Oh, Kashmir! We all know you. Everyone does. For good or for bad, this place has always managed to remain in the news. Sometimes as the Switzerland of the East, sometimes torn and blown apart by terrorism or unstable politics. But no one can deny that if its one place in India you should go to before you leave, it should ideally be Kashmir. Be the rolling Himalayas or snow white Sonmarg-Gulmarg, be it the majestic Dal Lake and Shikara cruises, Kahsmir is the adventure of a lifetime. Just for information, a Shikara is a houseboat. More so, you can shop in markets on water while riding these. How cool is that? Now, Kashmir is cold. That’s common knowledge. In summers, its pleasantly cool. In winter, it’s freezing. Literally. Snowfall is a major tourist draw for Kashmir. All you need is to go on!
The power of nature is overwhelming, as you can never find a parallel to it. The mighty river, majestic mountains, dense forests, roaring waterfalls and everything that is natural, is beautiful, mysterious and powerful. A natural surrounding can stimulate you, calm you, and challenge you to explore its beauties or stun you into silence to enjoy its serenity. If you are game to enjoy the limitless beauties of nature, Kashmir could be the right place for you. Kashmir in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir is the land that is beyond description, greets you with its snow capped mountains, picturesque valleys, serene lakes, magnificent trees, vibrant flowers and with a scope to indulge in plenty of adventures including trekking, water rafting, canoeing and a lot more. Here are the leading places to visit in Kashmir, the dream destination.
Yousmarg is nearly 47 km from Srinagar. The divine beauty of the place is beyond words. Dense pine trees, grassy pastures with golden colored flowers and snow-clad mountains take you to a different world. Once here, take time to visit Doodhganga, a stream with steady flow of water.
Baisaran is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. It justifies being called Mini Switzerland. You will find the land surrounded by dense pine forests and vast lush green meadows. The place offers a picturesque view of Pahalgam. It is a perfect place to unwind.
Sonamarg is situated on Srinagar-Ladakh Highway and it is 80 km away from Srinagar. Sonamarg means ‘Meadow of Gold’ and it is named thus as the rays of the sun are reflected by the peaks making the entire valley sparkling bright. The mountain ranges here rank amongst the highest ranges in the world.
Sinthan Top is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. At 12000 feet above sea level, you are sure to be enthralled by some of the best landscapes in the snow-clad region. From the top, you will love the 360-degree view, which is snow all over. The fact that the place remains unexplored makes it all the more inviting.
Located at an altitude of 13500 feet, Apharwat Peak is a destination that you cannot afford to miss on your Kashmir tour. It is 13 km from Gulmarg and it is very near the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. Gondola ride, the term referring to cable car system, lets you have breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks. You can go hiking until you reach the first phase and opt for gondola for going to the second phase.
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden was set up in the year 1969. However, it was completed in the year 1987. Located at Zabarwan mountain foothills, the garden covers a sprawling 80 acres of land. The garden is divided into four sections namely sporting garden, botanical garden, research section garden and plant introduction center.
Covering an area of slightly over 32 sq km of land, Overa National Park is situated 76 km away from Srinagar. The variation in altitude from 3000 m to 5425 m, the park presents an interesting experience as you move along its length and breadth.
Situated 22 km away from Srinagar, Dachigam National Park covers an area of over 141 sq km the variation in the altitudes of this national park challenges the adventurer in you as it ranges from 5500 ft to 14000 ft. The name Dachigam refers to ‘Ten Villages’ and it was declared a national park in the year 1981.