therefore, he even left the five elements of life (Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky) behind before entering the cave. The place where the lord left the elements is called Panchtarni. Considered to be a sacred Hindu pilgrimage, Amarnath is famed for the natural formation of Shiva Linga from the snow. A large number of devotees throng Amarnath during the months of June and August. This pious journey, which is also dubbed the holy Amarnath Yatra, begins from Chandanwadi (16kms from Pahalgam) and via Pissu, Sheshnag and Panchtarni, it concludes at Amarnath Cave situated on the Amarnath mountain. There is also another route for the Yatra starting from Jammu and via Udhampur, Patnitop, Kud, Ramban, Banihal, QaziGund, Anantnag, Srinagar and Baltal, the journey finally concludes at the holy cave.
Kheer Bhawani Temple - Srinagar
The temple of Kheer Bhawani is situated at a distance of 22 kms east of Srinagar against the background of natural sight near the village of Tula Mula. This temple is located in the middle of a spring, around which there is a vast area whose floor has been covered with smooth and beautiful stones.
Manasbal Lake - Srinagar
Manasbal Lake is located in Ganderbal District in Kashmir. The name Manasbal is said to be a derivative of the Lake Manasarovar. Lake is encircled by three village’s viz., Jarokbal, Kondabal (also called Kiln place, is situated on the north-eastern side of the lake) and Ganderbal and is stated to be the deepest lake (at 13 m or 43 ft depth) in India.] The large growth of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) at the periphery of the lake (blooms during July and August) adds to the beauty of the clear waters of the lake. The Mughal garden, called the Jaroka, (meaning bay window) built by Nur Jahan overlooks the lake.
The lake is a good place for bird watching as it is one of the largest natural stamping grounds of Aquatic birds in Kashmir and has the sobriquet of "supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes". The rootstocks of lotus plant which grows extensively in the lake are harvested and marketed, and also eaten by the local people.
Dachigam Wild Life Sanctuary - Srinagar
Dachigam National Park is situated at a distance of about 23 km from Srinagar. This park covers an approximate area of 145 km. The name “Dachigam” translates to 10 villages which is probably to the honour the ten villages which had to be uprooted. It has an uneven area as rocky cliffs and grasslands, both are present in this area. Marsar Lake increases the scenic beauty of the place. This park is characterized by coniferous trees.
Himalayan Serow, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, musk deer, marmot are some of the animals you will easily spot here. This park is also known for Cinnamon sparrow, golden oriole and Redstart birds. June to September is the ideal time to visit this park because in winters, this place sometimes cannot be easily accessed.
Yusmarg is a serene hill station located at a distance of 47 km from the city of Srinagar. It is located at a height of about 2,400 mts. The Tatakooti Peak and the Sunset peak offer a surreal view. Pine meadows are an ideal location for photography sessions and picnic spots. River Doodganga passes through Yusmarg and increases the beauty of this place. Yusmarg has a lot to offer to all the adventure buffs. A trek of 4 km to Nilnag and then a trek of 11 km lead to a lake which is frozen. The site is completely divine. Apart from this, tourists can also enjoy fishing, horse riding and skiing.
Many accommodation options are available. Although, being a blissful spot for vacation, it is advisable to not visit in the winters as the roads are often blocked due to heavy snowfall.
Doodhpatri An inverted bowl of green in summers and white in winters, Doodhpatri is a verdant green meadow close to Srinagar. The meadow becomes a spread of white snow in the winters, and has a stream coursing through it which always looks white at a distance. It is believed that a priest once prayed in the meadow of Doodhpathari, and poked the ground with his stick for water; however milk oozed from the ground. That’s where the meadow derived its name.
Harwan Dam & Garden
Harwan dam/Harwan garden is a picturesque natural garden, extensive picnic spot, situated at a distance of 15 km from Srinagar. A channel from neighboring dam (Dachigam Nallah) passes through the middle of the garden flanked by age old Chinar tree on one side. The garden has neat and clean concrete pathway with arched gates. There are climbing roses that adorn the arched gates and eventually enhanced the beauty of the garden. The attractive flower beds all around the garden can captivate the soul of the visitors.
At a distance of 60 kms from Srinagar this is Asia’s largest fresh water lake. The lake supports rich bio diversity. There is a garden at the top of a hill by the side of the lake. Tourist can get a full view of the lake from this hill top park.
Gurez Valley is located high in the Himalayan Mountains about 123 km from Srinagar at an altitude of close to 8,000 feet surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Gurez served as the gateway to the ancient Silk Route. The place is known for the beautiful Neelum River that flows through the valley. Abundant with scenic surroundings, Gurez serves as a vantage point for viewing some of the most amazing peaks of the Kashmir Valley, including the pyramid-shaped Habba Khatoon Peak, named after the famous Kashmiri poetess. Gurez also provides shelter to an exotic wildlife population, including snow leopards and brown bears.
The valley named after Maharaja Lolo, is a very beautiful valley known for its lush green trees and pastures. Lolab valley in Kupwara district, locally known as ‘Wadi-e-Lolab’ is known for its fruit orchards, lake, springs and lush rice fields. Lolab can be easily reached by road from Srinagar (120 kms). The valley is also known for the SAT BARRAN (Seven doors) & a cave in the jungles of Madmadav. Some of the other renowned places with tremendous potential are Chandigam, Dooruswani. Khurhama, Krusan, Khomrial, Nagsari and cherkoot.
