Kashmir valley is known for its glorifying beauty, soothing environment and mountains all over the world. Kashmir is called “the heaven on earth”, Mughal emperor Jahangir once said about Kashmir: “Agar firdous ba roy-i-zamin ast, hamin ast-u Hamin ast-u hamin”, meaning, “If there is paradise on earth, it is here, it is here”. It is one of the regions in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir are world-famous for its stunning natural beauty, moderate climate, mountain ranges, lovely gardens, ancient temples and mosques and rich cultural heritage.
Both these regions are so beautiful that every year thousands and lakhs of tourists from all over the world visited here to explore its natural beauty and to get the glimpse of the sterile environment. Being the resident of Kashmir valley, I frequently give a visit to trendy places in Kashmir. So I would like to introduce you all the heaven on earth that is “KASHMIR”.
It is a valley between Great Himalayan range and Pir Panjal mountain range; it has got an absolute natural beauty, a scenery that isn’t hidden from anyone, a full packet of water showers, streams and lakes that have got purest of water in them, mountain ranges that touch the sky and has snow blanket all over them, people who are loving, caring and honest with an all-time smile on their faces whatever the situation might be and many more things that make Kashmir valley a place of attraction.
Kashmir has got little of everything for its tourists to offer. From the snow trekking on peaks of mountains in the chilled winter to the fantastic and mesmerizing lush greenery and tulips full of colours in summer, Kashmir has got the complete package for visitors on trips and family vacations. It is also known as the Switzerland of Asia, but I think Kashmir has got more diverse and variant natural beauty than Switzerland.
Now if you ask me a question that, which places are most attractive in Kashmir that we should give a visit? Then my only answer would be like; I have no idea which areas should I suggest because to me every district, town, village and every corner of Kashmir valley is worth to visit. Kashmir has got beauty in every of its corner; its beauty is so mesmerizing that if you give a visit to Kashmir, you would be fascinated by its natural beauty that at every point you would like to capture a moment. There are lots of places which are famous not only among tourists but natives also visit there.
These places include Dal Lake, Mughal gardens, Hazrat Bal shrine, Chasmi Shahi, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Tulip garden, Sonmarg, Nubra valley Amaranth cave, Jamia masjid, Yousmarg, Kokernag, Mansbal lake, Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat, Kheer Bawani, Lolab valley, Aharbal falls and many more places which are fascinating. Choosing among so many places is like selecting a piece of sand from a heap. Below are the ten most attractive places which are worth to visit. These places about which I am going to mention are because I have personally seen there and I am myself very much fascinated by their beauty. These places I would suggest, you must give a visit while coming to Kashmir. Here is a complete list:-
1. Dal Lake
Dal Lake is called the “jewel in the crown of Kashmir”. It is situated in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It seems to be a single body of water but in actual is a combination of five lake basins which include the Nehru Park, Nishat, Hazratbal, nageen and Brari. Dal Lake is a significant reason for the attraction of visitors to Srinagar and merely is ethereal, majestic and enchanting.
Dal Lake is known for the stationary houseboats and colourful shikaras. The water in it is so pure and fresh that one can easily see the bottom floor on some places in it, where it is not so deep. There are fishes, floating gardens, lotus flowers in the Dal Lake and the centre is a floating garden called “char chinar” which is very beautiful and is worth to visit place in Dal Lake.
Things to do in Dal lake: – must give a visit to char chinar (a floating garden in the centre of Dal lake), visit Hazrat Bal shrine (a spiritual and religious place), stay in stationary houseboats (they are boats but inside they are like a hotel where one can accommodate like a five-star hotel), take a sail in shikaras all over the Dal lake.
Best time to visit:- March to October.
2. Hazratbal shrine/ mosque:-
Hazratbal Mosque has located in the district Srinagar. On the western bank of Dal lake is a beautiful and a mesmerising mosque full of peace, love, prayers and freshness of chinar trees. This mosque is having great importance, love and respect among Muslims and is considered to be an epitome of love and care for prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
If you visit here, you will find here the most beautiful view of Dal lake and mountain Afar. In this shrine, there is a Moi-e-muqqadas, which is preserved sacred hair of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and is shown to the public on special religious ( Muslim) occasions.
This shrine is famous among people for other names, also such as Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani and Dargah Sharief. Its construction was started back in 1968 by Muslim Auqaf trust, which was headed by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and then completed ago in the year 1979.
The whole structure of this holy shrine is made of white marble. Believe me; once you visit there, you will not come out of there. Its beauty will that much inspire you that you would love to pass the time there and wanted to live there forever.
Other places to visit nearby:
- Char Minar
- Kashmir university
- National Institute of Technology, Srinagar
Best time to visit:- all seasons
3. Tulip Garden
Tulip garden is also called Indira Gandhi memorial tulip garden. Kashmir is homing to numerous and magnificent gardens that are full of colours, and our eyes can’t even blink to see this beautiful scenery. Tulip garden is Asia’s most extensive garden with nearly about 40 types of tulips and several lakhs of other flowers like daffodils etc. that bloom every year.
This garden is not open all over the year because tulips don’t bloom all- year round but start blooming at the beginning in March till May. Therefore it is only open during March and in the may it gets closed again so, one should plan to visit here carefully. Moreover, it is close to many other tourist destinations like Dal lake, Mughal gardens, Shankaracharya temple.
Best time to visit:- March to May.
