A Kashmiri Winter Tale
What you’re about to read is about a trip across Paradise on earth, a hypnotizing journey which will leave you spellbound and that’ll make you cherish the wonders of nature. With snow-capped mountains, mesmerizing valleys, romantic lakes, arresting rivers and enchanting landscapes, Kashmir is a beauty every human being has to visit once in their lifetime.
We’ve jotted down an itinerary we think is the best way to holiday in Kashmir. Check it out!
The moment you step on Srinagar, you’ll find yourself amidst a colourful scenery with mountains, lakes, gardens and historical structures. Settle yourself at your stay and later head out for a stroll in the Mughal Gardens. Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh are two beautiful gardens which are a treat to sore eyes. Spend quality time here along with your loved ones, get to know the history of the place and capture some instagrammable pictures! End your day with a shikhara ride on the infamous Dal Lake. As your boat glides through a floating post office, Kabutar Khana, Chaar Chinar, markets and vegetation, you’ll feel at peace with the world around you.
Today you visit the Golden Meadow of Sonamarg. The name originated because the locals were impressed by the yellow crocus flowers in full bloom which covers up the valley in the spring and named the place as Sonmarg or Sonamarg. See the Thajwas glaciers and beautiful streams flowing down from the Ladakh Valley. You can hire a pony and travel to the renowned glacier, and witness an amazing contrast between the silver frozen lake and lush green surroundings. You’ll also learn that Sonmarg is also known as the Gateway of Ladakh.
After being amazed by the Golden Meadow, get ready to be amazed by The Meadow of Flowers-Gulmarg. Discovered by a Kashmiri romantic poet in the 16th century who was inspired with its grassy slopes covered with wild flowers, Gulmarg is one of India’s premier hill resorts. Although today it’s not just a resort, it’s a Ski resort and a dreamy winter sports destination visited by people from across the world! Take the gondola ride up for panoramic views of the Himalayas and get close to the Apharwat Mountains. Romp around in the snow, forget your age and don't stand upon your dignity. Discover the child in you and then end this day with a nice cup of chai.
You leave for another heavenly destination today- Pahalgam. On your way, you pass through saffron fields in Pampore (make a photo stop here), ruins of Awantipura and the Martand Sun Temple, three such destinations that’ll steal your breath away. As you approach Pahalgam, the gushing of Lidder river and the Great Himalayan range welcomes you. Pahalgam serves as the starting point of Amarnath Yatra, a religious trek to the abode of Lord Shiva. The “Valley of Shepherds” has also been a shooting location for various famous films like Silsila, Betab, Karma. Explore to your heart’s content around Pahalgam, take part in adventures, shop till you drop and spend the best time of your life here.
Continue your adventures in Pahalgam until evening, when it is time to leave for yet another picturesque destination in Kashmir- Daksum. Away from the bustling tourist spots, Daksum to Kashmir is similar to an oasis in a desert. While the whole of Kashmir is famous for it’s scenic mountain and valley views, this hidden paradise is known for pictorial grasslands canopied by evergreen forests. Take a walk, experience solitude, fresh air and jaw dropping views of forest and snow-covered mountains. If you’re a trout fishing enthusiast (or not), head to the Bringhi river which is a heaven for Anglers, but only after acquiring permission from Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department. In recent times, Daksum has bewitched adventure enthusiasts looking for trekking and camping. So we’d say now’s the right time to visit Daksum, before it becomes another Manali.
At 12,500 ft. above the sea level, Sinthen or Sinthan Top in the Breng Valley is one of the most gorgeous hill stations in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. And that’s your destination of the day. Predicted to be the next best adventure spot in the state, Sinthan Top is a sight not to be missed. The journey upwards can be gruesome and tiring, but once you catch the glimpse of the vast range of mountains while the cool breeze fans your face, it’ll all be worth it! Sinthan Top manages to display the most perfect and untouched form of Nature and you’ll be glad you visited the place.
Leave for another display of nature’s marvel in Achabal Valley today. Soaked with history, this pristine valley served as a retreat for the royal family during Jehangir’s reign. Visit the Achabal Gardens, once a pleasure retreat for Noor Jahan, where you see waterfalls and fountains amid scores of Chinar trees. A Masjid stands in the garden believed to have been constructed by Mughal Prince Dara Shikwah.
Later in the day, head to Kokernag, which houses the biggest garden in Kashmir. Visit the Kokernag garden where you’ll find generations of family spending a gala time lunching and playing amongst Chinar trees- as opposed to the mall culture in Urban India. Trout fishing is considered as a pride here, try your hand at it at the natural spring that flows right through the garden. A tour to Achabal during autumn is made even more special when the Chinar Trees turn red, evoking images of beauty that remain with you ages after your holiday in Jammu and Kashmir is over!
Head back to Srinagar after your time here.
Have your breakfast and head out to explore one of the lesser explored regions in Kashmir. After an hour of driving you reach the hidden valley of Doodhpathri. The place is jotted with several peaks, vast meadows and evergreen thickets. The rivers and rivulets in this region flow very fast, and in their course, as the waves crashes against the rocks, it creates a milky white appearance; thus the name ‘Doodhpathri’. Take your time to bask at the beauty of this beautiful hill town and retreat to Srinagar at the end of the day.
Today’s the end of your enthralling trip in Kashmir. No doubt the place will have bewitched you with its charm and beauty.
This trip across Kashmir and its lesser explored gems will make for a delightful story, don’t you think? The saying, “people don’t take trips, trips take people” can be aptly used to summarized how rewarding a holiday to Kashmir will be. But, don’t waste too much time contemplating your decision to go here. Mass tourism to these hidden gems has not hit yet- be one of those few people who’s seen Paradise at its best.
So, what are you waiting for?
Call us at +91 70454 31414 to book this trip.