A lot of places in India are worth visiting and I will confess that I have underestimated them in the past. A LOT. So when me and my co-blogger were planning a trip, I suggested we should go outside India. However, she suggested we go to Kashmir! And as an elder sister she gave the right advice; I am glad we picked Kashmir!
For those of you who are not familiar with Kashmir; it is a state in the northern part of Indian Subcontinent, located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, known for its beautiful valleys and mountains.
Places covered in Kashmir: Srinagar (capital), Gulmarg and Pahalgam
How to get there: Flight to the capital city, other cities are reachable by car from Srinagar
Things to do in Srinagar:
Stay on the houseboat on the Dal Lake, this way you can experience something new and stay close to nature.
SHOPPING IN SRINAGAR
Popular markets: Lal Chowk, Residency road and the floating vegetable market on the Dal Lake famous for selling fresh vegetables and flowers in the region.
The two things to hunt for in Kashmir would be their embroidery work textiles and their paper mâché decorations. Both of them being hand crafted! Maybe in some post I would elaborate more about the wonderful embroidery that is manufactured here.
- There are small boutiques on the Dal lake, you can reach them in smaller boats called shikara.
FOOD IN SRINAGAR
The popular delicacies one must get their hands on are Rogan Josh and Dum Aloo.
The next day we left for Gulmarg by road.The journey to Gulmarg is half the enchantment of reaching there– roads bordered by rigid avenues of poplar give over to flat expanses of rice fields interspersed with picturesque villages.
Gulmarg is an all-weather resort with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral scenes to keep the camera busy. It is a delight for a photographer! Its legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally makes it one of the premier hill resorts in the country.
INTERESTING: As these places are located in elevated areas, you can’t drive around in cars! Ponies and horses are the only means of transport.
It was another new experience traveling on the ponies.. I got a chance to see many touristy spots on the way to Golf Course (must visit in Gulmarg) that were of historical importance. This concept is what I call Slow Travel, enjoying every moment, enjoying the journey along with the destination…
The next day we set off for another road journey to a town in close proximity: Pahalgam. Must visit here the Betaab Valley– a surreal picture-postcard location that’ll take your breath away!
You will witness many merging streams , small cottages and snow clad mountains. We just sat by the stream, soaking in the serenity of the place..
The next day we went to Sonamarg, the drive is through yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir. Sonamarg, an alpine valley nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks. The name itself means ‘meadow of gold’, it has as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. Main attraction of this place is Thajiwas Glacier. Your travel car will not have access to reach this point, so make sure you hire a pony.
After completing visits to these neighbouring cities it was time to head back to the capital. Last day in Srinagar, we visited the Mughal Gardens, they offer you lush green lawns and an enchanting history… You will find people basking in the sun, an escape from the low temperatures…
And before I even realized it was time to bid adieu to Kashmir. I am now proudly proclaiming my love for this state, that I had earlier underestimated. Kashmir is definitely ‘Must see places in India‘ AND if it is not on your bucket list, it is time you make some changes to that one!