Most Beautiful Places (Kashmir-Beauty At its Best)
Kashmir is beautiful from north to south. Every Place in Kashmir Feels surrounded by mountainous ranges. From Plains to Hills Kashmir Has everything which makes It the one of the most beautiful places on earth. In this article you will get to witness the Most Beautiful Places of Kashmir and I will be your guide in this tour.
Kashmir is well known for its lakes and rivers. From Trekking To Skiing, Paragliding to bike trips to the huge ranges, let you tour to Kashmir with its beauty at its best with me.
Things To Do in Kashmir While Visiting Kashmir
Indescribable are its sunrises and sunsets and the eternal bliss that holds this place together after all the bruises that its existence has faced, is euphoric. Kashmir is more than a valley. It is the masterpiece of the greatest of artists. Painted within its domain are sky high mighty mountains, setting the ground for large forests- adobe of wildlife, rivers like sind that are as old as the history itself- flowing from the glaciers of THAJIWAS residing in the meadows of Gold -jhelum with its origin in Verinag (a spring in south kashmir) flows through the whole of the Kashmir and reaches its destination in Pakistan- the Neelum also called as KishanGanga situated in the exotic beautiful lands of Kupwara dividing the Countries of India and Pakistan.
Unravelled alpine lakes that lie thousands of feet above ground and the lakes like dal and wular need no introduction to be given.
However, what I can suggest is to travel to those places on Full moon night or some lunar event like Super Moon- when the moon and earth are closest.
You might already know about destinations like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg- but in this article I am going to make you know the places including these and other than these that are worth travelling to in the boundaries of Kashmir.
Mughal Gardens are already extremely famous, for the architecture the mughal engineers have provided to those and the jaw dropping background it has.
Kashmir Natural Beauty:
Unlike other travelling world destinations, Kashmir’s beauty is natural. Given the advancements in Engineering technology, engineers around the world have been successful in developing places that can act as recreational grounds for the tourists benefitting their respective countries. But with Kashmir the creator has been generous enough to provide them with the never ending exquisiteness. Kashmir’s natural beauty is enchanting as if bewitched by some magic that attracts you to fly in its skies and pass by its ranges and not fall.
You cannot put your Camera in its bag without capturing every inch of the scenery you see with your naked eyes. You want to hold on to its every dimension and every edge like you see it as and like you touch it as.
Kashmir Beautiful Places:
When it comes to beautiful places in kashmir, you can’t count a few. You have to strive along all directions and mask its entire terra and still you won’t be getting tired of what these lands hold for you.
Starting from the Bangus Valley of North kashmir’s Kupwara and travelling along its west to the terrain of Banipura’s Gurez , then moving to the mighty mountains of Himalayas Apharwat with its abode in the meadows of flowers- Gulmarg, to the meadows of gold called Sonmarg in central Kashmir and the Great Alpine Lakes lying in its vicinity. And then Pahalgam, Aru Valley with Lidder flowing in its midst and Aharbal one of the most Beautiful waterfalls you can see.
Let’s travel to these places in the ship of our words, one by one.
PLACES TO TOUR TO IN NORTH KASHMIR:
Visiting Kashmir in any season can mesmerise you. It appears as beautiful as a bride at her wedding. It won’t be wrong to call it the real paradise on Earth. Gulmarg is one of the few destinations of the world that can be visited whether it is spring, summer or winter. Its looks are amazingly breathtaking.
Appearing to be the neverland of Tinkerbell fantasy, Gulmarg remains to be the tourist’s attraction mostly in winters. With everything appearing to be covered with cottage cheese, you can not keep your eyes open on a sunny day of snow-covered meadows of Gulmarg.
Tip: travelling to Gulmarg? have your sunglasses on.
Surrounded by pir panjal range, if you want to enjoy every scenery of it along with the fun of joining some ski course, visit Gulmarg anytime between November to March.
There are a number of Places within this destination where you may want to cherish your time.
On the way to Gulmarg falls Tangmarg. It is almost at 1-hour duration from the main city Srinagar. You can stop at this place and fill your stomach for the future journey which approximately lies at a distance of 1 hour time again. You can witness pine forests along your way which are as if touching skies.
