Best Tourist Places in Kashmir, the land of eternal beauty is house to some of the finest and best tourist places that one can visit anytime during the year. This land of lofty snow-clad peaks and verdant valleys, of sparkling rivers and serene lakes, of stunning gardens, stately chinars and flowering meadows was rightly regarded as the ‘Paradise on Earth’ by the Mughals. Its pristine beauty has inspired artists, musicians and poets since time immemorial. Over the years, the beauty of Kashmir has lured visitors from all parts of the globe.
“Rajatrangani” and “Nilmat Puran” record the early history of Kashmir. According to mythological legends, Kashmir was once a large lake. Rishi Kashyap drained off the water of the lake and the beautiful land of Kashmir emerged. The recorded history of the valley dates back to emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC), who is said to have introduced Buddhism to Kashmir, which was further supported by emperor Kanishka. Huns occupied the valley in the 6th century, but it attained freedom in 530 AD.
Soon after came the rule of Vikramaditya of Ujjain. After the decline of Vikramaditya’s empire, the region was ruled for some time by local rulers. Lalitaditya (697- 738 A.D.), considered to be the most famous Hindu ruler of Kashmir, extended his empire up to Bengal in the east, Konkan in the south, Turkistan in the northwest and Tibet in the northeast. He is credited with constructing many beautiful buildings.
Islam was introduced to Kashmir in the 13th – 14th century and Zain-ul-Abedin (1420 – 70) was the most famous Muslim ruler. In 1586, Akbar conquered Kashmir and it flourished under the Mughals. In 1752, Kashmir passed into the hands of Afghans, who were succeeded by the Sikhs. Finally, it passed into the hands of the British, after the signing of the treaty between British and Kashmir rulers.
Kashmir is at its scenic best all round the year. The colours of the landscape change from radiant white of winter, through the clarity of spring, the cool green of summer and the fiery colours of autumn. This paradise, resplendent in nature’s glory is also a honeymooner’s delight and shopper’s dream come true. A visit to Kashmir is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.
All Time Best Tourist Places in Kashmir You Must Visit
Gorgeous Gulmarg, literally the ‘Meadow of Flowers’ is one of the most unique hill resorts of the world. This huge grassy, cup-shaped meadow at an altitude of 2653 metres is surrounded by fir trees The and majestic snow-clad peaks. region of Gulmarg becomes all the more beautiful1 as one season change into another. It is said to be first discovered by Yusuf Shah Chak, a Kashmiri ruler in S 15th century and was earlier known as ‘Gaurimarg’ in honour of Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva.
The resort was later ‘Gulmarg by renamed the as Mughals. The 11 km. long Outer Ring Road, girdles around Gulmarg, taking you through pine-scented forests and providing panoramic views of the Kashmir valley, ranges of Nanga Parbat, Harmukh, Sunset Peaks and the Apharwat Ridge.The best time to visit Gulmarg is during winters when tourists from all around the globe visit the place for skiing and other adventurous sports.
HOW TO REACH GULMARG
It is one of the best tourist places in Kashmir mostly preferred in winter. Gulmarg is just 47 km. from Srinagar. The beautiful road to Gulmarg passes through lush fields and tall avenues of poplars. Deluxe and ordinary buses are available. During winters the buses to Tangmarg (8 km. from operating up Gulmarg). The remaining distance can be covered by jeeps.
Alpather Lake (13 km.)
The picturesque alpine lake lies at the foot of the main Apharwat peak, behind the ridge separating them from Khilanmarg. The lake remains almost frozen till the middle of June and is a popular excursion point from Gulmarg. A well-graded pony track joins Apharwat Ridge with Gulmarg
The charming little lake above Ferozepur Nallah is the five-hour journey from Gulmarg.
Khilanmarg (4 km.)
A pony track leads upwards from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg, Kongdori and Seven Springs. Khilanmarg is carpeted with flowers in summers and affords awe-inspiring views of the peaks, Wular lake and other smaller lakes.
The grassy meadow is an excellent camping site. The Scenic path to Lienmarg meanders through pine forests and a succession of glades.
