It was perhaps this ease with faith that led Altaf Chapri to draw on Sufism to build Qayaam Gah in Srinagar, just as he drew inspiration from Shaivism to build the hermitage of Neeleshwar in the temple city. from Nileshwaram in Kerala. “Kashmir has been an example of communal harmony,” he observes, as Nisar explains, “In the cosmos there are no barriers, the only barriers are here. Anyone who is a Sufi is a traveler in his heart. Sufism is about the inner heart. All rituals take you on an inner journey where the end is to know yourself and your relationship with God. We are all from the same source.
Qayaam means the highest mystical state of Sufism, Altaf explains, the next level after “sukoon” or unshakeable peace. It is no coincidence that the station is sister to a large restored barge on the Dal called Sukoon. If Sukoon embodies the feminine essence of a lavishly decorated ship on the lake, Qayaam is the masculine counterpart with its dark colors, solid shapes and clean lines against steep peaks. Details show up closer – like the black wall behind the reception desk that beautifully echoes the Kaaba – and the retreat offers a five-day journey for those who want a mystical deep dive. Even for those who don’t come looking, a laid-back weekend can leave a traveler feeling relaxed.
Qayaam Gah Astanpura Village, Brein, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191121. Website. Double from Rs 50,000 for a suite and Rs 58,000 for a villa for a minimum stay of two nights, including airport transfers, all meals, morning yoga and a guided hike with a picnic in the Hills.