NURTURING THE ROOTS
Outlook Traveller|April 2021
ASHISH KOTHARI and SHRISHTEE BAJPAI check into Sagg Eco Village near Srinagar and come away smitten
ASHISH KOTHARI and SHRISHTEE BAJPAI

IT IS A COMPLETE ANTITHESIS to the unfortunately predominant public image of Kashmir. An initiative at socially and ecologically harmonious living, it is a glimpse of what Kashmiris are capable of, if left to their own destiny.

Sagg—“to nurture like water nurtures the roots of plants”—is a small resort near Srinagar. Well, resort is a misnomer for its rather down-to-earth character. Conceptualised by the youth civil society group Mool, Sagg is an experiment in providing culturally rooted, environmentally responsible lifestyle examples and experiences to people, especially children and youth. For anyone willing to try something very different from the run-of-the-mill tourist and culinary experience that Kashmir offers in plenty, Sagg is well worth exploring.

Having been in touch with its founder, Fayaz Dar and facilitators Shaheena Parveen and Lubna Rafiqi, through the national Vikalp Sangam process, we were fortunate to be invited to spend a couple of nights at Sagg in the summer of 2019. Late June, and just the right temperature though a tad rainy (unusual for this time of the year; climate change?). We were plied with diverse (mostly Kashmiri) cuisine, and plenty of steaming hot cups of kahwa made just as it should be (not the insipid readymade powder variety one gets in the market). Not to mention the ubiquitous nun chai, salty tea, that is proffered to visitors anywhere one goes in Kashmir. Two spacious cottages with thatched roofs, mud walls, beautifully adorned in Kashmiri style, make for a calm, cosy stay. Over meals and beverages, and on a full tour of the campus, Fayaz gave us insights into the motivation behind Sagg and the various activities it hosts.

HOW it Began

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM OUTLOOK TRAVELLERView All

THE HILLS HAVE Sighs

This hideaway may just have everything we want in a calming hill staycation

1 min read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

PINK CITY'S NEW JEWEL LEELA PALACE

The recently launched palace property joins The Leela Group’s iconic hotels in Delhi and Udaipur to cater to leisure travellers sojourning through the popular tourist circuit.

1 min read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

Parts UNKNOWN

North Kerala often gets overshadowed by its popular southern sibling. And that’s actually a blessing in disguise.

10 mins read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

KWATI Sprouted Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is made by sprouting mixed beans for a few days. this dish is consumed during the monsoons on the day of janai Purnima; considered very healthy, it is eaten with rice. vegetarians can omit the mutton bones

1 min read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

Finding FLAVOURLAND

PRANNAY PATHAK went café-hopping in paragliding hotspot Bir, and found the billing justified

9 mins read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

BHEEMLI RESORT

Bheemunipatnam, 40km from Visakhapatnam airport, 25km from the city » Just 28 elegant rooms

1 min read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

50 Best Restaurants Asia

The ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021’ list, now in its ninth edition, was announced on march 25 this year

1 min read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

A Day In Kyoto

NITIN CHAUDHARY remembers a pleasant day out in Japan’s old capital, in a time when such trips were still possible

7 mins read
Outlook Traveller
May 2021

radar

HERE, THERE, NOW & SOON

3 mins read
Outlook Traveller
April 2021

On Food and Travel

I HAVE NEVER CONSIDERED myself a foodie. Over the years of travel across Europe, I have gotten by with whatever I have come across, which being a vegetarian has at times been only bread and cheese. Food was not a priority and I spent the least amount of time searching for the specialities that a place had to offer. Now I wonder though if I was missing something in my travels.

2 mins read
Outlook Traveller
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

What It Takes To Sell Indian Saffron!

The saffron of Kashmir has long been considered the world’s finest, but drought is threatening the livelihood and traditions of its farming families.

4 mins read
Saveur
Summer 2019

WHITEOUT

We take the Hyundai Venue to beautiful and mesmerising Kashmir

3 mins read
Overdrive
April 2021

Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2021

Lok Sabha passes the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Bill seeks to merge the J&K cadre with the AGMUT cadre for All India Services.

1 min read
GK Latest
March 2021

खगोल और ज्योतिष विद्या में अग्रणी थे कश्मीरी पंडित

धरती पर स्वर्ग है कश्मीर, कश्यप ऋषि की तपोभूमि है कश्मीर और कश्मीरी पंडितों की जन्मस्थली है कश्मीर। लेकिन यह दुर्भाग्य है कि कश्मीर पर अधिकांश समय गैरकश्मीरियों का अधिकार रहा। वर्तमान में भी मूल निवासी कश्मीरी पंडितों को बलपूर्वक कश्मीर से भगा दिया गया। तत्कालीन केन्द्र सरकार मूक दर्शक बनकर देखत रही। आज वे अपनी जन्मस्थली से मानसिक पीड़ा झेलते हुए भारत में ही अन्य जगहों पर विस्थापित जीवन व्यतीत कर रहे हैं।

1 min read
Kendra Bharati - केन्द्र भारती
April 2021

Uneasy spring

The world is heating up even in La Niña years that are associated with cooler temperatures

2 mins read
Down To Earth
April 16, 2021

VIRTUAL TRADE

With the Covid-19 pandemic dictating a new regime, most of the activities of life are getting into virtual mode. Owing to the communication blockade, Kashmir has finally managed its hiccups and is trying to manage the digital deficit. Shakir Ashraf reports about Kashmir’s new online stores

5 mins read
Kashmir Life
April 11, 2021

CONSUMED CAREERS

Successive governments have mindlessly “hired” people on an ad-hoc, provisional and temporary basis. They keep the government’s service delivery show going on at almost half of the daily wage guaranteed by law. Merely surviving on a hope that one day their services will be regularised, these more than 60,000 families are dying almost on daily basis. They are at the core of a social crisis, reports Yawar Hussain

10 mins read
Kashmir Life
April 11, 2021

THE VERSATILE: VICE-CHANCELLOR

Exactly this was a time of the year, 13 years ago in 2008, spring officially sprung, that I was finally a graduate. Out of college, I was looking forward to pursuing my further education outside the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. My family, however, wanted me to stay back.

4 mins read
Kashmir Life
April 11, 2021

BEHIND BACK-CHANNEL

Halt to sugar-cotton imports from India has not stalled the India Pakistan peace process. While the two sides are engaged in back-channel diplomacy, they do have differences on key issues as per the reports appearing in Pakistani media, reports Tahir Bhat

4 mins read
Kashmir Life
April 11, 2021

Game of silences

There has been a perceptible thaw in India-Pakistan relations, but the road to peace is fraught with uncertainties

3 mins read
THE WEEK
April 18, 2021