Paradise on Earth: Best Places to visit in Kashmir in 2021

Places to visit in Kashmir

Did you know why Mughal Emperor called Kashmir “A heaven on Earth”? This article will uncover its reason and tell the best places to visit in Kashmir with a five-day itinerary. 

Kashmir is always an implausible place located in India and now officially part of our country. 

Trust me; you have to visit such a beautiful place once in your lifetime. There are so many places to visit in Kashmir you will fall in love with. 

My friends from the state mentioned that it is not advisable to visit often because of the attacks before, but it’s the safest place. 

The state was under the control of an army base so that tourists could travel safely and have a peaceful vacation in Kashmir. 

One Interesting fact about Kashmir is, the capital will swap every six months. Kashmir will be the capital for six months, and Jammu will be the capital for the next six months. Amazing, isn’t it? 

Those beautiful mountains, the sounds of rivers, the hospitality, food, peaceful nature, and mainly kahwa tea is enough to describe the Kashmir beauty that never stops falling for this place over and over again.  

What are you waiting for? Let’s take a trip with my personal experience about the best places to visit in Kashmir to help you plan your trip in the future. 

Places to visit in Kashmir
Paradise on Earth

Itinerary for Best Places to visit in Kashmir

Day 1 : Srinagar

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Srinagar. 

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

Beside the dal lake, the bunch of colour variety would put you in aww feel for some moment which was filled with house full of Tulip flowers that bloom in May and June.

It has so many other flowers other than Tulip, like Roses, Muscaria, Iris, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Ranunculi, etc. 

This human-made garden will surprise you in every aspect. A walk in this garden will revitalize your mind and be a good spot to click great pictures. 

Try glancing at once, you will never stop recalling this place.

Shikara Ride In Dal Lake 

Shikara Ride
Shikara Ride

Moving with the flow over the calm water, I bet you’ll lose your sight of living in reality. 

The Shikara Ride is the gateway to another world, and it is the best experience you can encounter in Kashmir. 

It is one of the best travel activities in Srinagar, and so many places are accessible by Shikara ride alone. And the best part is you can shop while going for a ride. 

The cost varies depending on the hours, and only four persons are allowed in a boat,

  • Below are the rates for shikara ride,
    • For 1 hour – 550;
    • For 2 hours – 800;
    • For 3 hours – 1050;
    • For 4 hours – 1300 

Pari Mahal

Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal

Pari Mahal is also called “The Palace of Fairies“, seven terraced gardens in Srinagar. Apart from the flower garden, the place offers a beautiful view of Srinagar and Dal Lake.

An amazing place for serene lovers and has the best photogenic view to capture. 

There are few more garden places to visit in Kashmir located within the region,

  • Shalimar Bagh
  • Nishat Bagh
  • Harwan Garden 

A single day is more than enough to cover these spots and trust me; you will have the most sublime moment. 

Day 2: SRINAGAR – SONMARG – SRINAGAR (A day trip)

The distance would be around 81km which would take 2 hours from Srinagar. The journey has a beautiful view of Sindhu Nadi on the way to sonmarg. 

Sonmarg
Sonmarg way to zero point

Mata Kheer Bhawani Jee Temple 

Mata Kheer Bhawani Jee Temple
Mata Kheer Bhawani Jee Temple

While heading to Sonmarg, plan to stop by a beautiful temple that gives you the presence of positivity and fresh air. 

Mata kheer Bhawani jee temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kheer Bhavani (Maharagnya Bhagwati), constructed over a sacred spring. 

It is the most important temple for Kashmiri Hindus and it is located 14kms from Srinagar. 

Zero point Sonmarg

zero point
Zeropoint

Ever been into snow-covered places that have null temperatures all the time? If not, you’ve got one, i.e., Zeropoint.

To reach this place, rent a vehicle since it is restricted to take your vehicle. 

Then possibly, a guide/driver will escort to the spot (Zeropoint) and tourists are only allowed if they wear heavy warm jackets covering the entire body.  

And after the halfway, the surrounding mountains will fancy you with stunning sceneries, sharpened peaks luring throughout the way. 

It’s basically snow covered on the way to Zojila Pass from Sonmarg, and the main activities are Sledding and snow biking. These activities are budget-friendly, and if you are an adventurous person, these activities might thrill you. 

These two places are the main tourist spots in Sonmarg. The trip to Zeropoint will take almost a day. If you want, you can stay in Sonmarg or return to Srinagar.

Day 3: Srinagar – Gulmarg

The distance from Srinagar to Gulmarg is about 47kms, and a day is enough to cover all the main places.

Gulmarg outer ring circle

Gulmarg park
Gulmarg park

The outer circle road runs around the Gulmarg golf course and covers almost everything that Gulmarg offers. 

