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A-Z Guide to Visiting Sonamarg {Happy Travel}

A-Z Guide to Visiting Sonamarg {Happy Travel}

Nestled between the snow-clad Himalayas in the region of Kashmir is the beautiful hill station Sonamarg. When in Kashmir, Sonmarg is the perfect destination for a surreal getaway in the lap of the mountains. When translated, ‘Sonmarg’ means ‘Meadow of Gold’. 

We all know that Kashmir is fondly referred to as ‘Heaven on Earth’ and contributing to its unparalleled beauty is this quaint little town. With the tall Himalayan mountains as the backdrop, abound with natural beauty and surrounded with pristine glaciers and gushing rivers, Sonmarg is nothing short of a paradise itself. Thousands of tourists flock here every year to enjoy this piece of paradise. 

Whether you are someone who enjoys challenging treks, indulging in adventurous activities or just looking to unwind yourself from the busy city life, Sonmarg Kashmir has something for every kind of traveller. Make sure that you come equipped with a fully charged camera as the photogenic beauty of this place is something you’ll want to remember forever.

Want to know more about this picturesque hill station? Then, come along, as we take you on a virtual tour of this snowy white-wonderland.

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Top places to visit in Sonmarg:

1. Nilagrad River

Nilagrad River
Nilagrad River

This gushing mountain stream adds oodles of beauty to the already breathtaking landscape of Sonmarg. Rejuvenate your senses and enjoy a moment of calm as you visit this river. You can also enjoy a little picnic here while taking in all of nature’s bounty. The river merges with the Indus at the Baltic colony. The locals here believe that the Nilagrad river has several healing properties and thus, is often considered holy. Every Sunday, several people gather here to take a bath in this supposedly holy river.

2. Thajiwas Glacier

The Thajiwas Glacier is a must visit when in Sonmarg. You can either trek all the way here or take a pony ride. This place is blessed with splendid beauty. Frozen lake, alpine trees, meadows and several waterfalls adorn the Thajiwas glacier, making its scenery look picture-perfect. This spot is perfect for all the snow lovers. You can either indulge in snow-related activities like sledding or skiing or just build a snowman or have a snow fight with your loved ones. 

3. Baltal Valley:

The Baltal valley acts as the camping ground for the pilgrims making their way to the Amarnath temple. It is located on the shores of the Sindh river and at the foot of the Zoji La Pass. This valley is known for its gorgeous scenic views. You can trek to this place or take a pony or taxi ride.

4. Zojila Pass:

Zojila Pass
Zojila Pass

The Zoji La pass is a high mountain pass connecting Sonmarg to Leh. Being one of the highest mountain passes in India, being here is quite a thrilling experience. This place brings you closer to the Himalayas. You will also get breathtaking views from here that look almost unreal.

5. Vishansar Lake

The name of the lake in Kashmiri means the ‘Lake of Vishnu’ and this lake is believed to hold a lot of significance for the Kashmiri Pandits. Surrounded by lush green meadows during the summer, you can often find some sheep grazing here. However, the lake freezes during the winter season. Like almost every other place in Sonmarg, the Vishansar lake is sure to captivate you with its beauty. 

6. Gangabal Lake

The Gangabal lake is situated at the foothills of  the Haramuk mountain. This lake is home to many types of fish. Surrounded by stunning mountains all around, this lake is a top must visit destination in Sonmarg. This is also a very popular trekking point. 

7. Gadsar Lake

The Gadsar lake is yet another picturesque lake in Sonmarg. The lake freezes from the months of November to April. You can see its floating icebergs even during the summer. This lake is also popularly known as ‘Yemsar lake’ or ‘Valley of flowers’. The Gadsar lake is one of the highest altitude lakes in Kashmir. 

8. Satsar Lake

Satsar lake or ‘seven lakes’ is a lake formed by the cluster of seven alpine lakes. Its landscape is filled with lush green meadows and colorful alpine flowers. It is a popular tourist destination and thousands of tourists flock here every year. The Satsar lake is accessible only during the summers.

9. Krishnasar Lake

A-Z Guide to Visiting Sonamarg {Happy Travel} 1
Krishansar Lake

This is one of the best lakes in Sonmarg, offering some amazing views to its tourists. Apart from beholding its beauty, you can also go fishing here. Its name in Kashmiri means ‘the lake of Krishna’. Popular among tourists, this is yet another picture-perfect spot in Sonmarg.

10. Walnut Orchards

Along with several lakes, Sonmarg is also home to some walnut orchards. When in Sonmarg, make it a point to visit one of these. Watch how walnuts blossom and ripen at this interesting place. And maybe pluck one and savor one for yourself!

Things to do in Sonmarg

Now that you know about the top spots to visit in Sonmarg, here are some things that you can do here. There are many recreational activities that you can do here. Let’s take a look at them:

– Trekking

Sonmarg Kashmir is basically a paradise for all the trekking enthusiasts. There are various short as well as long trekking trails that you can do here. You can trek your way to the various lakes here or even do the Seven lakes trek. Trekking here is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

– White Water Rafting

If you love to indulge in adventurous activities then white water rafting is one of the best things that you can do in Sonmarg. Feel the adrenaline rush as you go rafting on the Sindh river.

– Camping

Camping in Sonmarg
Valley at Sonamarg, Kashmir on a Sunny Day

One of the most exciting things that you can do in Sonmarg Kashmir is camping. This is also one of the many reasons why tourists love to visit this place. There are various camping sites in and around Sonmarg and you can choose one according to your preference. The best time to camp here is during summer.

– Trout Fishing

You can also go trout fishing in Sonmarg. Some spots where you can go fishing are the Sindh river, Krishnasar lake and the Vishansar lake. This is one of the best activities to do if you just wish to laze around and enjoy Sonmarg’s scenic beauty.

– Snow Activities

Who doesn’t love to play in the snow? Sonmarg Kashmir is also a great place to have some fun in snow. You can go skiing or sledding or indulge in other snow-related activities.

– Shopping

Now for all the shopping lovers, there’s a ‘Main Market’ in Sonamarg. This is a street market where you can find some local Kashmiri products. You can buy walnut, saffron or some authentic Kashmiri handicrafts from here. You can pick up some souvenirs from here for friends and family back home. Even if you don’t wish to shop, just take a relaxing stroll along the lanes of the market for a refreshing experience.

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Accommodation in Sonmarg

Sonmarg being a prime tourist destination, all kinds of accommodations are available here. Right from cheap hotels to luxury 5-star hotels, there is something for every traveler’s budget. You can check them online and book the one that goes best with your budget.

Sonmarg Weather

Sonamarg weather is almost always cool. During summer (March to June), the weather ranges from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season (July to September) here is also quite cold with temperatures ranging from 2 to 10 degrees celsius. Winters (October to February) are extremely chilly and the temperature drops below zero degrees.

What is the best time to visit Sonmarg?

The best time to visit Sonamarg is during the months of summer from March to June. This is the time you can truly enjoy Sonmarg and the weather is quite pleasant too. Even the months of monsoon from July to September are best avoided by tourists. Sonmarg Kashmir is mostly shut during the winter season due to the very harsh climate here.

How to reach Sonmarg?

The best way to reach Sonmarg would be by hiring a private cab from Srinagar. You can also board a state-run bus to reach Sonmarg. The nearest airport is the Srinagar Airport and the nearest railway station is at Udhampur in Jammu.

What is the distance from Sonmarg to Srinagar?

The distance from Sonamarg to Srinagar is about 80 kilometers. You can easily book a cab from Srinagar to get to Sonmarg. It will take you around 2 hours to reach Sonmarg from Srinagar.

What is the distance from Sonamarg to Pahalgam?

The distance from Sonamarg to Pahalgam is about 183 kilometers.

Over to You

All in all, Sonamarg’s beauty is truly out of this world. You’d enjoy each and every minute that you spend here. A trip to Sonmarg is sure to remain etched in your heart forever. In this article, we shared with you everything that you need to know to plan a trip to this paradisiacal place. Hope it helped you out. So, when do you plan to visit Sonmarg?

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A-Z Guide on the Dachigam National Park

A-Z Guide on the Dachigam National Park

A trip to Kashmir is basically incomplete without a visit to the Dachigam National Park. What once served as the hunting grounds for the royals, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kashmir today. This park is rich with its splendid variety of flora and fauna.

Filled with alpine trees, immaculate waterfalls, and beautiful meadows, the park looks like something straight out of a storybook. Dachigam National Park is also the abode of the endangered ‘Hangul’ or the Kashmiri stag. The Hangul is the only species of red deer found in India. At the Dachigam wildlife sanctuary, you can experience the Himalayan wilderness in its true essence.

When translated, the word ‘Dachigam’ literally means ten villages. The park got its name owing to the ten villages that had to be relocated for the formation of the park. Quite an interesting name, isn’t it?

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Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or a nature lover in general, this place has a lot to offer. The park is not just rich in flora and fauna but also has some great scenic spots, including various lakes.

Spend a few hours in nature’s lap and explore all the beauty that this park has to offer. So, read along and start planning your trip here with this detailed guide.

Where is Dachigam National Park?

The Dachigam National Park is situated around 22 kilometers from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. It is towards the north-east side of Srinagar and located in the Zabarwan mountain range. The park is spread across an area of 141 sq. km. 

