Kashmir Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised. In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700 m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats are some of the most favoured ones.
There are several religious places in Kashmir that adorn the landscape of the valley with their heavenly presence. From the mighty presence of Amarnath Temple on Mount Amarnath to the shining white marble structure of Hazratbal Shrine at the shores of Dal Lake, most of the pilgrimages in Kashmir feature picturesque locations, making them a wonderful treat for the eyes. Make sure to gather all required Kashmir tourism information before booking a package.
Kashmir is the only destination which can be visited 365 days in a year. Kashmir has four distinct seasons, each with its own peculiar character and distinctive charm. These are spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Spring, which extends roughly from March to early May, is when a million blossoms carpet the ground. This is the time for World famous “Tulip festival”. The weather during this time can be gloriously pleasant at 23 degree Centigrade or chilly and windy at 6 degree Centigrade. This is the season when Srinagar experiences rains, but the showers are brief. The joyous chirping of birds, orchards heavy with fruits, alpine meadows dotted with grazing herds, and shepherds lilting with their music - a vivid mosaic of this place - takes shape before your wandering eye. It presents a picture of an unforgettable tapestry which is amongst the most beautiful any place in the world has to offer.
Summer extends from May until the end of August. Light woollens may be required to wear out of Srinagar. In higher altitudes night temperatures drop slightly. Srinagar at this time experiences day temperatures of between 25 degree celsius and 35 degree celsius. At this time, the whole valley is a mosaic of varying shades of green – rice fields, meadows, trees, etc. and Srinagar with its lakes and waterways is a heaven after the scorching heat of the Indian plains.
Fruits spill out of brimming baskets, strawberries, cherries, peaches and apricots all the bounty of a fertile land. Pale green paddy fields rise in tiered steps upon the hills. In the high meadows, trout are jumping in rushing, snow-fed streams. The encircling snow-capped mountains provide a perfect setting for a valley that's vibrantly alive.
The onset of autumn, perhaps Kashmir’s loveliest season, is towards September, when green turns to gold and then to russet and red. The highest day temperatures in September are around 23 degree celsius and night temperatures dip to 10 degree celsius by October and further drop by November, when heavy woollens are essential.
The misty morning sprawls over the vivacious valleys, the flushing meadows wrap the hillsides like a cloak. The sunlight softly caresses the leaves; the dew drops sparkle like diamonds to welcome the new day. The rustle of the fallen leaves adds to the music of the place and the sweet fragrance of flowers lingers on...
Through December, to the beginning of March is winter time, which presents Srinagar in yet another mood. Bare, snow-covered landscapes being watched from beside the warmth of a fire is a joy that cannot be described to anyone who has not experienced it. Some houseboats and hotels remain open in winter-these are either centrally heated or heated with ‘bukharis’, a typically Kashmiri stove kept alight with embers of wood, quite effective in the winter.
The white sheet of snow spread far and wide concealing the resonating beauty of this paradise. The soft snowflakes adorning the coniferous, the misty hazy breath, the chilly breeze gently tingling your senses, the tender sunlight deflecting from the ice capped peaks and spreading the much needed warmth. All so milky and pure, It is the picture of a true heaven on earth.
❄ MAJOR ATTRATIONS
Srinagar – The capital of Kashmir
Srinagar also known as “The City of Lakes” and it has a pleasant weather. Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, Its waterways with their own quaint lifestyle, the unique Houseboat, the blossoming Mugal gardens Like Shalimar Baug, Nishat Baug, Chashmeshahi Baug, water sports activities, shopping for lovingly hand-crafted souvenirs and the nearby resorts make it a cherished spot among those looking for a memorable holiday.
Houseboats - Best Place to Stay
Many tourists are attracted to Srinagar by the charm of staying in a houseboat, which provides the unique experience of living on the water in a cedar-panelled elegant bedroom, with all the conveniences of a luxury hotel. Srinagar’s thousand or so houseboats are moored along sections of the Dal and Nagin Lakes, each decorated fancifully and named romantically and even whimsically.
Gulmarg – Entailing Adventure & Excitement
Gulmarg literally means the meadow of flowers. Originally, Gulmarg was called Gaurimag, named after Shiva’s coasts. Situated at an altitude of 2,730 meters, Gulmarg is one of the best skiing destinations in the world. It is the main skiing resort for the adventure lovers. The sights of rolling ski slopes covered under heavy snow and freezing temperature is really breathtaking. The season for snow Skiing in Gulmarg Kashmir is winter which extends roughly from early December to ending March. The best time for skiing is early January to ending February every year.
There is also a green 18-hole golf course in Gulmarg which is also the world's highest golf course.
Gulmarg's Gondola is an experience of a lifetime. This gondola will take you up above 15,000 feet and is one of the highest in the world. Here, you can touch the skies and merge with the clouds. The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg at 2,600 m (8,530 ft) to Kongdoori Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,747 m (12,293 ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200 m (13,780 ft)).
Pahalgam – Tucking Refreshment & Excitement
The Valley of Shepherds. Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd's village with breath-taking views. At an altitude of 2,130m and about 95-km from Srinagar, Pahalgam is probably the most popular hill resort in the Kashmir valley.
Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the Aru and Sheshnag Rivers and surrounded by soaring, fir-covered mountains with bare, snow-capped peaks rising behind them.
Pahalgam is the starting point of the annual Amarnath yatra (holy journey) to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, which is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva.
Sonmarg – The Kingdom of Untainted Beauty
Sonamarg is around 90 km north-east of Srinagar on the Srinagar–Leh highway. Tourists flock to this small hill resort in heavy numbers to see the enchanting natural beauty and snow clad peaks. Known as the 'Meadow of Gold. It is a small but historic town on the bank of Nallah Sindh and at the foothills of the Thajiwas Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers. The Thajiwas Mountain looks daunting, but one can take a pony to the base of the glacier. Sonmarg is set amidst a valley of flowers and lakes. The word "Sona" literally means "Gold" in Hindi, and this golden beauty covered with white snow is most attractive in the spring. The exotic flora of the region is nurtured by the Sindh River.
❄ How to get there ?
There is an Airport in Srinagar and we can easily get there by direct flights operated by Indian Airlines, Indigo, GoAir, Vistara, Air asia, etc. There are some daily flights to Srinagar from Mumbai, Delhi & Jammu. They leave from Delhi directly, from Delhi via Jammu, and from Bombay via New Delhi and Jammu.
The nearest railhead for Srinagar is Jammu Tawi (305 kms) where trains arrive from Delhi, Calcutta, Pune, Mumbai, Kanyakumari, Ahmedabad, etc. As with flights, train bookings have to be made well in advance. During the holiday season, additional trains operate to and from various parts of the country.
We have to go through Jammu, in order to reach Kashmir. Kashmir is approximately 260 Km from Jammu. And the road is mountainous with lots of turns. One can reach there by bus from Jammu or can hire a taxi.