Kashmir is heaven on earth with its alpine peaks and snow-clad ranges. From trekking to solo trips to leisurely family vacations, Kashmir is a complete package. An unbelievably beautiful landscape, valley of flowers, serene lakes and amazing trekking trails, Kashmir has a little of everything to offer to its visitors. Looking to decode Kashmir for your next trip? Here is a complete list of places you must visit during your tour:
The capital of J&K, Srinagar is one of the most beautiful places in Kashmir. Take a shikara ride on the peaceful Dal Lake, view the city from the top of Shankaracharya Temple and stay in the iconic house boats on your next trip. You’ll definitely fall in love with Kashmir! Srinagar is home to the Shalimar Gardens that are on the back of the Rs. 10 Indian Currency Note.
Surrounded by Lidder Lake and Betaab Valley, Pahalgam is the place you visit to experience clear water rivers and exhilarating deep valleys. This place is famous golfing and shopping for traditional Kashmiri items.
Gulmarg is the snow paradise of Kashmir. This skier’s paradise is popular for having one of world’s highest and largest ropeways with an aerial distance of approx. 5kms. The view from top of the mountains at 3979 metres above sea level is bewildering.Snow falls are regular even during summer, giving every tourist a fair chance to enjoy the fall!
Sonmarg or ‘the meadow of gold’ has one of the most picturesque views in Kashmir. Snow-clad mountains, green grasslands and ponies to ride on, this place is what they call, ‘Jannat’ or heaven. Sonmarg is also one of the base points for starting the Amarnath Yatra. River rafting, zorbing, trekking are the various events conducted around the popular tourist spots. Sonmarg is inaccessible in winters due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Kashmir Valley, the largest Himalayan valley, is an elliptical saucer shaped landmark of Kashmir. Surrounded by the Karakoram and Pir Panjal ranges, Kashmir Valley has a mesmerising view in all the directions possible. This 140km long valley is the perfect spot for all trekkers and mountaineers alike!
Must Do: Paragliding over the Valley
Best time to visit: March to October
Where to stay: There are no hotels in the valley, so either you need to book your stay in Pahalgam or Srinagar
Known for the infamous Kargil War of 1999, Kargil has now become a very peaceful tourist destination with historical importance. Being a getaway to Leh, a number of tourist visit Kargil. Tourists from all over the world come to visit the ‘ranbhoomi’ of the war here. A number of monasteries and the Kargil War Memorial are worth a visit. If by any chance you get the opportunity, do take a night’s break in one of the military camps and listen to those amazing war stories from the army people themselves.
Must Do: Trek in Nun Mountains
Best time to visit: April to June
Leh is popular with romantics and adventurers alike. This destination is akin to a pilgrimage site for bikers, college goers and adventure drivers, who dream of a Ladakh trip at least once in their lifetime. The clear freezing water of Pangong Tso Lake, the vision of the Magnetic Hills and the beautiful blue sky that goes beyond your eyesight makes you lose yourself in the beauty of Leh & Ladakh.
Must Do: Go on a Biking trip through Ladakh
Best time to visit: September to November
It is the region of Rarity, an unexplored land with tons of monasteries and national parks. A must visit in Kashmir in summers if you are a wildlife enthusiast. Species like Snow leopard and Bharals find shelter in these national parks. Located in Leh district, around 40 kilometers southeast of leh town, in Ladakh, Hemis is mostly famous forHemis festival, a festival donned with multitude of colours and masks followed by monks wearing long horns and dancing to music.
What to do: Visit the Hemis Monastery and Hemis National Park. Take a chance to visit Hemis in july and enjoy the Hemis Festival
Best time to visit: May to July
So what are you waiting for? Kashmir is always welcoming new spectators!