Ningal Nallah (10 km.)
The snow-fed stream springs near Apharwat and Alpathar amidst picturesque surroundings.
Ziarat of Babareshi(5 km.)
The tomb of Baba Payam-u-Din, a note Muslim saint who lived here during the reign of Mughals is located to the east Gulmarg valley. The sacred shrine is revered by Muslims as well as Hindus.
Gulmarg is also famous for various outdoor sports activities.
Gulmarg is well known for its golf course, which is regarded as one of the world’s highest green golf courses. It has been the venue for many prestigious championships. Goli equipment can be hired here and the weather is perfect during summers, for playing golf. Golfing at Gulmarg’s 18 – hole course, with a par of 72, is a unique experience, no doubt Gulmarg is said to be the ‘Golfing Hub of India’. The historic Gulmarg Golf Club was started in 1911, by the British. The clubhouse building is a landmark of Gulmarg Best Tourist Places in Kashmir
Ponies can be hired for riding through the Tourist Office.
Gulmarg is the country’s premier skiing resort during the winters. Some of the best ski slopes in the country are located here. It is also regarded as a perfect skiing resort for beginners. There is a facility of Gondola Cable Car at Kongdor, which carries you to the top of a ski run. The ski gear can be hired easily and one may also take the services of an instructor.
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Gulmarg is also an excellent base for trekkers. Trekking equipment can be hired here. Some of the well-defined trekking routes are – Gulmarg – Khilanmarg Apharwat Alpathar. Gulmarg – Danwas – Tejjan Tosha Maidan. Gulmarg – Kantarmarg.
Splendid Sonamarg, the Meadow of Gold’ is situated at an altitude of 2730 metres in the valley carved out by the waters of mighty Sindh (Indus) river. The beauty of the blooming valley full of alpine flowers and towering conifers with incredible Indus meandering through it and snowy summits in the backdrop is to be seen to believe. Sonamarg has a number of waterfalls and two lakes – Gadsar and Satsar located nearby.
The Thajiwas Glacier, 3 km.
South of Sonamarg is an important attraction during summers. The glacier affords beautiful1 views of the surroundings. There are several camping sites around Sonamarg. Sonamarg is an important base for many trekking routes. It is also the take-off station for the drive to Ladakh across the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, through which the Srinagar- Leh road passes.
The Sindh river flowing through the valley is full of trout and mahaseer and is an angler’s paradise.
The popular trekking routes from Sonamarg are – Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. One trek also leads to the holy Amarnath cave.
HOW TO REACH
Sonamarg is 84 km. from Srinagar, on the Srinagar – Ladakh road. The route passes through the picturesque villages of Ganderbal (19 km.), Kangan (40 km.) and Gund of the Sindh valley. The mighty Harmukh range dominates the landscape all along the route. Regular buses ply between Srinagar and Sonamarg.
Picturesque Pahalgam, an idyllic resort set on the confluence of Lidder and Shesnag streams 1S endowed with enormous natural beauty and scenic vistas. It is one of the most liked tourist places in Kashmir for being the house to most picnic spots. It is a perfect place for leisure, pleasure and relaxation and has metamorphosed from a humble shepherd’s village to Kashmir’s premier tourist resort.
The Scenic beauty is so tempting that one feels like having an endless holiday over here. Pahalgam is also an important trekking base, the most famous being the holy pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave. Pahalgam is known for woollen products-Gabbas and Namdas, which can be purchased from local shops. Places of interest
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Beautiful Baisaran, a glen 2 km. from Pahalgam, amidst thick pine and fir Forests affords an exciting view of the valley.
The small stone temple built before the 12th century near the river is dedicated to gOD Shiva. It has a stone-lined tank, about 1.1 sq. metres in dimension.
This excellent site for trout fishing is just 7 km.from Pahalgam.
The golf course of Pahalgam Government Club can be used by tourists.
Ponies can be hired for excursions and sight-seeing.
