12 Best Places in Kashmir

India’s northernmost state is a picturesque paradise, adorned with vibrant flowers in spring and blankets of snow in winter. This destination attracts all the visitors especially the honeymooners with a plethora of breathtaking views and experiences. Activities range from thrilling skiing in Gulmarg to enjoying the breathtaking mountain lakes, trout fishing in Sonamarg, and enjoying a charming cruise on cedar-panelled houseboats on the Jhelum River.

Jammu and Kashmir

Among its diverse landscapes, with lakes, mountains, gardens, deserts, and places of worship for Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims, Jammu and Kashmir offers innumerable picturesque cities and towns. The area is a treasure trove of attractions, promising an abundance of things to see and do.

Here, I am going to share with you the top 12 places that I highly recommend and add attractive Jammu and Kashmir tour packages to further enhance your exploration.

Budgam

Located only half an hour south of Srinagar, the state capital and largest city, Budgam is a town with a population of over 15,000. This place is a true reflection of the authentic charm of Kashmir. It offers a harmonious blend of natural wonders, including the vast fields of Yusmarg (details below) and Doodhpathri, nestled in densely forested hills. Historic sites like the 16th century Hari Parbat Fort and delightful gardens like Shalimar Bagh, Chashma Shahi, and Mughal Gardens add to their charm.

Baramulla

Located in the north-west of Kashmir, Baramulla is a small town with a population of about 71,000, whose origins date back to 2306 BC. Apart from the city’s various temples and shrines, notable nearby towns include Parihaspora, the 8th-century capital of Kashmir, famous for its ruins, and Gulmarg, set amidst snow-capped peaks and famous for winter sports. Which includes the world’s highest green golf course. , The surrounding area is a center of attraction for nature lovers, being home to Manasbal Lake (particularly attractive for bird lovers), Uri (an excellent spot for barbecue), Wular Lake (Asia’s largest freshwater lake), and Gulmarg offers attractions such as Biosphere Reserve (an excellent destination for birdwatchers). Hunting birds and observing fauna like musk deer and snow leopard).

Bhaderwah

Nestled in the wooded, river-crossed foothills of the Himalayas, about 1,613 meters above sea level and a six-hour drive from the nearest major city, Jammu, Bhaderwah is a town of 11,000 with an 18th-century fort and several historic temples. Is the city. Its primary attraction lies in its setting, making it an ideal destination for both adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. The diverse and stunning landscape of mountains, valleys, and fields has earned it the nickname “Mini Kashmir”. Popular among trekkers, whitewater rafters, mountain bikers, and skiers, Bhaderwah offers a picturesque experience.

Gurez

Situated at an altitude of 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) in the high Himalayas in the far north of Kashmir, Gurez, once a part of the old Silk Road, is one of the most picturesque valleys in the state. Dawar, its central city, hosts the Sufi pilgrimage center of Pir Darwish. In the valley adorned with waterfalls and quaint wooden villages, tourists can engage in trekking, rafting in the clear blue waters of the Neelam River, camping, fishing, and rock climbing. It is important to note that the road leading to Gurez remains closed from November to May due to heavy snowfall (up to 15 feet). Careful planning is required, but Gurez’s breathtaking beauty makes it worth the effort.

Jammu

Founded in the 9th century and home to approximately 576,000 inhabitants, Jammu holds the prestigious title of the holiest city of Kashmir, often referred to as the “City of Temples”. Holy sites include the Mata Vaishno Devi Hindu cave temple, the Peer Baba Muslim Sufi temple, Mahamaya, Peer Kho (also within a cave), and the temples of Raghunath (above) and Ranbireshwar. Other notable attractions include the Old Quarter, the mid-16th century sandstone Bahu Fort, the early 19th century Mubarak Mandi and Amar Mahal palaces, Rani Park in the city center, Peer Mitha, Karbala and the Nandini Wildlife Refuge.

Kishtwar

Located about 6½ hours southwest of Jammu, this town of 14,000 offers more than just a few attractions. Although it houses a 17th-century Sufi saint’s shrine, its real attraction lies in its surroundings, which are surrounded by high, wooded hills, making it an ideal area for hikers, and wildlife lovers (Kishtwar High Altitude National Park The park is home to numerous bird species and mammals such as the Indian muntjac, Himalayan tahr, hangul and snow leopard), as well as rock climbers and mountaineers (peaks as high as 6,000 to 7,000 m). The area is also famous for saffron, both in the nearby Paddar Valley and in the saffron fields. Don’t miss a dip in the local Tattva hot springs!

Kupwara

Nestled among snow-clad mountain ranges in the far north-west (about an hour and a half from Baramulla), Kupwara, which has a population of 70,000, has several notable temples and shrines, including the shrine of the Muslim saint Hazrat Muhammad, Kheer Bhawani, Are included. And Shaloora. Anch Hill offers breathtaking panoramic views of the valley of Kashmir, and the nearby beautiful Lolab Valley with its half-a-dozen charming villages is worth a visit.

Ladakh

Located in the northeast corner of Kashmir, bordering Tibet and predominantly Tibetan in culture, Ladakh, once a Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas, opened for tourism in 1974. It is rich in Buddhist stupas, temples, and holy places, especially in the capital, Leh, and other areas such as Namgyal Tsemo Gompa (above) and Hemis and Thiksey Monastery. Ladakh’s natural wonders are awe-inspiring, including towering snow-capped peaks, spectacular lakes like Pangong, and rivers increasingly popular for whitewater rafting. With activities including trekking, biking, mountain biking, and mountaineering, Ladakh stands out as a world-class adventure travel destination.

Pahalgam

Located just two and a half hours east of Srinagar, this colonial-era hill station stands at an altitude of 2,130 meters and is home to about 6,000 residents. Despite its small size, Pahalgam is well prepared to welcome visitors, particularly because of the Hindu Amarnath Cave Temple, a pilgrimage site that attracts 600,000 devotees every July and August. The surrounding ecotourism and adventure opportunities also contribute to the appeal, offering visitors the chance to wander through the breathtaking grasslands of Baisaran, explore the lush valleys of Aru and Betab, trek on the Kolahoi Glacier and experience whitewater rafting on the Lidder River. Invite to.

Patnitop

Set in the pine and cedar forested hills above the Shivalik Valley, a six-and-a-half-hour drive south of Jammu, Patnitop is home to Hindu temples such as the Nag Temple (Cobra) and Sudh Mahadev. For adventure lovers, the city is famous for paragliding, rappelling, rock climbing, camping, and winter sports. On a less demanding note, visitors can engage in hiking and horseback riding in the local farms and forests, as well as explore natural springs known for their medicinal properties.

Srinagar

Founded in the sixth century, Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital and largest city with a population of 1.2 million, is famous for its natural beauty, gardens, beaches, and houseboats. Key attractions include a fort dating back to the city’s founding, its Gondola-like boats, stationary houseboats, and India’s only floating market. Colorful markets and many historic Sufi temples and Muslim mosques add to the charm of the city. Since your entry point into the state is likely to be Srinagar, take advantage of staying for a few days to explore the city’s facilities.

Yusmarg

Located on the Doodhganga River, about an hour’s drive south of Srinagar, this small hill station offers only basic accommodation and lacks distinctive sites. However, it is a worthwhile stop because of its stunning natural environment. Key activities here include hiking and horse riding to local beauty spots such as the stunning Nilnag Lake, the Sang-e-Safed Valley with its eternally frozen lake, and the lush green meadows of Lidder Maid and Haggin. In short, Yusmarg offers a tranquil escape from the busy city life.


10 Adventure Activities in Kashmir
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