The forest area was initially owned by the then King of Jammu & Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh. And in 1910, it was declared to be a protected area. Its main purpose was to supply clean water to Srinagar city. Later on, after independence, the state government took over its management. In 1951, it was declared to be a wildlife sanctuary and in 1981, it was declared as a ‘National Park’. 

Now that you know where Dachigam national park is, let’s also know some other important details about it.

What is Upper Dachigam and Lower Dachigam?

The Dachigam National Park’s multi-faceted terrain is divided into two parts- lower Dachigam and upper Dachigam. The altitude of the lower Dachigam and higher Dachigam are at 1,700 m and 4,300 m respectively. Lower Dachigam covers about one-third of the park’s total area.

A-Z Guide on the Dachigam National Park 2
Bird in Dachigam

This is also the most accessible area for visitors. About 10 kilometers up the hill is the Upper Dachigam area. You need to trek all the way up here. The terrain is dramatically different here.

However, the upper Dachigam area is not easily accessible (especially during the time of winter) to visitors and you need to take a special permit if you wish to go all the way up there. This is because the trekking route here isn’t easy. It gets quite harsh because of its jagged and rocky terrain. Be very prepared and careful if you plan on trekking here.

The two areas vary greatly not just in their terrain but also in their altitudes, flora as well as fauna.

Flora and Fauna of Dachigam:

Fauna of Dachigam Sanctuary:

What attracts most tourists to this park is the sighting of the rare Hangul- the only species of red deer here in India. Along with the Hangul, you can also find some hard to spot animals and birds here.

The Dachigam wildlife sanctuary is basically a paradise for animal lovers and bird watchers. So, if you love either of those, you are in for a treat! Other animals include the Himalayn black bear, brown bear, musk deer, Kashmir grey langur, leopard and jungle cat- among many others.

As for birds, the park has numerous species of birds including black bulbul, Kashmir flycatcher, golden oriole, Himalayan rubythroat, Himalayan monal, cinnamon sparrow and many more. There are around 140 different species of birds here.

Leopard in Kashmir
Leopard in Kashmir

Flora of the Dachigam Sanctuary:

The varied fauna at the Dachigam is also quite a sight to behold. The park is home to about 500 different species of herbs, 50 different types of trees and 20 different types of shrubs. It is extremely rich and includes trees like apple, peach, walnut, wild cherry, oak, chestnut, chinar, pine and poplar. For a nature lover, this is nothing short of a paradise. 

Now that we know about the park very well, let us take a look at some general information about it. Here are some things that you need to know before you visit the park.

A-Z Guide on the Dachigam National Park 3
Kashmiri Hangul

General information on the Dachigam National Park:

Best time to visit the park:

The best time to visit the Dachigam park is from April to October. The weather during these months is the most suitable for a comfortable and enjoyable visit to the park.

Dachigam Waters
Dachigam Waters

Climate of the park:

The weather here is always cold. Summer months have very pleasant weather.

How to get to the park:

Srinagar is the nearest city to the Dachigam national park. You can hire a cab or a rental vehicle from the city to the park.

How to visit the park? Are private vehicles allowed?

No, private vehicles are not allowed inside the premises of the park. The best way to explore the park is by strolling around on foot.

Timings of the park:

The Dachigam park is open from 5.30 am to 6.30 pm.

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Accommodation facilities for Dachigam National Park:

There are some accommodation facilities available inside the park as well. However, you can easily look for accommodation in Srinagar as you can find a host of places to stay there. It is better to find accommodation in Srinagar as a visit to the park is mostly a few hours’ affair.

Some useful tips to visit the Dachigam National Park:

Whenever you visit a tourist place, a few tips definitely come in handy. Here are some tips for you to make your visit here a smooth sail.

Wolf in Dachigam
Wolf in Dachigam
  • It is advised that you carry some warm clothes during your visit here. The temperature can often fall down and it can get chilly.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
  • Carry your own food as water as you won’t find any inside the park.
  • If you are carrying a camera and wish to video shoot, you need to obtain a permit for that.
  • Similarly, if you wish to camp or trek to Upper Dachigam, you need a permit for that as well.
  • While exploring on foot, only stick to the designated routes.
  • Follow the sign boards inside the park.
  • It is best to take a local guide along with you to the park.
  • Please maintain the decorum of the park. Kindly do not litter, throw trash, make noises or do anything that can harm the beautiful flora and fauna of the national park.

Follow the above tips for a safe and fun-filled visit to the park.

Over to You

In this article, we shared with you all the information that you need to visit the Dachigam National Park. The greenery, wide variety of trees and plants, animals and birds make it a worthwhile place to visit. Spend a few hours away from the use of your phones and revel in all the beauty that this park has to offer. When in Kashmir, the Dachigam is a must-visit.

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Get to Know the Mughal Architecture Intimately Well

Get to Know the Mughal Architecture Intimately Well

During the patronage of the Mughals in India from the 16th to the 18th century, Indian architecture was greatly influenced. The Mughal architecture is a beautiful amalgamation influenced by the Persian, Turkish, Indian and some other provincial styles.

And even today, Mughal architecture is prevalent in a lot of historic Mughal monuments, palaces, tombs, and forts throughout the country; especially in the northern and central parts of India. The monuments built during this period were works of superior quality and refinement.

Some striking features of the Mughal art and architecture include the bulbous domes, large halls and minarets with cupolas at four corners. Almost all the Mughal rulers were great builders and each ruler had his own distinctive style.

Get to Know the Mughal Architecture Intimately Well 4

If art and architecture intrigues you as well, then read along. Here, we discuss the splendid Mughal architecture in detail.

Mughal Architecture under Emperor Akbar’s rule (1556 to 1605):

Emperor Akbar was the son of Humayun and the grandson of Babur. He is believed to have had  a great passion for art and architecture. During his rule is when the early Mughal architecture first started developing.

The monuments, Mughal art and Mughal paintings made during this time period were a beautiful combination of Indian Hindu, Muslim, Persian, Turkic and Central Asian styles. The architecture during the reign of Emperor Akbar is also quite popular for its large-scale use of red sandstone. And the use of red sandstones is made quite lavishly in Akbar’s own tomb and in the construction of his royal city, Fatehpur Sikri.

Some of the most stunning examples of the Akbari architecture include the Humayun’s tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, Buland Darwaza, Agra Fort and Akbar’s tomb.

Akbar's Fort
Akbar’s Fort – Pic Native Planet

The tomb of Akbar’s father, Humayun is considered to be one of the most outstanding works of Mughal architecture under the rule of Akbar. Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum commissioned the tomb and it was designed by a Persian architect.

Humayun’s Tomb is also the first-ever garden tomb in India. A particularly striking feature here is the use of Rajasthani decorative elements with small dome structures surrounding the central one. Semi-precious stones in geometric and arabesque patterns are used on the facade of the monument along with latticed stone-carved decoration. 

Fatehpur Sikri was built between 1569 and 1585. It was built with the intention of being made the joint capital of Agra. However, the plan didn’t work out due to water system issues. Nevertheless, Fatehpur Sikri remains as one of the most visited cities today.

Owing to its architectural brilliance, Agra fort was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. 

Yet another masterpiece of the Mughal architecture is Akbar’s tomb, located in Sikandra in Agra. The intricate detailing of the carvings and paintings on the ceilings are truly spectacular.

Mughal Architecture under Jahangir’s rule (1605 to 1627)

Jahangir was believed to be more passionate about art and paintings rather than architecture. However, some very significant architectural works were commissioned under him. One of the most remarkable buildings constructed by him includes the Akbar’s tomb. Even though Akbar planned the tomb, after his death, Akbar’s son Jahangir continued and completed its construction. The four corners of the mausoleum have marble minarets. 

The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah at Agra is yet another great example of architecture under Jahangir’s rule. This structure is built entirely using white marble and decorated using semi-precious jewels in mosaic style.

Itmad-ud-Daulah
Itmad-ud-Daulah Pic – Wikipedia

Mughal Architecture under Shah Jahan’s rule (1628 to 1658)

The reign of Shah Jahan was a turning point for the Mughal architecture. We all know about the stunningly beautiful Taj Mahal that he built for his wife. However, Mughal architecture under Shah Jahan’s rule consists of a lot more than just the Taj Mahal. This period is often referred to as the ‘Golden period of Architecture in India’. The buildings created during his reign are believed to have unmatched exquisite beauty, grandeur and elegance. White marble was the most preferred material for construction during this time. 

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Taj Mahal: Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his third wife, Mumtaz. This great work of architectural wonder is situated in Agra. This monument was built between 1632 and 1648. It took around 20,000 men to construct this beautiful monument.

The Taj Mahal is believed to be the greatest achievement of the Mughal architecture. It is placed on a huge square-shaped plinth. This magnificent monument has four facades and each of the facades has an arch-shaped doorway.

The Taj Mahal has a huge double dome on its top. Surrounding its central dome are four smaller domes and each of these domes has a lotus motif on it. On every corner of the huge square plinth is a tall minaret.

On the exterior, the Taj Mahal is decorated with vegetable motifs, calligraphy, verses from the Koran and various abstract forms. This is executed using semi-precious stones, paint and carvings. As for its interiors, precious and semi-precious stones are used. The Taj Mahal is truly a work of unparalleled beauty.

