kashmir

The valley of Kashmir is as rich with history as it is with culture and natural phenomena. Sample exquisitely spiced native cuisines and festive teas, then walk off your meal along the rugged trekking routes to the north. Marvel at the famous houseboats of Srinagar and take a spiritual moment to reflect at one of the many pilgrimage sites and religious shrines that dot the region.

Here are the 10 Places which you will love to visit.

1.Apharwat Peak

Apharwat Peak is a summit, situated at a height of 4,390 metres (14,403 ft) above the sea level in Gulmarg.Apharwat Peak has one of the most attractive locales in Gulmarg and is popular with the ski-loving population, ultimately providing an enthralling experience to every skier. This peak is situated near the Alpathar Lake and provides a magnificent view during summers and winters. Those who aren’t well-versed or fascinated with skiing can take a quick sleigh travel to the very tip of the Apharwat peak. During summers, the Apharwat peak is entirely different from what it looks like in winters. The lush green surroundings and the well-bred horse paddocks make for an exciting combination. This Apharwat peak provides an excellent stage for learning the sport of skiing or for polishing one’s skills

Travelers must visit the Ningle Nallah, a glowing mountain stream that originates from the extreme point of the Apharwat peak. This stream runs down the peak and unites with the Jhelum River near Spore. Tourists can cross the river through a viaduct which ends in Khilanmarg. This is also a well-known tourist spot. The ‘Outer Circle Walk’ of the Valley appeals to the senses of the traveler. While walking.

The Apharwat peak can be easily be reached via airways, railways, or roadways, whichever suits the best.

The Apharwat peak leads to the Alpathar Lake, a striking alpine lake whose waters remain frozen until June. For the lovers of horse riding, Alpathar Lake makes for a thrilling day’s tour. A little lower than Gulmarg lies the holy place of Baba Reshi, a Muslim spiritualist saint whose shrine is visited by people of all faiths. It’s a 600 meter ascent from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg. However, due to untimely spring and the melting of snows, it can be a vicious task comprising of an hour’s climb up the prominence.

2.Shankaracharya Hill

The famous Shankaracharya Hills, also well known as ‘Takht-i-Sulaiman’ which means the Throne of Solomon, has been deemed sacred since 250 BC. The hill has an 11th-century Shiva temple located at its peak. Shankaracharya Temple is located in the Srinagar region on the hill and is well-known as Takht-e-Suleiman. It is located at an altitude of 1100 ft. above the major city of the hill. It is believed that Raja Gopadatya had the temple built in 371 BC and gave it the name ‘Gopadri’. The renowned philosopher Shankaracharya is believed to have stayed there on his visit to Kashmir to attain Sanatan Dharma.

The temple is of huge significance, not only from the religious point of view, but also from the architectural perspective. The sunrise and sunset, birth and death and many more universal truths of the earth are watched over by a worldwide power that runs the earth and its living populace. The temple is well-known for provisions such as the Sivalaya, Devalaya, and Devayatana. Life is therefore established in the outline of the divinity in the workroom, known as Grabhagriha or the house of the womb. The Thirteen steps with a railing lead to a dwarf wall at the plinth level, thus enclosing the parapet wall and the sidewalls of the ladder that once bore some intimate inscriptions. There is also a Persian dedication inside the shrine, which dates back to the monarch Shahjahan’s rule. The main existing shrine, comprising of a spherical cell, provides a splendid view of the basin below. The temple shows the ancient Kashmiri fashion and lifestyle. It tries to showcase the early Sihara modes and the tranquil one-storied gable pediments which are clearly seen even nowadays. Here we find the ancient designs of the horse shoe curve, prominent even in the final phase of its construction. The inner compartment of Shankaracharya Temple, after repair, is now enclosed with a modern upper limit.

Its approximately 4.4 Km away from the main city of Srinagar and when traveling along the Road pass, it offers a scenic view of the surroundings. Tourists can also trek to the Shankaracharya Hills, wherein the climb is about 7 km long and around 100 steps ahead.

3.Dal Lake

Over 15km around, Dal Lake is Srinagar’s jewel, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. Flotillas of gaily painted shikaras (gondola-like taxi boats) skiff around the lake, transporting goods to market, children to school and travellers to delightful houseboats inspired by originals from the Raj era.