Reaching Gulmarg you have a number of sites to see. You can see the St. Marys Church, although developed by the british during their regime in India, however it is well looked after by the Locals. The second religious place here is the Maharani Temple built by Maharaja Hari Singh’s wife. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Now either you can trek up to Kongdori or if you are visiting in winter then you gotta take the Gondola ride. It holds vast meadows. This is generally called Phase 1.
Towards the right of Kongdori falls Khilanmarg. It is the destination in Gulmarg you definitely want to visit. It is located at the of 6Km from Gulmarg at the base of peaks NUN and KUN. This meadow is a site of skiing in winters.
Going to Gulmarg in winters and not having your gondola ride to Appharwat is a total waste. This peak isn’t that high, taking the Gulmarg meadows as a reference, yet, this definitely has a difficult terrain. Standing over it feels like the horizon converging to its end. Nevertheless, trekking to this point in summers should be the goal of the traveller.
At the base of the Appharwat lies the Lake of Alpather. However, this is frozen in winters and you get to come in summers to taste its waters. Its sea-green waters are so attractive and stunning but remain frozen up to June.
Another place you want to visit is the Banibal Nag. It is located above Ferozepur valley a 5-hour duration away from Gulmarg. It is extremely enchanting and is located at a distance of 9600 ft. above Ferozpur valley. You need to trek up here.
Situated in the northern area of the Kupwara district Bangus Valley holds vast meadows, surrounded by trees. Just like the world, you witness in temple run this is situated at a distance of 130km from Srinagar. It is situated at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level and spreads over 300kms of area. A stream flows through Bangus but it is not that voluminous and the existence of large unfenced meadows makes it exceptionally attractive. You can’t find a replica of this Kashir beauty. Pohru river is formed because of the streams flowing through this place. You cannot go for a single day trip to this place, you need to set up the camp.
Freshwater fishes reside in these streams and this place is an abode to many medicinal plants.
This site isn’t that known to tourists because of the armed forces present in the valley. However, given its beauty, from recent years efforts have been made to bring it to the public eye by the travellers and the tourism department of the territory too.
- GUREZ VALLEY
Guraiz is located within the base of the snow covered Himalayan mountains at a distance of 123 kms from Srinagar and at an altitude of 2400 meters above sea level.
Being a border area, 2 out of its 3 parts lie within Pakistan Administered Kashmir.
The beauty of Gurez is elevated by the Neelum River that flows through its vale. Neelum or Kishanganga has green waters and flows exactly in the midst of the three highest peaks that surround it in three directions.
Travelling to this place you will forget the zanskar valley of Ladakh. It’s magnificently beautiful.
People residing here are from the race called Dard and Shina. And the language they speak is also called shina. This place is locally known as Gorai and as said is extraordinarily beautiful. Yet, due to the militarization this place remains unaddressed by tourists. Nevertheless, tourists who are adventure struck and coming from foreign lands due travel to those places. This land is completely cut off during winters because of the snowfall and can be travelled to only during summers.
Once you travel to this place you cannot stop yourself from falling in love with this place.
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Razdan Pass, tulail valley, dawar, habba khatoon and harmukh are the destinations that can be travelled in this area of Bandipora district
Harmukh and Haba Khatoon are mighty mountains each having a terrific place in history. Both of the places need to be trekked and both are intensely beauteous.
Habba Khatoon is named after the Kashmiri Queen and Poetess Habba Khatoon who used to wander these mountains in search of her husband Yousuf Shah Chak, who was captured by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, so that he could rule Kashmir.
Strangely, Haba Khatoon used to mention Mount Harmukh in her poems when looking for her husband through these ranges.
Now since you have decided to travel to this place, take your identification proof without and also for remaining connected to your loved ones back in your home, have a Bsnl sim with you.
Travelling here you can have a motive of sight seeing, I suggest trekking, fishing, rock climbing. However, for fishing you need to get permission from the department of fisheries Jammu and Kashmir.
Don’t worry about your stay here, the tourism department has set motels and lodges here too.
