Things To Do In Kashmir
Kashmir is a region in India that is rich with history and political contention. Savor stunningly spiced local Indian cuisine and bubbly teas, then stroll the rough trekking courses to the north. Wander up to the well known houseboats of Srinagar and take a spiritual adventure to reflect at one of the sacred temples and religious altars that are spread across the city. In Kashmir, it is worth going up the Shankaracharya Hill for the nice view of Srinagar and Dal Lake. The temple is special and requires lots of steps to get up to the last peak. Another good view of the entire city awaits you if you go to Pari Mahal, an ancient ruin located on the next hillside.
When To Go:
If you are searching for an average and comfortable climate, the months of April up to June (Spring) is unquestionably the best time to visit the city. It is the time when the garden attractions like Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and so on are dotted with colorful flowers. September- November (Autumn) is also an ideal time to explore the city, particularly for those intrigued by bird watching as this is the season of the transitory winged animals swooping in from Siberia. The summer months of May until August are also a good time to check out the city if you can tolerate the humid and hot atmosphere. Hotel rates and plane ticket deals are more affordable around these months too.
But if you are not precisely searching for charming sort of fun, then Kashmir is worth going to in winters as well. If you can tolerate the cold weather while you walk around the city then come during the winter season (December - March). It is a standout and favorite spot for skiing in India.
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Summing it all up, the best months to visit Kashmir City are from January, February, April, May, June, September, and October. A visit to the city should be avoided around the intermittent weather months of March, July, August, November, and December.
Begin your journey to mystic charms and verdant valleys as you tour these top attractions and the things to do in the region of Kashmir:
The Shankaracharya Hill is a religious temple in Kashmir that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on a hill that contains a large Shiva lingam. To visit and enjoy the view of Srinagar, you can reach it by car after treading through a lot of stair steps (200) leading to its main temple. You can take a tuk tuk or walk up to the hill and admire the breathtaking panoramic views of the city. This mountain scenery is one of the reasons why most tourists flock to see the side despite the treacherous way on the stairs. Nevertheless, it’s a good exercise for the legs and the best way to get engaged in a strenuous physical activity.
This place is recommended for the physically agile and fit traveler who can manage to brave the exhausting climb to the top of the temple. The rewards are truly remarkable because you can see the nearby beautiful places that encompass the small city of Kashmir. This sacred temple was established through the efforts of Adi guru Shankaracharya as far back as 200 BC. Walking around the forested areas on the way to the temple is not advisable because this is where most of the bears of Kashmir can be found.
Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
The Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden is the biggest Tulip garden of Asia that is spread over a zone of around 12 hectares. There are approximately 60 kinds of Tulips that can be found inside this huge garden. If you plan to include a visit to this garden on your travel itinerary, it is highly advisable to schedule your holiday plan around the month of March when the flowers are in full bloom and where it is the only month of the year that it is kept open for the public to appreciate, take pictures with, and just simply adore the natural backdrop and frame work of the row of colorful blooms.
The sight is essentially delightful and one must plan carefully the time of visit to Kashmir with the goal That a visit to this garden can be done as well.
If you love nature and view of thick, colorful, scented, flowers you must visit this spot. It is easy to access and find its location in the city; it is aligned with the hills of Zabarwan and along the embankment of the Lake Dal. The well cared garden is also the perfect spot for quiet moment and serenity and to be away for awhile from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Dal Lake is beautiful by nature but mostly sweet to serenity. Its houseboats (shikara) are framed by cedar, carved by the hands of incomparable artists of the wood. It is brightly colored and decorated with flowers with the boatman rowing with one oar and juggles with skilled craftsmanship. At sunset it is a spectacle of color on the water, the lights of the houseboats are reflected in the lake and the people on the lookout calmly observe the passage of time and the dreams that move from the mind to the heart. When you return from the trip just close your eyes and relive everything and paradoxically also feel the moment of this unforgettable part of India. The lake is in a beautiful panorama of mountains, crossed by colorful boats and populated by many houseboats.
It is interesting and rich in historical sites that you will see once you tour the enchanting lake. You can walk through the maze of houseboats; rustle among the leaves and lotus flowers, bird watching and fishing for colorful ducklings. The sunsets and sunrises here equally are fascinating, covered in a fine mist that softens the colors. You can observe the way of life of people living along the shores and on the islets, which cultivate aquatic gardens, how they travel by boats to trade, go to school and work, in an atmosphere of peace and harmony that is very typical of Kashmir tradition.
The Nagin Lake is quieter, serene, and provides a great starting point to visit the other key attractions of Kashmir such as the Mogul garden, gardens of lotus, the flower market, the floating market, etc. The site has floating gardens that are full of vegetables of rare quality.
