Kashmir, quoting emperor Jahangir “ if there is heaven on earth it is here, it is here” Kashmir often referred to as a ‘paradise on earth’ and the statements are absolutely accurate. Why would any Indian want to go for a European trip when we have Kashmir? Switzerland could be easily traded away for the breathtaking views of the meadows in the Kashmir valley.
Jammu and Kashmir has always been a hot topic of discussion throughout my 21 years and now all the more with the removal of article 370 and the change in its regional politics but that’s not why we are here right?
Heaven on earth needs to be appreciated way more than it already is. The union territory is as you can imagine. Catering to all the brackets of the tourism but before visiting you got to have a prior knowledge about quite a few things.
Here is a detailed guided itinerary that will definitely come in handy for your next trip to kashmir
Itinerary to Kashmir
Day 1 – Arrival at srinagar
You can choose any mode of transport between Roadways and Airways. I personally prefer roadtrips.
Day 2/3 – travel to Gulmarg from Srinagar. 2 days stay at gulmarg
Day 4 – from Gulmarg to Pahalgam- takes about 4 hours by road
Day 5/6- day stay at Pahalgam and visit Sonamarg
Day 7- back to Srinagar and departure from the Srinagar airport
Traveling around Kashmir
Kashmir has a very considerate amount of modes of transport- buses, shared cabs etc so it largely depends upon how many people are traveling with you. There is an availability of shared cabs and also hiring cabs is also quite affordable.
Whenever you travel to a Hill Stations you must have witnessed a pony. Horse rides being offered to you even though it’s highly unethical and is a way of dominating the animals in a gruesome way and that’s my opinion. If you like you can even choose pony rides for shorter distances.
Starting with our first destination to visit
Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, Srinagar – literally meaning “ the city of wealth & abundance” in sanskrit. Glittering lakes of Srinagar from extremely popular one Dal lake to naagin and anchar has distinctively sparkling & amazing houseboats sailing along the scenic views of Dal Lake situated against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan snow clad mountains making Kashmir a dream come true.
Srinagar is the epicenter for almost all major tourist destinations in Kashmir therefore you will have a pass the abode several times.
Sightseeing in Kashmir
Tulip garden ( seasonal)
Chashmish shahi bagh
Dachigam national park
Shankara charya hill
And the list is never ending because of the ample of destinations it offers to its tourist
Gulmarg is termed as the switzerland of India. Its actually recommended by alot of travel sompanies and blogs for first timers. It takes about 2 hours of a road trip to travel to gulmarg from srinagar.
You can either opt for a gondola or a pony ride to reach the summit. A crazy fact about gulmarg is that its completely tourist centric, no local population recedes there only the once working in the vicinity and offcourse the Army.
Theres always a price hike in winters because there is no other place like gulmarg in winters. Its a winterwonderland of snoecaped mountains and adventure sports like skiing can be experienced.
Pahalgam is a very small town but a hub of natural sites that you will be mesmearised upon seeing. Located on the eastern side eventually extending towards the hilly regions. If you are looking for authenticity then this is the place for you from local cuisines to culture to markets etc its all real kashmiri bec ause the locals reside there contrary to Gulmarg. It gives out more of nature oriented homely vibes, dont worry there are hotels for you to stay at and even homestays now.
Some of the places to be visited:
The place is around 30 min drive from Pahalgam sincerely one of best sightseeing destinations around Pahalgam, the tourist join the ride for some aesthetic scenic mountain views and also the experience of the green meadows and that is because the mountains turn green in summers. You will find horses here too so a trip around the mountain on a horseback could be a choice.
Some of the destinations have referenced the bollywood names, for instance Betab starring Amrita rao and Sunny deol was shot here therefore if you want to experience and live your bollywood dream you can take a stop here while travelling to Chandanwadi which is our next destination to visit.
Chandanwadi becomes an important destination as it is the pathway to the Heavenly Amarnath yatra. It is a very small town covered in ice throught the year therefore if you want to get that snow experience in summers you could do that. It is also the last village on this route.There are other sites as well which include the Amarnath Yatra, Sonamarg, wular lake and the list goes on and on which would be covered in the other upcoming blogs with a different itinerary.
Departure from Kashmir is a heartbreaking one because you would nver want to leave this abode of beauty but you have to so you can take a flight back to your hometown from the Srinagar airport and plan for your next trip back to Kashmir.