Interesting Places to see around Jammu & Kashmir
Popularly known as the “Paradise on Earth”, Jammu and Kashmir is world famous for its scenic splendour, snow-capped mountains, plentiful wildlife, exquisite monuments, hospitable people and local handicrafts. Your trip to Jammu and Kashmir will be a memorable one as the state will not only appeal to you with its scenic beauty and snow-covered mountain ranges, but the adventure sports will take you to a different world.
Famously known as ‘Heaven on Earth’, Srinagar is located in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir, on the banks of river Jhelum. As picturesque as the most stunning painting to ever be painted, Srinagar is known for the stationary houseboats and colourful Shikararas on Dal Lake.
Dal Lake is everything you could ask for in a hillside lake, and more. Considered the jewel of Srinagar, the beauty of this pristine lake, spread over 26 square kilometres, only grows around every corner. Be it the beautiful wooden houseboats drifting casually through the waters, the colourful Shikharas that cruise by with awestruck passengers, the floating markets at the crack of dawn, or the manicured lush gardens from the Mughal era along the shore, Dal lake is practically a representation of the Srinagar itself.
The paramount reason why people come to Srinagar is for the relaxing and memorable Shikara rides. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic slow clad Himalaya’s is indeed an experience in itself both enjoyable and unparallel.
Shikara rides can be taken in one of the circuits from Nehru Park past Hazratbal, Nagin, Rainawari and back.
Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level, Gulmarg is a popular skiing destination located in Pir Panjal Range of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-covered lofty Himalayas, meadows of flowers, deep ravines, evergreen forested valleys, Gulmarg also has the world’s second-highest Gondola ride. Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level, Gulmarg is a popular skiing destination located in Pir Panjal Range of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-covered lofty Himalayas, meadows of flowers, deep ravines, evergreen forested valleys, Gulmarg also has the world’s second-highest Gondola ride.
You will be wonderstruck by the sumptuousness of Pahalgam the moment you arrive at this pristine land. Little houses, green fields and farms of saffron, the valleys are green and very beautiful. You can go on fishing trips or trek on one of the plenty mountains that cover this place. The 18 hole golf course is set among the snowcapped surroundings of Pahalgam and can make a really worthy experience to remember for long time.
Sonamarg is a town in Jammu and Kashmir, with snow-laden fields, surrounded by majestic glaciers and serene lakes which casts subtle spells on the visitors. Nilagrad, a colony of the Baltics, is a picturesque location that one can always visit. Various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar are situated in and around Sonamarg. Another scenic eye catching lake in Sonamarg also includes Vishansar. Krishnasar Lake, at a height of 3, 801m above sea level, is popular for fishing with beautiful species such as the trouts. Bounded by natural beauty, breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes the place is a popular tourist attraction of Jammu & Kashmir.
Previously known by the name of Hagan Valley or Hagoon, the Betaab Valley in Pahalgam is a breathtaking combination of picturesque surroundings that is encircled by mountains full of tall deodar trees and pine forests, with the Lidder River flowing right through it. The valley falls between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi on the way to the Amarnath Temple Yatra and is one of the three angelic valleys of Pahalgam, the other two being Aru and Chandanwadi. Sprawling fertile pastures, snow-capped mountains and meandering streams are characteristic of this valley and add to the aesthetic appeal of this place. Apart from being well-known for this stunning landscape, the valley is also a renowned as a famous trekking base and camping site for travellers who want to explore the nearby regions or set out for the Amarnath Yatra.
Mughal Gardens which have truly changed the face of the Mughal Empire is one of the most popular and the most visited tourist attractions of Srinagar. During their rule, the Mughals began to build several types of gardens in Persian architecture, and the combination of these gardens is referred to as the Mughal Gardens. The natural beauty of the place filled with lush green grass and the scented flowers is a stress-buster and pleasing to the eyes. The tourists who come here take long strolls in the garden or sit and admire the beauty of the place.
Chashme Shahi or Chashma i Shahi , also called Chashma Shahi, is one of the Mughal gardens built in 1632 AD around a spring by Ali Mardan Khan, a governor of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as per the orders of the Emperor, as a gift for his elder son Prince Dara Shikoh. The garden is located in the Zabarwan Range, near Raj Bhawan (Governor‘s house) overlooking Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir, India.
Located on the bank of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, Nishat Bagh is a garden with views of the lake beneath the Pir Panjal mountain range. The Bagh was designed and built in 1633 by Asif Khan, elder brother of Nur Jehan.
The Shankaracharya Temple is also known as the Jyeshteshwara Temple. It is on top of the Shankaracharya Hill on the Zabarwan Range in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is at a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) above the valley floor and overlooks the city of Srinagar.
The mosque contains strands of Muhammad’s hair, often referred to as “the relic of Hazratbal shrine” or simply, “the relic”. The relic was first brought to Kashmir by Syed Abdullah, a purported descendant of Muhammad who left Medina and settled in Bijapur, near Hyderabad in 1635.
Ever since its existence, Gulmarg, the ‘Meadow of Flowers’ has attracted more than a thousand tourists with its exceptional beauty. One of the main attractions of this place is Gulmarg Gondola which is the second highest cable car in the world. The 1st phase of Gondola takes you to Kongdori Station which is situated at the height of 8530 ft and the second stage goes up to the altitude of 12293 ft. It gives you a chance to have magnificent views of Nanda Devi, LOC, and Pir Panjal range. Apart from cherishing the beauty of Himalayan ranges, tourists can enjoy other activities like horse riding and snow skiing. The pine surrounded area becomes a white blanket in winters making it a skiers paradise. The place is perfect for re-discovering the child within you!
