Flowering fields spread across the opaque landscape.
The fighting comes barely a week after the two nuclear-armed rivals agreed to stop trading fire along the volatile frontier and uphold a cease-fire accord dating back 15 years.
They have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to the region.
The fighting has become a predictable cycle of violence as the region convulses with decades-old animosities between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, where rebel groups demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
"As far as the eye can see flowers are blooming and in their midst, streams enrich the landscape." So did the celebrated Mughal Emperor Jahangir describe the Kashmir Valley during his rule, sometime around 1625.
Kashmir is smaller than Connecticut, but for more than 1600 years it has been the source of exceptional sculpture, painting, calligraphy and decorative arts. Located at a crossroads of Indian, Chinese and Persian culture, Kashmir blended these rich sources and then exported its own arts and designs, exerting an influence far greater than could ordinarily be expected from so small a place.