Other architectural works by Shah Jahan include the Red Fort in Delhi which began its construction in 1638 and was completed in 1648.  Very fine red sandstone was utilized for the construction of this fort.

For about 200 years, the Red Fort was the main residence of the Mughal emperors. Today, the Lal Qila or the Red Fort is one of the most popular and most visited tourist spots in Delhi. 

Although the Red Fort was constructed much before, it underwent major renovations during Shah Jahan’s rule. Many structures were demolished and new ones were built in its place.

Yet another stunning Mughal monument built during Shah Jahan’s reign was the Jama Masjid, which is one of the largest mosques in India. Its striking features are its super tall minarets and the vast courtyard. 

Yet another monument that Shah Jahan built is the Jama Masjid in Agra. He built it in his beloved daughter Jahanara Begum’s honor. 

The Moti Masjid inside the Agra Fort is yet another architectural wonder built by Shah Jahan. It is made completely using marble and hence, often referred to as ‘Pearl Mosque’. 

Mughal Architecture under Aurangzeb’s rule (1658 to 1707)

During his reign, marble and squared stones were replaced by brick and rubble for building materials. He also built one of the 13 gates of the Lahore fort and the Badshahi mosque. However, the Mughal architecture is believed to decline during Aurangzeb’s reign.

Now that we saw Mughal architecture through the reign of various Mughal Emperors, let us now delve a little deeper into the Mughal paintings.

Mughal Paintings:

Mughal Paintings are a style of painting that developed in the court of Mughal Empire. These are usually confined to book illustrations or are single sheets preserved in albums.

The Mugal paintings can be categorized into four categories as follows: the Akbar period, the Jahangir period, the Shah Jahan period and the Aurangzeb period. Different painting styles developed under these different rulers and that is how the paintings came to be categorized.

Get to Know the Mughal Architecture Intimately Well 5

The Period of Akbar (1556 to 1605):

Akbar set up the first workshop of court painters and staffed the painters from various parts of India. The painters he staffed were responsible for illustrating books on various subjects ranging from romance and poetry to history and legend. 

During Akbar’s reign, the greatest Mughal paintings can be found in the illustrations of Hamzanama. Out of about 1,400 illustrations only 200 remain today. 

The Period of Jahangir (1605 to 1627):

Emperor Jahangir was believed to be quite fond of Mughal art and paintings and thus, the Mughal paintings developed quite a lot during his reign. Having an artistic inclination, he was believed to be greatly influenced by the European paintings. Jahangir encouraged his royal atelier to create paintings that depicted the various events in his own life. He also encouraged individual portraits as well as portraits on studies of birds, animals and flowers. Jahangirnama, an autobiography of the Emperor Jahangir contains several Mughal paintings that were created during his reign.

The Period of Shah Jahan (1628 to 1658):

The Mughal paintings continued to develop throughout Shah Jahan’s reign. However, the style became more rigid. Illustrations belonging to ‘Padshahnama’, an Islamic manuscript that is a part of the Royal Collection at Windsor were painted during Shah Jahan’s reign. It contains the portraits of the royal courtiers and servants. Paintings during this reign had more contemporary themes such as music parties, portraits of lovers etc.

The Period of Aurangzeb and the later paintings (1658 to 1809):

Never a painting enthusiast, Aurangzeb did not encourage Mughal paintings. Mughal paintings still continued to survive but were declining slowly. By the end of the Mughal rule, the art of the Mughal paintings was almost lost.

Today, Mughal architecture is an integral part of India and its rich history. It has influenced Indian architecture quite a lot. The Mughal Emperors, through the Mughal art and architecture, have left a long-lasting legacy of monuments, palaces, and forts behind.

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The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir

The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir

“If there is a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!”- beautifully quoted by Emperor Jahangir on Kashmir back in the 17th century, this quote still holds true almost 4 centuries later. 

Right from its picturesque mountains, dense forests, green meadows, gushing rivers and lakes to its warm and hospitable people- everything about Kashmir is supremely beautiful. 

From being the royal retreat of the Mughals to being high-up on every traveller’s list, the beauty of Kashmir has stood in its magnificent glory even in the most uncertain times. 

But, what makes Kashmir so unarguably beautiful that innumerable poets, authors, filmmakers and artists around the world have dedicated their pieces of work to this land of paradise? Let’s find out!

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The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir: 8 Reasons to prove it

1. Picture Perfect Landscapes:

Streams of Kashmir
Streams of Kashmir

Ever been someplace so beautiful that it was hard for you to decide which of its sights was the prettiest? Well, that’s Kashmir for you. With each of its landscapes so breathtaking, it’s hard to not fall in love with the beauty of Kashmir valley. The mighty mountains, tall chinars, pristine lakes and rivers and nicely manicured gardens are a few of the many things that adorn the Kashmir valley. 

2. A nature lover’s paradise:

Flowers of Kashmir
Flowers of Kashmir

Who doesn’t love reveling in nature’s many wonders? The natural beauty of Kashmir is sure to leave you awestruck. Kashmir is abound with rich flora. You will find the magnificently large Chinar tree throughout the valley, a tree not very commonly found everywhere. This stunning color-changing tree is at the peak of its utmost beauty at the onset of autumn, making the already gorgeous Kashmir look like something straight out of a storybook.

Go a little further into the mountains and you’ll find dense forests lined with deodar, fir, pine and cedar trees. Come spring and the tulips here are in full bloom. The many fields here in Kashmir lined with colorful tulips are sure to make your stop and stare. The lush green and flowery meadows are sure to take your heart away too!

We could go on and on about the resplendent nature of Kashmir, but to experience it for yourself, you must come here at least once.

3. A land of many pristine lakes and rivers:

Dal Lake
Dal Lake

The land of Kashmir is home to numerous water bodies. There is nothing quite as calming as sitting by a lake or river and just getting lost in nature’s bounty. No matter where you go in Kashmir, you are sure to come across many pristine lakes, glaciers and rivers.

A shikara ride on the Dal lake in Srinagar is a complete experience in itself. Watching the floating gardens and markets will mesmerize you. The Wular lake is yet another famous lake near Srinagar. The Mansar and Surinsar lakes are the perfect places to spend some time relaxing and rejuvenating. Gadsar lake in Sonmarg is a hidden gem that can only be reached through a trek. Similarly, the Mansalbal lake in Ganderbal district is a bird lover’s paradise. 

Rivers like the Sindh or Indus, Lidder river, Zanskar river and many others beautify the landscape of Kashmir multifolds. 

Every lake and river offers an altogether different view and each one is sure to take your breath away.

4. The Lush Valleys:

Gulmarg
Gulmarg

The untamed and unspoilt valleys of Kashmir have their own charm. Aru Valley and Betaab Valley in Pahalgam, Nubra Valley in Ladakh, Zanskar in Leh, Baltal in Sonmarg and the Yusmarg valley near Srinagar are some of the top ones here. These verdant valleys are surrounded with mountains and abound with lakes, waterfalls and numerous trees and meadows. The natural beauty of Kashmir is at its peak here and will astound you in every way.

5. A land with rich culture and history:

Bridge in Srinagar
An Old Bridge in Srinagar

The beauty of Kashmir isn’t just limited to its surroundings but is also deeply rooted in its rich culture and history. Over the years, Kashmir has been ruled and loved by various rulers. So, its culture is a diverse blend influenced by various other cultures.

And it is prevalent in the day to day life of the Kashmiris. Kashmir’s rich history is prevalent in its various historic monuments like the Pari Mahal, Shalimar Bagh, Avantipur temples and Leh Palace. These monuments tell a story of an era gone long by and are pretty interesting places, especially for history enthusiasts.

Another thing that is deeply rooted in Kashmiri culture is the art of handicraft making. Kashmir is quite popular for its handicrafts right from the Pashmina shawl, carpets to paper mache and wood carving. When talking about Kashmir’s beauty, we just simply cannot ignore its rich culture and heritage.

6. Soothing Weather:

Shot from a Village in Kashmir
Shot from a Village in Kashmir

Even on the harshest of summer days, Kashmir has pretty soothing weather. So, where temperature rises over 40 degrees celsius in the rest of the country, Kashmir is the perfect place to visit. During the early winters is also a great time to visit Kashmir for an incredible snowy experience.

Kashmir basically turns into a wonderland as the winter season sets in. The snow-capped mountains and white surroundings are quite a sight to behold. The autumn season here is quite charming too. As the trees change their colors and the weather turns pleasant, Kashmir in autumn looks as pretty as a picture.

7. There is something for everyone here:

The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir 6
The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir 49

Right from the adventurous soul, the trekking enthusiast, the nature lover, leisure seeker and to every kind of person in-between, the beauty of Kashmir has something to offer to everyone. The adventurous soul can feel the adrenaline rush by taking part in various adventurous activities.

Kashmir is basically a hub for those who love adventure. Whereas, the leisure seeker can just bask in the beauty of Kashmir valley. Nobody ever leaves the Kashmir valley disappointed. 

8. The warm and friendly people:

The beauty of a place cannot be complete without its warm and friendly locals. And the same goes for Kashmir too. As soon as you set foot on this paradisiacal land, the warm people here will welcome you with open arms. 