Dal Lake has an average depth of almost 5 ft and a maximum depth of 20 ft. Covering an area of 18 sq km, the Dal Lake is part of a natural wetland that covers an area of about 21 sq km which includes floating gardens. The floating gardens are known as ‘Rad’ in Kashmiri language. The floating gardens are known for the lotus flowers that blossom during the months of July and August. The Dal Lake is divided into four basins, Bod Dal, Nagin (also a separate lake), Gagribal and Lokut Dal. There is an island in the middle of Bod Dal known as Sona Lank. Lokut Dal is also known as Rup Lank and Char Chinari.

Dal Lake is lined by gardens built in the Mughal era and many parks. Mughals, who were smitten by the beauty of Kashmir, laid extensive gardens to heighten its beauty. The best views of the lake can be seen from the Shalimar Garden and Nishat Garden that were built during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Jehangir.

4.Gulmarg Gondola

Gulmarg Gondola in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir is the world’s second highest operating cable car since the closure in 2008 of the Mérida cable car in Venezuela and the opening in 2008 of the Dagu Glacier Gondola in Sichuan, China which reaches 4843 m.

Gulmarg Gondola is a ropeway project started jointly by Jammu and Kashmir government and Pomagalski, a French organisation. It is considered as Asia’s one of the longest and highest cable car plans. The entire ride comprises two stages – Gulmarg to Kongdoori and Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak. The first phase of the ride takes around 9 minutes while the second takes about 12 minutes.

Adventure enthusiasts can also enjoy chair car rides that are offered from Kongdoori to Marry Shoulder, which is one of the famous skiing destinations here. Travelling in hanging cable cars, at thousands of feet above the ground and with the snow-capped peaks beneath, is surely a mix of excitement and fear. So, when in Gulmarg, do not miss out on this exciting gondola ride that gives a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful region.

5.Nigeen Lake

Nigeen Lake (The Jewel In The Ring)- Leading from the Dal is the smaller Nagin Lake. Here too, the waters are edged by trees of willow and poplar whose reflection is mirrored in the lake. ‘Bathing boats’ here, as well as on the Dal, hire out water-skis and motor launches. The waters of the lakes are pleasantly cool from mid-May to mid-September. Shikaras can be hired from any of the steps called ‘ghats’ (jetties) leading to the lake. Some rides are fixed and their rates are posted at each ghat as well as opposite the Tourist Reception Centre. Shikaras are a refreshingly novel way of seeing Srinagar by day and at twilight, the gentle soothing motion of the boat, as it glides along the water, is unbelievably romantic.

You can spend some beautiful moments on your visit to Nigeen Lake in Srinagar. You can avail of the shikaras (wwoden boats) and experience the picturesque views of the lake. A relaxed ride on a shikara along the placid waters of the Nigeen Lake in Srinagar is one of the most popular activities herein. Shikaras have become one of the popular tourist attractions since the tourists can take a journey along the Nigeen Lake in Srinagar. Ferries are also available in the lake. You can also hire a bathing boat to move around the lake. Do not miss a chance to experience some exciting water skis and motor rides in Nigeen Lake in Srinagar.

6.Sonamarg

Sonmarg gives rise to The Three Sisters (Kashmir). In its vicinity lies the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir Valley namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier with some peaks of above 5000 meters: Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak. Sonmarg an alpine valley is situated at the bank of Nallah Sindh, 87 km north-east from Srinagar, it is a popular tourist destination, nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks.[1] It lies at an altitude of 2800 metres above sea level. The drive to Sonmarg is through yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time it is the Nallah Sindh, the largest tributary of the Jehlum River in the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes.

Sonmarg has a rich cultural heritage and many wonderful festivals in Sonmarg are celebrated with grandeur.

Losar Festival: Losar festival, as per the Lunar Calendar, is celebrated for 2 weeks during the month of December and January. This festival is fervently enjoyed by Ladakhi Buddhists by offering prayers to the Gods, both in Gompas and in their native shrines.

Holi: The “festival of colours” is indeed celebrated in a very colourful manner in Sonmarg and is one of the biggest festivals for the natives. The atmosphere is really charged up during the celebrations.

Diwali: One of the most important festivals celebrated by Hindus, Diwali, is also well known by the name of “Festival of Lights” or Deepavali. It is celebrated in the month of October or November. Diwali in Sonmarg is celebrated with pomp and show. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this festival.

7.Betab Valley

Betaab valley is situated at a distance of 15 kilometers from Pahalgam in Anantnag district in India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir. The valley got its name from the Sunny Deol-Amrita Singh hit debut film Betaab.[1] The Valley is towards northeast of Pahalgam and falls between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi and is en route Amarnath Temple Yatra. The valley surrounded by lush green meadows, snow clad mountains and covered with dense vegetation.

