For two months, I traveled throughout Kashmir to document local people and cultures. Through being welcomed into homes and villages, I experienced an incredible hospitality that extended from the smaller villages to the larger cities. The region’s stereotypes–mainly a lack of safety for travelers–were disproven almost at once. The people I met were welcoming and eager to share their stories.
The Indian-administered State of Kashmir has been an area of dispute for over 70 years. Both India and Pakistan claim the Muslim-majority region in its entirety though each country only controls parts of it. Some in the Kashmir Valley support complete autonomy from both countries, while others support a merger with Pakistan. For many, the strife and tension surrounding Kashmir is all they know. Beneath the continued dispute, however, lies a place filled with pristine terrain and very kind people.