A Glimpse into Kashmir’s Daily Commute Through Parimpora Station
The Parimpora bus station in Srinagar, Kashmir is an organized maze of travelers, food vendors, and clothing sellers. On an average day, close to 10,000 or more people pass through the terminal. In the winter months, the gates open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m., but throughout the day, the flow of passengers is just as steady as when the first ignition starts. From Kupwara in the North to Anatnag in the South, the buses travel to every district throughout Kashmir. Some commuters make long journeys into the city from rural villages for work, to buy goods, or to receive health care from the largest and most advanced hospital in the region.
Kashmir, a fabled part of the Silk Road, lies nestled under the Himalayan range in the Northern part of India. As an area heavily influenced by Southern Asian, Central Asian, and Persian culture, the region is a vibrant blend of customs, traditions, languages, and cuisines. From the Parimpora bus station in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, one can get a glimpse into the diverse culture and daily life of the Kashmiri people.
Ticket attendants, like conductors in an orchestra, stand tall on top of buses, waving and shouting destinations to the crowd. Men, carrying baskets of nuts, fruit, and fried potatoes trace the steps of hungry commuters while the scent of barbecued mutton, a staple in Kashmir, fills the air in another attempt to veer travelers off course. Both men and women, who quickly shuffle past the enticing aromas, wear traditional Kashmiri phirans, made from tweed and ankle-length to provide warmth.
Passengers and drivers alike continually spill in to, and out of, decorated busses that sing a trumpet tune as a warning call to others. Movement never stops.
See the sights, sounds, tastes, and emotions of Kashmir and its people unfold second by second at the station in the following images below.