If you want to experience the serenity of heaven on earth, then no other destination can be better than Kashmir. It is one unique Indian destination which is blessed with every different facets of nature- mountains, valleys, meadows, rivers and lakes. Betaab Valley in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kahsmir is an immensely popular tourist destination that owes its beauty to bordering snowy mountains, pine and deodar forests and Sheshnag River.

From lazing around to camping, Betaab Valley is one answer to both adventurers and leisure travellers. A land which was ruled by Mughals in the 15th century, today snatched the attention of globetrotters with its bewitching beauty. Your blissful mood combined with the valley’s pleasant surrounding create a perfect milieu to photograph a memorable vacation. There are many interesting facts about Betaab Valley that increase your inquisitiveness to take a visit. Some of them are:
It is a paradise for Hindi film industry. Movies like Aarzoo, Kashmir Ki Kali, Kabhie Kabhie and Silsila were shot here.
Archaeological evidence proves human existence in Betaab Valley since Neolithic Age.
The valley got its name ‘Betaab’ after the Sunny Deol-Amrita Singh hit debut film ‘Betaab’ was shot here.
From sunrise to sunset, Betaab Valley casts its magical spell upon visitors all through the day. Be there whenever you wish to be and be ready to appreciate the most astonishing beauty nature has bestowed upon Kashmir.

8.Nishat Garden

Nishat Bagh is a terraced Mughal garden built on the eastern side of the Dal Lake, close to Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is the second largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir Valley. The largest in size is the Shalimar Bagh, which is also located on the bank of the Dal Lake. ‘Nishat Bagh’ is Urdu, which means “Garden of Joy,” “Garden of Gladness” and “Garden of Delight

Also known as “the garden of bliss”, Nishat Garden in Srinagar is set on the banks of the beautiful Dal Lake. The garden is set at the backdrop of the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range and it offers a great sunset view of the Dal Lake. A beautiful water channel flows right in the middle of the garden. Nishat Bagh was designed by Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan back in 1633 AD. The garden has 12 terraces, one for every zodiac sign and they keep on rising up the mountain side. All the terraces are filled with different colored roses, lilies, geraniums and asters.

9.Aru Valley

Aru is a tourist spot in the Anantnag District of Jammu & Kashmir, India. It is located around 12 km from Pahalgam, 11 km upstream from the Lidder River. Noted for its scenic meadows, lakes and mountains, it is a base camp for trekking to the Kolhoi Glacier and Tarsar Lake. The village lies of the left bank of the Aru river, which is a tributary of the Lidder river

Aru is a great place for family outings because it has beautiful resorts and activities for all kinds of people. The locals truly make you feel at home with innumerable cups of Kaah’wa and by taking you sight seeing.

Best Time/ Season to Aru Valley

Aru Valley has a cool and pleasant climate in summers and very cold climate in winters and the best season for tourism is from March to November.
Winters (October to February) are chilly and snow bound. The minimum mercury level goes below sub zero levels and the region mostly covers receives fresh snowfall. The views of the landscape are excellent with snow covered hilly terrains.
Summers (March to June) are warm and pleasant. The temperature in this hilly region ranges between 11°C and 25°C. Intermittent showers are seen during this period. There is no snowfall but snow can be found on high altitudes. Best for Amarnath Yatra
Monsoons (July to September) are very scanty. The region becomes highly humid during this period.
The summer months in Pahalgam are cool but not chilly with warmth in the atmosphere. The hill resort is best for vacations in this period. It is good for all tourist activities, adventurous activities and pilgrimage related to Amarnath Yatra. Winters in Pahalgam offer snowfall with subzero climate. It is not good for sightseeing, but is good for honeymoon and winter sports.

10.Hazratbal

The most important muslim shrine of Kashmir, that commands the reverence of the people beyond measure,is undoubetedly the Hazratbal Shrine, which is situated on the left bank of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar This unmatched reverence is anchored in the love and respect for the Prophet. Mohammad (peace be upon him), whose Moi-e-Muqqadus, (the sacred hair) is preserves here. The shrine is known by many names including Hazratbal, Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, Dargah Sharief & Dargah.

The silvery white Hazratbal Mosque is revered for housing a relic, the Prophet’s hair. Situated near the Dal Lake, the only domed mosque in Srinagar is a place of serenity, a must visit. Women are allowed only till the first part of the mosque. The Hazratbal Mosque lends a historic and divine appeal to Srinagar. As you walk down the corridors of this famous religious sanctum, you marvel at the intricate Persian and Iranian architectural influences.

 

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