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Home >> Jammu Kashmir Tourism >>

Kashmir Paradise on Earth

Kashmir Paradise on Earth
In the heart of Kashmir valley is Srinagar the state Capital, It is situated at an altitude of 1,730 metres above sea level. No destination is quite so romantic, no setting as enchanting as Srinagar. Srinagar is a unique city because of its Lakes The Dal, Nagin and Anchar. The Dal is Kaleidoscope of color with its beautiful Housebouts, its Shikaras with their gay canopies, Most delitghful and fruitful of experience is to stay on a houseboat.

Each houseboat has anything between two and four bedrooms in it with attached bathrooms and a common sitting and dining room. The Dal is famous not only for its beauty, but for its vibrance, because it sustains within its periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world. The Dal is so central to the landscape of Srinagar, many places of tourist interest have, over the ages, been built in its vicinity. Nishat and Shalimar gardens as well as Hazaratbal mosque are directly accessible by shikara.

A shikara ride is one of the most soothing, relaxing aspect of a holiday in Kashmir. It can an hour long ride to see the sights of the Dal, a shopping by shikara expedition to visit handicraft shops within the periphery of the lake, or a whole day trip to visit important city landmarks.

Srinagar allure changes with the passing of each season. Spring, which extends roughly from March to early May, is when a million blossoms carpet the ground. The weather during this time can be glorious pleasant at 23Deg. C or chilly and windy at 6Deg C. This is the season when Srinagar experiences its rains, but showers are brief.

Summer extends from May and until the end August. Srinagar at this time experiences day temperatures of between 21 to 30 Deg C. At this time, the whole valley is a mosaic of varying shades of green -rice fields, meadows, trees and Srinagar with its lakes and waterways is a haven after the scorching geat of the plains.

The onset of autumn, perhaps Kashmir's loveliest season, is towards September, when green turns to gold and then to russet and red. The temperatures can go upto a high of 23Deg C and night temperatures can dip to 10Deg C by the end of October.
Winter, December through to the beginning of March is the time when most of the snow fall takes place in Srinagar.

Gulmarg at an altitude of 2,730 metres above sea level, 56 kms north - west Srinagar. The mountain meadow, to which the name properly belongs, is about two miles long, in places half a mile broad, and is somewhat crescent shaped. All around are snow capped mountains, and on a clear day you see all the way to Nanga Parbat in one direction and Srinagar in another, the scenery and flowers are lovely. In natural advantages it is immensely superior to other Himalayan hill-stations.

Directly above Gulmarg, at the forest limit, are some other places called Khilanmarg, Kongdori and seven Springs. Gulmarg also has one of the world's highest green golf courses, in the heart of Gulmarg is its porraceous, rolling golf course, as well as a club house which is a historical building in its own right. For a fun-filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg's newly constructed gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine-clad slopes, is exhilarating. It is worlds second heighest cable car.

Gulmargh is the ultimate beginner's skiing resort, one can hire snowboots, mufflers, woollen socks, windproof jackets and caps, skis, sticks, goggles even one can find an instructor and set off down the slopes

Khilanmarg: Through the summer and well into the autumn, Gulmarg is a magnetic attraction for golfers from all over the world. The world's highest, 18-hole green golf course is at Gulmarg.A highland meadow, just 4 km from Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is accessible by foot, by pony or in a dandi. From here, the view of the snow peaks and the limpid waters of the Wular Lake is a breathtaking one, unfurling vista upon vista of Himalayan grandeur.

At an altitude of 2,130 meter's above sea level, 96 km east of Srinagar. Pahalgam has many attraction of its own, pretty walks and rides and good fishing. Some of the margs above, as Baiserran and Khaimu are worth a visit. It is an excellent base, perhaps the best in Kashmir, for expeditions to the wider scenery of the higher mountains; Sona Sar, Shisha Nag, Amarthnath cave, Har Nag, Lidarwat and the Kolahoi glacier, afford some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery of the Himalayas.

Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir's oldest existing temple dating to the 8th century

Chandanawri, 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the Amarthnath yatra which takes place every year in the month of sawn ( July- August ). The destination is the Amarthnath cave, believed to be the abode of lord Shiva. Although the road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, being accessible on foot or by pony. 11 km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag, after which, 13 km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarthnath cave is 6 km away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling which waxes and wanes with the phases on the moon.

Aru, the Wildlife Sanctuary is located close to Pahalgam. The best time to see animals is September to April and bird viewing from march to August.

Pahalgam is know as trekkers paradise and some of the popular treks from Pahalgam are to the Kolahoi Glacier via Aru, Satlanjan and Dudsar Lake, and to the high altitude lakes that dot the meadowland and mountain ridges between Pahalgam and Sonamarg. All the gears needed for trekking are available in the market.



Sonamarg, at an altitude of 3,000 metres above sea level, 87 km north-east of Srinagar. The drive to Sonamargh is though yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time in Sindh Valley. The Sindh Valley is the largest tributary of the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long, and valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes.

Sonamarg, which means ' meadow of gold ' has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. the Sindth meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river.Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months.
The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing; but the rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in July and August with fine spell in between.

From Sonamarg, trekking routes lead to the Himalayan lakes of Vishansar (4084 msl), Krishnasar (3810 msl) and Gangabal (3658 msl). Other lakes in the region are Gadsar, stocked with snowtrout and Satsar, glacier-fed and surrounded by banks of alpine flowers.

A close by excursion is to Baltal, 15 km north of Sonamarg. This little valley lies at the foot of the Zojila, only a day's journey away from the sacred cave of Amarnath. Trekkers can also reach the starkly splendid roof-top of the world - Leh, by crossing over the Zijila Pass

Mughal Gardens
Terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box bright flower beds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them. The three Mughal Gardens of Cheshmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal emperors concept of paradise and are today very popular places for picnics.These gardens are traditionally patterned in the formal gardens of Central Asia , Persia and Turkistan.

Terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box bright flower beds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them. The three Mughal Gardens of Cheshmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal emperors concept of paradise and are today very popular places for picnics.These gardens are traditionally patterned in the formal gardens of Central Asia , Persia and Turkistan.

Cheshmashahi is the first Mughal Garden you will pass after Nehru Park. Built at a height above the city , its views are as stupendous as its layout. The smallest of Srinagar's Mughal gardens, Cheshmashahi has only three terraces in addition to a natural spring of water enclosed in a stone pavillion.

Nishat, built by Empress Nur Jahan's brother Asaf Khan. The largest of the gardens, Nishat has seven terraces. These terraces rise dramatically off the maountains from the eastern part of the lake, and these together with the flower-beds, a riot of brilliant colors, present an unforgettable sight.

Shalimar, the gardenn of love, was built by Emperor Jehangir, whose love for the Kashmir was legendary. Shaded by magnificient chinar trees, the Shalimar is a series of stones of pavillions and flowerbeds.

Pari Mahal, Initially a garden built by Dara Shikoh for his sufi teachere, Mulla Shah, and decorated with several springs that have dried up, the Pari Mahal gardens are now proudly maintained by thestate government. Built around a small spring, they house exotic flowering plants laid out in terraces surmounted by the ruined arches of a once beautuful building. Pari Mahal is illuminated at night, and can be seen, located on the on the spur of a hill, most places in Srinagar.

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