Behind the hustle and bustle of city center of Lal Chowk, stands not too tall but lively few kilometers long bund. The bund separates Lal Chowk from the river Jehlum which flows down from Verinag to the west. Bund isn’t a well thought of place in general perception of valleyites for some unknown reasons much like the perception of bbq. Things have changed over time though and people are now more receptive of bbq as well as part of our city as a part of our culture and life. The credit that goes to youth for continued indulgence in both the exquisites in absence of any proper reasoning to stay away from either.
Bund offers a charming treat to the tired eyes and ears in the busiest part of the Srinagar. It is a place you can’t think of being around a busy place like Lal chowk. The scenic mountains stand guard to the east of it which are a thing to watch as sunlight blows the gleams of snow on it in afternoon. The waters flow down steadily below the zero bridge far into west. Carpet, papier-mâché and embroidery showrooms stand to the northern end of the bund beautifying the overall scene. Bund is one of the few places in Srinagar that has so far escaped the mad race of shopping complexes of concrete all over . These showrooms stand in wooden buildings whose design and architecture not only beautifies the arounds but also suits the weather more. The name of two showrooms has for some unknown reasons caught my attention –“Suffering Moses” and “Joo and sons.”. One of my older friend reports that not long back, there used to be some beautiful bookshops on bund as well. The bund connects onto the residency road through stone ladders flowing down to it after every few hundred meters. The General Post office whose building I find a bit tilt also stands on the very bund. The scene fits perfectly however once you look at the bund from the other bank of the river. Two Masjids also stand on the exact bank of Jehlum making it the precise place to relax and refocus whenever one wants to.
Overtime bund has become quite a popular place among youth to “hand”. The variety of people you meet on bund is of its own kind as well. College goers, unemployed youth, news hungry frustrated news reporters, mediocre government servants, elderly people , photographers, computer geeks, lonely souls and even people who just like to roam —all can be found in this mini cosmopolitan Srinagar. Every now and then couples can also be spotted walking slowly by the riverside. It is a vibrant lovely place that deserves every sriganarites time whenever he can. A few coffee shops is something one misses a lot though. I can locate only one restaurant on Bund and that too is not very welcoming, to say least.
The bund was devastated in September flood but only five months here, it is equally rich in life again in a perfect example of Srinagar to rise again everytime it falls.