Kashmir has so much to mesmerize the visitor, so much to leave them surprised and ensure that they come back again. Lakes by the side of Himalayan ranges, romantic Shikara ride, Asia’s famous Gondola ride, authentic mouthwatering Mughlai cuisine and green meadows all over the valley, all of which make a picture perfect image of Incredible India.
One such lustrous retreat is the Gurez Valley, well-known as the Crown of Kashmir located between the lofty mountain ranges at a distance of around 13 kms from Srinagar. It rests along the banks of Kishenganga River and opens up to a picturesque site of the entire landscape. Alpine trees, meandering streams, tiny hamlets are dotted all over it making it look like a glittering sun on the Paradise on Earth. The most interesting feature of the valley is the famous Habba Khatoon peak that is shaped like a pyramid and is named after the Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon. A beautiful story revolves around naming the valley after this poetess. Her real was Zoon and she was married to an uneducated peasant named Habba, who mistreated her immensely. Impressed by her intelligence and awestricken by the beautiful lines of her poetry, the ruler of Kashmir, Yusuf Shah Chak arranged her divorce and married her thereafter. Later on when the king was captured by his rival, the poetess used to wander around the peak in search of her beloved husband.
Apart from this beautiful legend weaved with this scenic valley, its unparallel beauty also adds to its popularity. Its surrounding snow capped mountains is not only a trekker’s delight, but also a quiet nature lover’s real paradise. Interestingly, this valley also served as the gateway to the Silk Route. The valley is narrow yet fertile and villagers of the riverside villages keep themselves engaged with farming activities. The valley initially narrows down, widens up and again narrows down creating a postcard like zigzag road often seen in untouched distant lands. Roaring sound of Kishenganga River, small meandering streams and mountain lakes provide a perfect environment to laze around and admire the immaculate beauty of nature. At a distance of 20kms form the valley, a small village provides log houses for tourists to stay comfortably. The houses open up to brilliant views of the snow-clad mountain ranges, dense green pine forests and an overall beautiful look of nature in shades of white, brown, blue and green. Cool breeze devoid of dust and humidity of Gurez Valley acts as a natural healing balm loved by every single traveler who spends a holiday here.