At the heart of Qayaam Gah sits Ruh, the embodiment of the Sufi expression for the soul. The restaurant, living space and library combines Kashmiri design, culture and cuisine to create a relaxed, stylish indoor-outdoor haven to immerse in uninterrupted 360-degree views of the soaring Zabarwan Mountains and mirror-smooth Dal Lake far below.
A short stroll from the infinity pool, ascending through terraced plum and cherry orchards, Ruh, crafted from glass, cedar and pine, crowns the property atop a stone plinth embellished with classical lamp niches. Punctuated with elaborate carvings of lotus motifs and intricate jali screens, cozy interiors are decorated with antique rugs and a blend of contemporary and time-honored wooden furniture. Wraparound panoramic windows celebrate the sublime location, enjoyed from the terrace on balmy summer days, or bathed in the warmth of a roaring Bukhari wood-burning stove on snowy winter nights. The innovative menu is focused on authentic local flavours and internationally inspired fusion dishes designed to delight and excite all tastes.
Choose a book from Ruh’s fascinating library and learn of local history, wildlife and Sufism over a cup of Kashmiri saffron tea, or at sunset lounge in the sunken al fresco fire pit where an ornamental pool catches reflections of the ever-changing colour streaked sky and myriad of flickering candles lit as night falls.
Feasting on the 360-degree views over the Vale of Kashmir from Qalb evokes spiritual and emotional sensations in tune with the Sufi meaning of the word to touch the heart. Come and experience this either as the sun emerges at dawn, sharing an afternoon High tea in dappled sunshine, for a sundowner as dusk descends or for a curated private moonlit dinner with mood lighting and live music.
Nourished by natural spring water, the retreat has organic gardens where our guests can select and pick vegetables and local herbs to accompany fish bought from fishermen on the shores of the lake below. Poultry and eggs will come from the nearby local village, where our cows are tended. All of this will generate local employment in an area whose traditional economy has been hard hit by recent developments.
‘The very centre of your heart is where life begins – the most beautiful place on earth’. Rumi