We tried to summarize the beauty of Kashmir in 8 points. But you can only experience it for yourself when you visit this magical place. 

The whole of Kashmir is undoubtedly, very beautiful. Here are a few places whose beauty you absolutely must not miss.

Beauty of Kashmir valley in 6 places:

1. Srinagar:

The summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar is a city that you absolutely must visit. This is also the largest city in Kashmir. The Dal lake is one of the major reasons why tourists are attracted to this city. Staying on the stationary houseboats, a ride on the Shikara are some of the things that you must do here. This is also a paradise for all the photography enthusiasts. 

The Unimaginable Beauty of Kashmir 7

2. Gulmarg:

Also known as ‘Meadow of flowers’, Gulmarg is a beautiful place to visit. This place is also known to be one of the best skiing destinations in the world. A ride in the Gondola or the cable car is one of the top things to do here, offering a complete view of this gorgeous hill station.

Gulmarg is a true paradise for all the snow lovers and adventure seekers. The nature is also quite splendid here. Gulmarg is generously blessed with a huge variety of flowers, lakes and lush green surroundings.

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3. Sonmarg:

Sonmarg is yet another splendid place to visit in Kashmir. Like the rest of the Kashmir valley, Sonmarg too, is abound with natural beauty. Participate in some adventure sports or just take some time off and marvel at nature’s bounty when in Sonmarg.

4. Pahalgam:

This is THE place to be for all enthusiastic trekkers. With some easy to the most challenging treks, Pahalgam has everything. Pahalgam is also a place that you go to when you are looking for some serenity away from the grind of daily life. With its enchanting beauty that truly looks out of this world, Pahalgam is sure to give you an experience of a lifetime.

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5. Yusmarg:

This is one of the offbeat places in Kashmir that you must visit. Head to Yusmarg for some peace and quiet and unwind yourself amidst nature. Come here once and we are sure that you wouldn’t want to leave this extremely serene place.

6. Patnitop:

Picturesque scenery is what defines Patnitop the best. With a plethora of activities to do and numerous sights to behold, Patnitop is one of the best places in Kashmir.

Over to You

Of course, these 6 places are just some of the many amazing places in Kashmir. The mountains, the rivers, the lakes, the trees, the saffron and tulip fields, the valleys- everything about Kashmir is unfathomably beautiful. It is said that the beauty of Kashmir can turn anyone into a poet. And rightly so. With a trip to Kashmir, you are in for a wonderful surprise. It is an experience of a lifetime, a memory to cherish forever.

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Ultimate Guide Unveiling the Beauty of Pahalgam

Ultimate Guide Unveiling the Beauty of Pahalgam

Situated away from the hustle and bustle of city life, around 95 kilometers east of Srinagar, is the quaint little town of Pahalgam. Surrounded by the Himalayas and abound with natural beauty, Pahalgam draws thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

This hill station is full of scenic beauty and laden with tall pine trees, gushing rivers, meadows, and mountains all around. The picturesque Lidder river gushes through this gorgeous town, making it even more beautiful. Originally inhabited by shepherds, Pahalgam is popularly known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’.

Whether you are looking for some peace and quiet away from the grind of everyday life or a trekker looking for some adventure, Pahalgam is sure to leave you awestruck. Pahalgam, with its movie-like settings, even has the Bollywood world captivated. Quite a lot of Bollywood movies like Haider, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Jab Tak Hai Jaan have been shot here. 

Pahalgam truly has a charm of its own. Let’s delve deeper into the beauty of this place and get to know the little town that travelers around the world have an undying love for, a little better.

Why is Pahalgam Kashmir famous?

Pahalgam is famous for its mesmerizing beauty. Its beauty combined with the perfect weather and lush green surroundings makes it the number one destination for tourists running to Kashmir. A trip to this magical place is sure to rejuvenate your mind and body like nothing else. Be prepared to be astounded with Pahalgam’s breathtaking landscapes.

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Pahalgam’s setting also makes it ideal for various adventure activities like trekking, river rafting and trout fishing. Unleash the adventurous spirit in you by indulging in many such activities that this place has to offer. And as for the less adventurous ones, can just sit, relax and get lost in Pahalgam’s old world charm.

So, have you mentally started planning a trip here yet? If not, we give you more reasons to add this place to your bucket list!

Best places to visit in Pahalgam Kashmir:

Here are the top 10 best places to visit in and around Pahalgam Kashmir.

1. Betaab Valley:

Ultimate Guide Unveiling the Beauty of Pahalgam 8
Betab Valley

Just close your eyes and imagine the sound of a river gushing by, the chirping of birds, tall pine and deodar trees and mountains as far as you can see. Sounds like a picture-perfect scenery, doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how the Betaab valley is!

Betab Valley is around 15 kilometers from Pahalgam and falls on the route to the Amarnath temple. Previously called Hagan Valley, it was renamed after the blockbuster movie ‘Betaab’ was shot here. You can have your own little Bollywood moment here. Go horseback riding or you can also have a picnic here. Just grab some food, find your favorite spot, and soak in all the beauty that this place has to offer, one sight at a time.

2. Sheshnag Lake:

Sheeshnag Lake
Sheeshnag Lake

This lake is situated around 23 kilometers from Pahalgam. This spot is also on the way to the Amarnath temple and pilgrims on this yatra visit this lake before moving towards the temple. You can either get here by trekking or take a horse ride.

According to legend, Lord Shiva is believed to have left a ‘sheshnag’ at this place. While another legendary story suggests that sheshnag himself dug this lake and made it his abode. Till date, the sheshnag or ‘king of snakes’ is believed to live here. This beautiful lake, with its clear water, is a treat to the eyes.

3. Aru Village and Valley:

Aru Valley
Aru Valley

This is yet another valley situated near Pahalgam. Aru Valley is popular for its meadows. You can take a day’s trip here. Take a horse ride or just trek along the way. Head here for some tranquility or take part in adventure sports like ziplining, paragliding or river-crossing. Aru valley is also the starting point for numerous treks; the Kolahoi glacier trek being one of them.

4. Chandanwari:

chandanwari
Chandanwari Road End

Chandanwari is the starting point for the Amarnath Yatra. This is a must-visit place for all snow lovers. You can indulge in snow fights to sledge rides or just play in the snow here. The enchanting Sheshnag river travels through this place, making its landscape even more beautiful. That and the snow-capped mountains make this place a must-visit.

5. Tulian Lake:

tulian lake
Tulian Lake

Pahalgam is full of lakes and the Tulian lake is one such lake that beautifies Pahalgam all the more. Snuggled between the Pir Panjal and Zanskar mountain ranges, is the Tulian Lake. Its crystal clear blue water is a beautiful surprise for the eyes. You can either take a horse ride or trek all the way here. The trek is often challenging but the view at the end of it is totally worth it!

6. Mamal Temple:

Also known as Mamaleshwar temple, this is one of the oldest temples in Pahalgam. The Mamal temple lies along the Kolahoi glacier and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This small temple is one of the top tourist attractions in Pahalgam.

7. Baisaran Valley:

This place is popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’, owing to its meadows having a striking resemblance to those in Switzerland. Surrounded with lush green pine trees, Baisaran valley has breathtaking scenery. It cannot get any more beautiful than this, can it? Take a short trip here and revel in nature’s bounty. This is also a great camping site for trekkers.

8. Avantipur Temple:

Avantipur Temple
Temple Ruins

The King Avantivarman built this temple during his reign from AD 855-883. This place had two temples- the Avantishwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Avantiswami temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Today, all that is left of it are beautiful ruins telling the story of an era gone long by. This is an extremely interesting site; especially if you are intrigued by history and heritage. When in Pahalgam, do visit this place.

 9. Pahalgam Golf Course:

If you are looking to do a fun activity, you can go for some golfing. If you are an expert golfer, this 18-hole golf course is the best place for you. If not, you can even take up some golfing lessons. This is a great place for travellers visiting Pahalgam for leisure.

10. Kolahoi Glacier:

The only way to get to this spot is through a laborious trek. This is a tough trek and if you are an experienced trekker, you can add this place to your ‘must-visit’ in Pahalgam. The Kolahoi glacier offers some pretty stunning views. 

Things to do in Pahalgam Kashmir:

  • This hill station is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. There are many trekking routes here including Chandanwari, Tulian Lake, Sheshnag Lake and many more.
  • Take a horse ride to the major tourist attractions like Betaab Valley and Baisaran Valley.
  • Go white river rafting in the Lidder river.
  • Go trout fishing. However, you need to obtain a permit for this.
  •  Enjoy a golfing session.
  • Go for a picnic.

How to reach Pahalgam?

Well, now you know the best places in Pahalgam. But, how do you reach there? Here’s how:

If you are travelling by flight, the nearest airport is the Srinagar Airport which is about 90 kilometers from Pahalgam. From there, you can either take a taxi or a bus to this hill station.

The other way to reach is by rail. The nearest railway station is Udhampur railway station, 218 kilometers from this town. You can then hire a taxi from here. 

However, the best option would be to book a private taxi from Srinagar.

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Best time to visit?

Now that you know almost all details about this gorgeous little town, the next important question that comes to mind is- What is the best time to visit?