- LOLAB VALLEY
Ever heard of the Song “ye wadi e Kashmir hai Jannat Ka Nazara”?. Well kashmiri’s have changed it to “ye wadi e Lolab hai Jannat Ka Nazara ”. If I wasn’t that clear I meant this valley is the Paradise of the Paradise Itself. Located in Kupwara district, lolab is known for its orchards, lush green fields, springs and lakes. This is often referred to as the land of love and beauty. Lolab holds three valleys within its domain : Potshai Valley, Brunai Valley and Kalaroos Valley.
The main population resides in the area called as Sogam.
Potshai is among the first towns in Lolab Valley, and is famous for aboding the Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyala School.
Divar is Famous for scenic beauty but lies very far from the main town, though the population is good.
About the Kalaroos Valley it is said to have caves that lead to “roos” -the local name for Russia. These caves are said to be long enough to lead to Russia through Afghanistan. The Kalaroos Caves have Heavy boulders Fallen down inside them may be due to earthquakes, that has lead to the blockage of the passages. Furthermore, those Trekkers who have been deep inside these caves, claim to have witnessed a river and a bridge as well. However, I can not testify how much of this statement is true. But nevertheless, the Caves are Magnificent and over high altitude, surrounded by vales all around.
There is a huge Stone, out of which seven doors are craved in. this stone is called as SatBar meaning seven doors and are aboded in Kalaroos Valley as well.
PLACES TO TOUR TO IN NORTH-EAST KASHMIR:
Sonmarg is exceptionally beautiful. Vast lands with Glacier Cold Waters and with Glacier in the Mountains that have Clouds over the sky through out the year.
It is a local Belief that this was basically a Palace for Droupadi.
However, beliefs of Historians are something else. Historians believe this place to be built by the Aryans. This is a temple dedicated to Shiva. Other beliefs are that the King Avantivarman paid the visit to the place and Built a public Bath and Temple for the natives there, just like he did in Sun Temple, Awantipura in South Kashmir- a place named after him infact.
Naranag is the most often taken route to trek Gangabal and Mount Harmukh. One can witness Gadsar, VishanSar, Krishansar on their week long trip through this route as well.
The source of the water is springs, snow, Glacier and precipitation. Gangabal Lake is the source of water for Nundkoul Lake which further drains into Wangath nallah.
Gangabal is known for its trout.
(But then It won’t be worth Trek, now would it?)
Sind Valley is located on the banks of River Sind that has its Origins From Thajiwas Glacier of Sonmarg. Sind Valley is All plains, surrounded by mountains from all sides and Covered with Pine Trees all over.
One of my Personal favorite Destinations to travel to. Commonly it is known as Wayil. But it isn’t restricted to that region only. Wayil is Beautiful. Lying on the left bank of River sind, there is a government owned resort there. One feels divine Peace just lying there and sitting for hours long. Water Rush is heavy usually and must be avoided after rains.
As I said, Sind Valley isn’t just Wayil. It holds regions like Sonmarg itself, Kangan Park, Naranag, Dumail, Gangabal etc.
Dumail is another Valley located a few Kilometers ahead than Naranag and needs to be trekked.
PLACES TO TOUR TO IN SOUTH KASHMIR:
South Kashmir is a more travelled place than north. And why shouldn’t it be. the first reason is Roads are very much developed as tourists reach this place first after entering Kashmir.
This place is next-level artistry. Lord has been very much benevolent in providing the magisterial views.
Most of the beautiful places fall in district Anantnag, however that is not all. District Kulgam has Aharbal; One of the most Magnificent waterfalls and places to be in Kashmir, Shopian “Peer-Ki-Gali”; that lies above clouds. The actual structure of “peer-ki-gali” that went famous lies below the level of the road. It feels like the place is in some gorge.
LIDDER VALLEY PAHALGAM
The Valley is located at the Banks of lidder river. It is extremely beautiful. The roads pull you deep into the valleys. As if you are experiencing the green fairy lands of TinkerBell and Temple run.
