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Explore An Unbelievably Beautiful Landscape - Your Handy Guide To Kashmir

By Sanjay Gouda

Updated - Oct. 25, 2019 9 min read

An Unbelievably Beautiful Landscape

Kashmir, the summer capital, is best among the places to visit in India. Get ready to explore the world-famous Dal Lake and Tulip Gardenof Srinagar. Ride the popular and thrilling Gondola in Gulmarg or trek to one of the alpine lakes in the upper Himalayan reaches, explore floating gardenspristine Valleys and serene beauty where nature’s very special crafts await your presence.

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Kashmir is true 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:

 

1. Srinagar

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 houseboats 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.

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How To Reach: To reach Srinagar by train, one could take a train to either Jammu Tavi or Udhampur Railway Station. From there you can take a taxi or a bus to this beautiful place. 

Must Do: Stay in a Houseboat

Best Time To Visit: February to July

Where To Stay: Batra Hotels and Residences, The Grand Mamta, Hotel Pacific

 

2. Pahalgam

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 for river rafting at Lidder Lake, golfing and shopping for traditional Kashmiri items.

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How To Reach: You can take a train to Jammu which is about 255 kilometers from Pahalgam. You can then rent a taxi to Pahelgam. You can reach there by air by boarding a flight to Srinagar which is at a distance of 95 kilometers from Pahalgam

Must Do: Visit Mini Switzerland on ponies

Best Time To Visit: February to June

Places To Stay: Volga Hotel,  Wood Stock Hotel, Hotel Paristaan Resorts

 

3. Gulmarg

Gulmarg is the snow paradise of Kashmir. This skier’s paradise is popular for having one of the world's highest and largest ropeways with an aerial distance of approx. 5kms. The view from the top of the mountains at 3979 meters above sea level is bewildering. Snow falls are regular even during summer, giving every tourist a fair chance to enjoy the fall!

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How To Reach: By air - The nearest airport is Srinagar which is 56 kilometers away.

By Bus: Gulmarg is well connected by bus from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighboring towns in Kashmir

By Train: Jammu is nearest Railway Station at a distance of 290 kilometers

Must Do: Ski with the help of professionals at 14000 feet above the sea level.

Best Time To Visit: March to June

Places To Stay: Hotel Signature, Nedous Hotel are the most recommended places to stay

 

4. Sonmarg

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 YatraRiver rafting, zorbing, trekking are the various events conducted around the popular tourist spots. Sonmarg is inaccessible in winters due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.

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How To Reach: By air – You can take a flight to Srinagar and then take a bus or a taxi to Sonmarg

By Road: Sonmarg can be reached by Pahalgam which is well connected by roads from all the major cities in the north

Must Do: Trek to the Thajiwas Glacier

Best Time To Visit: February to March

Places To Stay: Imperial Resorts, Hotel Akbar

 

5. Kashmir Valley

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 mesmerizing view in all the directions possible. This 140km long valley is the perfect spot for all trekkers and mountaineers alike!

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How To Reach: By road – You can take a bus from any of the major cities to Srinagar. It is well connected with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh etc.

By Air: You can board a flight to Srinagar which is 18 kilometers from the valley 

By Train: The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi, taxies and buses ply from Jammu at a regular interval for the valley

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

 


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6. Kargil

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

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How To Reach: By air – The nearest airport is Srinagar which is 204 kilometers from Kargil. 

By Road: Frequent local and deluxe buses are available from Srinagar to Kargil on a regular basis

By Train: Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station which is around 739 kilometers from Kargil

Must Do: Trek in Nun Mountains

Best Time To Visit: April to June

Where To Stay: Kargil Tourist Camp, Siachen Hotel

 

7. Leh-Ladakh

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.

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How To Reach: By air – Nearest airport is Leh. One can reach Leh from Delhi or Srinagar

By Road: Public and government tourist buses ply from Srinagar to Leh and Ladakh   

Must Do: Go on a Biking trip through Ladakh

Best Time To Visit: September to November

Where To Stay: Bikamp Adventure, Hotel May Flower, Rahella Guest House Homestay

 

8. Pulwama

Also known as the city of color burst, Pulwama is best known for its saffron fields. A picturesque terrain, amiable weather, and rich culture, Pulwama describes Kashmir in its best form. It is almost 40 kilometers from the summer capital of Kashmir. It is often called ‘Anand of Kashmir’ or ‘Dudha-Kul of Kashmir’ due to its high milk production. A lot of trekking trails are also available from the city into the beautiful valley of Kashmir

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How To Reach: By road – You can take a bus from any of the major cities to Srinagar. It is well connected with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh etc.

By Air: You can board a flight to Srinagar which is 40 kilometers from the valley 

By Train: The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi which is 130 kilometers from Pulawama, taxies and buses ply from Jammu at a regular interval for the valley

What To Do: Mountaineering and trekking in summer and skiing and snowboarding in winters

Best Time To Visit: April to October 

Where To Stay: There are no particular accommodation facilities available in Pulwama, one could book a stay in Srinagar

 

9. Hemis

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 for Hemis festival, a festival donned with a multitude of colors and masks followed by monks wearing long horns and dancing to music. 

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How To Reach: By air –  Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport in Leh is the closest airport to Hemis

By Train: Nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi railway station. One can take a bus from Jammu to Hemis

By Road: One can reach Hemis in two ways, first through Srinagar- Kargil- Leh highway or through Leh- Manali highway

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

Were To Stay: There are no hotels in Hemis, so one has to book a stay in Leh

 

10. Kupwara

The alpine mountains, fresh gushing clear water, and thriving meadows best describe this beautiful city of Kupwara. Known as the Crown of Kashmir, Kupwara is some of the world’s best tourist destination. You must visit Lolab valley and Bungas valley as they hold a special significance among the citizens of Kupwara. Imagine springs and lakes with water pulsating like Quicksilver and the morning birds fluttering about-about the sky, restless, Yes! Kupwara is a place where you will experience this tranquility and serenity.

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How To Reach: No direct flights or buses are available to Kupwara, one has to book a taxi from Srinagar or Jammu to reach Kupwara

To Do: Visit Lolab Valley, Qamar Reshi Sahib shrine, Sheikh Baba Behram

When To Visit: April to October

Where To Stay: There are numbers of hotels to stay in Kupwara.

 

So what are you waiting for? Kashmir is always welcoming new spectators!

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