Sonmarg is very famous for its glorifying beauty and endless variant type of flowers which add its loveliness. So it is also called “the land of gold” or “meadow of gold”. The main attraction for visitors towards sonmarg is unlimited stunning and colourful flowers and many trekking routes to do fun and enjoy a nature walk.
I think in every visitor’s list who visits Kashmir, Sonmarg is on top because of its mesmerizing aura and lush green meadows and canopies all over the sides. If one is fond of trekking, camping and nature walks, he/she should give a visit here for sure. Nature has given it all that one needs to have for attracting people towards it. It has got mesmerizing natural beauty at its best.
Things to do in Sonmarg :- Trekking to the thajiwas glaciers, Camping and nature walks.
Best time to visit:- June through October, December and January for snow.
Gulmarg is famously known as the “Meadow of Flowers” and ” snow paradise of Kashmir”, because of the wide variety of flowers in Gulmarg and snow present on mountains there all over the year. Gulmarg is one of the best places to give a visit in all seasons. The hills in Gulmarg are nearly covered with snow all over the year so a visitor can get a fair chance to enjoy snow right in all seasons.
It is very famous for snow skiing at the height of 1600ft above sea level. There are lot many things that one can enjoy while visiting there like trekking, mountain biking, Gondola rides and horse rides. I think Gondola ride is one thing that no one should miss while visiting it and get the unobstructed and broad view of the valley.
Things to do in Gulmarg
- Ski with the help of professional,
- Gondola ride
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking and trekking
- Gulmarg biosphere reserve
- Strawberry Fields.
Best time to visit: - March to June, January and February for snow.
6. Amaranth Cave
Amaranth is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus and every year in July and August thousands of pilgrims visit the cave to get the glimpse of the lingam. It is considered to be very important in the Hindu religion and has high spirituality value for them.
It is located at an altitude of 3888m and is nearly about 141Km away from capital city Srinagar. The main reason for the attraction here is shiva lingam in the cave. It has got a very soothing, relaxed and calm environment as it is situated at heights, so it is the right place for trekking as well.
Things to do:–
- River rafting
- Helicopter rides.
Best time to visit:- July to September, for snow December and January.
7. Mughal Gardens
Kashmir is home to many magnificent, captivating, fascinating and colourful Mughal gardens in-country and most of them are in Srinagar, so one can visit all these gardens easily because they are close to one another.
The soothing view in them is significantly eyeing catching and can catch anyone’s attraction easily. There is Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Achabal garden, Chasmi shahi, Pari Mahal and many more parks in Srinagar.
Shalimar Bagh is the most massive Mughal garden situated on the northeast side of Dal Lake, and view of this is breathtaking and fascinating. Nishat Bagh is most stunning terraced Mughal garden also located on the bank of Dal Lake with Zabarwan Mountains on the background which adds sparkles to its beauty.
A freshwater spring, terraces, water pools and many fountains make chasmi shahi a most charming garden. One must give a visit to all these gardens to get a glimpse of all these views, and the best part about them is that they are close to each other.
Best time to visit:- march to August.
Pahalgam is a beautiful hill station famously known as the “valley of shepherds” located 95 Km away from Srinagar in district Anantnag at the height of 7200ft. Pahalgam is a full packet of beauty with Lidder River, and Sheshnag lake surrounded with thick pine woody forests and snow-covered Himalayan mountains.
Pahalgam hosts a snow sport for two days where winter sports take place like skiing, snow-sledging and many more. There are other things which a person can do, like golf, trekking and angling. It is the base camp to Amaranth Yatra. Pahalgam is very famous for river rafting in Ladder River, skiing, trekking and shopping of traditional items
Things to do in Pahalgam
- Kolhoi glacier
- Amarnath temple
- Betaab valley
- Mini Switzerland
Best time to visit: - March to November
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Yusmarg is famously known as the “hidden jewel of Kashmir valley”, and the scenic meadows and lush green mountains of it mesmerizes the tourists and is located in the centre of the sang-e-safad valley. Horse riding in this valley is of great fun and is very much enjoyable.
It is less crowded as compared to other tourist destinations but is peaceful and full of freshness. I think it is an ideal place to spend time away from the hustle-bustle of a busy life and the noise of traffic and people. If you love the less crowded and silent environment, then it is the best place to give a visit.
Other places to visit and things to do in Yusmarg
- Dodh Ganga
- Nilnag Lake
- Frozen Lake
- Horse ride.
Best time to visit: - spring and summer from May to September.
10. Dodh Pathri
Dodh pathri means ” valley of milk” and there many reasons behind this name given to it, one being that the water in streams flowing through it looks like milk from a distance. It is situated in Budgam district at an altitude of 8957 ft above the sea level.
Here on all the sides, you can see the mountains covered with snow all the time, gorgeous meadows of fir and cedar with wildflowers all over the ground add to its beauty. This place is also not so crowded but is far away from the noise of traffic and people, and there is all around scenic spots, and the beauty of nature is at best.
Other places to visit in Dodh pathri
- Diskhas and Parihas.
Best time to visit: - May to September
Jammu and Kashmir are all about the beauty of mountains, gardens, lakes, rivers, valleys, streams and most of all the people over there. The words will not be enough to describe its beauty. The more you see Kashmir, the more you will love it and will be amazed by its beautiful scenes. To visit Kashmir would be the best thing that happens to you and believe me, you will never regret it.
It would take the lifelong memory to have a visit here and enjoy real nature. In the end, I would only say that Jammu and Kashmir have got endless natural beauty and numerous places with stunning beauty. COME SOON EAGERLY WAITING FOR YOU TO SHOW YOU THE GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH.