Why Visit Kashmir
Why Visit Kashmir
Every year Kashmir welcomes tourist from all over the world with its picturesque valleys, pristine lakes, snow capped mountains, exquisite gardens, historical monuments along with plenty of scope for indulging in adventure activities like trekking, camping, water-sports and a lot more activities.
Surrounded with the sublime mountains, these valleys echo nature, beauty and a certain level of mysticism. If only words could describe the stunning beauty of the landscape of Kashmir, such is the beauty that it you will discover a poet in yourself.
Nature has blessed Kashmir with many beautiful gifts and the most fascinating of them all are the numerous lakes. Whatever you crave for on a holiday, the lakes of Kashmir have it all. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil environment the scenic beauty and calmness of the lakes in Kashmir provide you with that. If you are water sport enthusiast then the lakes of Kashmir offer a plethora of water sport and adventure activities. If you are looking for a royal stay on a luxurious houseboat then there is no other place than the Dal Lake in Kashmir.
Apart from that, the beautiful lakes are surrounded by snow capped mountains; the entire scenic beauty leaves one speechless. The most enchanting activity on the lakes of Kashmir is a boat ride in a decorated Shikara boat. Furthermore the lakes of Kashmir also serve as a bird watchers paradise which is home to a numerous species of exotic birds.
Famous Lakes: Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Manasbal Lake, Anchar Lake and Wular Lake and many other.
Activities: Shikara rides, Houseboat stay, Water sports, Fishing, Kayaking, Bird watching, Photography and watching marine life.
Exquisite Moghul Gardens:
If you like visiting gardens, appreciate flowers and colorful plants of different types while adding a touch of history to it then visit the Mughal gardens of Kashmir.
The Mughal gardens of Kashmir are a group of gardens (Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Chashme Shahi) which were built by the Mughals in the Persian style of architecture. Terraced lawns, cascading fountains, bright flowerbeds, etc along with panoramic views of the Dal Lake were the ideas of paradise of the Mughal emperors in the bygone era, today these gardens serve as an ideal place for picnics and recreational activities.
Besides the Mughal gardens the beautiful valley of Kashmir boasts of a number of parks and gardens and with the advent of spring Asia's largest tulip garden in Kashmir brings out the riot of colours adding to the majestic beauty of Kashmir.
All year round the magnificent charm of the gardens of Kashmir draws a number of tourists from all corners of the world where they spend time sitting, relaxing and enjoying the scenic beauty.
Many enthusiastic tourists also get themselves photographed in traditional Kashmiri attires while exploring the beautiful gardens which are full of a variety of flowers, plants and ancient Chinar trees some dating back to 400 years.
Famous Gardens : Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Chashme Shahi, Tulip Garden, Pari Mahal, Harwan Garden, Achabal Garden, Verinag Garden, Botanical Garden and Dara Shikoh Garden.
Activities: Sightseeing, Recreational Activities, Nature Photography, Try out a traditional Kashmiri dress, Enjoy a family picnic, Explore the ancient gardens, Sound and Light show in the evenings, Relax and Laze around.
Discover picturesque Valleys:
While describing the beauty of Kashmir Mughal Emperor Jehangir once exclaimed "Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast”. It means "If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this”.
The captivating beauty of the valleys in Kashmir cannot be described in words which are home to stunning natural lakes, streams, waterfalls, national parks, lush green meadows, alpine mountains and a variety of rare flora and fauna.
The valleys of Kashmir have played a significant role by being part of the scenic backdrop of many Bollywood movies and are perfect romantic destinations for the newlyweds as it’s here that both romance and nature come alive.
Besides that the valleys of Kashmir offer tourist scenic vistas and a pristine environment ideal for adventure activities like trekking, camping and photography.
Valleys : Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, Betaab Valley, Aru Valley, Chandanwari, Nagin Valley, Dras Valley, Baltal Valley, Warwan Valley, Amarnath Valley and many more.
Activities: Trekking, Camping, Rock climbing, Pony rides, Photography.
Explore Historical Monuments:
Kashmir has a history of more than 5000 years and has been ruled by various dynasties, besides having enormous natural beauty; Kashmir has fascinated every traveler with its monumental heritage for time immemorial.
While walking through the lanes of Srinagar or other smaller towns of Kashmir you will find the majestic monuments that tell tales about the great rulers of Kashmir. Forts, palaces and mansions that stand tall on mountain peaks, lavish gardens or veil themselves behind scenic hills have always added to the rich historical heritage of Kashmir.
While most of the historical monuments are still well maintained a few are in a ruined state but they still stand elegantly carrying their rich heritage and legacy to the curiosity of the onlookers. Today, efforts are being made by the locals and government organizations to restore and preserve these historical structures for the sake of future generations.
So come and get conquered by the magical charm of the historical monuments of Kashmir.
Popular monuments: Hari Parbat fort, Martand Sun temple, Pari Mahal, Sher Garhi Palace and many more.
Religious and Spiritual Places:
From the presence of the mighty Amarnath temple on mount Amarnath to the shiny white marble structure of the Hazratbal shrine on the shores of the Dal Lake, most of the pilgrimage centers in Kashmir are located on picturesque locations making them a wonderful treat for the eyes.
The religious richness of Kashmir is very well represented by several sacred shrines belonging to Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, the best part of a pilgrimage to Kashmir being the peaceful coexistence of various religions in Kashmir. The living proof of this harmony can be seen at the Hari Parbhat hill where there is a temple, a mosque and a gurudwara standing side by side.
