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Snow-capped mountains, lush landscapes, riveting rivers, mesmerizing lakes, and pillowy clouds touching you gently. Is that a smile? There is no better way to beat the heat this summer than visiting Kashmir.
If you are anything like me, just the thought of Kashmir is enough to get you grinning from ear-to-ear. Actually being there is paradise personified! Deciding your summer vacation itinerary cannot be simpler than just packing your bags and travelling to Kashmir. Not convinced yet? Maybe a glimpse into a Kashmir getaway will change your mind!
Forget Summers: Theres Snow in Gulmarg!
The poetic name befits this picturesque meadow of flowers. Gulmarg is a blessed land, where you will witness the most exotic, beautiful, and colourful flowers in bloom, against the backdrop of the majestic, snow-capped Himalayas.
Gulmarg plays host to the highest and longest cable car system in the world, popularly called the Gondola. The Gondola cable car takes you on a journey of a lifetime to Mount Apharwat which is at a staggering 14,000 feet high. There is a word in Urdu, called jannat. The view from Apharwat is that reclusive jannat- heaven on earth. Mount Apharwat is wrapped in snow the whole year round. Owing to the perennial snow in this area, many spectacular spa and skiing resorts have opened up here.
Skiing in summers is a surreal experience by itself. But even if you are not a skiing fan, take the Gondola ride to Apharwat. The beauty and purity you witness here is unparalleled, and the experience will be one you cherish forever.
Bollywood Beckons! Star in Your Own Movie in Betaab Valley
Kashmir has always captivated Bollywood. We have loved seeing our leading stars romance in Kashmirs snow-clad mountains, and picturesque valleys. One such valley is the stunning Betaab valley in Pahalgam. It has been named so after the Bollywood movie, Betaab was shot there.
Pahalgam is one of the most prominent destinations of a Kashmir tour. There is always a nip in the air in this valley of shepherds. A three-hour drive from Srinagar, Pahalgam is regarded as one of the most scenic and magical places in Kashmir, with its exuberant flora and fauna, snow-laden peaks, and the gushing Lidder river. It will be the perfect setting to the movie of your life. Feeling like a Yash Chopra star already!!
Pahalgam also offers you varied accommodation options. It is a well-known adventure sport destination. You can indulge in golfing, trout fishing, and river rafting here. Skiing is a well-known attraction too.
Hear the Music of the Mountains: Lakes and Peaks Narrate Their Story in Resplendent Srinagar
Chupke se sun, is pal ki dhun, remember that song from Mission Kashmir on the Shikara. Srinagar is really about the music in the mountains. The land of lakes, gardens and mountains, is a treat for sore eyes that are used to seeing steel and glass.
The beauty of Srinagar is synonymous with the magic and romance of Kashmir. The Shikaras or Srinagar house boats have weaved dreams and desires across generations. Ever since you saw Shammi Kapoor singing, Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra, we have wanted to croon and dance on these charming houseboats. Now imagine spending a day or two in these spectacular vehicles. You will find ample houseboat stay options in Srinagar, and thy stay docked on the lake.
However, whether you are staying in a houseboat or not, rowing across the Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake is a must-do. Tranquil and serene, you will enjoy lovely local gossip with your boatman, and get lost in the mountains. The lakes are cocooned amidst the mountains, and the snow-capped peaks around are really a sight to behold.
Srinagar is also favoured by the flowers. The Mughal Gardens are legendary for their beauty and variety. But dont miss out on the spectacular Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden. The vast and diverse variety of tulips have brought the garden admirers from across the world.
Most importantly, dont forget Kashmir is the valley of love and romance. Your trip is not complete without singing, yeh chaand sa roshan sa chehra to your beloved!
Become an Explorer: Discover the Untouched Valley of Bangus
Kashmir is a land of gems. While some like Gulmarg have been discovered and hailed as the epitome of beauty, there are other rare virgin gems hidden in Kashmir as well. Tempt and tease the explorer in you by reaching the elliptical bowl shaped valleys of Bodh Bangus and Lakut Bangus.
Beauty that words cannot define, greet you in these lands. These valleys are situated amidst dense forests of pine and oak. These meadows will mesmerize you. But let me warn you, this is not for everyone. The Bangus meadows have very limited accommodation options. In fact, the cosy guest house, located on the banks of Mawar river in Reshawari village is the only accommodation option you will come across.
Because of their unprecedented beauty, the freshest and clearest air in the valley, and its sky- meets- earth paradise atmosphere, it is an ideal camping site. But like they say, the best comes with the highest price tag. Bangus sees a lot of political and military unrest. So you will need a primary permission from the SP of Kishwar to go to Bangus. Not something that is easy to come by, but if you do manage to do so, you will not want to return from this heaven.
Trek Through the Golden Meadow of Sonmarg
The golden meadow of Kashmir receives many visitors every year. It is probably the most colorful terrain in Kashmir filled with poetic homes, confluence of rivers, and its beautiful array of flowers. There is something divine in the atmosphere of Sonmarg. When you reach the Vishansar lake, the clouds reflect on the clear waters of this lake and you realize just how grand and magnanimous nature is. You can also take romantic walks in the meadows and sample the delectable local cuisine in the innumerable eateries of Sonmarg.
If you have a trekker in you, Sonmarg is your destination. The trek to Thajiwas glacier and further to Ladakh through Zoji La Pass is one of the toughest trekking routes, definitely not meant for the werak-hearted and elderly. But Sonmarg is generous in its offering for everyone. Book a Kashmir tour with us, when travelling with family, and your elders and babies too can enjoy the delights of the resplendent Sonmarg valley. Nobody deserves to miss the stunning view from the top that Sonmarg offers.
So Are you ready to experience magical Kashmir this summer? Has Kashmir stolen your heart yet?
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