Ever wished to holiday at India’s own Switzerland? If you have dreamt about Snow-clad Mountains, freezing temperature, shikara rides, enchanting apple gardens and obviously nature’s true beauty then you had to visit Kashmir. In this post we are trying to give you an overview and a snapshot about it and few places that you must visit if you are planning to go there.
Time and duration:
The best time to visit Srinagar starts from May to October. The summer and then breezy autumn months are the perfect duration for you to plan. If you want to see snow, the peak time is mid November to January. Although even the resident of Srinagar says that most tourists don’t even set their feet out of the hotel room as the temperature drops down. Duration of stay can be 4 to 5 days. Local marketing and site seeing can be wrapped in 1 or 1.5 days. Other place in vicinity takes time. Make travel arrangements prior to all and it would be best to have a package deal if you can.
Trip price range:
Excluding boarding, for sightseeing you will need a vehicle for sure. There are many agencies that provide it and mind it there is big bargain game going on there. For one trip to just one place it can cost you around 3000 to 5000 INR(depending on number of people and distance).
Places to visit:
1.) Botanical Garden, Lal Chowk, Rose Garden, Shankracharya Temple and Chashmeshahi
All of these can be wrapped up into local sightseeing destinations. Gardens blossoms mainly in the month of February. Facilities of boating, drinking tea, having paneer pakoda at the sidelines and drinking cold icy water of the chashmeshahi have its own flavour.
2.) Dal Lake
Srinagar gaye aur shikara pe nahi ghume to kya gaye! From the Kashmir ki kali’s scene to today’s jab tak hain jaan’s shooting, Kashmir had been the prime choice for the Bollywood. So how can you forget about their signature ride- shikara! Shops on water, water sports, photography on boat and night stay at a boathouse, all of this can make it a memorable stay.
Around 2 hours ride will take you to this place. Although you would need a fully fledged horseback riding to visit its main four points (yes I had done that too). If my grandma can do it so can you! The guides are friendly and so are horses. Going up the mountain will be less straining than coming down as it will need little concentration from your part as well. So if you are thinking about an adventure then say yes to it!
This will take around the same time like Pahalgam. There would be apple gardens in these routes as well. The best known activity there is a gondola ride. It takes you to two points (you can choose to have a ticket to only one place). Tickets are per person and have a long line. The counter is little far so you have to walk or take a horse if you want (ask me, walking is best). There are restaurants on that high altitude as well but they don’t have that much variety.
This is a little far off place as it took around 3.5 hours to reach and route can be heavy with traffic sometimes. The whole course is filled with army bases (so enjoy!). The twists and turns will make you feel that yes, truly you are on the mountains. On reaching there, a separate car (Toyota) runs which can take around 4-5 people at once for the sightseeing of 4-5 spots. There is a special attraction of reaching to zero point (where there is snow!) my guide cum driver told me that once there was guy who said, “I will die of this cold”. So beware if you can’t handle that. It seems a little extreme so family people tend to go to only some points (basically till glacier). Here too you can have horses to reach from one point to the glacier (best option).
Complete your trip with kashmiri delicacies like kashmiri pulow and mutton rogan josh. Shop for shawls, stoles, dry fruits and kesar. Next time when you are planning a vacation, do remember this beautiful city!