We have come up with a list of the best places to visit in Kashmir. Snow-capped mountains, verdant green valleys, and meadows, gurgling brooks and streams, roads, and villages dotted with alpines and the coniferous tree isn’t this the image Kashmir conjures up in your mind? But Kashmir is much more than that.
Travel with Offbeat Tracks to see best places to visit in Kashmir and they will give you the time of your life and they will take you to quaint unusual places not frequented by the usual traveler. Be it revisiting history, enjoying nature in its pristine beauty, relishing the local cuisine, shopping, or even adventure sports all of this includes in the Kashmir tour package for a family.
Without much ado let’s get cracking with what a trip to the valley of Srinagar has in store for you. There are Kashmir tour packages including flights to Srinagar that are available from most metros like Mumbai and Delhi. On the first day take it slow by just enjoying the beauty all around you or just relaxing in your hotel and then taking a leisurely stroll around the famous Dal Lake.
Floating market on Dal Lake, one of the best places to visit in Kashmir
Soak in the beauty of the majestic peaks all around. Sip some hot kahawa, the famous saffron-flavored tea, and munch on some hot locally made bread that exchange on the lakeside. The day starts early if you want to visit the floating market on Dal Lake.
They are in the natural wetlands of Srinagar. You get there by shikara and get to see the hustle and bustle of a market. The local vegetables, fruits, and flowers are sold here, and it is an experience by itself. It functions only from 5 am to 7 am.
You can get back to the hotel for breakfast or try one of the lounges in the city that serve piping hot buns and slices of bread with jam and an assortment of cheeses.
Pari Mahal, one of the best places to visit on Kashmir
Next, if you’re a history buff head to the Pari Mahal, a beautiful ancient structure with 7 levels of gardens. Close to that is the Chas me Shahi gardens world-renowned built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. A treat in summers with its beautiful gardens filled with flowers of the most brilliant hues. It has a natural spring whose waters have medicinal value.
If you are there in February, then the tulip garden will take your breath away. It’s the second-largest tulip farm in India. An amazing riot of colors again.
A visit to Shankaracharya temple on the top of the hill will be nice for those of you who would like something spiritual. It is an old Shiva temple. For lunch, one should try the traditional Wazwan which is an assortment of meats and vegetables cooked in the authentic Kashmiri way.
Try it out in the many famous restaurants like Mughal Darbar, Ahdoos, or the Chinar at the Lalit Grand Palace. End the day with a Shikara ride on the Dal Lake or just browse around the many shops selling curios, artifacts made of papier Mache, silver jewelry, carpets, pashmina stoles, and shawls. Walnut wood furniture is famous the world over, so do take a look at that too in the Kashmir emporium.
Best places to visit in Kashmir tour package
The three days of your Kashmir trip package can be spent traveling down to Gulmarg, where you can enjoy a magnificent green golf course and a gondola ride, as well as Sonamarg. For Gulmarg and back, one day is required. The next day you can go to Pahalgam, a beautiful village with the Liddar river flowing in between.
A beautiful drive from Srinagar wherein enroute you can see the saffron fields at Pampore. These two places are what most travelers frequent. We now come to the exciting places unheard of, but just as beautiful or maybe even more. So here goes our list of best places to visit in Kashmir:
The picturesque tiny village of Chatpal is located 90 kilometers from Srinagar in the Anantnag region, tucked amid gorgeous mountains. The J&K tourism departments operate a hotel and restaurant, as well as huts for accommodation. Surrounded by lush green forests it is a perfect family getaway.
You can just walk around the little village there taking in the calm, peace, and beauty, or take a hike in the forests around or you can spend the night in the fully furnished tourist bungalow run by the J&K government there.
The beautiful Daksum valley is located around the Bhringi river, a little ahead of the Mughal gardens of Achhbal. It is about 100 km from Srinagar and is 2 hour drive by road. With its vast green meadows, surrounded by coniferous trees it is an ideal place for camping. The river here is famous for its trout fish. People hike to the Simthan pass from here.
