Kashmir holds a very special place in the hearts of the Indians and most people harbors an ardent desire to visit the ‘Paradise on Earth’ (according to Amir Khusrau) at least once in their lifetime. The valley of Kashmir is wrought with the intricate depth of the creator.
Each and every part of the state has scenic beauty worth dying for (not an exaggeration). You will surely have a journey of a lifetime in this beautiful part of ‘Incredible India’, once you reach there.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is nestled at the foothills of the mighty Himalayan Ranges and can be accessed through various parts of India from all directions. You just have to come down to the central point like Delhi or Chandigarh, from which you can reach Kashmir, more specifically Srinagar, the capital, by either rental cab services to enjoy your holiday.
Of course there is an airport in Srinagar that operates daily flights from Delhi, Chandigarh or Mumbai. For those of you who do not want to take the flight, you have other feasible options as well.
Srinagar has two nearby railway station, in Jammu Tawi and Udhampur. Major Indian cities are connected directly to these stations which will make your travel hassle free. You just have to avail a pre-booked cab service to reach your point of accommodation as well as cover the rest of your trip.
Srinagar also has buses plying via the national highways connecting to nearby states like Chandigarh, Delhi and Jammu. For those of you staying close to these areas, the most feasible option for you will be to avail the pre-booked cab service that will make your journey comfortable and personalized.
Many tourists also move further to Leh-Ladakh from Kashmir by cabs. You can choose the type of cab or taxi services from a range of services offered by various local travel agent. If you are traveling in a group you should most likely book your trip through a trusted travel partner to avoid any inconveniences in your trip.
You can also learn about beautiful “Tulip Festival” held in Srinagar, where people find themselves in the middle of floral paradise.
NOTE : In order to visit some parts of Kashmir, you need permission from the local authorities for vehicle. Thus, it is highly recommended that you arrange your holiday tip in Kashmir through a trusted travel partner so that they can make arrangements on your behalf and you don’t have to take any pains during your trip.
Most Sought After Kashmir Itinerary
Most of the tourist travelling to Kashmir, makes it a point to visit some famous areas like Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgaon and Srinagar. A standard trip should take you around 6 nights and 7 days. A day wise itinerary for is reference is provided below –
Day 1 :
Your trip in Kashmir will start and end from Srinagar, this being the most accessible point. So after you arrive in Srinagar via flight, train or rental cab service, you can directly transfer to a houseboat for the ‘Once in a Lifetime’ stay on the Dal Lake.
Enjoy the stupendous beauty of staying in a houseboat in traditional Kashmiri style and indulge in some relishing cuisine. Enjoy the day in our leisure. Do enjoy the Shikhara ride in the Dal Lake.
Lake lovers will love to read about the city full of lakes.
Day 2 :
You will head towards Pahalgam, after breakfast, which is the shepherds land. The drive from Srinagar to Pahalgam is as picturesque as you can imagine. You will pass by acres of saffron fields and cross pine forests and rivers.
On route, your cab driver will take you to visit the ruins of the age old Awantipura temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. You will be mesmerized with the historic charm of the place. The two to three hour long journey by car is quite enjoyable. After your reach Pahalgam, check into your booked hotel and relax for the day on your own.
Day 3 :
This day you will explore the nearby destinations in Pahalgam like Chandanwadi and Betaab valley. Chandanwadi is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra. You can trek up to Chandanwadi if you like adventure.
Visit the Sheshnag Lake and if you are visiting during the snow season then these spots will give you ample scope for fun and frolic. Spend the afternoon at Chandanwadi and post lunch you can proceed to Aru Valley.
Visit to Aru Valley is subject to climatic condition. You have to pay an entry fee of 25 INR and you can spend your time in this pristine valley till dusk. The road to Aru Valley may be closed due to landslides and other reasons. Kindly confirm with your tour operator before booking your trip.
Overnight stay at Pahalgam.
Day 4 :
Today you will be transferred to Gulmarg in your pre-booked cab. The car ride is another mesmerizing one as you traverse through the winding roads of the valley ahead. Gulmarg is famous for its flower meadows amidst lush green surroundings.
The snow clad peaks envelops the valley and you will feel as if you have been transported to a scene from a postcard. There are many adventure sports activity that you can avail here like Gondola ride / cable car ride and Chair lift. (These rides can be pre-booked from official websites as well your travel agent can help you book it). Cable car rides are one of the favorite activities enjoyed by families traveling here and it becomes great place to take your kids along with you.
Overnight stay at Gulmarg.
Day 5 :
Today you will be transferred to Srinagar by your pre-booked cab/taxi. At Srinagar, you will visit the famous Shankaracharya Temple and the collective gardens of the Mughal era, namely, Mughal Gardens. The evening will be free for you to spend at your leisure. You can go for local shopping of the exotic spices and garments.
Overnight stay in Srinagar.
Day 6 :
Today after breakfast leave for Sonmarg, the ‘Golden Valley’. The valley is replete with flowers and surrounded by lofty mountain peaks. You can choose to trek up to some nearby trek points.
Like in Auli, there are options for adventure sports like Skiing and sledge riding along the snow clad slopes. There are multiple options and you must discuss with your travel agents regarding the exact activities that you can opt for in Sonmarg.
Return to hotel and overnight stay in Srinagar.
Day 7 :
Your dream-like Kashmir trip will today. Post breakfast, you will be transferred by your cab/taxi to the airport or railway station for your onwards journey back home.
Surely you will carry loads of vibrant memories back with you.
Budget for Kashmir Trip :
A Kashmir trip is usually the one that falls in the medium budget range. You can opt to stay in budget hotels or three or more starred hotels. But you should never compromise on the mode of transfer as it can ruin your entire trip.
You might be tempted to go for share taxis or cabs to save your budget, but it is strongly recommended that you must book your transfers like cabs and taxis from a trusted travel agent.
The chauffeur driven cabs often double up as guide so that you don’t have to worry about how to reach and when to reach.
Food in Kashmir :
Kashmir is a place where you can get a variety of cuisine suited for every taste bud. You will definitely relish the flavorful food available here. The authentic Kashmiri cuisine is much loved by tourists. These days one can get almost any type of food from all over India in Kashmir as the state has developed its tourism sector.
FINAL TIPS :
Please make your bookings at least few month prior to your date of journey. Travel companies like Travelodesk often offers attractive early bird discounts and you can also find a lot of options within your budgets. As the peak season gets close, all good accommodation and taxi-service gets booked up really fast. So book your Kashmir trip, three months in advance to get the best holiday deals.