Pahalgam is actually a tehsil, in district Anantnag. There are so many places you can visit to. The Amusement Park, The Zoo, Akkad Pakkad Park, The shrine of Ashmuqam- This Place is believed to lead to Hari-Parbat in Srinagar through underground caves, But how true is that no one knows and Snake skins and skeleton can be found at the start of the passage .
Lidder Valley is well populated. There are 4 main towns here:
Mandlan, Laripora, Ashmuqam, Seer Hamdan, and Phraslun.
Betab Valley is one of my personal favorites. The Greenish-Gray waters have a very Huge rush. The water is fresh and refreshing to drink. Clean free of Pollution the water runs through the valley as if it is from the heavens.
This Place got its name after the movie Betaab starring Amrita singh and Sunny Deol. The windmill from the shoot still stands there.
As someone who has travelled to the place before its development as well, I can say Betaab valley was beautiful when raw. Not many know that there had been a waterfall in its far reaches. And I tell you that used to be breath taking.
Now, only 1% of the travellers know that there is a waterfall at that place somewhere. And they water rush isn’t that much either. It has lost its charm. As they say development do have its cons.
For those who are fond of tree houses, well there is one there as well. Simply and Cleanly Beautiful.
ARU Valley lies within the boundaries of Pahalgham towards the upper reaches. It is a beautiful valley. When you are here you can witness that nothing lies above it, it is just the sky. These meadows are the best rehabilitation one can have after the long unending stress and work.
One of the Ways to trek to Kolahoi Glaciers is through Aru Valley. It is a very high and a stony path. But what is adventure of trekking without the difficult ways?
There is a huge stream running at the base of Aru Valley. I don’t Whether most of the travelers notice, but I think Aru Valley is historically Important. May be there had been a good population settled there. I am saying so as we can witness the ancient building walls altogether in the stream.
Furthermore, there is a Overa Wild life Santuary in Aru Valley. While you trek the hills of Aru Valley, you will see Mud Houses belonging to Gujjar communtiy. It is fascinating to see how they live on Such heights, far from the major human settlement.
The cold breezes, enchanting greenery, mighty mountains is worth all the time. So Pack your bags and get on the roads and start driving.
Sheshnag is one of the most exotic lakes of the world. With sea-green waters in its boundary, the lake got its name, “Mirror-Spring”. The lake is located in the midway to Amarnath Yatra. Surrounded by huge mountains in its background, the lake gets filled by the snow that is melted on the arrival of Summer.
The water of the lake is crystal clear. You can witness the base even. There is a popular rumor that the Lake is filled with Cobras. Though you can’t find the Nagas, but however you can have the brown-trouts from this lake. They are extremely delicious.
Aharbal Falls are breath-taking. A complete wow and a must go to destination to travel. This place is situated in Kulgam district in South Kashmir. Aharbal Falls attract towards itself. The water fall occurs due to the Veshu River falling in gorge. There have been many incidents at the place. Due to which the government has done fencing all around.
If Trekkers want to Explore more of the Kashmir’s unravelled Places then Let me add a place in their bucket lists. Kausarnag lies ahead than Aharbal Falls. Though one needs to trek through the mountaneous ways. The first Step of the trek is Climbing upto Kungwattan, this will take nearly 5 hours. Proceeding ahead one can withness the Spring Lake called Mahi-Nag. This will take another 5 hours. From Mahinag you can leave for Kausarnag and then the way back.
Verinag lies in The Tehsil Verinag of District Anantnag. This is also known by the name of Vitastatra. The Spring of Verinag is the main source of water for the River Jehlum. This place was Recognised and Developed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and Later his son ShahJahan led to its proper development.
This Place is historically important. The sky Blue waters are in kind of a tub bounded by grills on all its sides. The water from the spring leads to a stream that flows throughout the Garden of the Verinag. The main spring is surrounded by walls that have sculptured arches in it and on those walls you can see some texts written in Urdu engraved.
Furthermore, one can see the Shiv-linga in one of the arch’s surrounding verinag.
Sub District town of Breng Valley in South Kashmir’s Anantnag District, Kokernag is known for its freshwaters and Rainbow trouts.
It is known so because of the way the water gushes out from these hills. It resembles the claw of a hen.