Also known as the “Meadow of Jesus’ is at a stone’s throw from Srinagar at a distance of 45 km. Huge vistas of grassy green meadows, bordered by alpine woods welcome the city-weary traveler. A nice place to just stroll around or you could take the pony too.
From here you can catch a glimpse of the shimmering Nilnag lake in the distance. J&K tourism department runs a hotel cum restaurant. The huts are available too for accommodation. On your way back you can visit the famous Charar e Sharief Dargah too.
If you are into history then Karnah is the place for you. Located at a distance of 297 km from Srinagar it is an almost 8-hour drive on the Keylong Tandi Kishtwar road and NH 244. Karnah is a beautiful small scenic valley full of natural splendor. It has dense green meadows, undulating mountains, snowy peaks, and small houses on the mountain slopes.
Also, it has a rich old culture of 5000 years of civilization. Karnah is dotted with forts, palaces, statues, and weaponry. So, there is plenty to see and do. The approach to Sadhana pass too starts from here. It Is another world by itself.
Is a must-visit place if one wants to get the true flavor of a Kashmir tour package in winter. This place has a unique mix of natural scenic beauty and spirituality. Watlab is situated at a distance of 56 km from Srinagar on the Sopore Bandipur road. Apart from its untamed beauty, Watlab has fields of paddy and plenty of apple orchards. All this makes it a riot of colour.
It is home to the Wular lake, Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Also, it is home to some rare species like the Himalayan golden eagle, Rock dove, and other rare birds. It is also famous for its hilltop Muslim shrine built in the memory of Baba Shukruddin, a Muslim mystic. Leisure activities like fishing, bird watching, trekking, and shikara rides can be done here. There is a Forest rest house where accommodation is provided for.
Around 130 km from Srinagar lies the stunningly beautiful valley of Gurez. It is situated at an elevation of 8000 feet above sea level. You have to pass by the Mansbal and Wular lakes to get here. It is located along part of the old silk route.
Gurez is picture-postcard perfect with its wooden log houses, hamlets, and the huge Kishanganga river flowing in from Pakistan. It is a 6 to 7 hours journey from Srinagar. JK tourism and JKTDC have guest houses in Dawar which is the central block of the Gurez valley.
Valley is located at a distance of 85 km from Srinagar. It is home to the largest natural spring in the Kashmir valley. It’s famous for its lovely gardens and rainbow trout farms. Kokernag and Verinag have a lot of springs that bring to them a lot of tourists.
Lake Of Blue Water
The smallest hill station in Kashmir is the Aru valley. It is a lovely spot located around 12 km from Pahalgam. A virtual delight with its waterfalls, emerald brooks, and the alpine landscape. The Lidder river flows majestically around this valley. You can walk around or go by pony.
One of the most spectacular sights from here is the view of the Lidderwat valley, which is a lush green valley, it looks like a flower garden with different wildflowers and meadows. A wildlife sanctuary has the likes of Hangul, musk deer, and the snow leopard. Lots of trekking takes place here and it is an ideal place to set up overnight camps and fun bonfires.
Museums and Temples
Kashmir has a lot to offer by way of museums, temples, and mosques. Listing the main museums below:
SPS Museum Srinagar
It is the best place and has objects covering diverse subjects like archaeology, numismatics, art, and also local traditional products.
It has a collection of antique artifacts of Kashmir which showcases Kani shawls, papier mache, namdha carpets, and exquisite Sozni embroidery.
Plan a trip with Offbeat Tracks and visit these places. Trust me, this luxury Kashmir tour package will make you feel like you are in heaven. So don’t think twice before visiting these places.
Sightseeing in the beautiful Kashmir valley always starts off in the capital Srinagar. Drive down to the huge Dal Lake. Walk around it, taking in the beauty all around. Next, step into a colorful shikara and enjoy a long gentle boat ride across the lake.