Pahalgam has very pleasant weather during the summer season. This makes the months of April to June a peak season for tourists. However, if you love snow and would love to visit this place in all its white winter glory, you can also take a trip here during the winter months. This is an especially great time to visit if you love indulging in snow-related activities.

Accommodation

Right from cottages and guest houses to resorts and 5-star hotels, Pahalgam offers excellent accommodation to suit every traveller’s budget. For the backpacker, there are great economic options. For the leisure traveller looking to spend a few days in the lap of luxury, there are top-notch hotels with spas and other state of the art amenities.

Pahalgam Amarnath Yatra:

Interestingly, Pahalgam is also the place where the annual Amarnath Yatra begins. It is one of the two base camps for the yatra; the second one being the Sonmarg-Baltal route. However, this is the route that pilgrims most commonly take. The holy Amarnath cave is around 45 kilometers from Pahalgam. The route begins at Pahalgam and the first place that pilgrims reach is Chandanwari, which is about 16 kilometers from Pahalgam. The next point is Sheshnag, about 12 kilometers from Chandanwari. Then, Sheshnag to Panchtarni is around 14 kilometers. And finally, from Panchtarni, the holy caves are around 6 kilometers away.

All in all, Pahalgam is a place with supremely beautiful scenery. A trip here is truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

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How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa? The Best Way to Consume Saffron

How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa? The Best Way to Consume Saffron

We had been getting lots of queries on the best way to consume saffron. While we are not in a position to offer medical advice on the matter, we still decided to share the manner in which Kashmiris have traditionally used saffron to achieve health benefits. 

So, in comes the famous tea from Kashmir, ‘the kahwa’. The word kahwa/qahwa should not be confused with the Arabic equivalent of the word; which is a dark coffee. 

Kashmiri Khawa is an amazing drink infused with cinnamon, green cardamom, and served with a touch of saffron and garnished with chopped almonds. It is sweetened using organic honey from the valley itself. In ancient times, saffron, almonds, and Kashmiri green tea were the only 3 ingredients used. 

How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa? The Best Way to Consume Saffron 10
A traditional Kashmiri Cup with Kahwa

Refreshing and warming, kehwa is a popular beverage of Kashmir. It is especially used in the winters to keep flu, cough, infections, and similar illnesses away. Kahwa is a soul-warming classic drink that resonates with the power of Kashmiri spices.

Kahwa is one of the most exciting drinks that you will love to smell, and sip again and again. It will instantly perk you up with its nice aroma and amazing flavour. 

Kashmiris usually have it as a post-breakfast beverage or sip it before sleeping at night. Traditionally, it was made in a copper kettle called samovar and is served in tiny, shallow cups. Nowadays the kahwa is made in normal pans and vessels.

Health Benefits of Kahwa 

  1. Kahwa is a very healthy drink that aids in digestion.
  2. It is said to be a fat burner that helps in decreasing weight. 
  3. This energetic drink also reduces the risk of heart disease by keeping the deposition of cholesterol in check.
  4. It is also rich in vitamin B12 and boosts immunity due to the use of saffron in this beverage.
  5. It is the best treatment for cold and cough. 
  6. It improves skin health.

In our estimation, the best way to consume saffron is sipping it with a cup of kehwa, although a lot of people prefer taking it with milk. 

How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa? The Best Way to Consume Saffron 12
Traditional Kashmiri Samawar

Kashmiri Kahwa Recipe – How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa?

Ingredients used for making Kashmiri Kahwa: 

  1. 4 cups of water 
  2. 1 large piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  3. 6 cardamoms (elaichi), slightly crushed
  4. 15 almond kernels finely chopped
  5. Few strands of saffron (kesar)
  6. Honey according to taste

Procedure of Making Kashmiri Khawa

  1. Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan. 
  2. Add some crushed cardamoms, one cinnamon stick, and one tablespoons of honey.
  3. Cook the mixture on a medium flame for 10-15 minutes.
  4. In the  meantime, put some saffron strands in one tablespoon of lukewarm water in a small bowl. Mix well and keep aside.
  5. Add the saffron-water mixture to the saucepan. 
  6. Put some finely chopped almond kernels to it. It is preferred to remove their outer covering. 
  7. Mix well and boil on a slow flame for about a minute. Keep stirring it continuously.
  8. Serve it hot immediately.

Over to You 

I hope that this post helps you create some awesome kahwa using our mogra saffron and organic honey. Do let me know about the drink in the comments below.

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Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar

Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar

Kashmir’s beauty is unmatched and the place is called ‘Paradise on Earth’. Making this place so beautiful are nature’s many blessings- mountains, lakes, lush green trees that wonderfully come together and form the beautiful place that Kashmir is.

And one such wonder is this scenic lake. One of the many reasons why tourists are drawn to Srinagar is due to what is often referred to as ‘Jewel of Srinagar’- the Dal lake. Considered to be the most beautiful lake, Dal jheel or lake is the second largest lake in the state. It covers an area of about 15 kilometers. 

Interestingly, this lake has five basins and numerous intricate waterways and canals that beautifully interconnect with each other. It is a shallow lake with a minimum depth of 5 ft. and maximum depth of 20 ft.

Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar 13

Any time one thinks of Srinagar, the first thing that comes to is this gorgeous lake. It is as if this lake has almost become a symbol of tourism in Srinagar and Kashmir. There is so much more to the lake than its pristine water. In this article, we take you along to explore its magnificence and tell you what makes it so incredibly special.

The Beauty of Dal Lake

Just imagine a scene that goes like this- A large lake with snow-capped mountains surrounding three of its sides, signature Kashmiri style houseboats and colorful shikaras that afloat the lake and the stunning Mughal gardens and orchards lined on its banks. Overlooking the lake are two hillocks that house the Shankaracharya and Hari Parbat temples. Yes, that is just how picturesque the Dal lake is. And the Dal lake images are a testimony to this fact.

Moreover, the floating gardens on the Dal have a magic of their own. They are an ecological system in the lake. Farmers residing here are dedicated to growing crops and vegetables on this lake. Over 6,000 families depend on these floating gardens for their livelihood. The produce obtained is then sold in local markets throughout Srinagar.

Its beauty hasn’t just attracted tourists all over the world but quite a lot of filmmakers as well. As many as 20 films have been shot in and around this area. Some of the most popular ones include Kashmir ki Kali, Lamhaa, Kabhi Kabhi and Dil se- among many others.

The temperature here varies between 12 to 30 degrees celsius during the summer and about 1 to 11 degrees celsius during the winters. If the temperatures fall down extremely low during severe winter, Srinagar witnesses a frozen Dal lake.

The History and Origin of Dal Lake Srinagar

There are basically two theories that suggest how the lake originated. One historical theory backed by geologists suggests that the lake is actually a post-glacial lake that formed after the Pleistocene period. While another theory suggests that the Dal lake simply formed from flood spillage.

During their reign in India, the Mughal rulers designated Srinagar as their summer resort. They defined the boundaries of the lake by building Mughal-style gardens as resorts to experience Srinagar’s splendid beauty during the months of summer.

Several years later, during the rule of the British in India, the Britishers also designated Srinagar as their summer resort. The Britishers weren’t allowed to buy land and build houses in the Kashmir valley. Although, they found a legal loophole in this rule- that there was no restriction on living on water. As a result, they built houseboats. Even though the houseboats in the Dal lake are made in the traditional Kashmiri style, they still have a hint of colonial feel to them even today.

The beauty of Dal lake Kashmir has stood the test of time and has carved a place for itself in its beholders’ hearts through the years.

Dal Lake Kashmir and Floating Markets

Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar 15

Yet another fascinating thing that makes the Dal jheel stand apart is its floating markets. There are many wonderful stories that surround the Dal lake and one such story is that of its floating markets. It is one of the most famous markets of its kind in the world.

Wake up at the crack of dawn and head to the Dal lake to witness its beauty from a different perspective. It is quite an adventure in itself- watching the local farmers wearing the traditional pherans making their way through the lake on their respective shikaras, selling the fresh produce that they obtain from their floating gardens. There are as many as hundred boats that gather here every morning.

All of these farmers gather in the middle of the lake.with their boats laden with a variety of vegetables and start calling out to the buyers in the local dialect. The business is at its peak during this hour and everything is wrapped up by the time the sunlight just begins to hit the water. 

The exchange lasts for hardly an hour. After this, everyone makes their way back to their respective homes; making it seem as though the market never existed. This wonderful scenario also portrays the life of local Kashmiris residing here, giving you an insight into the Kashmiri way of life.

Whenever you find yourself in Srinagar, make sure to visit the Dal lake early in the morning. We guarantee you that it is an experience that you’ll remember and cherish forever!

Wow, just the thought of this makes us want to be transported here immediately. Doesn’t it make you feel the same way too?

The Shikaras and Houseboats of Dal lake Kashmir

Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar 17

Shikaras

A shikara is nothing but a small carved wooden boat. This is one of the top attractions of the lake and the city. The shikaras are often compared to the ‘Gondolas’ of Venice. These boats are an integral part of the day-to-day life of Kashmiris residing in Srinagar. It is as if, with these shikaras, there is a whole another world in the Dal lake. Right from vegetables and baked goods to doctors and tailors- you will find everything on these tiny wood boats!

