Kashmir, the Paradise on Earth is a reality even now. If you have not travelled there yet, we show you the 5 best destinations that cover the entire region quickly. Pack your bags, grab the best camera and head off straight to the pristine beauty India has. To grab Kashmir’s best beauty pie at least a 4 nights 5 day package is apt and if you want to move around a bit on your own, the 5 nights 6 day package is the best especially for covering Yusmarg, the hidden Kashmir beauty.
Let us start with the Dal Lake and the Shikara ride. Shikaras are luxuriously furnished boats with a canopy and a maharaja style seating arrangement. This is something we don’t find anywhere else.
Boating especially on a full moon night is a totally different experience than the day.
The lake has various shades at various times including the views at dusk and dawn. Sunset on Dal is bliss, only seeing is believing when everything turns to Golden, that is a beauty to behold. Mountains and sun reflections make for a truly great sight.
Srinagar identified with the beautiful Mughal gardens including the Shalimar & Nishat gardens. However, there’s more to it than just that. Tourists can take a tour to the carpet-weaving factories or explore the floating vegetable and flowers market there. Again, it is a good shopping destination, and one could buy classy and exclusive souvenirs like shawls, Kashmiri handicrafts and walnut wood carvings.
Some of the main attractions include the Chasm e Shahi Gardens, Hazratbal Shrine, Tulip garden etc. Indulge in bird watching at the famous Wular Lake or discover the wildlife of the hills at the Dachigam National park. Explore your spiritual self at the Jamia Masjid or the Shankaracharya temple.
Apharwat Peak is what tourists should aim first when arriving in Gulmarg. The Gondola ride in two stages takes you to the peak and it appears as if you are headed for the heavens. The Ski and snowboarding at the Gulmarg Ski Resort and Gulmarg Alpine Guides during winters attract visitors in huge numbers.
Gulmarg is known for its picturesque beauty and prime location. The lush green valley, surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and towering fir and poplar trees on all sides, can easily become your favourite getaway. Other attractions are the Rani Temple, Baba Resi Shrine and St Mary’s Church. For nature lovers a visit to Ningle Nallah, Alpather Lake and Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is a must.
The Valley of Shepherds comprises of lush green meadows, joining in the serenity of Pine Covered Mountains and the rippling Lidder River rushing past. It creates a magic effect on your body and soul. It is the favourite retreat amongst pilgrims, tourists and adventure junkies alike.
Sports lovers can try river rafting in Tarsar Lake. For trekking and wildlife, walk down to the Aru Valley. For hiking, camping and horse riding, the Dabyan Valley is famous and nearby. Others can visit Malaleshwar Temple, Chandanwari and the Betaab Valley, where the famous Betaab movie was shot.
This meadow of gold which currently serves as a gateway to Ladakh is an adventure-lover’s paradise. Taking a bath at the pure red coloured waters of Nilagrad River can help rejuvenate the body and soul. Adventure junkies can anytime take a hike to the numerous waterfalls around the Thajiwas glacier that could help quench the thirst for adventure.
A visit to the Kheer Bhavani Temple, Gadsar lake, Nilagrad, the Satsar Lake or the Gangabal Lake is advised. Those interested in camping can do so in a ‘Gaddi tribal hut’ and it would be a whole new experience. Others could take an alternate trek route to Amarnath through the Baltal valley.
5. Yusmarg – the beauty spot not discovered by many
Locals call it a Kashmir within Kashmir and to arrive there you need a trek through the snow covered hills amidst the pine forests, with a sparkling clear water stream coursing through the ravine nearby would be a thrill of a lifetime. The Sufi shrine of Charar-e-Sharief dedicated to Nund Reshi, is a must visit for every sufi lover who travels to Yusmarg.
Trekking to Tosa Maidan is a different experience. As a passionate trekker, you would find the detour through very rough terrains from Yusmarg to Gulmarg and Poonch, thoroughly interesting. Horse rides or pony rides to Doodh Ganga could be a fun-filled experience. It just takes a 1 or 2 hour drive to Yusmarg from Srinagar. Ensure you visit here and click all the pictures to write home back about the new Kashmir you discovered.
Whenever visiting Kashmir, make sure you visit the places we mentioned above. Experience the Paradise on Earth first, as you can thank us later.