The travellers who have already visited Kashmir fall short of words while expressing their visit to the “Heaven on Earth”. Tourists across the globe appreciate Kashmir’s beauty and its aura. There are innumerable things to explore there including breathtaking waterfalls, tranquil lakes, snowy glaciers, lush greenery of the grasslands, and arresting orchards. In this post, let’s look at some of the best places to visit in Kashmir and the amazing things you can do there. So, let’s begin.
Best Places to Visit in Kashmir to see Heaven on Earth:
Srinagar is situated on the banks of river Jhelum, in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The best places to visit in Srinagar include Dal and Nigeen lakes, the Zabarwan mountain range, and Aharbal waterfall, making it a great place to go on a honeymoon or with family. It is prominent for stationary houseboats, especially on the Dal lake which is called Shikaras, and the gondola-type rowboats. There’s no denying that Srinagar is among the best places to visit in Kashmir.
The local Kashmiri cuisines are also quite popular across the globe. Apart from this, Srinagar is also well-known for its Kashmiri shawls, apples, and dried fruits.
Best Month To Visit Srinagar: The finest months for tourism are from June through October, and if you want to see snow in Srinagar, go there in December or January.
How To Reach Srinagar: The closest train station is in Jammu, or you may fly directly to Srinagar.
Gulmarg is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir and is situated in the Pir Panjal range in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. It is at an altitude of 2730 metres above sea level. The town is a popular skiing destination and has emerged as an adventure hotspot with a number of courses on trekking, mountaineering, skiing, and snowboarding offered here by the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering. The town is surrounded by scenic beauties such as the snow-covered Himalayas, lush-green forest valleys, and flower grasslands. Because of the enthralling charm of this town, Gulmarg has also been featured in numerous Bollywood films.
Furthermore, you must attempt the Gondola ride at Gulmarg Valley. The Gulmarg Gondola ride is without a doubt Gulmarg’s top draw for tourists. The cable vehicle was designed with assistance from the French business Pomagalski.
The three-phased cable car rides take you on a spellbinding journey that offers panoramic views of the Kongdoori meadow, Khilanmarg, and Apharwat Mountain from the 8,530-foot-high Gulmarg Ski Resort to the 13,780-foot-high Mary’s Shoulder.
The initial phase of the Gulmarg gondola ticket price is INR 700, the second phase of the Gulmarg Gondola ticket price is INR 940, and the third and final phases, which make use of a char vehicle lift, are INR 1,040.
Best Month To Visit Gulmarg: The best months to travel are June through October, and December and January are wonderful for snow.
How To Reach Gulmarg: You have two options for getting to Gulmarg: either take a flight to Srinagar Airport and then a taxi to get there in three hours, or take a bus to Srinagar and then a connecting bus.
This renowned hill station is situated in the Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir, on the banks of the Liddar river. Pahalgam is also known as “Mini Switzerland” due to the scenic splendour of the place and hence it is regarded as one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. The place is also an adventure hub with some of the activities that tourists do here including hiking, trekking, and fishing. It serves as the base of the Amarnath Yatra, which is one of the most important pilgrimages in India. If you would plan to stay, you can probably find one of the best budget hotels in Pahalgam at ease.
One of the major Hindi films Betaab has also been shot here due to the charm of the place. You can also purchase authentic Kashmiri saffron from Pampore in Pahalgam.
Best Month To Visit Pahalgam: The greatest months to travel are from June through October, with snowfall in December and January.
How To Reach Pahalgam: You have two options for getting to Pahalgam: either by flying to Srinagar Airport and then taking a cab or by taking a bus to Srinagar and then another bus.
This arresting hill station is situated at a height of 2800 km from sea level and is 80 km northeast of Srinagar. This captivating place is prominent for its snow-covered fields, striking glaciers, and tranquil lakes which create a magical ambience for travellers. The hill station is enclosed by the Kolhoi glacier and Machoi glacier, which are parts of the Himalayan glaciers. There are also nearby peaks such as Kolhoi peak, Amarnath peak, Machoi peak and Sirbal peak which makes this hill station also adventure tourism and sports hotspot. So if looking for the best places to visit in Kashmir, be sure to add Sonamarg to your travel plans.
Best Month To Visit Sonamarg: The best months to go are June through October, as well as December and January for snow.
How To Reach Sonmarg: Sonmarg is approximately 70 kilometres from Srinagar airport; to get there, you may either take a cab from the airport or Take a bus to Srinagar, and then a connecting bus will take you to Sonamarg.