These boats are also used for transportation of people. There is nothing quite like a shikara ride along the Dal lake. Refresh your mind and relax your body as you prepare to set out on this epic adventure. The ride offers breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. When visiting Srinagar, a shikara ride is high up on the travellers’ must-do list. An extremely joyous ride, every minute spent on the boat is worthwhile. Come equipped with a fully charged camera as every portion of the lake shows an altogether different picture of the gorgeous city and it’s hard to decide which sight is prettier- the one you just saw or the one that you’re about to see next.

Houseboats

Dal Lake: The Heart of Srinagar 18

Your trip to Kashmir is incomplete without a stay at the houseboats in Dal lake. Unlike many houseboats in other parts of India, the Kashmiri houseboats are stationary. A houseboat, as the name goes is nothing but a house made inside a boat. It has all the amenities that a traveller would need. Houseboats typically have 5 to 6 rooms.

A houseboat is the perfect example of ‘comfort meets luxury’; but, at an affordable price. The houseboats are designed in an antique style that give you the feel  of nothing short of a royalty. These houseboats are also examples of what a typical Kashmiri home looks like, with every inch of the boat carefully decorated with classic Kashmiri-style decor.

Once in, the caretakers will spoil you with their warm hospitality- something you aren’t bound to forget anytime soon. 

Aboard these wonderful houseboats to have an experience of a lifetime. Wake up to a picturesque setting of the mountains. Relax on the deck and watch the mesmerizing sunrise and sunsets.

Take a shikara ride to and fro from your houseboat and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Dal lake and maybe buy some flowers and other goodies to bring back to your houseboat. Just relax and take this time to rejuvenate your mind and soul and let the pristine waters calm and soothe you down. 

While many boats offer food on request, you can relish the lip-smacking authentic Kashmiri delicacies. Right from basic to royal and exquisite, there are houseboats to suit every traveller’s budget.

When residing on these houseboats, you can also take shikara rides to the famous tourist destinations like the Mughal Gardens and the Hazrat Bal.

What is the best time to visit the Dal jheel?

The best time would be to visit from May to November.

Right from providing a means of livelihood to the locals to providing a once in a lifetime experience to its tourists, the Dal lake’s splendour is unmatched. Come here once and experience its charm for yourself; and we are sure you’d want to come back again, and again.

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23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know

23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know

The Mughals have made a very significant contribution to not just the history but to the Indian architecture as well. When we think of famous Indian monuments, monuments like the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Agra Fort are the first ones that come to mind. And rightly so.

Their brilliant architecture, grandeur and stunningly beautiful structures have made these monuments major crowd pullers. Several Mughal monuments were built in India during the almost 300 years that they ruled in India.

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In this article, we share 23 famous Mughal monuments with you that you must know about.

23 Mughal Monuments that You Must Know

Now, without further ado, let’s begin with our list.

Mughal Monuments in India

#1 Taj Mahal, Agra

23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 20

Of course, how can we possibly begin the list without this majestic monument at the top. Believed to be the epitome of eternal love, the Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his third wife, Mumtaz. Millions of people every year, not just from India but from all over the world travel to Agra to witness its majestic beauty. It took almost 22 years and 20,000 workers to build this masterpiece.

#2. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort Delhi
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 103

What served as the main residence for the Mughal Emperors for a long time, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. This monument, too, was built by Shah Jahan. The fort gets its name from the fact that it was made with the use of fine red sandstones. The Hall of Public Audience or ‘Diwan-i-Am’ and the Hall of Private Audience or ‘Diwan-i-Khas’ are two very famous structures within the Red Fort. Today, the Red Fort that is popularly known as the ‘Lal Qila’ is one of the top Mughal monuments in Delhi.

#3. Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri

Buland Darwaza
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 104

This massive structure whose name when translated in English means ‘the door of victory’ was built by the great Emperor Akbar in the year 1601. This monument was built to celebrate his victory over Gujarat. This monument, which is the highest gateway in the world is located in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra.

#4. Jama Masjid, Delhi

The Jama Masjid in Delhi is yet another example of brilliant Mughal architecture. It is also known as Masjid-e-Jahan Numa. This mosque was built by Emperor Shah Jahan between the years 1650 and 1656. Some 5,000 workers helped build this mosque and today, it is one of the largest mosques in the world.

Jama Masjid, Delhi
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 105

#5. Agra Fort, Agra

This is yet another historic monument that displays the splendid architecture of the Mughal era. The Agra Fort was the main residence of the Mughal Emperors until 1638, after which their capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

The fort also houses some amazing structures such as Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Moti Masjid and Jahangir Mahal. It is also known for its very rich history. Today, the Agra fort is one of the top visited places by tourists in the city. The Agra Fort was also declared as a world heritage site.

#6. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Humayun's Tomb
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 106

The impressive structure of the Humayun’s Tomb leaves all its visitors in sheer awe of its beauty and splendour. It was built in the memory of the second Mughal ruler to ascend the throne, Humayun. This monument was built in the year 1565 and was commissioned by Humayun’s wife. Mirak Mirza Ghiyat from Persia was the architect of this monument. The Humayun’s tomb is built greatly with the use of red sandstone. This monument, among many others built during the Mughal era, was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Humayun’s tomb is one of the best Mughal monuments in Delhi.

#7. Akbar’s Tomb, Agra

Akbars Tomb
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 107

The construction of Akbar;s tomb began while he was still alive; but it was later completed by his son Jehangir. Sandstone and white marble were utilized for its construction. The tomb can be found in Sikandra, on the outskirts of Agra. A beautiful garden surrounds the main tomb. Akbar’s tomb has been created using various architectural styles, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by architecture. 

#8. Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, Agra

Situated in the city of Agra, this mausoleum is often referred to as ‘Bachcha Taj’ or ‘Baby Taj’ as it seeks inspiration from Taj Mahal. Even though it is believed to have similarities with the Taj Mahal, the artwork of this tomb is more intricate. This is one of the finest examples of tombs created during the Mughal era. When in Agra, the Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb is a must visit. This tomb was actually built for Mirza Ghiyas Beg who was the father of Nur Jahan and the father-in-law of Jahangir. 

#9. Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad

This monument, too, sought inspiration from the Taj Mahal and has a very striking resemblance to it. Due to this strong resemblance, this Mughal monument is also often referred to as ‘Dakkhani Taj’ (Taj of the Deccan). It was commissioned by Aurangzeb in his first wife, Dilras Banu Begum’s memory. Bibi Ka Maqbara, with its intricate design and artwork is one of the prime and most-visited spots in Aurangabad.

#10. Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar

Shalimar Bagh
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 108

One of the best Mughal monuments in Kashmir is the Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar. It was built by Emperor Jahangir in 1619.  Through a channel, the garden is linked to the  northeast of Dal lake. Shalimar Garden, Farah Baksh and Faiz Baksh are some other names that it is known by.

#11. Pari Mahal, Srinagar

Pari Mahal
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 109

Pari Mahal is yet another one of the top Mughal monuments in Kashmir. When translated, its name means ‘Palace of Fairies’. This seven terraced garden was built by Prince Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s son. The garden overlooks the city of Srinagar and a portion of the Dal Lake, giving its beholder a breathtaking view. This is one of the must-visit Mughal monuments in Kashmir.

#12. Akbari Fort & Museum, Ajmer

This historic monument is a beautiful blend of the Mughal and Rajputana styles. The fort was commissioned by Emperor Akbar in 1570 and it was once the residence of his son, Prince Salim. Today, it functions as a museum.

#13. Kabuli Bagh Mosque, Panipat

Emperor Babur built this mosque in 1527 in Panipat to commemorate his victory in the first battle of Panipat over Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi. The Mosque was named after Babur’s wife, Kabuli Begum.

#14. Shah Begum’s Tomb, Prayagraj

After the death of his wife Shah Begum, Emperor Jahangir commissioned this tomb. This three-storied structure is made entirely of sandstone. 

 #15. Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi

This stunning mausoleum is yet another testimony to the Mughal era’s impressive architecture. An elegant mausoleum, it is entirely made of marble and sandstone. The Safdarjung tomb was built in 1754 for Nawab Safdarjung. Today, this place draws many tourists from all over the world.

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#16. Sheikh Salim Chishti Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri

The Sheikh Salim Chishti Tomb in Fatehpur Sikri is an example of the finest of Mughal monuments ever built. It was built during 1580-81. It is the burial place of the Sufi Saint Salim Chishti and was built by Emperor Akbar in his honor.

#17. Jodha Bai’s Palace, Fatehpur Sikri

The Jodha Bai’s palace is an integra part of the royal harem. It was a gift to EMperor Akbar’s Rajput wife/ When you step into Fatehpur Sikri, the beauty of this red sandstone monument will charm you. Various motifs such as lotus flowers, elephants and swans adorn its interiors.

#18. Allahabad Fort, Prayagraj

This is one of the lesser known yet a very beautiful monument built by Emperor Akbar. It is situated in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh and is one of the top destinations there. It is situated at the confluence of rivers and has huge walls, towers, a temple and a large palace.

#19. Taj-ul-Masjid, Bhopal

The Taj-ul-Masjid is the largest mosque in India. It is also one of the largest in Asia. This mosque is situated at a lake called Motia Talab in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar’s wife Sultan Shah Jahan Begum founded this beautiful mosque.