That water from this spring is known to satisfy hunger and quench the thirst as well.
Daksum – a not very popular place lying in the vicinity of the garden is a must-go-to destination. Sky High Trees on Mighty mountains which seem to be shrunken when you stand on them holds one of the most beautiful WaterFalls. Not many Travel to these places, so yes this is one of the unravelled places in Kashmir.
The Forgotten Mughal Garden of Achbal has typical Persian Architecture same as can be seen in the city of Srinagar. Achbal again lies in Anantnag district. This place was constructed for Nur Jahan, The beloved empress of Mughal Saltanat and the wife of Jahangir.
These twin lakes of Tarsar-Marsar lie in Pahalgam tehsil as well. These are the sky blue watered Snow fed lakes, the trek to which begin in Aru Valley.
These Lakes fall in the U-shaped valleys. Marsar Lake is clouded like always.
The terrain isn’t that difficult. It falls under the category of moderate treks.
These lakes are referred to as twin sister lakes. Tar Sar is Almond Shaped. The waters of both these lakes flow in opposite directions. Being high-altitude lakes, they can be trekked in Summers only.
- PLACES TO TOUR TO IN CENTRAL KASHMIR:
Situated at khag tehsil of Budgam Tosamaidan is a famous pastour known for its history. The area is covered with Deodars all around.
Beautiful Tosamadian was a route for Mughals to travel in and out of Kashmir via poonch.
Nilnag Trek can be accomplished via tosamaidan as well.
Doodpathri-The valley of milk lies in the district Badgam, not that far from the city centre. It is an extremely beautiful place with heart-stealing greenery all around.
There is a belief among locals that this place got its identity after the Saint Sheikh Noor Ud din Noorani hit is a stick in search of water and got a stream of milk instead. He said to the stream that he wanted to perform ablution and to which the stream turned to the milky water.
Doodhpathri is all about round stones stuck in milky white waters and dark green trees standing perpendicular to the plans of these mountains.
Doodhpathri is one of the sites I recommend people to go camping to. Plains among these ranges with beautiful wildflowers all-around hit the next level of aesthetics in our senses.
If you keep trekking to the higher reaches you can see a cave as if it is a pit on the grounds. No one knows how deep it is and no one in recent history has claimed to go out there.
Although there are stories about Sheikh Noor Ud Din Noorani meditating there. But we can not testify that story either. It is not some regular caves, firstly it lies on the ground. Secondly, there are mysterious staircase structures on the above side or what you may call the ceiling side of the cave.
If you keep trekking further, You get a heavenly feeling on reaching towards the apex. The ranges are known to have a passage with Kishtwar through the mountainous route trek.
Yusmarg is known as the meadow of Jesus. Huge Green Pastures on thousands of acres of land, Yusmarg has heart touching landscapes and sceneries. There is a sect of people who believe that Yusmarg is named so because Jesus paid a visit to the place and eventually settled here.
Yusmarg is situated at the banks of Doodh-Ganga- a tributary of Jehlum. One can trek to the high peaks of Sunset peak and Tattakutti ranges.
Nilnag is present in the hills of Yusmarg. Only one needs to trek a little or maybe go for a horse ride.
PLACES TO TOUR TO IN SRINAGAR KASHMIR
The city of Srinagar is not like other cities of the world. With all the buzz and the development, the loud noises of the city life, it has got beautiful heart throbbing scenes as well. There are these beautiful mountains, gardans, hills, lakes and everything that a mad heart desires to see in his lifetime. Let us have a glance at places that you need to travel once.
In The background of the Nishat Garden lies the beautiful Zabarwan range. Not that difficult to trek, one can reach the apex in just 3 hours. However, you need to have a strong stick to climb this mountain. The ways are full of super solid rocks quite stuck for forever now. One can reach the base of the trek via his transport even and he needs to carry water with him. The sun is direct to these ranges from morning until sunset.
It is not avised to Trek or be at the hill after dusk as mountain lions and bears roam the area often.
But the view at the Sunset is worth dying for.