If you want to taste something different, then we suggest you spend a night on a houseboat. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, as tourists sip hot kahawa and dine into delectable Kashmiri cuisine prepared on board under a star-studded sky.
Cozy and comfortable, this is something that will linger in your memory for a long time to come. If you are visiting in March or April, be assured that you are in for a visual treat. With a profusion of flowers, there is color everywhere. The famous gardens of Chashme Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, and Nishant Bagh come alive with a huge variety of flowers and blooms.
Another major attraction at this time is the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden. The tulip garden, which is spread across 7 terraces and overlooks the Dal Lake, is located at the foothills of the Zabarwar range. It is Asia’s largest tulip garden and has an amazing variety of tulips in different brilliant colors. One has to see it to believe in the beauty of this garden.
Other places of interest around Srinagar are the Dachigam National Park for nature lovers. The Shankaracharya temple, Jama Masjid, and Hazratbal shrine are all worth a visit depending on one’s interests and inclinations.
Here summer season is from March to June with temperatures ranging from 15-30 degrees C.
Come autumn and Kashmir turns golden. The famous Chinar tree has many different shades of yellow, auburn, copper, and finally gold. The entire valley is resplendent in these different shades. So, as you can see there is something always beautiful and different to see in Kashmir.
GULMARG: Situated in the Pir Panjal range, 52km from Srinagar is the world-famous Gulmarg valley. If you are there in the summers, then you get to see the highest golf course in the world or you went there in the winters, then Gulmarg turns into one of the finest Heli skiing resorts in the whole of Asia. The slopes offer excellent facilities for skiing, skating, snow scooter riding, and of course the Gondola ride.
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PAHALGAM. …or the valley of shepherds is a famous getaway from Srinagar. It is a 2-hour drive from the capital city. The gentle Lidder river flows across the verdant valley. In recent times Pahalgam offers a lot to tourists. Camping, trekking, white water rafting, and fishing are some of the activities that are on offer. Depending on the season you get to choose what you can do. The famous Amarnath yatra starts off from here. This happens in July and August.
As the name suggests Sonamarg is also known as the Meadow of Gold. 85 km from Srinagar, the picturesque Sonamarg valley is at a height of 2800 km above sea level. This place is a must-visit in the spring and summer. It has majestic hills surrounding it and is home to glaciers and serene lakes.
The most important glacier is the Thajiwas glacier. In fact, one can go up the glacier and return in 5 hours. The Nilagrad river lies nearby, and its red waters are famed for their therapeutic powers. There are other lakes like Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, and Kishansar which are all easily accessible.
In the winter Sonamarg is transformed into a fairyland. It’s a beautiful landscape of fir and pine trees glisten with snow and frozen icicles. This is the perfect time to visit the Zojila pass it is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. At a distance of 9km from Sona Marg, Zojila pass is the main link between Kashmir and Ladakh. It is a thrilling experience to just being there.
There is a lot more for the thrill-seekers, ice skating, driving on the snow scooter, skiing or just treks on the glaciers all happen now. White river rafting takes place at Shutkari bridge. The Krishnasar lake has other water sports as well. This is exciting too!
To take guests up to Baltal valley recently chopper services got introduced. So, there are lots to try out and do!
PATNITOP: “The Pond of the Princess”
Away from the Kashmir valley, 112 km from Jammu lies the pretty hill station of Patnitop which is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. Nestled in the lower Himalayan ranges it is a quick getaway for people from the plains. It is at an altitude of 2024 meters above sea level. The Chenab River flows alongside Patnitop.
This place is again beautiful in the summers and the winters. Sanasar, a green cup-shaped meadow 19 kilometers away, has recently become a golf course. Skiing is done here in the winter. Patnitop has opened up in a big way for aero sports.Paragliding is done here from May to October. Parasailing and hot air ballooning are on the cards and will be introduced soon. Otherwise, there are a lot of trekking routes here that can be done in summer and winter.
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