Fishing can be enjoyed at the Lidder stream. The fishing season starts from April to September. For further information you can contact Directorate of Fisheries, Tourist Reception Centre at Srinagar, Fishing equipment can also be hired at Srinagar.
Pahalgam is a fine destination for trekking enthusiasts. Some of the famous trekking destinations and their trekking routes in Pahalgam are:-
Pahalgam- Chandanwari – Sheshnag-Panchtarni-Amarnath Cave Temple-Sonamarg.
How To Reach
Pahalgam is 96 kilometres (km) from Srinagar and is connected by road. Buses for Pahalgam are available from Srinagar. One can also hire taxis and sumos for visiting the beautiful resort.
Amarnath Cave (47 km.) Amarnath cave, the sacred abode of Lord Shiva is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centres in the country. The holy cave perched at an altitude of 3962 metres is 2 feet long, 55 feet broad and 50 feet deep. It enshrines a unique ice Shivalingam, set on a nice platform with an iron railing around it. The lingam a created naturally by water dripping through the limestone roof of the cave, waxes and wanes with the moon.
Their d is also two smaller ice-lingams in the cave, which represent Lord Shiva’s Cave, Consort, Goddess Parvati and his son, Lord Ganesha. The full moon day of Lord Shravan (July/Aug.) is considered to be the most auspicious day for visiting the shrine, though the cave shrine can be Visited from the first week of July till the middle of September.
Chandanwari (16 km)
It is the starting point for the trek to Amarnath Yatra and various other treks in the region. Chandanwari is also famous for its snow bridge and scenic surroundings.
Kolahoi Glacier (36 km)
The beautiful site is accessed via the charming meadow of Aru Liddr river disappears at Gur Khumb and reemerges after 27 metres. Aru is about 11 km from Pahalgam
Lidderwat (11 km)
Lidderwat is 11 km from Aru. It is a fine camping site. Kolahoi Glacier is 13 km from Liddrwat.
Sheshnag Lake & Glacier (27 km)
This emerald-like lake set amidst majestic mountains is perhaps one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. It remains frozen till June.
Panchtarni (40 kms)
It is set at the confluence of live streams on the route to Amarnath.
Tarsar Lake (34 km)
The lovely lake amidst snow-covered mountains can be visited via Aru and Lidderwat. Mansar located nearby is also worth visiting.
Tullian Lake (13kms)
It is yet another attractive lake surrounding by mountains. The lake is 11 km from Baisanran.
The pilgrimage to Amarnath is a testimonial to the faith and grit of an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. It is amazing to see pilgrims from all walks of life eagerly undertaking this difficult trek, noted for inhospitable terrain and climate. The State Government makes elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims and is well supported by volunteers. ‘Chhari Mubarak’, the symbolic emblem of Lord Shiva is carried on foot by devotees from Srinagar to the Amarnath Cave in various stages.
The traditional route from Pahalgam to Amarnath via Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni are endowed with breathtaking vistas. The 47 km. distance is covered in four days, with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag (Wawjan) and Panchtarini. The distance between Pahalgam and Chandanwari can now be covered by road. One can also visit Amarnath from Sonamarg side. The trek to the sacred site is just 16 km. starting from Baltal Best Tourist Places in Kashmir
Route To Amarnath Cave: Pahalgam (2,130 m.) to Chandanwari (2895 m.) – 16 km; Mule track and jeepable road; Chandanwari to Sheshnag (3,574 m.) – 11 km. Pony track; Sheshnag – Panchtarni – 13 km. Pony track; Panchtarni – Amarnath – 7 km.
Charming Kokerenag, set in the heart of Bringhi valley is one of the famous tourist places in Kashmir for its springs and beautiful gardens. The waters of Kokernag spring, at the foot of the forested mountain, is believed to have curative properties. The botanical garden here has a rich variety of roses.
The spring at Verinag is said to be the chief source of river Jhelum. The construction of the octagonal base of the spring and the arcade around it was started by Jehangir and completed during the reign of Shah Jahan. To the east of Verinag stream are remains of a Mughal pavilion and baths.