You can tour around and the old, Hazrad Bal, and mosque. Don’t forget the old wooden mosque in the city, and the wood carvings of famous Indian artists, painters of paper Mache some of which have a brush with some cat hair. It is located right next to the equally beautiful Dal Lake.
The Gulmarg Gondola is an excursion to the sky and in the past at the same time. The gondola was brought from France where it first operated in the 1960s. It has two levels or turns to enjoy an awesome ride into the great mountain range of the Himalayas and this is what makes people from all over the world come here especially in winter. There are lots of skating areas in different directions. The ticket office is located about 100 meters from the entrance to the gondola.
You don’t actually require any tour guide here and it is possible that you can book the ticket through their online site or endure the long lines to purchase a cable ride ticket from the booking counter. You can discover snow at the first level itself and a pony ride adventure, and for individuals who are active into extreme ski sports and activities, the second level is beneficial for them as they can discover the thick snow where it is convenient to enjoy their passion.
The famous cable car ride is about 700 meters away (on foot) from the Hotel Grand Mumtaz. Do not miss this out because the experience is absolutely breathtaking.
The view can be compared to the snow covered Alps of the Swiss Mountains. The Gondola is the best approach to reach Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Gulmarg. There are simple things to do in Phase 1 and you need to stroll for about twenty minutes to get to the tea shop in the area, it is not advisable for guests with knee and health problems. This exciting Gondola ride is about 2 ½ hour bus ride away from Sonamarg.
An excursion to the community of Sonamarg (locally known as the Meadow of Gold) is most likely recommended if you’re in Kashmir. The 80 km or almost an hour drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg is very pleasant and the highways are perfect. It is more appropriate to rent a car or a 4x4 that will allow you to go up to Kargil and the Thajiwas Icy mass. It is approximately 134 kms away from the region of Kashmir. It is a must to see this attraction if you are in India.
There are delightful lodgings there as well in spite of the fact that individuals simply strive for a one day outing yet for some individuals who like to experience to stay in a little place encompassed by nature an overnight stay in Sonamarg is not a terrible choice. Sonamarg is undoubtedly one of the best attractions of Kashmir city. The tourist spot is immaculate and un-ruined by human intervention. The outing to Kashmir will be totally useless without going to the famous Thajwass Glacier. In the event that you need to be unified with nature then invest some quality time here while you’re in Kashmir.
There are lots of attractions and things to do in Pahalgam and these are as follows; Sheshnag Lake is about 12 km from Chandanwari where you can admire great views along the way. This course is opened amid the season of the Amarnath Yatra. The initial 3km trail from the Chandanwari will be extremely intense as it requires a challenging and steep ascend. It is advisable to take the horseback ride to reach the area without any hassle. Meanwhile the nearby Tulian Lake requires a two day trek that you can start with your family. Your stamina will be tested to its limits because of the treacherous trail but you will be rewarded with an amazing perspective of Pahalgam and the cool wind blowing on your face.
The Aru Valley is a favorite holiday spot in the Anantnag District of Kashmir, India and is placed around 12km from Pahalgam, or approximately 11km upstream from the Lidder River. It can be easily accessed with the help of a pony ride. It is one of the principal tourist destinations in Pahalgam. This is the valley where famous Indian films like Karma and Mahabharata were shot on location. It is about 88 kms apart from Srinagar, the main city of the region (via the national road).
Betab Valley is strategically arranged in the town of Pahalgam and is a decent place to be in the nights for long walks and subject photography. Pahalgam is about 120 km away from the region of Kashmir and the valley is about 15 km apart from the center of Pahalgam, this valley is a must see list in your travel itinerary. The atmosphere here is just like a scene straight out of a Hindi film. It is extremely beautiful and furthermore just as decently kept up. This is a photographer’s haven. Take lots of pictures or simply set down and marvel at its brilliant sunset.
The Betab valley derived its name from the prominent Bollywood film "Betab" which was the presentation film for renowned Indian performer Amrita Singh and on-screen character Sunny Deol. Betab valley is situated at about fifteen km from Pahalgam in the Anantnag territory from the designated states of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Betab valley falls on the route to the famous cavern sanctuary called the Amarnath in the middle of Chandanwari and Pahalgam. The beautiful area of Betab valley contains various lakes, lush vegetation grounds, snow secured mountains and thick rainforest. The famous valley is a standout amongst the most wonderful area in the valley on the banks of Lidder waterway and rich green hills. For the best shots, take a few photos from the top of the road after passing around 200 meters from the range of the valley.