One loop on the outer circle is roughly 10 km. It takes around two to three hours by walking, or you can explore this place by horse ride. 

During the walk, you’ll get to see the views of enfolded snow peaks, including the Nanga Parbat, which at roughly 8,500 meters and is the fourth highest peak in the world. 

At the starting point, you will notice a periodical shiva temple shown in the famous Bollywood movie Silsila. 

Gulmarg Gondola 

Gulmarg Gondola
Gulmarg Gondola Rope car

Gulmarg Gondola is one of the second longest and highest cable cars globally and the prime attraction of Gulmarg. 

It will be open from morning 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and requires 3 to 4 hours to witness the dense forest screened by clouds that soothe the eyes.  

The cable car has two phases, one from Gulmarg to Kongdoori and the second phase is from Kongdori to Apharwat; choose which suits your budget. 

After reaching the pinnacle, many activities like skiing are waiting for you, take an adventure leap. 

Day 4: Srinagar- Pahalgam

The distance from Srinagar to Pahalgam is 54kms. Returning within a day wouldn’t be possible so that you can stay in Pahalgam for a night. 

Aru Valley

Aru Valley
Aru valley

This place is 11 km from Pahalgam. Aru Valley is the base camp for trekking to the Kolahoi Glacier and the Tarsar-Marsar Lake. 

It lies beside the Aru river and is known for its scenic meadows and horse riding, hiking and trekking.

During winters, the place freezes over, making it a skiing paradise.

Mini Switzerland 

Mini switzerland
Mini Switzerland

Mini Switzerland is one of the must places to visit in Kashmir, and it’s an inward upland and hilltop green meadows dotted with dense deodar and pine forests offering six nearby leasing destinations. 

This place is accessible only through horse riding, and it closes at 5 pm, so an early plan is a must. 

Mini Switzerland would be the best spot to experience the culture of the Kashmiri people and their lifestyle. 

It is located just 5 kilometres away from Pahalgam in the Anantnag district of Kashmir and is known as Mini Switzerland.  

The horse ride is very challenging and interesting, and the movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan was shot in this place itself. 

Day 5: Pahalgam- Srinagar

On the way back to Srinagar try visiting Khiram Dargah and Sheikh Zain ud Din Wali (ra) Shrine and Masjid. 

Srinagar is famous for handmade sweaters, accessories and Kesar. It is a place for shopaholics who look for budget shopping. If you couldn’t finish visiting gardens on the first day, you can visit those gardens on the fifth day. 

During summer, the place offers rigorous adventure sports such as river rating on dal and Najin lakes. The best time to visit for river rafting is around June till late august. 

Boat House Dal Lake

Boat House Dal Lake
Boathouse, Dal lake

Staying at the Boathouse in Dal lake is like living in a palace amidst water. 

At night the Dal lake looks even more pleasant with the breezy air piercing our body, detaching our soul to move around the lake. 

And the reflection of city lights started dancing with the movement of waves. It felt like a festival of hue gathered around to throw a party.

Luckily, we booked the rooms in advance, and to describe the bigness of the boat it is huge, which has 3 to 4 rooms. 

Every early arrangement of booking includes food, ambience and the pleasure of enjoying the sombre lake view.  

A night stay relaxing your mind away from the typical daily thoughts is always the much-needed break that everyone should take while living a tiring life. 

The nearest places to this property are Nehru Park and Lal Chowk Ghantaghar, which are within 3 km.

So, call it a home of misty heaven or beauty of mother’s paradise, these best places to visit in Kashmir are always close to my heart.

How to Reach to Kashmir:

By air:  To reach Kashmir, the nearest airport is Srinagar, just 15 km away from all metro cities. Hiring a taxi from the place could be the best option to reach many villages and towns in Kashmir.

By train: From Delhi, the only accessible station near Kashmir is the Jammu Tawi railway station which is 330 km away. Hiring state or private buses would be the preferred option and even cost-effective to reach different places to visit in Kashmir.

By road: Going by bike, car or any private bus, taking a national highway would be the best route to reach Kashmir. While going through, you’ll encounter the popular Jawahar Tunnel connecting Jammu.

Other nearby places to visit in Kashmir :

After getting lost with the place, if you feel like extending your trip for few more days, here you can check the below places to visit in Kashmir,

  • Chatpal
  • Daksum
  • Karnah
  • Bangus/Reshwari
  • Lolab valley
  • Watlab
  • Leh Ladakh
  • Pulwama

As this article would spin around only the places to visit in Kashmir, I shall talk about other spots in upcoming blogs in detail.

And as I would love to hear from the readers for suggestions, please let me know if there are any.

Happy Journey! Travel safe!!

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