How to reach Kashmir
How to reach Kashmir
Kashmir is referred as ‘Paradise on Earth’, and has been known for its unparalleled alpine beauty and breathtaking valleys. Every year Kashmir is visited by honeymooners, holidaymakers and adventure seekers from all across India and abroad.
Most tourist planning a trip to Kashmir often wonder how to reach Kashmir however, this beautiful valley is well connected with the rest of the country by means of air, road and rail.
Here is the complete information on how to reach Kashmir by air, rail and road services.
It is a real pleasure to travel by air and get an aerial view of the snow capped mountains of the entire Kashmir region during winters and the same in summers when the mountains reflect different shades of greens.
The city of Srinagar has an airport called 'Sheikh - ul - Alam' Airport which is also an international airport and is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Jammu. The airport is located about 15 km from the center of the city.
All major airlines operate their flights to Srinagar and tourist can even opt for cheap airline tickets to Srinagar from budget airlines operating on this route. Flights operate throughout the year with increased frequency during tourist season. This is the easiest and the most convenient way to reach Srinagar from any part of India via Delhi, Chandigarh or Jammu.
Please Note: All foreign nationals are required to register themselves at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, at the Airport counter.
Presently Srinagar does not have a fully operational railway station of its own. Jammu Tawi Railway station is the main rail head for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the city of Jammu is connected with major cities of the country by both the fast and super fast trains that connects it to distant places like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Indore, Guwahati, Chennai, Gorakhpur, Mangalore, Bangalore and many more.
During tourist or holiday season when there is a heavy rush of tourist visiting Kashmir, additional trains are operated for and from Jammu Tawi station.
After reaching Jammu – Tawi station from outside Jammu Railway station, one can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Srinagar. The distance between Jammu and Srinagar is about 300 km.
With a view to provide an alternative route besides roadways the government of India has planned a 345 km long railway network which will connect the Kashmir valley to the Indian Railway network. Officially termed as Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway link, the railway line will start at Jammu and will travel for 345 km all the way to Baramulla on the northwestern edge of the Kashmir Valley.
Over the years a few sections and stages within the Railway network have began operating i.e. section between Anantnag and Rajwanshwer, Rajwanshwer to Baramulla and a section between Qazi Qund to Anantnag. The work is still in progress on various sections and the entire rail link is expected to be fully operational by the year 2020.
If you want to explore the virgin beauty of Jammu and Kashmir then a trip by road from Jammu to Srinagar is the ideal way.The national highway (NH 1A) between Jammu and Srinagar is one of the most picturesque highways in India.
The road is beautiful, smooth and hassle free as is being maintained by BRO (Border Road Organization) the road wing of Indian army. The distance between Jammu to Srinagar by road is about 300 km.
The best way to reach Srinagar by road is from Jammu, since the city is accessible from all major cities of India by both public and private transport. J&K State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC), Delhi Transport Corporation buses and Haryana State Road Transport Corporation (HSRTC) buses ply between Jammu and Delhi on a daily basis.
Tourist can also hire a private cab or take a share taxi to Srinagar which is easily available outside Jammu Railway station.
There are several places enroute(Jammu to Srinagar) which have been developed for the convenience of the travelers i.e. places like Jajjar Kotli, Kud, Pantnitop, Batote, Ramban, Banihal and Qazi Gund have tourist bungalows, restaurants, petrol pumps, repair shops, ATM's and other utility & service centers.
The charges of cabs for private and share taxis may vary depending whether it is a tourist season or not. By Car it generally takes about 8 hours to reach Srinagar from Jammu.
Distance between major nearby cities from Jammu
Delhi – 575 km
Getting around Srinagar
The main modes of transport for traveling in and around Srinagar are:
Luxury coaches are operated by Jammu and Kashmir tourism department(J&K TDC) and Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation(J&K SRTC) are easily available and is the best way to explore Kashmir economically .Public transport in Kashmir are functional on a daily basis from 04:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.
There are 2 types of Taxi's operating in Srinagar i.e. 'Full Hire Taxi' and 'Share Taxi', which are easily available for sightseeing within Srinagar and for excursions from Srinagar, but before you hire a 'Full Hire Taxi' kindly fix the rates before boarding one.’ Share Taxi' generally ply between nearby towns i.e. Srinagar to Anantnag or Srinagar to Gulmarg, etc they have fixed rates and carry about 8 - 10 passengers (Tata Sumo).
Luxury cars are easily available and can be hired directly from tour operators in Srinagar or via hotel staff and is the best way to travel around Srinagar and nearby areas, but it is an expensive option especially during tourist season.
Mini Buses in Kashmir are privately run and are a common mode of transport in Kashmir for both locals and tourist. These buses operate throughout Srinagar and have fixed routes which also cover many tourist spots. This is an ideal way to travel for budget travelers and bag packers.
3 wheeler rickshaws are easily available throughout Srinagar and is an ideal way to travel short distances, but make sure you bargain effectively with the drivers before boarding one.
Youngsters in groups and adventure enthusiast can hire motorcycles and explore Srinagar and its nearby areas at their own pace and enjoy the scenic beauty.