"If there is a heaven on Earth, it is here, it is here” said by Jehangir, the Mughal Emperor about Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the top tourist destinations in India and is popularly known by the names “Crown of India" and "Paradise on Earth." Visiting Kashmir at least once in the lifetime is on the bucket list of every Indian traveller. This magical place has a magical effect on all who visit and has inspired poets for centuries and is a holiday destination for all seasons.
Jammu and Kashmir is a mixture of three very different cultures and regions. First, Jammu, which is situated on the region's southern border, is filled with green pastures and picturesque sights. Second, Kashmir is in the northeast part of the region, also geographically mountainous. Third, Ladakh, located at the eastern end of this region, shares a border with China. The region is known as a "biker's paradise" because bikers come to this area every year to enjoy thrilling road trips.
Kashmir allows you to experience the beauty of the region's mountains and lakes. It is affectionately known as "Little Switzerland," and certainly lives up to its nickname. Kashmir is an equally rich state in natural and cultural wonders. It has a rich historical and political past, and its beauty has always been a subject that has been marvelled upon. Tourists can enjoy unique experiences in this state, including spicy cuisines, various teas, long walks, trekking, camping, sightseeing, exploring the serene houseboats that float on the lakes of Srinagar, and many more. In addition, the tourist will also get the opportunity to visit the numerous temples, pilgrimage sites, and spiritual centres scattered throughout the state.
Best time to visit Kashmir
Kashmir is famous for its weather and the best time to visit Kashmir may vary from place to place. Kashmir's beauty can be enjoyed from April to June without enduring the region's extreme cold. During this time, the weather is warm during the daytime and is suitable for sightseeing. There are many Kashmir tour packages available during this time. However, if you plan to visit Kashmir to explore snow, winter is the best time, i.e., from November to February. So plan your Kashmir tour package wisely.
How to reach Kashmir
You can reach Kashmir by air, rail, and road. If you plan to reach Kashmir by air, the Srinagar Airport is the main airport and is well-connected to the prime cities. If you plan to reach Kashmir by rail, Jammu Tawi Railway Station is the nearest railway station located around 330 kilometres away from Kashmir. From the station, you can hire a local taxi to reach Kashmir. The Jammu Tawi railway station connects well to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Trivandrum. By road, you can reach Kashmir comfortably. You can easily reach Srinagar as the place is well connected to Jammu, Leh, Delhi, and Chandigarh.
Places to visit in Kashmir
Srinagar is the largest city in Kashmir and is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. The place is known for Dal Lake. It has beautiful green hills, lush valleys, and lakes and is best for nature lovers. It is a must-visit place in any Kashmir tour package. You can also rent a boathouse, relax on the calm waters, and enjoy a peaceful vacation.
Amarnath is one of the prime spots in the Kashmir tour packages. The Amarnath Cave is the main attraction and has a Shiva Linga, entirely made of ice. It is believed that Lord Shiva shared his secrets with Goddess Parvati here. Devotees from all over India visit this place during July and August every year.
Kargil is the second largest town in the Ladakh region and is popular for heart-warming memories and emotions for many historical wars. Moreover, Kargil is a must-visit place in every Kashmir tour as it showcases natural beauty to its visitors. Some of the places you can explore in Kargil are the War Memorial, trekking in Suru Valley, Wakha Rgyal, Shergold, and Urgyen Dzong.
Popular for snow-clad mountains, Gulmarg is an essential place in all Kashmir tour packages. Gulmarg means "Meadow of Flowers" and has vast stretches of vibrant flowers. The place is also great for skiing and snowboarding and is best for adrenaline-seekers.
Sonamarg is a popular place in Kashmir as it provides stunning scenery and spectacular glaciers. Sonamarg is also a great trekking and camping destination. People also visit Gangabal Lake and Gadsar Lake, the two famous lakes.
One of the must-visit places in your Kashmir tour package, the Shalimar Garden, is located on the shores of Dal Lake. The garden covers a massive area of 31 acres and is a famous destination among couples.
Pulwama is a small village in Kashmir and is well-known for its saffron fields. The place is one of the best destinations for adventure seekers as it offers trekking and mountaineering in the summer and snowboarding and skiing in the winter.
Things to do in Kashmir
Visiting Dal Lake
Visiting Dal lake is an essential thing to do in the Kashmir tour package. Popularly known as the jewel in Kashmir, the Dal lake offers views of the Pir Panjal Mountains. The lake also offers a unique experience with floating markets in the mornings.
Shikara Ride in Dal Lake
Shikara ride is one of the famous activities on Dal Lake. It is a must-do thing in your Kashmir tour package. You can relax in the traditional, wooden Shikara as the boatman takes you across the lake.
Visiting Pangong Lake
Pangong lake is another beautiful lake you can is a must-visit in your Kashmir tour packages. This lake is well-known for its scenery. The journey to Pangong is just as enjoyable as the destination.
Gondola Ride in Gulmarg
The Gondola ride is one of the most basic activities in your Kashmir tour packages. Anyone can do the Gondola Ride. The first phase is from Gulmarg to Kungdoor, and the second is from Kongdori to Apharwat Peak.
Visiting Monuments of Kargil
Kargil is entirely considered a monument to the Kargil war between India and Pakistan in 1999. The Kargil museum preserves important antiques from the war. Visiting Kargil is a must do thing in the Kashmir tour package.
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Kashmir is famous for its breathtaking beauty, culture, wildlife, and snow-capped mountains. It is widely known as "Paradise on Earth." The place is home to historical monuments and is an ideal destination for those who want to unwind in the beauty of nature.
Some of the best activities to do during the Kashmir tour includes:
Shikara Ride in Dal Lake
Dal lake is known as the jewel of Kashmir, and it would be necessary to include a shikara ride on the famous Dal Lake in your Kashmir tour package. The boat ride will make you relax as you sit in the traditional, colourful Shikara.
Skiing in Gulmarg
Skiing is the best way to experience Kashmir's snow-covered mountain slopes. So if you are visiting Kashmir during the winters, Skiing in Gulmarg is one of the must-do things to include in the Kashmir tour package.
Wildlife Safari in Dachigam National Park
A wildlife safari to Dachigam National Park is the best way to explore the diverse fauna and flora of Kashmir. Add this to your Kashmir tour package and spot snow leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, red fox, and many more.
Visiting Vaishno Devi Temple
The Vaishno Devi temple is located at 5200m above sea level and requires a 12 km climb. It is also one of the best things to do in the Kashmir tour package.
Kashmir is considered one of the best winter destinations in India. In Kashmir, the winter starts in December and lasts till March. Many Kashmir tour packages are available during this time with activities like skiing, snowboarding, etc.
Most of the Kashmir tour package will cover your transportation needs. However, it is important to understand the local modes of transport. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are the most popular modes of transport in Kashmir. You can rely on them for shorter distances. You can also take minibuses and luxury coaches for local sightseeing in Kashmir. The Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation buses can also be hired for the sightseeing tours.
The best time to visit Kashmir is from March to August. During this time, the weather is normally warm during the day and cold during the nights. So it is best for sightseeing. You can experience the best of the spring and summer during this time. However, if you are interested in exploring snow, then it's better to book your Kashmir tour package during the winter season, i.e., from November to February.
Some of the popular Kashmir tour packages include
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