Nestled amidst the snow-capped Himalayas of Kashmir, Gurez was once part of the ancient Silk Route connecting Kashmir with Kashgar in modern-day China. In its heyday, sometime during the 12th century, the valley was known as Dardistan, after the Dard-Shin community who call it home. In the wake of the Partition, trapped by its topography and the LOC, Gurez became an isolated, militarised region. Finally, in 2007, this once unknown part of Kashmir was opened up for foreigners and special permits were relaxed for locals.
The people have since been welcoming travellers back into their lives and homes.
All photos are clicked by Deepti Asthana.