Kashmir is literally heaven on Earth. You have to visit it to believe it. It is a hilly area yet different from all other hill stations. There is something about this place that speaks to you and there is a different feeling while you are here. I was here for 4 days and believe me, I didn’t want to leave. Don’t believe everything the media tells you, yes there are many political issues and sometimes things go haywire but it is completely safe for tourists and you will love the people here. The locals make sure you are comfortable and are very hospitable.
There is a whole list of to-do things while you are here. In this post, I have mentioned all the things that must not be missed while you are in this beautiful city.
Some places are travelled and some are felt. Kashmir falls in the latter.
Have a look-
Shikara ride in Dal Lake-
One of the most famous lakes in India. It is very beautiful and serene and is kind of a landmark and spans almost the entire Srinagar.
At night the lake becomes more beautiful with the reflection of lights around it. A perfect picnic spot. Go on a Shikara ride and you can enjoy your favourite bowl of Maggi while sitting in your boat, thanx to the tourist-friendly options.
You would love the feel of the cold breeze against your skin.
Staying in the Boathouse-
Your trip to this paradise is incomplete if you don’t stay in the beautiful boathouse. Perfect options if you want to see the hospitality of the Kashmiris. You get a homey feel while staying here.
These are budget friendly as well as lavish too. So you can pick according to your preference. Plus all the dealers- dress sellers, refreshment sellers come to you in the lake itself, so no need to worry if you are in the mood to eat something you will easily get it here.
The most obvious place if you are going to Kashmir is Sonamarg. This place is famous for its majestic view through Gondola ride. You will be able to see all the far-off places and mountains with this ride. You are sitting at a height so you are bound to experience silence and enjoy this as long as you are there. An experience worth adding to your life. This is so good that you wouldn’t want to come down.
Dum Aalu & Rogan Josh-
For non-vegetarian people, Kashmir is a gem in terms of food. Their most famous dish is Rogan Josh which is prepared by the locals with patience and love.
Vegetarians, don’t be disheartened Dum Aalu is the signature dish you must try while you are here. The gravy is rich in flavours and will leave you asking for more. both dishes go well with their world famous ‘Khameeri Roti’.
You can also relish Nadroo Yakhni made up of lotus stems.
this is a water sport which is gaining popularity and is being promoted by the J&K government to boost tourism. Kayaking & Canoeing tournaments are also held to promote this sport. As there are many rivers in the state like Indus, Sindh, Lidder, Chenab etc, there are many bases to enjoy this activity.
image source- google images
Freshly baked bread–
Another delight is the smell of freshly baked bread while you are out for a walk in the morning. Srinagar is a home to many small bakeries selling fresh and fluffy homemade bread. Take some for your loved ones while you are going back home. The bread is a melt in mouth experience which is not worth missing.
Getting clicked in the Flower Valley-
Kashmir is famous for its flower valley endowed with big beautiful flowers in different colours.
Many Bollywood movies show Kashmir as the epitome of natural beauty and capture the flower valley in their lens for the audience. For that perfect movie feel and feel like you are in a fairyland get clicked and watch all those colours pop in your picture. You can have an amazing time being surrounded by these flowers.
Hot Air Balloon-
Don’t we all love the colourful air balloons and go for a ride ourselves. This activity is also available at some spots in Kashmir so that you can enjoy the panoramic views from a height and see the lush meadows and rivers and floating clouds from a different angle. A fun activity worth your time and you will enjoy every bit of it.
image source- holiday india images
All the hilly areas have their own liquor which is available for the tourists as well, Kashmir is no such exception. Although there are no liquor shops in the market but alcohol is arranged by the owner of the boathouse or the hotel in which you are staying easily. You can also enjoy local Chang. Although is not the liquor of Kashmir but is available at some places.
Trekking to lesser known places-
Trekking to famous places garners lot of crowd. Try going to lesser-known places, there are many and take some refreshments with you for enjoying the weather with your group. Every turn, every tree gives you a completely different view. Trekking is a must while you are visiting any hilly place.
This is the best thing to do for any nature lover. Go to Tarsar lake, Vishansar lake for the best views.
Visiting Betab Valley-
Visiting famous places is also necessary when you are out in another state. Kashmir has many famous spots and they are famous for a reason. One such place is the Betaab Valley, it is a clean place with a majestic view, mountains spanning the entire valley with different trees. Some mountains ane snow covered and some are normal. The shooting of many Bollywood like- Betab, Bobby was also done here. This is a must-visit famous place while visiting Kashmir.
Going to Gulmarg Golf Club-
With a minimum fee, you can enter this Golf Club and enjoy a different experience of playing in an open field with flowers. This is one of the highest and largest golf courses in the world. This should definitely not be missed. Enjoying golfing in the meadow of flowers.