Besides that the Kashmir valley has several spiritual and meditation centers belonging to all faiths and are located amongst the most beautiful and scenic surroundings enough to leave visitors spell bound and speechless.
Mosque: Hazratbal mosque, Jamia Masjid, Khanqah e Moula, Makhdoom Sahib.
Gurudwara: Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara.
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries:
Jungle safaris and visits to sanctuaries are right on top of every travelers list. The National parks of Kashmir are a good option for visitors who want to enjoy the view of carpeted grass lands, meadows and wildlife in their natural habitat.
Kashmir has almost half a dozen national parks and sanctuaries. These parks are home to the rare 'Hangul' or 'Kashmir Stag' and many more animals like musk deer, leopard, Himalayan grey langur, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan brown bear, jackal, hill fox, Himalayan weasel and more.
The best way to explore the national parks is through a jeep safari, tourist can also take their private vehicles or hike through the forest with a help of a guide and get a closer look at the area's biodiversity. The weather inside the national parks remains cool making it the perfect place for a daytime picnic. The best time to visit these sanctuaries is at dawn when animals and birds are out in search of food and water or during dusk.
National Park: Dachigam National Park, Salim Ali National Park, Daksum Wildlife Sanctuary, Overa - Aru Wildlife Reserve, Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kashmir is perhaps the only place in India where a variety of adventure sports can be taken up in a single holiday. Today it has emerged as hub for adventure sports activities.
Many peaks are covered with snow throughout the year which serves as a perfect play ground for adventure sports, the picturesque mountains of Gulmarg and Sonmarg will give you ample reasons for skiing. The beautiful deep valleys of Kashmir provide a perfect environment and terrain for aero sports like paragliding, hand gliding and hot air balloon trips.
For those who love to experience the challenging might of nature can take up mountain trekking through the famous trekking routes and enjoy camping in the valley by night. Furthermore, the restless streams and gushing rivers of Kashmir are perfect hotspots for river rafting and kayaking.
While those who prefer it quite, the fishing season spreads across the entire summer hence Trout fishing and angling serves as a another great adventure sport in the valley. Golf courses of Gulmarg are one their kind and provide excellent opportunities and experience for golfing to all.
Popular sports: Trekking, Camping, Golfing, Aero sports, Water sports, Game Fishing.
While the spring and summer seasons in Kashmir are ideal for adventure sport activities like trekking, aero sports and water sports, visiting Kashmir in winter is totally a different experience to enjoy winter sports, which attracts tourist from far and wide and includes activities like snowboarding, sleigh riding, skiing, snow skating, snow trekking, ice hockey, ice skiing and heliskiing.
Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, Pahalgam, and Patnitop are the major places to enjoy winter sports in Kashmir which begins every year in the month of December and end by March. Kashmir the paradise on earth is thronged by tourist in large numbers during the winter months and Gulmarg is the ideal place for all skiers to test their skills be it beginners or advanced.
Gulmarg also offers Heliskiing, Asia's only Heliskiing resort after Canada and is also the most economical ski resort in the world. Gulmarg being the winter sports capital of India also hosts events like Alpine skiing, Cross country skiing, Biathlon, Ice skating and Ice hockey championships every year which not only keeps tourist entertained but also gives them a chance to participate.
Popular Winter Sports: Snowboarding, Sleigh Riding, Skiing, Snow Skating, Snow Trekking, Ice Hockey, Ice Skiing and Heliskiing.
Best Place: Gulmarg and Khilanmarg.
Cuisines of Kashmir:
Just like its picturesque beauty the cuisines of Kashmir are heavenly too, the rich fragrant dishes of Kashmir are steeped in traditions and have evolved through many generations and are a blend of different cooking styles of mainly Kashmiri pandits, Muslims and Mughals.
The use of traditional spices in Kashmiri cuisines is highly intriguing and there is plenty on offer for both vegetarians and non vegetarians. But one must try the ultimate ceremonial feast known as 'Wazwan' popular as the 'feast fit for kings’; it is a princely 36 course banquet and has 30 non vegetarian dishes.
Here is a look at some of the most popular vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisines of Kashmir do not miss to relish these delicacies during your trip to Kashmir.
Popular Kashmiri dishes: Wazwan, Gushtaba, Yakhni, Roganjosh, Tabakmaz, Seekh Kababs, Rista, Chaman and Dum Aloo.
Festivals and Cultural Events:
The festive season in Kashmir represents a colorful mosaic of its people and the culture of the region. As part of its efforts to attract tourist, every year the Kashmir tourism department organizes many fairs and festivals to showcase the rich heritage of this region. Cultural programs, folk songs, art & culture programs are organized to entertain the visitors besides offering of traditional cuisines.
The unmatched beauty and the unique festivals of this enchanting place is worth experiencing which amalgamates people from all spheres of life; castes and creeds get together and share their happiness with the tourist visiting Kashmir. Apart from religious festivals there are some widely celebrated festivals across Kashmir organized for visiting tourist and are celebrated with great zeal and gaiety.
Popular festivals : Tulip festival, Gardens of Paradise Festival, Shikara Festival, Saffron Festival, Watersports Festival, Gulmarg Snow Festival, Mansar Food and Craft Mela and Kashmir Festival.
Friendly people of Kashmir:
A place is only as beautiful as its people are the people of Kashmir as very warm and welcoming and they truly believe in the ancient Indian adage ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. For a guest is really a God. Apart from the beauty of Kashmir, a trip here will always be memorable because of its warm hearted and hospitable people.