Kashmir is one of the most pristine and beautiful states of India which is located on its northern side. Kashmir offers varied varieties of activities and exploration that can be done such as trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, camping, skiing, and paragliding. The northernmost state of India has one of the most beautiful landscapes, snow-capped mountains, serene panoramic view of lush green forests which makes it a perfect place for tourists to visit and spend some quality time. If you still haven’t yet explored the majestic beauty that is Kashmir, here is our handy Jammu and Kashmir’s Travel Guide which will help you plan out a trip to this state.
How to reach Kashmir?
By Air: Srinagar has a domestic airport named Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport which is well connected to the airports of all the major cities in India.
By Bus: Srinagar is also well connected to other major cities like Jammu, Delhi, and Chandigarh in North India. You can take JKSRTC deluxe buses to travel to and from the city.
By Train: There are no operational railway stations in Srinagar albeit Jammu, which is the nearest railway station, at a distance of 290 kilometers, well connected to the Indian railways’ network.
How to get around Kashmir?
You will get various modes of transportation that are easily available in all the major tourist spots and locations around the cities of Kashmir. These are easily accessible and also aptly priced so that they won’t burn a hole in your pocket and we are mentioning them below in Kashmir Travel Guide.
Mini Bus: You can easily get these “Mini Buses” throughout major cities and suburban parts of the states as well. These are quite popular amongst the locals and can help you reach your destination.
Cab/Tourist Taxis: This is your best option when you come to Kashmir. You can easily get a cab from the airport or railway station or any other major tourist spot and can continue for your further travel from there.
Coaches: These are the luxury buses that run throughout Kashmir which are operated by J&K Tourism Development Corporation. These will make your travel hassle-free and comfortable for sure.
Auto Rickshaws: The quintessential part of Indian travel, autos are widely available here.
Best time to visit Kashmir
Winter months in Kashmir are from October to March is the best time to visit the beautiful state of Kashmir, you can expect most of the parts of Kashmir to be covered in surreal snow-white landscapes which adds to the beauty of the place.
You can also visit Kashmir during spring and early summers, where you can see the valleys of Kashmir in full bloom with many wildflowers and green meadows. This time is also ideal for you to take your kids and families as the temperatures are not harsh.
Temperatures in summers range from 15 to 30 degrees centigrade and in winters around -3 to 10 degrees centigrade.
What to pack?
If you are going to Kashmir during wintertime, make sure you have enough warm clothes for yourself and your family. You must carry some heavy woolen clothes and good boots that cover your feet.
For summers, you can carry normal clothes, but keep a light jacket because nights get chilly sometimes. For trekking trips, all the kits and gears necessary for trekking must be packed, which include good trekking/hiking shoes along with gloves and warm jackets.
Your food guide
Take in every bit of authentic Kashmiri cuisine when you stop by their famous eateries in the market. Kashmiri food is considered as the pinnacle of culinary excellence with their famous spices and rich color.
Kahwah is a traditional Kashmiri tea which is a must-have, it is really unique and will make you yearn for more.
There are lots of unique dishes to be had here, such as Kashmiri Wazwan, which is traditional meat-based Kashmiri cuisine which is really popular amongst the locals.
You also have Rogan Josh which is a spicy red lamb based curry that goes along with aromatic saffron rice. If you are staying in a homestay, you are in for a treat as you will be treated with the best Kashmiri food which will take your heart away.
What to do?
Kashmir will give you worry or two in deciding what to do when you reach there. Worry not, we have listed some amazing and exciting things to do when you are in Kashmir so that you have a memorable time here.
Imagine Gondolas of Venice but in Kashmir, that is what you will experience here. You will be exploring parts of Kashmir through Shikaras amidst tranquil waterways and canals.You can even stop to shop at floating markets which sell Kashmiri fruits and vegetables, handicrafts and saffron amongst other items.
This is one of the best experiences you will get while in Kashmir which draws people from all over the world.
Handicrafts and shopping in Srinagar
It doesn’t get any better than shopping in the lanes of Srinagar amidst Himalayan Valleys which provide a beautiful backdrop for your shopping activities. You can shop for antique handicrafts, World famous Pashmina shawls, handicrafts, hand woven carpets and traditional jewellery.
Safe to say, you will be spending more than you intended, as the shopping list will turn endless.
Many people view Kashmir as a place where friends and family can enjoy some calm and peaceful time but majestic Himalayan ranges also have some adventurous activities in store for travellers.
Some of the famous treks that you can do in the state of Kashmir are Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, Tarsar Marsar Trek, Tulian Lake Trek, Aru Valley Trek amongst other treks. While traveling to this gorgeous land, you will witness the most enchanting views of mountains, lakes, and meadows which makes it a unique proposition to the trekkers.
These are some of the things that you can do while in Kashmir. If these things are not enough, we have compiled a list of “Reasons to visit Kashmir” which you should definitely check out.
Places to visit
Kashmir is so enchantingly beautiful that you would have a hard time deciding which places to visit. Every place is unique in its own right and it would be a crime to overlook those places. We have some of our favorite places that we would like you to visit whenever you get a chance.
Sonmarg which is rightfully known as the “Meadow of Gold” is one of the most famous and one of the best attractions of Kashmir. It boasts of “Thajiwas Glacier” which has crystal clear waterfalls and green meadows welcoming you.
You can visit the Nilagrad River which is a highly revered river for the locals. This river also contains many medicinal and healing properties, so make sure not to miss out on this place while you are at Sonmarg.
Pahalgam is also known as “Valley of Shepherds”. While here, you can visit Aru Valley and Betaab Valley. Pahalgam has its own charm which makes many Bollywood directors flock up here, result being many movies were filmed here.
Pahalgam has many lakes namely Sheshnag Lake, Tarsar, and Marsar Lake which has one of the most famous treks in India.
Gulmarg is known as “Meadow of Flowers” and quite rightly so as during spring time, Gulmarg turns into a flower bed as far as the eyes can see.
While in Gulmarg, you can experience a trip in one of the highest cable cars in the world, which is also known as “Gondola” around these parts. Also for all the golf aficionados out there, you can visit Gulmarg Golf Course which is quite possibly one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, surrounding snow capped mountains.
Srinagar is the capital city of the state of Kashmir and one of the most majestic and beautiful capital cities of India which you’ll be visiting in your lifetime, and therefore it is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. This city is characterized by snow-capped peaks surrounding it, beautiful lakes, warm and humble people which will make your stay a memorable one.
You can shop for pashminas, carved wooden boxes, Kashmiri carpets, and the world-famous Kashmiri Saffron. While in Srinagar, do not miss out on the “Shikara ride” in the serene Dal Lake which will make you one with nature, while you enjoy the beautiful landscapes surrounding it.
Here are some of the places worth going to while in Kashmir. We have made a list of “Top 25 places to visit in Kashmir” which will help you out in deciding your locations better.
There are some hidden gems in the state of Kashmir which will surely have your heart taken away by them, and they are in some ways better than what is most popular. These are the destinations where you can enjoy Kashmir’s real beauty while being away from the hordes of tourists. Here is our helpful blog “Offbeat places to visit in Kashmir” aper from our Kashmir Travel Guide which will take you to the untouched and virgin landscapes of Kashmir.
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