There are many historical and architecturally beautiful monuments and buildings in the city. Go to Shankaracharya Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which provides a magnificent view of the Srinagar city. Jama Masjid is one of the oldest and most spacious mosques in Kashmir. Hari Parbat Fort and Pari Mahal are also other famous monuments built by then reigning rulers and are worth your time.
floating post office, Chashme Shahi garden, Nehru park are other tourist attractions.
Noon chai is commonly consumed tea and is easily available at every shop. In this tea, salt is added giving it this name and bicarbonate soda gives it the colour and different taste.
Kahwa is another widely famous drink and you will watch tourists buying sachets to take home. This is the perfect remedy for a cold and keeps you warm. This is generally consumed in winters and is served with dry fruits added to it. Saffron is the speciality of Kashmir and is added to the Kahwa as well.
Sitting by the river in the morning-
When everyone else is sleeping, slip out and sit by the river. The sound of the river along with the sound of birds chirping will make your day 100 times better. The serene place will make you want to stay here forever. Watch the sun rising through the mountains and you will be thankful for nature for blessing you with such beauty.
image source- google images
Going to this beautiful city is incomplete if you don’t visit the Apple Orchids. There are plenty of orchids buzzing with tourists. They also make their own apple juice and tasters are available, if you like it you can but it. You can pick your own apples from the orchids and take them home.
Adventure in Lidder River-
If you are an adventure junkie then try river rafting in the Lidder river. The rapids in this river are moderate. River rafting is done at various places but the one in Pahalgam is more famous.
image source- google images
If you want more of adventure and want to shout in the open sky with your eyes fill with beautiful scenery, then try going for paragliding. This is one of the most thrilling things to do when you are in Kashmir. enjoy the lush green and snow-covered mountains and some rivers flowing in between. Paragliding options are available in Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Harwan.
image source- travel whizz google
Who else like sitting is complete silence in the lap of nature and enjoy bird watching? Due to its rich vegetation, Kashmir is a home to many local and migratory birds. Grab your binoculars and get ready to watch some colourful, unusual and beautiful birds. This is an all-season activity and is not limited to any particular span of time. Some of the notable birds are- Falcon, Bar-headed geese, black-necked crane etc.
image source- Wikipedia
As we all know Kashmir is famous for its Pashmina. Grab yours according to your budget with full and half-pashmina shawls. At some places, you can actually see the making of these shawls by talented people. Weaving it takes up a lot of time that’s why these are so clean, famous and costly.
There are other things to choose from. You can buy accessories made up of beautiful stones, showpieces made up of finished wood. You can also buy sapphires, saffron, antique copperware, hand-woven carpets.
It depends on the season in which you are visiting. If you are going in winters then skiing and snowboarding is not to be missed. Places in Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam offer these activities as they are covered in snow on the onset of winters.
Explore the beautiful valley and snow-covered mountains for that extra kick of adrenaline. You must have seen people on bikes going for a road trip to Ladakh, try giving mountain biking a try and you will love every bit of it. Many tourists enjoy this activity while they are here. This is a thrilling and challenging experience and will agree with all the adventure buffs out there.
image source- google images
With many lakes and rivers, Jammu is the perfect spot for fishing. Many people can be seen engaged in this activity alongside the river waiting for their bait to get trapped.
Take permission for this and sit on your favourite spot and enjoy it.
image source- google images
Another fun activity, while you are here, is camping. What a man has seen if he hasn’t slept under the open sky gazing stars. Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Nubra Valley, Aru Valley are perfect places to enjoy this activity. As the weather is pleasant almost throughout the year Kashmir is the best place to enjoy camping.
Taking a Monastery Tour-
There are many monasteries in Ladakh which can be easily explored if you plan to take a road trip from Kashmir to Ladakh. These are serene, quiet and definitely worth visiting.
You will get to see Indo-Tibetan culture plus taste their delicacies and thank yourself for coming here.
Visiting the National Parks-
There are many National Parks, wildlife sanctuaries in Jammu and Kashmir which are rich in flora and fauna. You can watch many animals and birds here and the place is a treat to the admirers of nature.
You are not doing justice to the place if you are not exploring it fully. Pahalgam and many other places offer horseback riding for you to explore every inch. The view of vast meadows and open sky is the only therapy you need to calm your mind. Zanskar Valley is perfect to enjoy this.
What is visiting a heaven and returning empty handed without any pictures? There are many places worth visiting and you will be compelled to take the pictures in your camera. Kashmir offers many picture-perfect views due to its changing weather, wildlife, snow-covered mountains and lush green forests.
So, these were a few things that you should not miss out on when you are visiting Kashmir. If you have some other things in mind then do share with us in the comment section below.