Not many know that these terraced gardens besides being a popular tourist place hold the grave of Mughal Princess Zahra- daughter of Alamgir 2. This Bagh lies in the declivity of Zabarwan alongside the eastern coast of famous dal. Built by Asif Khan, who was the father-in-law of famous Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
The garden is subdivided into 12 terraced gardens, central to which runs the stream with fountains. The source of water is a mountain spring which has been the sole reason of the garden is rectangular instead of square- what actually the Persian architecture constructs. Chinar trees as old as the gardens themselves can be seen everywhere along with colourful flowers sewn into beds.
The entrance fee is 20 rupees per person and is open throughout the week except for Fridays, with the opening time being 9 am and the closure time is 7 pm in the evening.
This Bagh lies on the north-eastern shore of the Dal- with its foundation being laid by Mughal emperor Jahangir. Spread on an area of 31 acres, this Bagh is the largest of all Mughal gardens. Through the centre of the garden passes a water channel, with fountains in it, running down three terraces. Each terrace has a hall and is named according to the people the terrace is available to. The first terrace known as Diwan-e-aam is available to the public and is resided in the outer bagh. There lies a black marble throne on this terrace, installed over the waterfall.
The second terrace is slightly broader and is available only to the private audience. Hence the name, Diwan-e-Khaas. During the Mughal times, it was available only to the Noblemen of the empire. The third terrace was for women and had two pavilions where guards secured this women’s Place.
This place is perfect for a pre-wedding shoot. Bring your cameraman with your best avatars.
This doesn’t lie anywhere near the Mughal gardens, not in the location, not in the architecture. However, this bagh lies near Sarband lake which actually doesn’t lie in the city Srinagar. Lying on the outskirts of the city in the area called as Murandar bagh, there lies a channel from Dachigham Nallah. Huge chinars reside in the garden and this has its own natural charm. There is one fountain near the entrance and a central path that leads to the further place. Towards the end, there lies a stairway from where Sarband Lake is visible. Dachigam National Park lies at a distance of 12 km from Harwan.
The royal spring is located just ahead of The Governor’s house- Raj Bhavan. Ordered to be built by the Mughal Emperor Shahi-Jahan, this famous tourist resort was gifted to the Royal Prince Dara Shikoh.
The spring of the place was discovered by a Pandit female saint from the family of Sahib’s which gave the name Chashma Sahib to this place. Yet, lately, the name was modified to Chashma Shahi. This is the smallest of all Mughal Gardens, with the similarities being with the other two gardens being at the right side of the Dal and Zabarwan hills in the background. Beautiful in its architecture the garden is terraced into three levels. The topmost terrace has a hut, which encompasses the spring, the water from which flows to the second terrace. This holds a fountain at its centre that flows down to the lowest terrace which further has a fountain. The best time to visit this place is April although it is open for tourists from March to November. One can enjoy their ride through the shores of Boulevard for reaching this destination.
Located at the top of Zabarwan hills, this seven terraced garden was the astronomical centre of the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh. It had a library too and he resided there for over the period of 10 years- thus a second home to him. Looked down from the heights, the whole of the city is visible and lies at a distance of 1.6 Km from Chashma Shahi.
Nehru Park lies within the Dal lake- closing at 9 pm at night, this not so big Park has a number of hotels in its vicinity. One has to reach this part of the Dal using water modes- the most enjoyable being Shikara Ride.
This area has swimming spots, surf ridings, water skiing. In fact, one can eye witness the Floating Markets, the flower boats as seen in movies. Moreover, the 200 BC old Shankaracharya temple also known as the Throne Of Solomon (Thakth-e-Sulaymani) can be viewed from here too.
Nigeen Lake is actually an offshoot of Dal. lying through Saida-Kadal area of Srinagar. One can see Hari Parbat across its waters.
Water Lillies and Lotus are found in abundance here.
On the banks of Nigeen Lies Nigeen Club.
Parties as to celebrate birthdays, engagements are organised here with the beauty of Nigeen in the background. Thus, the lake presents a breathtaking view- with the sunset.
The facilities offered by the club authorities include a Conference hall, Gymming, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, sauna and steam bathing, snooker’s club and for the readers- a library.