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Kashmir is one of those places that stays with you much after you’ve visited this heavenly abode. There is nothing more satiating in the country than visiting this amass of gorgeous valleys, scintillating lakes and mesmerizing mountains. Also, what best time to visit Kashmir than in winters when the white sheets of snow soothe your mind, body and soul?!
Truly, Kashmir has something awesome for everyone. Located in the Himalayan ranges, Kashmir offers a wealth of experiences that one must take by participating in fascinating activities such as Shikara rides, Houseboat stays, and authenticity of the Kashmiri food and culture. Because of the location and topography, some of the attractions are unique to this place, so take advantage of them all. Check it out!
Upon arrival at Srinagar Sheikh Ul Alam Int’l Airport (This must be one of the Most Scenic Flights in the World, Srinagar is popularly known as the “City of Reshi’s & Sufi’s” and it is also the Summer capital of state Jammu & Kashmir), you will be met by our representative & leave for overnight stay at “Pahalgam” called as “Valley of Shepherds”. Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views. Enjoy nature & walk around the bank of river Lidder. Pahalgam is famous for some trekking routes also & is the base camp for Amarnath Pilgrimage. Pahalgam is also famous for the Indian film Industry (Bollywood). Now it is Kashmir’s premier resort, cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 25 Degree C. Upon arrival, check in to the pre-arranged Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Dinner & Overnight stay at Hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, full day free to enjoy and explore the Beauty of “Pahalgam” (ON OWN – By Union vehicle). One can go to Chandanwari ( 16 Kms from Pahalgam ) which is the starting point of Amarnath Yatra, Aru (10 km from Pahalgam) which is a fine meadow of picturesque scenery and starting point of trekking of (Liddarwat, Kolahoi Glacier & Trsar Lake) & Betaab Valley.
It is located around 12 km from Pahalgam, 11 km upstream from the Lidder River. Noted for its scenic meadows, lakes, and mountains, it is a base camp for trekking to the Kolhoi Glacier and Tarsar Lake. The village lies on the left bank of the Aru river, which is a tributary of the Lidder river The Aru valley is noted for its scenic meadows. It is popular among tourists for its peaceful environment and scenic beauty. Other popular tourist activities include fishing trout in the Lidder river, trekking, hiking, horse riding, sightseeing, and photography.
It is situated at a distance of 15 kilometers from Pahalgam. The valley got its name from the Sunny Deol– Amrita Singh hit debut film Betaab. The valley is surrounded by lush green meadows, snow-clad mountains, and covered with dense vegetation. Betaab Valley is a very popular touristic destination. Betaab Valley is also a favorite campsite of travelers as it also serves as a base camp for trekking and further exploration of the mountains. The valley is a walk-able distance from Pahalgam. The crystal clear & chilly water of the stream bubbling down from the snowy hills is a delight; locals here drink this water too.
Chandanwari – Situated 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra, which takes place every year in the month of Sawan (Rain). It is famous for snow sledding on a snow bridge. Taxi cabs can be hired from Pahalgam for a roundtrip. Snow fights” is what people generally indulge in here before they sled back down. Many prefer to sip a cup of tea or snack at the nearby dhabas. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has been the location of several movie scenes.
Return by the evening for Dinner & Overnight stay at Hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, check out from Hotel & drive to Gulmarg via Bye-Pass. Gulmarg called as “Meadow of Flowers”. Gulmarg is at an altitude of 8700 – ft. Gulmarg also referred as Meadow of Flowers is a famous Ski Resort & the world’s highest 18 hole Golf Course. The place was prominent during British time. Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location, and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Originally called ‘Gaurimarg’ by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wildflowers. Gulmarg was a favorite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty- it also has the highest green golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2,650 m, and is the country’s premier ski resort in the winter. On arrival in Gulmarg, check in to the pre-arranged Hotel. rest of the day is free at leisure. Dinner & Overnight stay at Hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, full day free to explore the destination. One Can go for the Gondola Ride up to 1st or 2nd Phase (By Own Cost). The Gulmarg Gondola is a tourist attraction in itself. It is one of the highest cable cars in the world, reaching 3,979 meters. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Affarwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). There are also countless off-piste possibilities through the beautiful Khilanmarg meadows on the foot of Mount Affarwat, which offer a scenic view of Nanga Parbat. The Affarwat ridge at 3850+ meters offers an avalanche-controlled ski area that offers a wide field of snow to descend 800 m in approximately 3 km of skiing and is for advanced skiers only. Due to Gulmarg’s steep terrain, the region is popular amongst advanced and extreme skiers from around the world and has been visited by a number of ski professionals and featured in a number of ski films also. Return by the evening for Dinner & Overnight stay at Hotel.
After breakfast leave for Srinagar local sightseeing.
Mughal Gardens visiting Nishat Bagh (Abode of pleasure) built by Asif Khan brother in law of Jehangir in 1632 AD. And Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love) built by Jehangir for his wife Empress Noor Jehan. All the gardens are situated on the bank of Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains in the background. The distance from Srinagar to the said gardens is about 12 and 15 kms respectively. Also visit the Botanical garden, Royal Spring, Pari Mahal. Enroute visit carpet-weaving factory. Dinner
After an early breakfast, check out from Houseboat & leave for a full-day excursion to Sonmarg, which means Meadow of Gold, which has its backdrop of snowy mountains against the blue sky. The drive offers incredible scenic beauty, dense pine forests, and gigantic mountains. The place provides an ideal base for various trekking routes, high mountain lakes, glaciers, and Shri Amarnath Holy cave. The river meanders along here & abounds with Trout & Mahseer. Sonamarg’s importance lies in the fact that it is the last halt on the Kashmir side for the drive from Srinagar to Leh. Ponies/vehicles (direct payment basis) can be hired for the trip up to Thajwas Glacier, Which is a major local attraction during the summer. Return back in the evening to Srinagar for dinner & overnight stay at Hotel.
(Vehicles will be allowed till Gagangear only, which is 12 Kms before Sonmarg as the road remains closed due to heavy snowfall)
After breakfast check out from the hotel and drop at the airport to board the flight for your onwards journey.
Kashmir is a year-round destination, summers, and monsoons are considered to be the best seasons to visit Kashmir. It is so because Sonamarg is open for the general public only between March – September.
These are the top places you can visit in Kashmir to see the best of it:
At least, a week is needed to explore Jammu and Kashmir and its hidden gems
The internet ban has been lifted in Kashmir, but with certain terms and conditions. Internet services have resumed on postpaid mobiles across 12 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The ban on social media sites however remains intact.
Some Best popular recommended house-boats in Kashmir are Claremont Houseboats, Montreal Group of Houseboats, Queens Lap House Boat, New Alexandra Houseboats