A Comprehensive Guide On Kashmir For The First Timers

The Asian Age.

There are multiple modes of transportation, and one can travel by auto-rickshaws, private cabs, or local buses operated by the state

Visit Shankaracharya Hill Temple, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Pari Mahal, Chashme Shahi, Floating Post Office, which are the main attractions of Srinagar. — By arrangement

Kashmir is one of India's most staggeringly beautiful states that is located in the northernmost region across the first range of the Himalayas. The northwestern region of India is predominantly mountainous and dotted with narrow valleys, high plateaus, and thickly forested foothills of the Himalayas.

If you have never been to Kashmir and are fantasizing about a trip there, you have landed on the right page. Browse eKashmir tourism for more information and read below for a detailed guide on how to plan your vacation in Kashmir.

Best time to visit Kashmir

The best time to visit Kashmir is during the months from March to October. This is the time when the weather is just perfect, and the valleys are booming with flowers, and the lush countryside is crisp and welcoming. Although the climate is perfect for sightseeing, keep in mind that the tourist season is also at its peak, so expect more crowds.

How to reach Kashmir

Travelers can take a flight to the Srinagar Airport and must carry a negative Covid-19 test report. There are flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Amritsar, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Bangalore, and Lucknow. You can check the availability of trains operating in Kashmir, or you can hire a car or drive yourself to the state. Or one can take a bus that takes around 11-12 hours to reach. Kashmir has removed travel restrictions for domestic travelers who are asked to wear a mask and follow pandemic guidelines when traveling.

Where to stay in Kashmir

The main commercial accommodations are situated around Dal Lake and Lal Chowk in Srinagar. You can stay at any of the budget hotels and luxury resorts based on your preferences and budget and will be within walking distance of local markets and nearby attractions. Lalit Grand Palace and the Vivanta Dal View are among the leading luxury hotels. Many tourists prefer to stay in a houseboat.

Moving around in Kashmir

It is very easy to move around in the state, but one must observe the travel guidelines in Kashmir due to the pandemic. There are multiple modes of transportation, and one can travel by auto-rickshaws, private cabs, or local buses operated by the state. One can also hire jeeps or rent a car to explore the state and visit its tourist sites. Keep in mind that taxi services such as Uber and Ola don't work in Kashmir.

What to do and see in Kashmir

Kashmir is a perfect destination for those who have come here before or are making their first trip. So, whether you are here for a short getaway or a longer vacation, make the most of your stay and enjoy the enchanting beauty of the state.

Here is a list of some of the top things to do and see in Kashmir:

  • Take a shikara ride and admire the beauty of the distant mountains and imbibe the essence of those peaceful quiet moments.
  • Ride the Gondola cable car to enjoy the panoramic views of the snowcapped mountains and come back with some unforgettable memories in Gulmarg.
  • Visit Shankaracharya Hill Temple, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Pari Mahal, Chashme Shahi, Floating Post Office, which are the main attractions of Srinagar.
  • Take a pony ride in the mesmerizing valleys of Kashmir, and you can pick from Yusmarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg.
  • Go for a wildlife tour within the protected wildlife sanctuaries such as Kishtwar National Park, Hemis National Park, Kazinag National Park, Dachigam National Park, and Salim Ali National Park and try to spot a brown bear, Marmot, Snow leopard, musk deer, golden eagles and more.
  • Explore the beautiful tulip garden, which is the largest tulip garden in Asia. The best time to visit is from March to May, when you will see hyacinths, daffodils and ranunculus, and many other species in their full bloom.
  • Take a stroll in the older part of Srinagar city and discover centuries-old buildings influenced by different architectural styles. Some of the marvelous structures include the old spice markets and Jamia Masjid.
  • Visit one of the most colorful spots in Kashmir and take a trip to Alchi. Feast your eyes on the beauty of the surrounding landscape, mesmerizing Tibetan monasteries, and scenic destinations.
  • Sonmarg is another lovely destination in Kashmir that is loaded with natural beauty. Spend some quiet time away from busy city life and get closer to nature. Find yourself surrounded by snowy mountains and pristine lakes, and beautiful rivers.
  • The Chadar trek is very popular among locals and tourists. Just keep in mind that it is a tough trek that goes over the Zanskar river. Before going out for this trek, make sure that you have the zeal and energy to complete the hike that will take you to an elevation of more than 11,000 ft.
  • If you are an adventure junky, take advantage of several adventure sports offered in Kashmir.  You can glide high in the sky or go biking on the rugged mountains or ski down the snow-filled slopes of the valley.

Shopping and eating in Kashmir

Kashmir is a popular tourist destination that is not just known for extravagant culture and historical monuments but also for shopping. Look out for local handicrafts made of walnut wood and check out shawls, garments, and saris with Kashmiri embroidery. Apart from those, papier-mache products are also very popular among tourists. Kashmiri shawls, Kashmiri oriental rugs, spices, and copperware are much sought after.

Your trip to Kashmir would remain incomplete without enjoying the Kashmiri cuisine. You must try famous Kashmiri dishes such as Shab Deg, Ruwangan Tschaman, Nader ti Gaad, Goshtabeh, Marchwangan Korme, Haakh, Rogan Josh, and many more. Sheermal, lavas, and kulcha are also popular. As for the beverages, Sheer Chai and Kahwah are the most popular drinks.

Do not let the ongoing political woes or post-pandemic restrictions avert your holiday plan in Kashmir. Kashmir is ridiculously gorgeous, and despite the political chaos and pandemic restrictions, it is too beautiful to ignore. Go ahead with your plans based on the information given on this page and get ready to explore and enjoy the enchanting beauty of the state and its numerous attractions.

Disclaimer: No Asian Age journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.