A jewel of a destination, Kashmir is one of the most amazing holiday destinations in India. “Paradise on Earth”, Kashmir is known for its charming beauty as it is surrounded by mountain ranges of the Himalayas. Stunning rivers, Snow capped mountains, tranquil lakes, fine gardens, lush green meadows etc are some other features of the landscape of the Kashmir valley. The breath taking beauty of Kashmir has earned it the name of “Switzerland of East”.


Srinagar is the state’s summer capital & the first stop for most travellers to Kashmir. With its abundant lake, meandering river, pretty gardens, romantic Shikara ride, charming houseboats and the gracious architecture, the city is a perfect place to start your holiday.

On the two great hills that overlook the city and the lake – Hari Parbat (Kohi-e-Maran) and Shankracharaya (Takht-e-Sulaiman) are reminders of the city’s diverse past: graced with ancient temples and medieval mosques, imposing fortress walls and simple, quiet shrines. The sacred is equally inescapable in the old city, lined along both sides of the Jhelum River. Here are the wooden Islamic shrines with pagoda-like roofs that are so distinctive of Kashmir, and here too are the spikes of old temples built amidst winding lanes of wooden houses with their delicately carved balconies, centuries’ old bridges and bustling markets.

The markets of Srinagar offer a vast variety of the most refined crafts – from pashmina shawls, as light and soft as the breeze that blows across the Dal, to intricately hand woven carpets, delicately carved woodwork and glittering copperware. Foodies will delight in the rich Kashmir cuisine: from melt-in-the-mouth gushtabas to irresistible walnut tarts, or even a handful of warm, roasted chestnuts cracked open in the sun.

Whether you spend your time in Srinagar exploring its many facets or simply unwinding by the lake, you will find yourself carrying home memories of a gentle, refined beauty that braces the senses and unclutters the mind.


Dal Lake : City of Srinagar revolves around this expanse of blue water lake. With the backdrop of mountains on three sides, the view of the Dal Lake looks as if you are watching a photograph. This lake counts amongst the most splendid lakes in the country. Houseboats & Shikara ride are the major attraction of the Lake.

Lake is also famous for its floating vegetable market. Their annual turnover is expected more than 35 crores in total. There are no permanent shops on the lake. The floating market first attracted international attention in 1960, when a Japanese photographer featured it in a tourist guide that was published out of Japan.

Nigeen Lake : Another popular tourist attraction of Srinagar is the Nigeen Lake. Calm water of the lake, surrounded with manicured flowerbeds and groves of chinar, poplar and willow are enough to capture your heart. Tourists can visit even Nigeen club located adjacent to the lake.


Mughal Gardens, as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period. These gardens are the major attractions for tourists coming into Kashmir. Mughal Gardens are combination of three renowned gardens – Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh & Chashme Shahi.

Shalimar Gardens: Shalimar Bagh offers an amazing view of the other gardens, lakes and shallow terraces. This Garden has four terraces, rising one above the other. There is also a canal lined with polished stones running through the centre. Other attractions of the Shalimar Bagh include a number of fountains, shaded trees and innumerable varieties of flowers that blossom in spring and autumn. A light and sound show is organized in the garden every evening between May to October & is simply superb.

Nishat Garden : Nishat Bagh is the largest among Mughal gardens & is situated on the banks of the picturesque Dal Lake. This offers a splendid view of the Dal Lake as well as the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain range. The garden has terraces, each representing a different Zodiac sign. Other attractions of the Nishat garden include its blooming flowerbeds, water channels, trees, fountains, etc. You can also take a shikara ride at the Nehru Park from the garden. Nishat Bagh also offers shopping facilities to its visitors. There are a number of shopping stalls situated opposite the garden.

Chashma Shahi : Smallest among the Mughal Gardens, Chashma Shahi has three sections with many fountains & waterfalls. The different varieties of beautiful fragrant flowers & manicured lawns are the major attractions of this garden.

Pari Mahal : Next to Maharaja's palace we find the ruins of Pari Mahal, "the fairies abode", upon the mountain slope. It is situated to the west of Cheshma Shah, and a ruined garden palace. The construction of this palace is ascribed to Dara Shikoh, who was beheaded in 1659 by Aurangzeb. The garden consists of six terraces, with a total length of about 400 feet. The width of the terraces varies from 197 feet to 205 feet. Pari Mahal is surrounded by gardens


Sri Shankaracharya Temple: Perched on the Gopadri hill, the Shankaracharya Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Hazratbal Shrine: Situated opposite the Nishat Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake, the Hazratbal Shrine houses the Moi-e-Muqqadus (preserved sacred hair) of Prophet Mohammad.

The Jama Masjid : It is the Biggest Mosque in Kashmir and located at Nowhatta, in the heart of the old city, is the other important mosque in Srinagar at which thousands of people congregate for the Friday prayers. Of imposing proportions, the mosque is built around a courtyard and is supported by 370 wooden pillars., is known as one of the sacred shrines of Islamic followers. Be it the holiness or the constructional elegance, Jamia Masjid is quite unparalleled in every aspect


The Valley of Shepherds. Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, Pahalgam (2,130 m above the sea level) was once a humble shepherd's village with breath-taking views. Now it is Kashmir'spremier resort, cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 28 C. A number of hotels and lodges cater to all preferences and budgets. All beautiful valleys of Kashmir are situated in Pahalgam like – Aru, Baisaran, Chandanwari and Betaab.

