|| Kashmir! The whisper evokes a
portrait of beauty: the stunning snow capped peaks of the
Himalayas: flower strewn valleys dazzling the eye with all the
colors of the rainbows and lakes, with floating gardens, teeming
with wildlife. Kashmir has a strong spiritual essence; the aura of
the surrounding beauty makes it a place to commune closely with nature and ones
Today World is beginning to realize that modern Kashmir, is once
again, becoming a place to unwind !
is at once a collection of
images: a son-et- lumiere that tells the story of the love of the Mughal
emperors for this paradise vale; deep green rice fields and river bridges of
gardens in bloom and lakes rimmed by houseboats; at once summer capital of the
state, business centre and holiday resort.
Srinagar is as much imagination as it is fact, for every season offers new
vistas to this city of great antiquity. Spring breathes life again into a frozen
world and the air is heady with the fragrance of a million flowers that blossom
on trees, shrubs and creepers. Summer heightens the effect and autumn is
poignant in its colours of warm introspection. Winter brings with it snow, the
Dal Lake freezes and beneath a leaden sky, roasted chestnuts turn the atmosphere
aromatic with the promise of warmth and comfort.
Kashmir Hill Stations:
56 kms from Srinagar, one and a half hour journey, 2690 mts above sea level.
.It is called “Meadow of flowers”. In summer best for trekking, golfing and pony
rides . One can have beautiful walk around and can see in good weather the high
mountains like Naga Parbat (In Gilgit) 7650mts high, Kolohi and Harmukh which
are 5425 and 5124 mts high. Gulmarg has the world’s highest green golf course in
the world. Ski in the winter. There are cable cons that ferry the tourists up to
the height of 3095 mts. (Gondola).
Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location
in the Himalayas and proximity to Srinagar naturally makes it one of the premier
resorts in Asia.
Gulmarg is an all-weather resort with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral
scenes to keep the camera busy, the winters offer off-piste, deep-powder,
long-run skiing and snowboarding. The Himalayan resort of Gulmarg is one of the
newest and increasingly popular ski destinations. Head here for the world’s
highest gondola ski lift and eye-opening views.
Gulmarg ski resort is located in India’s northwestern corner, in the state of
Jammu and Kashmir, 35 miles from the state capital of Srinagar. Gulmarg is in
the southwestern Himalayas and it lies at an elevation of 8858 feet in the
shadow of Apharwat Mountain. It is served by three short ski lifts and a cable
car. Skiing ranges from beginner to extreme off-powder skiing.
Pahalgam, in Kashmir's Anantnag district, is about 96 km from the state
capital of Srinagar. It is a quaint little village sitting on the banks of river
Lidde. Untouched by urban development, Pahalgam is an angler's paradise,
promising to please even an amateur with a rainbow trout. The thick pine and
cedar forests around this hill town provide a natural habitat for the large
brown bear. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 metres above sea level. For
adventure-seekers, camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment are easily
available. Kolahoi is a popular destination for trekkers via Aru, a fascinating
meadow. Pahalgam is also the base camp for pilgrims proceeding to the shrine of
Lord Shiva at Amarnath.
Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the
Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd's village with
breathtaking views. Now it is Kashmir's premier resort, cool even during the
height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 250C. A number of
hotels and lodges cater to all preferences and budgets, from luxurious hotels to
unpretentious trekkers' lodges.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran,
surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari,
is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has
been the location of several movie scenes. Pahalgam has within it no fewer than
eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here,
generally considered to be Kashmir's oldest existing temple,
dating to the 5th century.
Pahalgam is an ideal place for an adventure sports enthusiast. It offers
wonderful treks, skiing, mountaineering and camping sites. Facilities for
roller-skating, table tennis, badminton and cards are available at the Pahalgam
Club. One can take a temporary membership at the Pahalgam natural golf course.
Pahalgam is the base camp for pilgrims going to Amarnath Cave.
Places to see:
Chandanwari (16km: 2,923m) - It is famous for its snow bridge.
Baisaran (5 km: 2,438m) - Pine forests dot this meadow which presents a
picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains. The snow covered Tulian lake at an
altitude of 3353 m is 11kms from Baisaran.
Sheshnag Lake (27 km: 3,658m) - The waters of this greenish blue lake are
covered with ice till June.
Panchtarni (40 km) - It is the confluence of five streams and gives Panchtarni
its name. A good camping site.
Amarnath Cave - Pahalgam is the base for the religious trek to the abode of Lord
Shiva. A narrow spiralling path from Panchtarni leads to the Amarnath Cave. The
massive ice shivlingam is visited by thousands of pilgrims between July and
Aru (11 km: 2,408m) - This charming meadow can be reached by walking along a
mountain path. The river Lidder disappears at Gur Khumb and reappears after 27
Lidderwat (22km: 3,408m) - A beautiful camping site set among dense forests.
Starting point of the trek to the Sindh Valley.
Kolohi (1,467 m) - Base for a three-day return trek to the Kolohi Glacier.
Tarsar Lake (34 km: 3,962m) - It can be reached from Lidderwat. There are
delightful camping sites and flower meadows at Sikiwas, 24 kms from here. To
reach the nearby Mansar lake one has to cross a 243 mts high bridge.
Yusmarg is a small meadow set in the heart of mountains to the
south-west of Srinagar. It is an ideal picnic spot and the Nilnag Lake can be
visited from here. A two hour drive from Srinagar ( 47 kms ) will take you to
acres upon acres of grassy meadow ringed by forests of pine, and towering beyond
them, awesome and majestic snow clad mountains.
Nearby are several peaks-Tatta Kutti and Sang Safed to name a couple of them.
About 13 kms from Yusmarg, a short detour away from the Srinagar road, is
Charari- Sharief, the Shrine of Kashmir’s patron saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din or
Nund Reshi, now rebuilt after the devastating fire of 1994 which engulfed the
Yusmarg is an ideal day-picnic resort.
50 kms southeast of Srinagar, one and half hour journey through pine and fir
forests. On the way to Yusmarg is the shrine of famous Kashmiri sufi saint :
Sheikh Noor-ud-din, popularly known as Nunda Rishi. One can go up to Nilnag Lake
either by foot or on a pony back. There is Tourist huts available.
Sonamarg, at an altitude of 3,000 metres above sea level, 87 km north-east of
Srinagar. The drive to Sonamargh is though yet another spectacular facet of
country side in Kashmir, this time in Sindh Valley. The Sindh Valley is the
largest tributary of the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long,
and valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and
Sonamarg, which means ' meadow of gold ' has, as its
backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. the Sindth meanders along here
and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river.
Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction
during the summer months.
The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing; but the
rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in
July and August with fine spell in between.
Nishat Bagh :
The Garden of bliss laid down by Asif Khan father of Empress Noorjahan in
1633AD on the bank of Dal Lake with Zabarvan Massif at the back. In Nishat
commands magnificent view of the Lake and the Snow capped Pir Panchal Range to
the west of the valley.
Shalimar Bagh :
The Abode Of Love.’ Is said to have been a village, built by Paravarassna II.
He used to stay here when on a visit to Sukhswami a saint living near Harwan. In
1619 Jehangir ordered a garden to be laid out this spot, calling it, Ferrah
Bakkash (Delightful). In 1727 A.D Zaffar-Khan. A governor during the reign of
Shah Jahan made an extension of it and called it ‘Faiz Baksh’ (Bountiful). The
garden is laid down in four terraces, rising one above the other. A canal runs
through the garden lined with polished stones and supplies with water from
Harwan.Chasma – Shahi : East of Srinagar. Built in 1634 A.D by Shah- Jahan. It
commands a superb view of the Dal Lake it has the advantage of having a natural
spring of Pure, Cool and Sparking water known as Chasma- Shahi (Royal Spring).
Parimahal ( The palaces of Fairies)
It was a school of Astrology built by Dhara Shikua, Shah Jahan’s eldest son
for his tutor Muhlah Shah. School of observatory.
In Srinagar’s Aquatic Plaza around the lake. Villages and Orchids and the
Famous gardens built by the Moghul Emperors famous for Shikra ride. Most of the
House Boats around in Dal Lake. From the Lake one can see the Historic Shankara
Charya Hill in the east and the west Hari Parbat.
Popular for water sports like water skiing, swimming, diving and sailing.
This Lake is famous for Lotus flowers during summer and Paradise for Bird
Watchers,. Between the river and foot of the Mountains spurs lower end of the
Sind valley famous for Picnic spot.
The Largest fresh water Lake in India 26 Kms long and 8 Kms wide. Surrounded
by the mountains. The river Jehlum pases right through the Lake the deepest part
is near the Hill Called BABA SHUKR-UD-DIN on the north west side.