“If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this….”
There could not possibly be any better introduction to the gorgeous and beautiful land of Kashmir valley than the above couplet written by the famous Sufi poet Amir Khusro.
Popularly regarded as The Switzerland of the East, Kashmir personifies beauty ! With the contrasting view of its landscape to the west where the Kashmir Valley’s fields are saffron and the skies are blue, to the arid moonscaped mountain regions of Leh and Ladakh in the East . The state of Jammu & Kashmir is an epitome of untouched natural splendor and a beauty to behold ,in the Indian Subcontinent.
Reach Srinagar the capital city and get amazed by the warm welcome .Spend a night in the heart of the Dal Lake on a livid intrinsically carved house boats.These house boats are nothing but floating luxury 5 star hotels .Each houseboat has a unique style of its own and offers a great arrangement for a fantastic family vacation experience .
Night Stay at Boat House , Dal Lake
Striking a pose with Traditional dress and take a memory as a photograph
Ride through the floating market and shop for Saffron and other stuffs ,Dal Lake
Shikara boat ride on Dal lake
Srinagar City is also well identified by many beautiful Mughal gardens which includes gardens like the Shalimar gardens and Nishat gardens. You will definitely get awed by these beautiful Mughal era gardens amid backdrop of snow-capped mountain ranges of Pir Panjal .
You will definitely find it amusing that ,there’s something more in Kashmir than just the Dal Lake and the elaborate gardens .So take a day tour to a local shawl weaving house .Know the tradition behind the local weaving techniques of Kashmir namely Kani and Sozni. If you wish ,you can then shop some finest and exclusive souvenirs like Pashmina shawls or walnut wood carved Kashmiri local handicrafts items .
Shawl /carpet Factory for Pashmina Shawls
Then visit Gulmarg for a Gondola ride to the top of Mt Apharwat Peak or try your hand learning some snow skiing skills at Sonamarg .Now coming to the food, people with an appetite for good food will find the gourmet of multi-course meal ,Kashmiri Wazwan a total lip smacking dish available. Do try the local Kahwa Tea which is a soul-warming drink that resonates with the power of rich aromatic Indian spices .
Gondola Ride to Phase II of Mt Afrawat Peak at Gulmarg
A Cup of the aromatic Kahwa tea
Your Journey is incomplete without the mention of the Leh & Ladakh valley .It is the second most expansive district in the country, after the Kutch region of state of Gujarat. It was once the capital for the powerful Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh and many royal Palaces can be found in the main city of Leh .The region of Leh and Ladakh is said to be the mecca for all sort of adventure seekers .For the adventure junkies and travel enthusiast alike the valley of Leh & Ladakh region offers everything which can give a lick of blood rush .
Whether you choose the road route from Manali or via Srinagar to reach Leh ,the changing vistas of landscapes with every passing miles from dry and arid lands to the permanently snow capped high peaks will instantly make you fall in love with the region. Go on a bike trip on these less trodden roads through the world highest motorable mountain passes or go for thrilling river rafting over Zanskar river the memories of this place will be permanently etched on to your memories .
Leh Town while on route to Khardungla Pass
The 11th century Hemis Monastry
Inside Hemis Monastry
Adrenaline filled bike ride to the top of Khardungla Pass
Mt Stok Kangiri Expedition
The trekking freaks can try their mettle ,scaling the Mt Stok Kangiri Peak(6100m). However the best time to trek Mt Stok Kangiri is from the month of Jul till September. Whatever may be your purpose of visit ,Leh and Ladakh region has everything that surely will ,Leh’ed you forever. Till then happy touring !!