If an ideal holiday is snowcapped mountains, myriad of colours, verdant vegetation adrenaline rush or seeking some tranquil then wait no more. Time stops when you experience the azure skies, clear springs, whispering pines, intricate Mughal architecture and feel your soul invigorated. This rawness is something that has to be perceived and cannot be described through elaborate language. If heaven could stay on Earth and never leave, then that would be at Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir are located in Northern India along the Himalayas sharing borders with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The state is known for its quaint charm, natural grandeur, hospitable people, delectable food. Kashmir is also renowned for its local handicraft market which is flamboyant and unique.


Shikhara boat ride

Ever fancied a pristine lake with the gentle ripple of water being the only sound that flows through the nippy mountain air? Stretch your legs to soak in snow-capped mountains, the burble of the lake and the oars trailing the undisturbed surface of Dal lake or Manasbal lake of Sonamarg


Houseboat

If the day gliding along the smooth lake hasn’t satiated your lust to connect with nature, spend the night in a houseboat on Dal Lake. Watch the evening ripen into the night and the other houseboats illuminated by beautiful lights on the tranquil Dal lake


Pony rides

Hop atop a pony and gallop away in the velvety grass and enjoy the picturesque landscape. Listen to the windy whisper of the hills while the groom adds along tales of experience while guiding the ponies along. Pony rides are available in Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Gulmarg


Kashmir Seven Lakes Trek

Dip into the mesmerizing beauty of Kashmir and explore the same through this wonderful trek of seven lakes in & around Srinagar-Sonamarg (in Kashmir). What makes this trek unique is it is less crowded and one of the most beautiful trek rich in natural beauty the view will leave you breathless.


Gondola ride

A trip to Kashmir is incomplete without a gondola ride. Cable car in Kashmir is the highest in the world. Watch the snow-capped valleys and towering mountains slide beneath your feet while you stay tucked away in a gondola experiencing the surreal feeling of flying.


Skiing at Gulmarg

One of the prime attractions in Kashmir, Skiing is apt for adventure seekers looking for a day of fun and exciting amidst the valleys of Kashmir. Gulmarg is considered as the best Ski resort city in the Himalayas and Gondola cable-ride takes one to height of 4000 mts to enjoy to enjoy a 5km downhill Ski run.


Paragliding

To experience the adrenaline rush through your body while soaring against the air, take up paragliding at Harwan. Be ready to be enthralled by the splendid visuals of Dal lake, Srinagar city and Mughal gardens.


Shalimar Bagh Terrace garden

Ravelled architecture, radiant flowers and a silky carpet of grass are ideal for a halcyon holiday. Take a stroll around the garden and experience the feeling of royalty while drenching in the magnificence of the Zabarwan mountains in the backdrop.


Monastries

If searching for inner peace is on your itinerary don’t forget to stop at the Buddhist monasteries. Explore the Gompas and invoke your spirituality at Hemis monastery, Thiksey monastery. Apart from rejuvenating your soul, these monasteries also house ancient Tibetan artefacts, swords and paintings.


Indira Gandhi Tulip garden

If you thought stretches of harlequin bulbs of tulips was ethereal, be prepared to be dazzled at the Tulip garden, the largest in Asia. Each of these tulips is distinctly shaped, teardrop shape, elongated, rounded to name a few. The sight is a feast for the eyes as the tulips dance to the music of the gentle breeze while the mighty Zabarwan hills overlook in the backdrop


Chashma Shahi spring

Feel like a royal while experiencing the intricate Mughal architecture, embellished with beautiful flowers and ornate water fountains. Treat yourself to a cold refreshing drink of water brought straight up from the mountains. The frigid water is also said to have medicinal properties.


Walk around Dal lake

Watch dawn break open its shell and painting the skies with hues of citrine on a beautiful morning. Stroll along to listen to birds chirping while the emerald leaves dance to the morning air. Inhale a puff of dal lake goodness to forget all your woes.


Aru valley

Nestled at the foothills of the ivory Himalayas, Aru valley is your next door countryside. Cerulean skies, gurgling streams, whisper of the pine foliage, carpets of velvet parakeet grass is the picturesque hideaway you have been longing for. Stroll along the serene streets, ride a horse or hike, whatever strikes your fancy. Come winter and this village turns into a snow paradise. You can ski or watch the gentle snowflakes kiss the valley leaving you spellbound.


Handicraft

Retail therapy is not a myth. Go on a shopping spree and pick up colourful vases, hand embroidered shawls and carpets. The basso painting which is heavily influenced by the Mughal styles symbolizing the various achievements of Indians, scenes recreated from epics is worth buying. These paintings are a feast to the eyes for they not only captivate the colours, the scenic landscape, blazing colours but also deep emotions. Carved wooden articles and paper mache add to the aesthetic appeal of your home..


Mountain Biking

Pedal away with the sight of the mountains watching your every step in snow-kissed paths. Choose between the gentle incline of Kashmir valleys (scenic but ardent routes like Srinagar to Gulmarg, Gulmarg to Pahalgam, Pahalgam to Srinagar, Srinagar to Sonamarg, Sonamarg to Wular / Manasbal lake and back to Srinagar) . If one is feeling adventurous, one can also do The Srinagar - Leh highway. Add to your rush by stopping for a drink of mountain water or the splendid views which can etch a memory in the album of your mind.


Food

Kashmir has a rich platter worth mentioning and its cuisine is unique and delectable. Don’t forget to indulge in Rogan Josh which Mughals of Kashmir swore by. It is a rich dish of onions sautéed with spices and yoghurt. Dig in with rice or naan of your choice. Modur pulao is another delicacy that is a household name in Kashmir. Sprinkled with the aromatic spices, strands of saffron and lukewarm milk and ghee married with fluffy rice this dish is a must try. Dum aloo is another dish that will surely tickle your taste buds, mildly tempered with onions and the flavours of fennel powder and ginger. Street food is worth vaunting about. Lotus stems dipped in besan and bathed in oil can put any fast food to shame. Invoke your sweet tooth by indulging in the TOBRUK HALWE PORATH which is prepared with sooji, dry fruits and a generous gobbet of ghee. Don’t forget to wash down all the heavy indulging with the Kehwa tea coupled with Shangram which melts at the romantic sight of the tea.


How to reach

By air:

Srinagar is well connected to all major cities like Bangalore, Chennai Delhi, Goa, Mumbai. On reaching there, hire a local cab or taxi to reach your destination

By rail:

To reach Srinagar by train, one has to reach either Udhampur or Jammu Tawi. Plenty of local buses and cab ply to take you to your destination.


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