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Famously known as ‘Heaven on Earth, Srinagar is located in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir, on the banks of river Jhelum. Srinagar is known for the stationary houseboats and gondola-type rowboats- Shikaras on Dal Lake. Adorned with tranquil Dal Lake & Nigeen Lake, Srinagar is the dream destination for honeymoon and family holidays. The tourists use Shikaras to see attractions like the Floating Vegetable Market and the Mir Bahris – a lively community of people who live on the lake itself. In addition, there are a lot of houseboats that provide a beautiful and unique stay experience on the lake. Srinagar is home to some of India’s most exquisite Mughal-age gardens, with the top attractions being Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Chashm-E-Shahi Garden. It is also home to Asia’s largest tulip garden. Kashmiri cuisine or Wazwan is famous all over the globe. So when in Srinagar, trying out the local dishes, which are rich in unique fragrant spices, is a must. Srinagar is also famous for the Kashmiri shawls, Kashmiri apples, and dried fruits (almonds and walnuts) from the Lal Chowk Market. Heavy snowfall affects the connectivity of Srinagar during the winter months of December to February.
Sonamarg is a picturesque hill station in Jammu and Kashmir, located 80km north-east of Srinagar. At an elevation of around 2800 km from sea level, Sonamarg is known for its snow-laden fields, surrounded by majestic glaciers and serene lakes which casts subtle spells on the travellers. Sonamarg is enveloped by the great Himalayan glaciers – Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier – and gives rise to the famous Three Sisters of Kashmir Valley. Towering over this charming hill town are the peaks like Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak, Machoi Peak and Sirbal Peak which makes Sonamarg a popular place for adventure sports tourism. Sonamarg acts as the base camp for the trekking routes which leads to the mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar. The Sonamarg Valley is divided into two halves by the Thajiwas range – on one side is the fir-covered Thajiwas spur popular for its camping site. The other side houses some stunning waterfalls and the Thajiwas glacier which is the prime attraction of this place. Sonamarg remains inaccessible during winters as the NH1D connecting it to the nearby places closed down due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level, Gulmarg is a popular skiing destination located in Pir Panjal Range of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-covered lofty Himalayas, meadows of flowers, deep ravines, evergreen forested valleys, Gulmarg also has the world’s second-highest Gondola ride. Among one of the top honeymoon destinations in India, Gulmarg boasts of being a beautiful town without the crowd like Manali and Shimla. Gulmarg has also been developed as an adventure hub as Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is located here. A lot of courses on trekking, mountaineering, skiing, and snowboarding are offered by IISM. There are a lot of other private tour operators in Gulmarg as well which provide similar courses and facilities for skiing, snowboarding and trekking. Known for its scenic beauty, Gulmarg has also been a popular destination for shooting of various Bollywood films.
Situated in the Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir Valley, Pahalgam is a beautiful hill station and a popular tourist attraction. Pahalgam is located on the banks of the Liddar River and is famous for adventure activities like hiking, trekking, fishing. Pahalgam serves as the base of one of the most important pilgrimages in India – the Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, located 16.6 km. away from Pahalgam is the actual base camp of the Amarnath. Kolhoi Glaciers trek via a beautiful village named Aru is one of the most popular treks in the region. The local people also offer sledging on the frozen glaciers. In addition, the long stretches of rivers in Pahalgam are the perfect site for people who enjoy trout fishing. Pahalgam is where the famous Bollywood movie Betaab, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh, was shot. The valley was consequently named Betaab Valley after that. Sheshnag Lake, situated near Pahalgam, is another bliss altogether. When in Pahalgam, buy authentic Kashmiri saffron from Pampore.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains of Himalayas, Gurez Valley is a beautiful place located 2,400 metres above the sea level. It is 123km from Srinagar. Gurez Valley is divided into 15 small villages, Dawar being the main town of the valley. Because of its high altitude, the valley receives heavy snowfall and loses its connectivity to the outside world for almost half of the year. The most minimal human invasion has rendered the place with immense scenic beauty. Kishanganga River flows through the heart of the valley and enhances its beauty. The valley’s richness in fauna and flora is another giving of nature’s bounty. The place is nothing but a slice of heaven capable of enchanting its beholders.
Lolab Valley is an oval-shaped valley and a top camping site in Kashmir, famous for its scenic natural beauty, dense pine forests and bubbling springs. It is located 9 km from Kupwara town, northwest of Srinagar. Lolab Valley is also home to some animals like Himalayan brown and black bear, snow leopard, hangul and musk deer.
Betaab Valley is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pahalgam which is a breathtaking combination of picturesque surroundings encircled by tall deodar trees and pine forests, with the Lidder River flowing right through it. The valley is located at a distance of 15 kilometres from Pahalgam in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. Betaab Valley got its name from the Bollywood movie Betaab starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh shot here. The valley falls between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi on the way to the Amarnath Temple Yatra and is one of the three angelic valleys of Pahalgam, the other two being Aru and Chandanwadi. Sprawling fertile pastures, snow-capped mountains and meandering streams are characteristic of Betaab valley. Apart from being well-known for this stunning landscape, the valley is also a renowned as a famous trekking base and camping site for travellers who want to explore the nearby regions or set out for the Amarnath Yatra.
Doodhpathri The name “doodpathri” means Valley of Milk. It is said that the famous saint of Kashmir Sheikh ul Aalam Sheikh Noor din Noorani has prayed here and once when he was in search of water in the meadows, to offer prayers, he pricked the ground with his stick to search for water and milk came out. He asked the milk that you can only be used for drinking and not performing ablution. Hearing this milk at once changed its state to water and the meadow got its name Doodpathri. The water which is at present flowing through the meadows has a milky appearance from the distance and remains very cold throughout the year. The lush green grasses over the vast meadows and silver shining streams running over the large stones further increase its beauty. Doodhpathri is sloping grassy landscapes with a diversity of multicolored flowers up to Chang. The famous Tosamaidan lies in the west of Doodpathri.is a tourist destination and hill station in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.It is located in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 8,957 ft from sea level, and located at a distance of 42 km from state summer capital Srinagar and 22 km from district headquarter Budgam.
Doodhpathri has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall.In summer shepherds from the plains of district budgam bring cattle for grazing and remain at doodhpathri seasonally for about six months.
35 km away from the Jama Masjid Shopian, the waters of River Vishav, create one of the most majestic of waterfalls in the modest town of Pulwama. The waterfall has scenic surroundings comprising of thick fir forests, making it one of the attractions which leaves it visitors fascinated enough to spend a good hour or two here.
Amarnath, located in union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most important pilgrimage in India for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave has an enshrined Shivaling formed naturally with ice, which resembles Lord Shiva. Amarnath is visited by millions of tourists every year from all across the world for a challenging mountainous trek called ‘Amarnath Yatra’. Legend has it that, this place is regarded to be the same cave where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati. Amarnath Cave is accessible only during the Sharavan months of July-August. There are two routes available for undertaking the Amarnath Yatra – via Baltal or Pahalgam. The Baltal route, though shorter, has a steeper trekking route. The Pahalgam route is longer but is generally preferred by most of the devotees. It usually takes 3-5 days to reach Amarnath from the base point. Helicopter services are now available by private operators on both these routes. The devotees need to make advance bookings and get registered to undertake the holy pilgrimage to Amarnath.