Mughal Monuments in Pakistan

Now, let us take a look at some iconic Mughal monuments in Pakistan.

#20. Lahore Fort, Lahore

The Lahore Fort is also referred as the ‘Royal Fort’ or the Shahi Qila. It is one of the most notable Mughal monuments dating to the reign of Emperor Akbar.

Lahore Fort
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 110

#21. Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Badshahi Mosque
23 Famous Mughal Monuments That You MUST Know 111

This mosque was built by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and is an example of one of the finest architectural works of the Mughal era. Currently, it is the fifth largest mosque in the world. The Badshahi mosque is believed to be the crown jewel of Lahore.

#22. Shalamar Bagh, Lahore

The Shalamar Bagh was built during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore in 1642. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pakistan. In 1981, the Shalamar Bagh was declared to be a world heritage site by UNESCO.

#23. Naulakha Pavilion, Lahore

The Naulakha Pavilion in Lahore is also one of the top Mughal monuments in Pakistan. The monument, with its beautiful structure, is made out of marble. It was built in 1633. The monument, at the time, cost 900,000 rupees and that is what gave the monument its name.

Over to You

In this article, we discussed some iconic Mughal monuments of all time. These monuments truly are timeless works of architecture having a rich history and exude beauty and elegance in every sense.

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All You Need to Know About the Majestic Chinar Tree

All You Need to Know About the Majestic Chinar Tree

The Chinar tree is a magnificent, vibrant tree whose leaves change colors to red, yellow and amber during the autumn season. This tree predominantly grows in the Kashmir region in India. The tree not only is a rare sight but is a form of majestic beauty.

One of the many tourist attractions in Kashmir, chinar grows to a height of about 25 meters or sometimes, even more, depending upon the growing conditions. Its botanical name is platanus orientalis and is called ‘Booyn’ or ‘Buen’ in the local language.

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The Chinar tree is a pride of Kashmir! Its leaves look a lot like the leaves of the famous Maple tree. This tree is known for its longevity and can be found throughout Kashmir.

One of the unique characteristics of this tree is that its leaves change colors. During the summer season, the chinar tree’s leaves are deep green. But, as the autumn season sets in, the leaves change color to a beautiful blood-red, amber and yellow.

Talking about the etymology of the word, ‘chinar’ is word of Persian origin which when translated means ‘What a fire!’. The reason it got this name is for the fact that during the month of November, the tree looks as though it has caught fire. It is a deciduous tree and sheds its leaves once a year.

This tree is also found in Greece, Iran, Kashmir as well as some other countries.

The History of Chinar Tree in Kashmir

It is said that the tree originated in Greece. The Chinar trees of India have been an important part of Kashmir for centuries now and have a lot of historical significance. In fact, the oldest Chinar in Kashmir is 600+ years old and is thought to have been planted in 1374. It is located in the Badgam district in Kashmir and stands tall at 14.78 m.

There is a Chinar in almost every village of Kashmir. The tree is also super popular amongst the locals; for they love to sit under its shadow and enjoy the cool breeze.

It is believed that the Chinar trees of India were brought here from Persia. Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir and even Aurangzeb were very fond of the tree. It was even declared as the ‘royal tree’. The great Emperor Akbar is said to have planted around 1,200 trees after he took over Kashmir in 1586.

A Small Chinar Island on Dal Lake

‘Char Chinar’ is a beautiful island on the Dal Lake in Srinagar. The island gets its name from the fact that there are four Chinar trees planted on this island.

These four trees were planted by Emperor Jahangir in such a way that the island will always have a shadow from these trees. They are one of the main tourist attractions in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Literature and the Chinar

The significance of this tree is also predominant in Kashmiri literature, politics, religion and romance. The tree isn’t just an integral part of Kashmir’s heritage but it also has a very special place in every Kashmiri’s heart.

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, the former Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir has named his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, meaning ‘Flames of Chinar’. Makhan Lal Fotedar, a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress who also belonged to Kashmir named his memoir ‘The Chinar Leaves’.

Not just politicians but the first fashion designer from Kashmir has named his brand ‘Bounipan’, also meaning leaves of Chinnar. The mention of this mighty tree is also there in various books like ‘A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings’ by James Hilton Knowles and ‘The Valley of Kashmir’ by Sir Walter Lawrence.

Several poets, too, have dedicated their poems to this majestic tree. This shows how everyone fortunate enough to behold the beauty of this majestic tree gets captivated by it. 

The Chinar Trees of Kashmir

The Chinar trees of Kashmir can be found throughout Kashmir’s landscape. Valley, cities, villages, hills; the trees are planted everywhere. A symbol for religion, the Chinar trees can be found in the Khir Bhavani temple as well as other Goddess Bhavani temples across Kashmir. These beautiful trees also adorn Kashmir’s popular mosques and shrines, including Sultan-ul-Arifeen and Hazratbal. 

Not just in mosques and temples but there are also over 100 Chinars planted at the Naseem Bagh garden in Srinagar. This makes the garden a picturesque and must-visit spot for tourists and locals alike. 

It takes a Chinar tree around 30 to 50 years to reach their mature height and around 150 years to grow to their full size! Just imagine the splendor they will bring.

The season of autumn celebrates the Chinar like no other! The Chinar tree of Kashmir, during this season, is at the peak of its beauty. The radiant red leaves that make the whole tree appear red, their rustling sound and a gust of wind in the air make everything look magical. One cannot just not fall in love with this scenery and marvel at the beauty that nature has blessed us with.

The Importance of the Chinar 

The Chinnar tree doesn’t just amplify the beauty of Kashmir but also has a lot of other things to offer. On a summer day, it provides shade in parks as well as on roads. Its wood can also be sawn easily. After sawing, it can be used in making decorative items such as trays, small boxes as well as some furniture items. Kashmir decor is famous for walnut art.

It holds various medicinal properties as well. The bark of the chinar has antirheumatic and antiscorbutic values. The bark when boiled in vinegar is a great remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. The fresh leaves of the tree can be applied for the inflammation of the eye and also in conjunctivitis. 

The leaves of the tree are still useful even after they have fallen off. They are used to make charcoal to be used for a Kashmiri pot named ‘Kangri’, to keep warm on a cold winter day.

The Chinar trees of Kashmir: A Dying Legacy?

The number of chinar trees that have declined in Kashmir in the past few years is truly a matter of concern. The population of the trees has dwindled down from around 42,000 in the 1970s to about 17,000 in 2004 and the number has dwindled down even more now.

The trees are now nearing extinction. People and the administration cut down the trees for construction and for widening the roads.

Despite the laws imposed by the government on the ban of cutting down these trees, it is heartbreaking to know that illegal felling of the trees still continues.

There are various reasons why the chinar tree population is decreasing, but it is mainly due to:

  • The illegal felling of trees
  • Plant diseases
  • Not planting enough trees as they were being planted before

However, various efforts are being taken by the state to revive the heritage of Kashmir and more trees are being planted.

Over to You

The beauty of the Chinar tree is truly unfathomable. It is an integral part of Kashmir’s rich history and Kashmir is incomplete without its beautiful Chinar. We really hope that this legacy of the Chinar trees of Kashmir never dies and that the trees always stand tall in all their magnificent glory.

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Kashmir Tourism: 23 Best Places You Can’t-Miss Visiting

Kashmir Tourism: 23 Best Places You Can’t-Miss Visiting

Are you looking to know more about Kashmir Tourism? Why! Perhaps you are going to visit Kashmir soon. Wonderful! So, if you are looking to know the best places to visit in Kashmir, you are at the perfect place.

I will deal with everything that you need to know in order to make your next vacation in Kashmir, exciting and fulfilling. 

Kashmir, a valley, a scenic marvel, a sacred land with a sinful history, and yet considered as a heaven on the earth. Kashmir is known for its tourism, its pashmina, its carpets, its paper mache, and the chaos. You know this is sacracsm.

It was not just mere chance due to which the Emporer Jehangir said the famous lines of Amir Khusrau on visiting Kashmir;

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.

(Translation: If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this)

The great poet Khusrau had known the Kashmir valley intimately well before writing this. It is not only him, but everyone who lands in Kashmir has an ultimate level of praise for this stunning valley.

Kashmir is filled with a montage of several different cultures and religions which make it the epic grandeur that it is today. But interestingly, the most exuberating characteristic of this land is the majestic treasure of the beauty it holds in every nook and corner.

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Like other tourist destinations, Kashmir doesn’t just have a couple of places that are stunning, but it is a destination where every place visited has a story to tell, and has a charm of its own. Whether it be the snow clad mountains, the dense forests, the marvelous lakes, the enigmatic houseboats, the massive glaciers, Kashmir tourism has always been a brand of a different league. 

Honestly, what is promoted by the Kashmir tourism department is just the tip of an iceberg. Much of the beauty of the famous or maybe the infamous valley is reserved for the locals to cherish.  Generally, when you search for Kashmir tourism packages on the internet, you get a list of 5-6 places to visit and possibly get in touch with a tour operator. But those are not the places that we are going to speak about.

Kashmir Tourism

We are here to unveil the unknown mysteries about Kashmir tourism, so the next time you visit Kashmir, you are ready to roll and unwind. 

