Kashmir: Paradise on earth..!!
January 1, 1970
by Aastha In Wanderland
If there is Heaven on earth..its here..its here..its here in kashmir..!!
“Whether you are on a family trip , adventure trip with friends or a romantic honeymo0on trip Kashmir has a lot to offer to its tourists”
Capital of Jammu & Kashmir: Srinagar is the summer capital of State and Jammu is during winters
When to go : Any time except June , July & August
How to go : Nearest Airport is Srinagar and nearest railway stations are Jammu & Katra
Weather : From March to October temperature ranges from 5 degrees to 15 degrees depending on the altitude you gain and in November to February mercury can drop as low as -10 degrees.
Srinagar is a mirror to mountains, dominated by Dal Lake and its twisting waterways, tree-lined Nagin Lake, and the Jhelum River.
Engulf yourself in local culture by embracing your sea legs and renting one of the wooden boats called shikaras for a daytime or twilight cruise while sipping Kehwa(Local drink made of saffron and jaggery) or stay in a magnificently carved Houseboat.
On land, stroll through the terraced hillsides of the 400-year-old Mughal Gardens, created by Emperor Jehangir for his wife, pay a visit to the famous Hazratbal Mosque and shop for indigenous crafts like hand-woven silks and embroidered shawls.
Dachigam National Park( 23 km from Srinagar) It covers an approximate area of 145 km2. The name “Dachigam” translates to 10 villages which is to honor the ten villages which had to be uprooted. It has an uneven area as rocky cliffs and grasslands. Marsar lake increases the scenic beauty of the place and is characterized by coniferous trees. Himalayan serow, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, musk deer, marmot are some of the animals you will easily spot here. This park is also known for Cinnamon sparrow, golden oriole and Redstart birds.
Srinagar to Pahalgam (96 kms)
Pahalgam is not a mere hill-station. Its a recreation resort.
Its like going into the lap of nature to do many things – one of the best – that “do-nothing” and have a ‘quality’ family time, you want to do those little interesting things with the family and kids, like take a pony ride, just picnic next to a beautiful river, just lie down under the sun next to your ‘hut’ with fresh breeze blowing, and read a book, or have a game of cards. Go to a cozy market and have a cup of coffee, or eat local food, or shop some of the exquisite of Kashmiri handicraft.
Betaab Valley has colors to offer in all seasons : Its green in Summers , Amber during autumn and becomes a white cotton bed in winters.
Chandanwari boundried by the great Himalayas , green lush meadows in the corner of eyes and an exotic view of city calls for a perfect wallpaper material.
Sheshnag Lake when nature bestows his best on earth and when God was in swings to create wonders , He made Kashmir Valley and in it he placed Sheshnag Lake. Mirror like sheen it has.. Greenest of views it has.. sharpest of peaks it has and a bliss to eyes it has..!!
Pahalgam to Gulmarg (136 kms)
While Gulmarg is an all-weather hill station with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral scenes to keep the camera busy, the main reason to come here, at least in winter, is the off-piste, deep-powder, long-run skiing and snowboarding.
Gulmarg Gondola in Gulmarg is the world’s second highest operating cable car which has two phases
Phase 1 – Gulmarg to Kungdoor (8530 fts) :A perfect place for skiers and having that aromatic cup of Kehwa and Maggie
Phase 2 – Kungdoor to Apharwat (14000 fts): When you reach a point beyond which no man can go, when you reach a place where no human intervention can take place , when winds have a direct contact with you, when you can see only snow below your feet.. it’s the highest point of Gulmarg and words are just not enough to express it.
Gulmarg to Sonmarg(125 kms)
On the banks of River Sindh lies Meadows of Gold i.e Sonmarg with its primitive and idyllic feel offers respite from city life.
You can go soul searching to Gadsar Lake, which at 16,400 feet lies frozen throughout the year.Surrounded by snow capped mountains and shrouded in alpine flowers, from Gadsar Lake you can enjoy panoramic views of the frozen Satsar and Baltan Lakes.
Thajiwas glacier at an altitude of 9,186 feet is a striking silvery scene set against emerald meadows and a clear blue sky. In summers, you can take a half-day hike to numerous waterfalls around this glacier. The road will be long and the journey hard but the captivating views make it worthwhile. On the way, have a friendly match with the local Gujjar kids who are almost always ready for a friendly snowball fight!
Anantnag(55 kms from srinagar)
Anantnag is a small yet beautiful city in Kashmir offering varied views and off beat places to visit. Anantnag district is one of the oldest urban developments of the state and also the main trading center of Jammu and Kashmir. Namdah, handicrafts, Gabbah carpet and shawl weaving are some of the arts Anantnag is famous for.
Kokernag is the place where there a collection of fresh water springs and collectively form the largest fresh water spring of Kashmir. Trout fishing is a popular activity here. Tourism department even sells these fishes to the tourists.
Sinthan Top is a hill station located near Anantnag. It joins Kashmir valley and Jammu province. It is situated at a height of approximately 3800 m above the mean sea level. It remains covered with snow almost throughout the year. There are no local inhabitants but some shepherds and tourists stay in tents. Being at a distance of 140 km from Srinagar, Sinthan Top is easily accessible.
The road journey is in itself a thrilling adventure. When you reach the famous “360 degree view” you can actually see a panoramic view of Kashmir and Jammu. It is never too crowded and will surely refresh you. A serene place away from the hustle bustle of the city, it is a must visit for all the nature and photography enthusiasts.
Apart from these a visit to Kargil and the entire range of Kunlun Mountains can be explored along with Leh & Ladhakh.
Adventurists Special corner:
River rafting, more often called the White Water Rafting is a popular sport in Kashmir & Leh. Armed with life-jackets and helmets tourists in large numbers opt for this thrilling sport.Kashmir has a number of rivers flowing at full bloom and becoming a boon for rafters viz River Lidder , River Indus , River Suru , River Zanskar etc
Trekking :Jammu, in spite of locating in relatively low lying areas, this region also offers tremendous opportunities of trekking in the surrounding areas of mountain peaks like Sickle Moon (6575 m), Eiger (6001 m), Bhrama in Kishtwar region.The Chadar Trek in Zanskar is a world wide famous destination for facilitating thrilling experience of trekking on frozen water of Zanskar River
Paragliding : One can choose to take glide in a Parachute with a pilot or can go solo over the valleys, lakes and mountains of these places. Paragliding in Sanasar can be experienced by taking short flight operating from Sanasar (take off) to Kud (Landing) for the duration of two to three minutes. One can even enjoy a high flying in Nathatop for 8 to 10 minutes at an altitude of 1500 to 2000 feet.
Heli skiing is an off trail, downhill skiing activity that is performed from summit of high snow capped mountains to slopes using helicopter.The Indian conditions, generate the fluffy and granular snow, called the Curry Powder which is unique to Kashmir. The latitude allows for a longer day. Thanks to the low moisture content, the alternating freezing, melting and refreezing leads to corn sized snow which skiers cherish and GULMARG is the place for it.
Golfing : There are total of 6 major golf courses in the state of Jammu and Kashmir- Kashmir Golf Club (Srinagar), Royal Spring Golf Course (Srinagar), Gulmarg Golf Club (Gulmarg), Pahalgam Golf Club (Pahalgam) and Sanasar Golf Club (Sanasar, Jammu). The 18-hole golf course in Gulmarg is the highest golf course in the world. All these courses are well equipped to handle the golfer.