This treasure trove of Kashmir derives it’s name from the Sanskrit word “Varahamula”, an amalgamation of the words “Varaha” or Boar and “Mul” meaning deep or root, meaning “Boar’s molar”. Featuring in various Hindu mythological texts, Baramullah (or Baramulla) is said to have been found by Raja Bhimsina in 2306 B.C. Situated on the banks of the Jhelum river, the city resides in the Baramullah district just 55 kilometres from the capital city of Srinagar. The Srinagar – Baramullah road is said to be the best in the valley with the most wondrous view one can possibly get. A rarely visited tourist site, Baramullah has its own glorious and unexplored beauties one must encounter. Five of the best sites in Baramullah are listed here.
Any list related to the most beautiful regions is incomplete without the mention of Gulmarg. Undoubtedly a paradise on earth, the region of Gulmarg is situated in the Baramullah district, 17 kilometres from the Baramullah town. Literally meaning the “Meadow of Flowers”, Gulmarg is famed for its dazzling and enthralling skiing slopes at an altitude of 4,267 metres. A paradise for nature lovers and adventure freaks, this town rests in a bowl-shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayan mountains at an elevation of 2,650 metres.
The enchanting meadows which are draped with snow in winters are shrouded in daisies, butter cups and forget-me-not flowers in the spring and summer seasons. Covered with dense forests of Pine trees and littered with small lakes, the region possesses a rich abundance of flora and fauna. Commonly spotted wildlife here includes Brown Beer, Musk Deer, Hangul, Serow, Black Bear and Red Fox, while exotic birds like blood pheasant Koklasm Monal, Crimson Tagopan, Bearded Vultures, Golden Eagles, etc. are also seen. Any trip to Jammu and Kashmir is unaccomplished without a visit to Gulmarg.
2. Eco Park
5 kilometres past the Baramullah town rests the Eco Park, a lovely little island on the Jhelam river. A charming tourist destination, this park was built on the land where Jhelam river takes a two-way diversion. A wonderful view and a sprawling landscape makes this park quite a fun picnic spot. To reach the park, one has to cross a long and wonderful hanging bridge over the Jhelum. The park is well maintained and covered in lush greenery with wooden huts strewn about, making it a tranquil site.
3. Wular Lake
One of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, Wular Lake is 16 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide. Located 60 kilometres from Srinagar, the gigantic size of the lake varies every season from 30 to 260 square kilometres. Located at an elevation of 1580 metres, this vast glittering paradise was formed due to the tectonic activity and restricts the flow of the Jhelum river, which traverses it. Gathering its name from the Sanskrit word “Ullola” meaning turbulence, the lake and its surrounding areas provide habitat to a wide variety of plants, animals and aquatic life.
Fishing is a major livelihood for a large portion of the demography here and the fish caught here include various species of carp, catfish, loaches, sheatfish, killifish, salmon and trout. Rare birds spotted here include Himalayan golden eagle, short-toed eagle, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, Eared Kite, Sparrow Hawk, Blue Rock Pigeon, Alpine Swift, Cuckoo, Kashmir Roller and Golden Oriole. Wular Lake also holds a small artificial island that was built on it many centuries ago. King Zain-ul-Abidin built the island of Zaina Lanka in 15th century to shelter the sailors from unprecedented storms.
4. Manasbal Lake
The deepest lake in India at the depth of 43 feet, Manasbal Lake needs no introduction. Flanked by villages on all sides, this lovely lake is situated in the Ganderbal District of Jammu & Kashmir, 30 kilometres away from Srinagar. The pristine nature of this location is also due to the surrounding sights. The lake is bound by the Baladar mountains to the east, the Karewa plateau to the north and the Ahtung hills in the south. At an elevation of 1,583 metres, the catchment of the lake comprises of orchards of apple, mulberry and dense cover of Platanus and Salix trees. An intoxicating sight, these grounds are also known for the presence of exotic birds and the lush growth of lotus flowers.
A gateway to Gulmarg, Tangmarg’s history goes back to the era of the Mughal empire. Deriving its name from the colloquial words of Tang (Pear) and Marg (place), the town is located 39 kilometres from Srinagar and is situated on the foothills of the Pir Panjal mountain range among the scattered Pear trees that grow around here. Famed for the handicraft items sold here, several breathtaking attractions in Tangmarg include Ferozpore Nallah, Waters Meet and Baba Reshi Shrine.
An offbeat tourism site of Baramulla is by no means less attractive than the rest of the Kashmir Valley. Equally, if not more thrilling, the places of this region include some of the remotest and untouched sites on the planet. Several places hold ruins of the past that transports us back into the ancient times. A wonderful journey into the wild is offered by the mesmerizing region of Baramulla.
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