I certainly believe, the small and far away districts hold some of the best sceneries, and ironically they are not present in the ‘Kashmir tourism packages’ you see online. Having traveled my valley far and wide, I want to share about every nook and corner of it, from the narrow lanes of downtown to the food streets of Khayyam. 

In this post, I will be easy on the traveler. I am going to talk about the major places of the valley, places that you must visit in order to explore real Kashmir tourism. Honestly, if you visit Kashmir this well, you will be bragging about it.

Without further ado, let’s get talking about the hidden mysteries of Kashmir tourism.  

Unveiling Kashmir Tourism, 23 Best Places to Visit in Kashmir for a Tourist 

Sopore – Mini London  

Sopore - Kashmir Tourism

Sopore is called ‘mini London’ by locals because of the massive wealth and all the business transactions that take place here. Filled with rich lush green apple orchids, Sopore is truly a sight for sore eyes. The infrastructure is still traditional with old customs like Tonga Rides (horse carts) still prevalent. The taste of the food is as exotic as the accent of the people.

Bandipora – The Home to Wular 

Bandipora - Kashmir Tourism

Bandipora is amazing, that’s what I would say. It has lush green sceneries all around. It appears green as far as eyes can see. The crystal clear waters of the famous wular give you a reflection of your soul. The town of bandipora should be on every tourist’s list.

Uri – The Electricity Chamber 

Uri - Kashmir Tourism

    

Uri on end shares its border with Muzzafarabad, making it the highlight of the place. Uri is the home to a massive Hydro Power Project. That makes it simple, its a land full of fast moving streams. Streams there are in plentiful. It is one of the places that the Kashmir tourism department must cater to and showcase to the world.

I am pushed to say this if you are really looking to come to Kashmir, a google search on ‘kashmir tourism packages’ is not the solution. You need to come over and get lost in the valley, like a real lost traveler.

Handwara – The Oft-Changing 

Handwara is a small district in Kashmir with lovely people, amazing food and spots. Come here and forget that the rest of the world even exists.

If you are craving for some solace and ‘me-time’, Handwara is the place for you.

Gulmarg – The Meadow of Paradise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HefhGl1FGi8

This place doesn’t even need any introduction, it has been advertised and marketed automatically in every movie since the 1960s. In a way, its Bollywood’s go to destination. A small Kashmir within Kashmir would be the perfect definition of this place. Whenever someone thinks of picnics, Gulmarg is the first name that pops in the mind. With the thrilling Gondola rides along with the ones on a horse back, be sure to be on top of the world.

Gulmarg is a destination for adventure sports lovers. Known for its skiing and ice hockey competitions, tourists from all over the globe throng it during winters. It is probably the only place that the Kashmir tourism industry has been able to market properly. 

Preng – The Mystery 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xwKbStEmVc

Preng is a small village located in the Kangan Block in the Ganderbal District. A very popular picnic spot in Kashmir, it is known for the beautiful gardens and the never ending landscapes.

Pahalgham – The Betab Land

The place that has been giving Gulmarg tough competition for the top spot of the best tourist destination in Kashmir. Gulmarg and Pahalgham are like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of tourist destinations.  You can never really decide which one is better.

Pahalgham has abundant water bodies and the famous Betaab and Aaru Valleys.  Just naming these two is enough to make someone lose interest in city life. A person can easily picture himself giving up all the temptations of the world just to enjoy the mountains and water of Pahalgham.

Shopian – The Apple Town 

Shopian - Kashmir Tourism

You might know that Kashmir is not just known for its tourism, but for its apples as well. And Shopian is the apple capital of the valley. Shopian gives tough competition to Sopore in producing mouth-watering juicy apples but the apples are not the only thing to look forward to in Shopian.

Shopian is an enigmatic place to say the least. It should have been on Kashmir Tourism map, but somehow it has missed the attention. 

Baramula – The Cherished Place 

A very popular district of Kashmir known for many things like the lifestyle of the rich people living there, the local accent, the confectionery and also for sharing a border with Pakistan. Mughal Emperors like Akbar and Jahangir used to stay in Baramula during their visits.

Aharbal – The Waterfall Place 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOXx6Osp5xI

Aharbal is known to have the Niagara Falls of Kashmir. It is a beautiful captivating waterfall which has an abundant amount of water encompassing a large area. The trek leading up to the waterfall is worth the effort. Apart from that the exciting trek to the Kungwatan meadows, you will be led to the mesmerizing Konsernag Lake.

Dhara – The Home of Gujurs 

Gujjar - Kashmir Tourism

Home of the Gujjar and Pathan population of the valley and an ideal place for trekkers, Theed and Dhara are best places to visit in Kashmir if adventure, treks, love for heights and unlimited skies run in your veins.

Gujurs are the ethnic Kashmiri nomadic community that is always on the move and mainly work as shepherds. Missing it on the Kashmiri tourism map is real bad, especially since it is just 20 kms away from the capital, Srinagar. 

Gurez – The Paradise Valley 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY7YB4vCmGA

Located among the high Himalayan ranges, Gurez valley is nothing less than a piece of paradise created by the Almighty. Rich in a diverse range of landscapes and animals like the Himalayan Brown Bear and the Snow Leopard, Gurez has just so much to offer to everyone who visits.

Its main tourist attractions are the culture itself, the Habba Khatoon Mountain named after the famous poetess of Kashmir, and the ethereal Kishanganga River.

Yusmarg – Did Jesus Really Know This?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLkR-BDlBms

In Kashmiri Yusmarg means “Meadow of Jesus”. This is because it was believed by some people that Jesus had come to Kashmir for a brief period.

Yusmarg is covered with snow kissed mountains and large amount of meadows. Located in the Pir Panjal range, the famous peaks of Yusmarg are the Sunset Peak and the Tatakooti Peak. After a small trek the road leads to a frozen lake in the Sang-e-Safed valley which is known to be covered in snow even in the summer.

Doodhpathri – The Next Big Thing! 

If Gulmarg and Pahalgham were a human couple, then Doodhpathri would definitely be their child. Having majestic sceneries of Gulmarg and noise cancelling, soul touching water falls of Pahalgham, Doodhpathri is an upcoming tourist destination giving full competition to big guns like Gulmarg and Pahalgham.

Sonamarg – Ah My Favorite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrW6AuHkcCA

Did the title recommend it enough?

When you are excited to go to Ladakh and want the journey to begin a little sooner, Sonamarg enhances the experience for you by showing you the beauty it holds and the treasure of adventure you will encompass when you hit the Zojila road from Sonamarg.

Kupwara – The Captivator

Known now a days for all the wrong reasons Kupwara still tries to regain its status and change its popularity for a better reason. Like I mentioned before every corner of Kashmir is a tourist destination even if it is not as popular as others. Kupwara is the best example of this statement. Not only the District but also the people of Kupwara are known for their captivating beauty.

Leh/Ladakh/Kargil The Marijuana :p 

No explanation needed, the names itself mean Eat, Pray, Love. “One will teach you love, one will teach you, patience and the other will teach you, pain.”

For those who haven’t visited these places yet this sums the places up in the best possible way.

Kokernag/Verinag/ Achabal – Three Musketeers 

Situated in Anantnag, Kokernag, Achbal and Verinag are three mystical Mughal gardens which are the living examples of Mughal architecture at its best. Designed in the typical grand Mughal styled garden with its main attraction being the “naag” or the spring. The geometrical designs of the colourful gardens with running water on one side and rainbow like different variety of flowers on the other side is a treat to watch.

Kishtwar – The Small Valley 

Kishtwar is a little far from a conventional tourist destinations. It is mostly the kind of place enjoyed by the bizarre travelers who seek much more than just a selfie. It is not just a place to go to for ticking it off the bucket list.

Another masterpiece missed by the Kashmir tourism department. People who visit induce themselves with the aura of the bewitching landscapes here with its mighty proud hills, lush green forests riddled with pine and deodar forests.

The national park in Kishtwar is a dream come true place for all the wildlife and nature enthusiasts who want to become one with nature. 

Pulwama – The Crops Town 

The infamous “Rice Bowl of Kashmir”. Pulwama is a small marvel in Kashmir and is an ideal place to see Kashmir’s beauty glow at its best. This place has a massive range of tourist destinations too eager to be explored especially if you are a first time traveler. The weather, pleasant odor saffron fields, and malleable citizens. One cannot have enough of the saffron fields and the rich culture in Pulwama.

I am sure that google searches like ‘Kashmir tourism photos’ and ‘Kashmir tourism packages’ won’t be an option that you’ll consider from now on.

Come here and visit us.

Get lost to be discovered. 

Anantnag – The History Mystery Town 

Call it Anantnag or Islamabad, this land has been the home of every soul living there no matter what their religion. It consists of Masjid Baba Dawood Khaki, the Martand Temple, the Ashmuqam Shrine. History hasn’t really captured what all this spiritual place entailed. 

Final Thoughts 

There are many more honorable mentions which I would like to have in this list. They are places such as Drang, Dras, Poonch, Tangmarg, Manasbal, and even the city of Srinagar. Srinagar itself has some enchanting places like the Zabarwan Range, Badamwari, Tulip Garden, Hari Parbat, Tral and the Mughal Gardens to quench your adventurous thirst.

Are you excited to come over to Kashmir? Is it safe to visit Kashmir? Let me know in the comments below. My team will try to be your online guide

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