The major things Bangus Valley is immensely popular for amongst travellers are its green meadows and beautiful hills. The presence of rich vegetation in the form of coniferous trees adds on to the existing beauty of the valley. During the summer season, Bangus Valley looks like a new bud blossoming into a heavenly flower. Several streams and seasonal rivers traversing the lands of Bangus Valley make it look more alluring and majestic. The valley can be easily reached by road from Srinagar (80 kms).
Mughal Road (Peer Ki Gali)
Mughal Road is the road between Bafliaz, a town in the Poonch district, to Shopian district in the Kashmir valley. The road is 84km long, and situated in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It passes over Pir Panjal Mountain range, at altitude of 11,500 ft (3505 m), which is higher than Banihal pass (2832 m).
The road brings the Poonch and Rajouri districts closer to Srinagar in Kashmir valley, and reduces the distance between Srinagar and Poonch from 588km to 126km. It makes for alternate road route to Kashmir valley from rest of India, other than over-crowded Jammu-Srinagar Highway through Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal Tunnel) (National Highway 1A). The road passes through Buffliaz, Behramgalla, Chandimarh,Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian.
Tulian Lake – Pahalgam
Lying at an altitude of 3,353 metres (11,001 ft) above sea level is the mesmerizing Tulian Lake. The trek from Pahalgam to Tulian Lake is very popular amongst tourists. The lake often has chunks of ice floating in it. It is surrounded on three sides by high, snow-clad mountain ranges of Pir Panjal and Zanskar.
Sinthan Top - Pahalgam
Sinthan top is a spot 12000 ft above sea level in Kashmir which is midway on the newly opened Anantnag-kokernag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road. The road has been built and is maintained by BRo in excellent condition. It is 132 km from Srinagar. The journey is in itself an experience and once you reach the top it is 360 degree view, and snow everywhere.
Achabal Gardens & Springs - Pahalgam
Achabal Garden is one of the most important and splendid tourist places in the state of Kashmir and is about 8 kilometers away from Anantnag. It was in the state of Kashmir that the Mughal style garden was brought to perfection and Achabal is one such masterpiece. This place is famous all over due to an ancient spring surrounded by a terrace garden, which was developed by Mughals. The historical significance of this place strikes the visitor with awe. Achabal Garden, once the pleasure retreat of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan is a beautifully created garden in Kashmir with its own special allure and character.
Verinag Garden & spring - Pahalgam
Mughal Garden of Verinag located about 61 km south of Srinagar at the foothill of Banihal Mountain ranges. Covering a total area of 5.30 hectares, the garden fascinates the tourists with its beautiful manicured lawns, flower beds, majestic chinar trees and gushing spring at the backdrop of lush and dense forest. This garden was originated from a gushing mountain spring of Verinag, which is the source of the River Jhelum.
Kokernag Garden & Spring – Pahalgam
Situated at a height of 2,020 m, Kokernag is approximately 70 km from the district of Srinagar. Blooming gardens surround this spring, which bubbles at seven places at the foot of the forested mountain. The water of Kokernag in Kashmir is believed to have medicinal and digestive properties. A tour to Kokernag is incomplete without seeing the state’s biggest Trout Fish Hatchery. Surrounded with pine trees and lofty mountains, the place has a pleasant look in all seasons.
Baba Reshi Shrine - Gulmarg
Baba Reshi Shrine, named after the renowned Muslim scholar and saint Baba Reshi, is located at a distance of 5 km from Gulmarg and a height of 2133 m above sea level. The shrine of Baba Reshi was built in the Mughal and Persian style of architecture with beautiful wooden art works inside the tomb.
Drang - Gulmarg
Drang is located about 38 km north of Srinagar on Gulmarg road, just 3 km away from Tangmarg. The place is quite similar to Pahalgam with a fast water stream, known as Ferozpur-Nalla, flowing down.
Frozen Lake, located beyond Aparwat, remains completely frozen until mid-June. Triangular in shape, the lake lies at the foot of the twin 4,511 m Apharwat peaks. Located 13 km away from Gulmarg, the lake has a backdrop of scenic hilly snow-capped terrains. The adventure tourists can take the one-day and thirteen km trip to the Alpather Lake from Gulmarg.
The Bhadarwah valley is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, 80 km from Batote. The town is nicknamed, mini Kashmir. Bhadarwah is a land of splendours and surprises, a place where God's architectural experience and elegance is felt. Its singing rivulets, clear blue sky, unparalleled majestic mountains, vast expanses of alpine vegetation; emotional people and diversified culture; spiritual, placidity, fragrant bloom of tulips leave every tourist spell- bound and ineffable. The valley is a kaleidoscope of nature with different colours of God's creativity. This place has been an important centre of cultural, social, religious, political and art related activities. Bhadarwah attracted people from far and near and the cause of attraction was 'its peaceful atmosphere, pleasant climate, self-sufficient in eatables, grains, fruits, vegetables and milk etc. During winters, dancing sunbeams reflected by the white snow blanket make the gazers dance too. Black forests, which are rarely found across the globe, are abode of tigers; wild herbs found in these areas have their own uses and charm.