Kashmir is a picturesque kaleidoscope of India’s natural beauty that has always enthralled its visitors by its pristine surroundings, luscious food, traditional handicrafts, changing hues with every season and not to miss, the mighty Himalayas and lots more.
The 331 year-old Mughal dynasty of India labeled Kashmir as the ‘Paradise on Earth’ where they often journeyed to beat the heat in summers. The beauty of Kashmir is impossible to describe in words. Thousands of tourists have been a witness to this splendid place and desire to visit again and again. Nonetheless, it is no less than a dream destination of India.
So let’s see what Kashmir has to offer us.
WHAT TO SEE IN KASHMIR?
1. Sonmarg (Approx. 9,180 ft.) – the land of Gold Meadows
This beautiful hill station nestled in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir is noted for its Golden-coloured meadows of yellow crocuses filling up this valley in the spring. The moment you step into this city, you’ll notice the snow-covered mountain at the backdrop, creating an altogether different charm of white. The major highlights of this town is the wonderful collection of flowers it boasts and is the popular trek base camp that leads to the Amarnath Caves.
Attractions: Zoji La Pass, Thajiwas Glacier, Nilagrad River, and Krishnasar Lake, etc.
2. Gulmarg (Approx. 8,690 ft.)
Gulmarg is a favored tourist spot for skiing activities. It is also home to the 2nd highest cable car in the world – Gondola cable ride that whisks you to an elevation of 13,500 ft. above sea level and stretches over 5 km. Various other activities like snowboarding, snow scooters and snow bobbing are enjoyed by adventure lovers here.
Must Do: Professionally-guided Ski at 14,000 feet above sea level.
3. Yousmarg (Approx. 8,900 ft.)
Yousmarg is a grassy hilltop meadow located approx. 47 km from Srinagar covered with dense pine trees, grasslands with multi-hued blossoms and snow-clad mountains in the backdrop. This is a beautiful valley blessed with pristine beauty. It is also regarded as the ‘Meadow of Yesu’ meaning home of the Lord.
Attractions: Pakherpora Shrine, Doodh Ganga, Charari Sharief, Nilnag Lake etc.
4. Pahalgam (Approx. 7,200 ft.)
Situated around 95 km from Srinagar, this hill station stands at the confluence of Lidder River. Over the years, this place has entertained its visitors with its spectacular views of Mother Nature. It has been a favored shooting spot of various 90’s Bollywood movies and is the only area where saffron is grown in Asia.
Attractions: Betaab Valley, Sheshnag Lake, Tulian Lake, Chandanwari and Kolahoi Glacier.
5. Drass valley (Ranging from 16,000 feet to 21,000 feet)
Situated in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, Drass Valley is considered to be India’s coldest inhabited place where temperature drops to a spine-chilling minus 45 degree Celsius. At dusk time, the untouched beauty of this valley with the barren brown mountains displays different shapes and textures as they move across the rocky landscape. The banks of the Dras River here are an abode of various upland villages that will compel you to gaze at the quaintness and flower-sprinkled grasslands. The freezing temperatures of the Drass Valley is truly a timeless experience to enjoy its most picturesque viewpoints.
Attractions: Dras War Memorial, Matayen village – the first village after Zoji La Pass, etc.
Popular Treks: Mushko Valley Trek, Saliskote Valley, Surunath Valley, Amarnath, etc.
6. Srinagar – Heavenly feast to the Eyes
Srinagar is the crown of Kashmir Valley cascading with sky-high mountains that gives an experience, you’ll never forget. The warm-hearted and welcoming people, sumptuous non-vegetarian delights, a Golf-course counted as the largest 18-hole golf courses in the country, hand woven carpets, and varied articles made of walnut wood and copperware, etc., are a few things that will leave you awed here.
Attractions: Dal Lake, Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden, Mughal Gardens, Nishat Bagh, Jamia Masjid and many more.
THINGS TO DO IN KASHMIR
1. Take a Shikara Ride at the Dal Lake – a worthful pleasure
2. Enjoy a houseboat stay at the Dal Lake – amidst the glittering white snow of Kashmir
3. Witness the saffron fields in Pulwama – a land of saffrons and clear blue skies
4. Explore the marble temple of Kheer Bhavani Temple
5. Visit the Shalimar Bagh – the largest Mughal Garden of India
6. Take a trek trail to the Thajiwas Glacier – the best of Sonmarg
7. Savor the aromatic Roghan Josh, finger-licking Chicken Biryani and Kashmiri Dum Aloo to get your taste buds going
As you all now are somewhat intimate with the enchanting KASHMIR, it’s the best time to plan a much needed trip to Kashmir soon. So get going as the HEAVEN CALLS YOU!