, wild flowers et al. The place is an ideal sunset point with green meadows full of lambs.

The local bakarwalis can be seen passing by with their herd unaware about the beauty of the place. Thinking from the paradise on earth point of view, Daggan top has held its pristine beauty intact. The wild flowers can be seen dancing along with the green grass. For a moment, people can also mistook it as golf course. In case, if you are ardent lovers of trekking, Darsha and Lapri can be the places to hit.

As you trek down towards the Gool market, the wild river can be seen making its way through the uncut massive rocks. Mountains contribute to the charm of waters , and waters add to the life and vigour of mountains. Gool market comprises of some odd 30 shops. The small alley provides five bakeries offering some 15 varieties of bread. The local tea or kahwa and the namkin chai has a special clove-cinnamon flavour which they claim is completely Gool specific. Contradicting the popular notion, a lot of vegetarian food thrives here. One can taste the delicious hak saag along with the naan. Morel mushrooms or ‘gahchi’ is the a –la-carte of the local cuisine. The hamlet is so pocket-friendly that you can actually relish the mutton delicacies like mutton yakhni and rista by spending Rs 45.

Once you are done with the gastronomic treat then you can always go shopping. The near extinction local art gabba is a piece of possess. The creole work is done on the blankets. Not only it serves the purpose of keeping people warm but also looks amazingly gorgeous with colorful wool embroidery. You can always pick antique silver pieces from the market. There are outstanding designs depicting the richness of the designers’ creativity. Check out the kohl box, kersar daani and even the bakarwali style anklets. As for token gift sake, do not forget to buy walnuts and rajmah from the Gool market.

While moving from the market, you can head towards the Ghora Gali. According to Archeological Survey Of India, this historical place has memories associated with that of the Pandavas. There are many ponies carved out of stone at this location. There are some beautiful stone sculptures of horses and their riders in the Ghora Gali. While you are done with review of the artistic beauty carved on the stones, you can check out the local artisans’ colony residing nearby that spot.

Not matter how much, one talk about the claimed paradise of the earth, Gool definitely remains the unexplored one waiting for its turn for limelight.