Kashmir, the ethereal land of history, bejeweled with cultural diversity and incredible surreal settings, is the gravitas of Islamic religion. The elegant, enduring nature and exportable quality of their crafts and handlooms are also part of their reverent culture. The striking natural beauty of the region, the colorful interplay of seasons -from snow-white winter to florescent spring to emerald green summer to blazing autumn, and the graceful jovial girls with carmine cheeks uphold the exuberance of thrill seeking travellers. As for adventure, Kashmir has always won the hearts of mountain lovers from different corners of the world. Its diverse terrain makes it a happy hunting ground for several adventure activities like river rafting, mountain biking, skiing, trekking, hiking and peak climbing. Skiing is one activity that is catching up pretty fast among adventure seekers and one can try this out during a holiday in Kashmir during the winter in Gulmarg. Further, during the summer, the Kashmir Great Lake Trek, one of the most popular treks in the Indian Himalayan region, makes life difficult for most trekkers. To make a long story short, time just flies in Kashmir … CLICKS after CLICKS… and build memories… from serene lakes to alpine treks.
Here is a glimpse of some of the notable destinations in Kashmir:
“Allah blessed me with a blissful realm, humans disobeyed and still I uphold my own dignity”, Srinagar, the realm of amazing abloom gardens, inherited Mughal Dynasty, pious mosques, glistering lakes, dwelling shikaras, ruins of palaces of Hindus and Buddhists of a bygone era and unique handlooms, is the summer capital of the state. Bestowed with benignant vicinages and sympathetic Kashmiri people, the kosher culture, Wazwan (a traditional multi-course cuisine) and Kangdi (a traditional earthen fire pot) acquaints with wallowing travellers. The twisting waterways of Dal Lake, noted for its houseboats, dominating the city of Srinagar, is environed with florescent gardens, mosques and the bedazing Pir Panjal range. Nishat Bagh, the garden of bliss; Shalimar Bagh, Chashmashahi and Nehru Garden, Muslim pilgrimages like Hazratbal Mosque, Roza Bal and Dastgir Saheb Mosque & shrine; a divine Hindu temple, Shankaracharya Mandir dedicated to Lord Shiva and Pari Mahal are some of the famous tourist places in Srinagar.
If it’s the heartland of winter sports in India then it is also the femoral pulse during summer. Gulmarg, the meadow of roses, also upholds some historical values as well as Hindu myths. Gulmarg Gondola, the second highest cable car project in the world, offers a panoptic sight of Kongdori Valley.
A horizon spawning huge mountain ranges dotted with pine trees, the splashing blue Lidder River, the luxuriant green Lidder valley, the etymon to divine Amarnath Yatra, the serene Shesnag Lake, the Baisaran meadow and the Tulian Lake, Pahalgam is of rich fate. The place attracts both domestic and international tourists and frenzied trekkers..
The gateway to the ancient Silk Road, Sonamarg is yet another barmy vicinage with spectacular view of snow crest peaks like Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak. The alpine valley is nestled on the bank of Nallah Sindh, the largest tributary of Jhelum River. The White Mountains against the sapphire sky is the crystal shield of the golden meadow. From Sonamarg, there are many less explored trekking routes that lead to Vishanshar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Gangabal Lake, Gadsar Lake, Baltal, Kolhoi glacier and Machoi glacier.
A remote and less explored destination at a very high altitude, nestled in the solitude of coniferous forested George of Bringhi River, a strollers paradise, charming fresh air and surrounded by snow clad mountains, Daksum is a wonderland.
A painter’s genre, a crazy couple’s basking florescent meadow, a delirious group’s famed destiny, Kokernag is a solicitation of many small springs collectively forming in to claws of a Koker (cock). Kokernag is the largest fresh water spring in Kashmir and its water has many curative and digestive properties.
The alpine valley of Yusmarg, believed to be the Meadow of Jesus, nestled at the Valley of Doodganga River, is just a couple hours’ drive from Srinagar. It is a thriving picnic spot and the root to Nilnag, which is a lake surrounded by pine trees and Sang-e-Safed, a frozen lake. The region is full of springs and the natural slopes offer skiing opportunities.
Aharbal, the etymon to Kounsernag at an altitude of 13,500 ft, is far-famed because of its growling waterfall crashing down a narrow gorge. It attracts tourists every year.
The tranquil view of Wular Lake, the ruins of Zaina Lanka and the natural flood reservoir of Jhelum River, Watlab is beyond destiny giving the virtue of Kashmir.
A historical place reflecting back on the Mughal era teeming with grand pavilions and plush baths, the spring of Verinag is believed to be the source of the river Jhelum.
Yet another remote and less explored town, Kupwara is highly regarded because of the breath taking beauty of the Lolab Valley nestled near the Lahwal River. The Deodar forests carpeted along the vales en route to a cave, known as Tramkhand, which is dedicated to Mahadev is a architectural marvel.
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