Only 6km from the Gulmarg bus station, Khilanmarg is a little paradise carpeted with flowers of varied colors in spring which changes into a skier’s dream destination in the winters.
The peaks are in clear view from the skiing slopes and they provides a beautiful background to the amusement. Also, the famed Nanga Parbat which is 7100m high is close to it and helps create a perfect scenic photograph.
Situated in the middle of Gulmarg, the Maharani temple is an example of religions intertwined with a Muslim priest performing rituals in the temple.
Maharani Temple was built by Mohini Bai Sisodhi, wife of Maharaja Hari Singh in 1915. This temple belongs to the Dogra Kings of Jammu & Kashmir.
At the foot of Apharwat peak, it is a one day trek from Gulmarg (13km). The lake stays frozen during winters with striking scenic views. Ducks are seen walking instead of swimming and large chunks of ice float in the lake.
During summers, the lake is surrounded with beautiful flowers and trees. One of the most surreal lakes, it is a haven for the likes of photographers, philosophers, poets or people looking for solitude. So, while planning a holiday in Khilanmarg, make sure you include this attraction in your itinerary.
The Lidder river of Jammu and Kashmir is the perfect spot to relax and unwind away from the chaos of city life. A nature lover’s paradise, the blue water of this river against the backdrop of lush mountains is a sight to sore eyes. Experience the raw beauty of the region here as you take long walks along the banks of the river.
Chandanwari, located 15 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the famous Amarnath Yatra. It is also famous for the snow sledging on a snow bridge. The place is perfect to enjoy a picnic with your family and enjoy the natural beauty.
Sonamarg promises to quench your thirst for an adventure filled, adrenaline gushing vacation. One can even go for a long rafting expedition starting from Baltal and ending at Shutkari Bridge at Sonamarg.
With variety of stretches available, one is sure to have a pleasure rafting trip, whether it be a novice, adventure seeker or experienced rafter.
A little outside Sonamarg, is a sparkling blue lake surrounded by lush green meadow, alpine flowers and white and silver mountains at a tantalizing distance. At an altitude of 3710 m, this one secure a width of about 0.6 km and is also a habitat to a number of species of fish.
Baltal is known for its scenic views. The tents available here are affordable and tourists need to either trek or hire ponies to reach the cave. Tourists can also take helicopter services from Baltal that will drop the yatris till Panjtarni which is 5 km from the cave in just 7 minutes.
The journey further to the cave needs to be covered on foot or ponies. From Baltal to the holy cave and back, ponies will cost around Rs 1,700.
Located in Trikuta hills, 13 kms from Katra (in Jammu and Kashmir); Vaishno Devi is a town that’s home to the famous Vaishno Devi Mandir. This renowned shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. Popularly known as Mata Rani, Vaishnavi and Trikuta, Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Durga.
In the hovering ranges of Himalaya lies the temple cave, Vaishnodevi. Dedicated to Mother goddess Vaishnodevi, this famous shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. Popularly known as Mata Rani, Vaishno Goddess is a manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Mahalakshmi. It is a Hindu temple situated in the Trikuta Mountains within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is assumed that during the pooja and Aarti, Goddesses arrive at the Holy cave to pay their respect to Mata Rani. Devotees believe goddess herself calls the devotees to reach here.
No journey to Katra is complete without having visited Bhairavnath Mandir. The cave temple of Bhairavnath is dedicated to a saint by that name. A steep 2km journey from the Bhawan leads you to Bhairavnath temple.
The temple provides picturesque views of the forest fed mountains. Ponies are available for the up down journey incase you can not climb the steep stairs.
Katra is mostly visited by devotees of Lord Shiva. The pilgrimage route is only complete when Shiv Khori, 1.6 km away from Vaishno Devi is also visited. Katra has a large collection of water bodies which can be easily accessed.
Growing as a tourist attraction, people now have access to helicopters and eco friendly vehicles. Katra is worth visiting, even if you are not on a pilgrimage, because attractions like the Banganga, the Chenab river, and a large amount of peaks around offer great places for mountain climbing and family outings.
Jammu, southernmost-part of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the formal winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is located in the Northern Part of India. A land of grand ancient temples and beautiful palaces, Jammu is known as the ‘City of Temples’.
the Bahu Fort stands tall and sturdy on the left bank of the Tawi River. Raja Bahucholan constructed this magnificent fort over 3000 years ago, making it one of the oldest monument in the city. This fort is also famous for its Goddess Kali temple.
The architecture of the palace is an elaborate blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and European influences.
One of its most spectacular segment, The Shesh Mahal or The Pink Hall houses the Dogra Art Museum which has several miniature paintings and Emperor Shah Jahan’s golden bow and arrow, among other interesting things. The oldest building in this Palace complex date to 1824, having seen its own share of time and gathering specimens from all these ages, becoming one itself.
Fringed by dense forest, small parks, temple and low lying hills, Lake Mansar, together with its twin lake surinsar, is a very popular picnic spot and Pilgrimage site. One can also visit the surinsar lake and the Surinsar – Mansar wildlife sanctuary nearby. Mansar Lake is also home to two temples, Umapati Mahadev & Narasimha and temple of Durga apart from many others which are regularly visited by the devotees.
Heaven on Earth
Duration : 7 Night/8 Days
Places Covered: Srinagar, Mughal Gardens, Pehalgam, Gulmarg, sonmarg, HouseBoat stay