A beautiful region, rich in culture and nature - Kashmir is as amazing as nature can get. The Kashmiris are predominantly Muslim, and most will be happy to offer you chai in exchange of conversations. Having been through much conflict and natural disaster, they have plenty of stories to tell: especially that of struggle and resilience. It's time for the world to see Kashmir's beauty beneath all its conflicts ?
In the words of Amir Khusro, "If there is a paradise on earth… it is this, it is this, it is this.
1. Gadsar Lake: The Lake Of Flowers
At an elevation of 3600 metres, this lake is a high altitude lake. The best time to visit it is from June to September as the lake freezers later in the year!
Credit: Meandering Shots
It's the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature, far from the hustle and bustle of city life ☺️
2. Sind River, Naranag
Kashmir's rivers are not only aesthetically pleasing but they are useful too. This is the only river in Jammu and Kashmir which has three functional hydroelectric power plants.
Credit: A J on Flickr
The water in the river is used for irrigation and for domestic use, after it undergoes water treatment.
3. Satsar Base Camp The
trek up might be particularly challenging but it's definitely rewarding, especially when you can spend your night under the stars. Look up in awe at the night sky as you recharge before continuing your trek.
Credit: @karthik_yadake on Instagram
P.S. Mobile networks do not reach this area so you'd have to wait a bit before showing off your photos on Instagram ?
4. Bhaderwah In Early Spring
It's great to trek in the summer, as the temperature would be perfect and the flowers are in full bloom.
Credit: Free Visuals 4 U
In spite of that, Kashmir promises a magical experience all year-round. My friend and I went in early spring and although the blossoms were only beginning to bud, we had a misty forest all to ourselves. It was like the pages of a storybook coming to life!
The fog provides a mystical backdrop?
5. Hazratbal: The Shrine
Here, you’ll notice that some places of worship are built in a pagoda style as they were influenced by the neighbouring Ladakh.
Be sure to check out the Shah-I Hamdan mosque - the interior is colorfully decorated and it was constructed without using any nails ?
Papier-mache decorates every nook and cranny of this mosque!
6. Dal Lake, Srinagar
Dal Lake is Srinagar’s main attraction. The lake is enormous and there are a number of ghats
surrounding it. Staying at a houseboat is the best way to experience traditional life in the wetlands. Go for a shikara
(wooden boat) ride too. You wouldn’t want to miss the floating vegetable market and the backwaters!
Unwind and take an evening stroll along Boulevard street. That is where you’ll find main shops, hotels, restaurants and dhabas.
It will also lead you to Lal Chowk and Dalgate.
Look out for India’s one and only floating post office!
7. Leh: The Epitome of Epicness
Driving through Kashmir itself is gorgeous, but do consider driving to Leh and buckle up for more than 400 kilometres of epic!
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The winding roads en route to Leh[/caption]
Credit: Travel Twosome
This route offers a gradual ascent up to high altitude, passing by Drass (the second coldest inhabited place in the world), the Zoji La pass, and Lamayuru before reaching Leh. The roads might be harsh but there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.
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A journey isn’t complete without good music. I personally recommend this Led Zeppelin classic.
8. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
Can’t make it to Keukenhof? Make a beeline to Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden instead. The sea of colourful bulbs and the Zabarvand range will delight your eyes!
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Flowers stretching across 12 hectares[/caption]
Named after India’s first female prime minister, it’s the largest tulip garden in Asia. The other Mughal gardens such as the Pari Mahal and Cheshmashahi Garden are nearby too, so you can easily visit them all in one day.
Credit: Dial Kashmir
Opening dates depend on the weather, but April is a good bet. You can check the schedule online!
Now, are you convinced that Kashmir is truly beautiful? With so much beauty to see, it's definitely a must visit for all travellers!