Kheer Bhawani Temple
The sanctuary of Ragnya Devi is more popularly called Kheer Bhawani Temple in light of the fact that various enthusiasts or loyal pilgrims give milk and kheer (Indian sweet dish) as a form of offering to the main altar. There is a story behind it; locals say milk can become black to caution of any approaching problems or tragedy. The Maharaja Pratap Singh got the sanctuary developed in 1912. Later, Maharaja Hari Singh attempted the repair and reclamation of the facilities at the sanctuary.
The Kheer Bhawani s temple is placed at Tullamula in the Srinagar region. Small streams of water Chinar trees encompass the spot where the sanctuary stands. Speaking to the goddess is a holy hexagonal spring at Tullamula town, which houses a little marble sanctuary. The legend connected with the sanctuary goes that Lord Rama fell in love with Ragnya Devi amid his being an outcast. After the outcast period got over, Rama asked Lord Hanuman to move the official seat of the goddess. The throne was brought by Lord Hanuman first to Shadipora and later moved to the site where the sanctuary now proudly stands.
The Pari Mahal temple is definitely worth the drive because it is elevated and built into the mountain and enthroned above the Dal Lake overlooking the Kashmir region, Srinagar and the surrounding mountains. The palace is spread over several floors and is a superb example of Mughal architecture. If you schedule a visit on a clear day, you have the best views from this spectacular site. The only downside is there are no facilities provided if you feel famished, so it is advisable to buy or bring your own snack before embarking to an excursion to this magnificent temple over Kashmir.
Nishat Bagh (Nishat Garden)
The Nishat Bagh (Nishat Garden) is truly a piece of paradise in Kashmir. It is a terraced Mughal garden with ancient fountains, walls and ancient buildings, and lawns, majestic trees and flower beds perfectly maintained by the site’s experienced gardeners. They made use of all elements to come up with this ideal garden in the city by mixing; colors and scents, and water. The Nishat Bagh is like a magical atmosphere with a view of the Dal Lake and most of all the colors, the smiles, the simplicity and natural elegance of so many Indians from all over the country where most of them comes with their traditional dress, some are married couples with families, going from one corner to another and enjoying this beautiful place. It is most crowded on weekends.
If you don’t want chaos or noise and simply want to enjoy the picturesque sunset over the lake, schedule your visit on weekdays like Monday, it is less busy and you will feel more relaxed in the peace and quiet of nature. It is a beautiful garden in Srinagar with an interesting system of cascading fountains. The gardens of Nishat and Shalimar (which stands close to each other) are both representative of the beauty of the Kashmiri landscape. They are well maintained and serve as a good place to stroll and relax. The combination of water and vegetation is interesting.
The Shalimar Gardens are a very pleasant place for making beautiful photos in Kashmir. These gardens are often visited because they have immaculate white roses and mountains that lend themselves very well to photo shoots. You can spend a few hours to enjoy the entire garden, plus, the entry price is not really high. It is a small fresh garden but very well maintained by its skilled tem of gardeners. Thanks to its small waterfall where everyone can drink spring water that comes from the high mountains. The Shalimar Gardens consists of a pretty lake, bed of flowers a small lawn, restrooms, and it is also very nice to visit here during summer even if it's hot.
The parks are nice but not very spectacular easy to bloom in winter because most flowers and plants only flourish at the start of spring. To enjoy your stay, you can choose to go there in May then it is certainly worthwhile because it is the peak of the blooming season. There are more locals and tourists who frequent this place more on this specific month. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens of the city. It is a beautiful garden where you can spend a few hours and will not notice how fast time flies. Despite its antiquity it has successfully retained its charm and neat appearance.
Jamia Masjid (Great Mosque)
The Jamia Masjid or the Great Mosque can be seen from the inside and outside and you will be impressed by its overall construction and interior. It is definitely worth a visit for its antiquity, historical, and cultural value. It is very spacious and has large wooden ceilings. Despite the strict rules about clothing and proper behavior while being inside a mosque, the Masjid has a very charming atmosphere and has a very interesting story behind its construction (built since the 14th century). While there, respect the religious culture, leave your shoes at the entrance, and stay quiet especially during prayer time. Taking pictures inside the mosque is not allowed, but in the courtyard and entrance hallways it’s definitely allowed ok. The great Jamia Masjid in Kashmir is built entirely of wood which gives it a very special character in typical Kashmiri style. You can linger a bit to sit in the center of the garden and watch the birds in the pond or just bask in the quiet and serene atmosphere of the place.
Kashmir is a center of varied cultural influences and natural attributes. This spot is likewise considered as paradise on earth because of its enchanting atmosphere and excellent nature. It can be explored best during spring and winter season and you can combine a view of snow clad mountains, the serene Dal Lake, brilliant gardens, old temples, snow capped peaks, and well tended parks. When in India, do not miss passing by and checking out the entire region of Kashmir, it is definitely worth the time and effort.
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