Needless to say, Vaishno Devi is a temple town where the world-renowned Vaishno Mata ka mandir exists. Vaishno Mandir is situated in Trikuta hills which is 13 km from Katra in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The shrine is popularly called Vaishno Mata ka Mandir, Mata Rani, Vaishnavi, and Trikuta and is an embodiment of Mata Durga, the Hindu goddess. The temple attracts millions of devotees across the globe every year. You must visit here to get an idea of the significance of this place.
Best Month To Visit Vaishno Devi: The months of March through October are ideal for travel.
How To Reach Vaishno Devi: The simplest way to get to Vaishno Devi is by taking a train to Katra railway station.
Things to do in Kashmir
There is an abundance of things to do in Kashmir. Apart from river rafting, paragliding, trekking, and skiing, let’s look at some of the famous things in Kashmir for a revitalizing vacation:
The popular Shikara rides they say in Kashmir let you experience the majestic boat ride where you can see the beauty of distant mountains as your boatman rides the boat across the lake. It is far away from the daily humdrum of city life and is one of the top things you can do on your Kashmir trip. Shikara rides may be taken on either Dal Lake in Srinagar or Manasbal Lake at Sonamarg.
Best time for Shikara ride in Srinagar: Monday to Sunday, 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Shikara ride cost: 150 to 250 rupees per person
Staying in a Houseboat
A day’s stay at one of the houseboats in Srinagar is an opportunity to simply not miss. You can go there for a stay in those houseboats with your family, friends, or partner for spending quality time and creating memories. These houseboats have wifi, airport transfer, and meal facilities as well. You must stay there once to get the amazing vibes of the place.
Moreover, you can book a budget houseboat in Srinagar starting from ₹675 and a luxury houseboat starting from ₹2453.
Cable car ride
The Gulmarg Gondola cable car ride is one of the most exciting things to do in Kashmir. The ride takes you through the cable and exposes you to the views of the scenic snowy mountains. People of all ages enjoy this cable car ride, especially during May when the summers are at an end and at that time, the views are really impressive.
The ride consists of three phases:
1st Phase: Gulmarg to Kongdoori
2nd Phase: Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak
3rd Phase: Kongdoori to Mary Shoulder [Chair Lift]
Gulmarg Gondola cable car price: 1st Phase: 600 INR; 2nd Phase: 800 INR; 3rd Phase: 300 INR per person (Chair Lift)
Gulmarg Gondola Cable Car Ride Timings: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (ride), and 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (ticket sale).
Play golf at Gulmarg
The Gulmarg golf club is one of the biggest and highest 18-hole golf courses across the globe. This club is filled with grasslands of flowers, and due to this, playing golf here becomes one of the most fun activities. It is enclosed by nature, and it feels like playing in the lap of nature.
Gulmarg Golf Club Timings: Gulmarg golf club timings are from 08:30 am to 10:00 pm
Entrance Fee at Gulmarg Golf Club: 800 Rs for Indians; 1200 Rs for Foreigners
Shop at the popular markets
Shopping is one of the most typical things to do in Kashmir. The visitors to this place can shop for outstanding Kashmiri handlooms, Pashmina shawls, local garments (Ferins), and antique copperware such as samovars, Namda hand-woven carpets, and costly Doda Sapphire. One can purchase flowers, fruits, and vegetables on the shikaras in Dal Lake.
Pony ride in the Valleys
Pony is a common mode of transport in the valleys of Kashmir. Taking up the pony ride amid the valleys of Kashmir feels so soothing and majestic. This form of transport is more prevalent in the areas where motor transports are not possible. Pony rides are popular in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, and Yusmarg.
Visit a wildlife Sanctuary
With the presence of mountains and dense forests, there are several wildlife sanctuaries with wonderful and distinct varieties of flora and fauna. You can visit a few national parks to explore the different wildlife species, including Kishtwar National Park, Dachigam National Park, Kazinag National Park, Salim Ali National Park, and Hemis National Park.
How to reach Kashmir and where to stay in Kashmir?
To reach Kashmir, take up the Srinagar airport which is 15 km away and is well-connected to the major cities of India. Almost all the flights including Air India, IndiGo, GoAir, and Jet Airways operate on a daily basis for Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Leh, and Jammu.
You can book through a number of online portals for the best offer on your flight ticket. When you have reached the airport, you can hire various taxi services to go to any city or town in Kashmir of your choice. For accommodation also, there are a number of hotels available in the proximity where you can proceed with a hassle-free hotel booking from online portals or directly booking through them.