Baisaran Valley : The huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine with the presents a picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains at the back drop. The snow covered Tulian lake at an altitude of 3353 m is 11kms from Baisaran. One has to hire a pony or do a trek of 4 kms one way to reach this meadow, as the vehicles do not go till the valley.

Betaab Valley : Betaab Valley was previously called HAGOON or HAGAN VALLEY before 1983. Then in that year a movie named Betaab, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh ( Famous Bollywood actors) was released and it was a blockbuster with highest grossing revenue in that year. From then , the name of this valley has changed. Betaab Valley is combination of lush green Lidder river which divides into two streams forming an island in between and rejoining again , mountains with pine and deodhar trees on all sides, colorful huts, Akhrot (Walnut) trees, Willow trees, Ice Capped Peaks and plethora of colorful flowers. Along with that we find lot of species of birds chirping around the valley. The whole view is absolutely angelic. Along with the beatific scenes , climate and cool winds adds a lot to the spectacular combination. Betaab Valley is the right place for horse riding. You can hire horses here by the hour and you must try it. Betaab Valley is also a favorite campsite of travellers from America and Europe as it is also serves as a base for trekking and further exploration of the mountains.

Chandanwari, This is the gateway of Amarnath yatra. Amarnath trekking starts from here. You can see snow all over.


Aru Valley : 12 kms from Pahalgam, is a picturesque meadow and base point for trekking to Kolhai glacier, Katar Nag, Lidder Watt and Trasar & Marsar Lakes. In between Pahalgam and Aru valley there is a deer park. The entry fee here is 20 rupees. It is a huge park with large area but species here are few. 3 to 4 deers , one Leopard and two Kashmiri black bears. There is also a club with a golf course besides the park.

Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 kms from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year.


Golf: Pahalgam has a 18-hole Golf Course, which is of exceptional beauty and quite unique.

Fishing: The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout. The fishing season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued, for a maximum of three days at a time, on a first-come - first-served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar. Live baits and spinning are not allowed.

Trekking: The environs of Pahalgam offer exciting trekking opportunities, the best known being: Pahalgam - Chandanwari- Sheshnag- Panchtarni- Amarnath Cave Temple- Sonamarg.

Shopping: Pahalgam, originally a shepherds' village, is naturally known for products made of wool. Gabbas and Namdas can be purchased from local shops.


Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of Asia's premier hill resorts & also the country's premier ski resort in winter, when it is covered in snow and takes on the appearance of a picture postcard.

Skiing & Winter Sports: The skiing season usually commences mid – December and continues till early April. Gulmarg is well suited for learning skiing. It has some of the best slopes for beginners and intermediate skiers, all serviced by ski lifts and chair lifts. Most of the skiing activities are centred on these slopes, which have ski runs ranging from 200 to 900 mts. Good quality equipment including skis, boots, sticks, gloves and goggles, are all available on hire. Trained instructors are at hand for guiding amateur skiers. However, not all tourists who visit Gulmarg in winter come for skiing - some are simply there to watch the skiing or to enjoy a holiday in the snow.

Gondola Cable Car is the highest lift-served ski resort in the world providing a downhill ski run of 5.2 km from a height of 14,000 ft in the Apharwat range. It is also the longest gondola served ski-lift in Asia.

Gulmarg also offers a host of other snow sports at this time of the year. The most popular among the tourists is riding a sledge and being pulled along the snow covered roads or gentler slopes. Sledging does not require any skill - a flat wooden board is taken up the hill and then allowed to slide downhill. Snowboarding, another exciting winter sport is also being introduced and promoted here. Making a snowman and holding camp fires around it amidst music and feasting is another popular activity indulged by the tourists. But the most enjoyable aspect of a winter vacation in Gulmarg is the friendly atmosphere.

Heli-Skiing: Heli-skiing was introduced in Gulmarg, for the first time in India during the mid-1980s in collaboration with the world renowned French skier, Sylvain Saudan of Himalaya Heli-Ski Club of France. For this highly exciting sport, skiers are taken to the top of mountain ridges by helicopters from where they ski down the immense Himalayan slopes. Initially, the programme was started at Apharwat in Gulmarg. Subsequently, other sites in the Kashmir Himalayas were also used for the purpose. The programme was suspended during the 1990s, but now it is has been revived again.


Meadow of Gold
Sonamarg, located at a hefty altitude of 2,740 m above sea level. The picturesque natural beauty of the region brought this name to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a small town surrounded by breath-taking glaciers and serene lakes, is a snow covered beautiful flower-laden meadow in the majestic Himalayan mountain region.

Sonamarg in the Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass. Located at 87 km from Srinagar, the place is renowned for trekking and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.

Thajiwas glacier is the major tourist attraction in the region. Located 7 km from Sonamarg, it is an ideal spot for enjoying a sledge ride on the snow even in mid-summer.

Baltal, on the shores of the Sindh River, is located around 15 km away from Sonamarg. This small valley serves as a camping ground for the Amarnath pilgrims. It rests at the foot of Zoji-La Pass on the banks of the river Sindh. Moreover, for the convenience of the pilgrims, base camps are set up in is this ground and this little valley is only a day's journey away from and provides a shorter high-altitude alternate route to the sacred cave of Amarnath.


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