From Himalayan trek to Dal Lake,From Ancient Shrines to Buddhist Monasteries , colorful Rose gardens to serene valleys, rugged tough terrains to breathtaking view points, Jammu and Kashmir is undoubtedly heaven on this planet Earth.
Kashmir is not just about travelling, it’s totally different when it comes to adventure and natural beauty. Whether its Amarnath Yatra or Vaishno Devi Yatra Kashmir attracts tourist from round the world every year.
I went to Kashmir in month of April,as soon as you land on the airport the feeling of joy and excitement cane be seen on your face , the cold breeze of Kashmir which always stays with you till the end.
But 1st question that comes to your mind is How Safe it is to Travel Kashmir ?
Answer is big YES, it is very safe to travel Kashmir but need to take care of few things such as
- Do not go for trekking unless you are trained in it. As mountain trekking in Kashmir is little difficult.
- Do not mingle too much with strangers in Kashmir Valley.
- Do not go out after sunset unless you are not aware of the surroundings or better ask local people, they are very co-operative.
- Don’t go for fishing without taking prior permission from fishing board in Lidder River. They will allow you but just Ask them.
- Book your hotel well in advance to avoid any issues as Kashmir is a top tourist destination.
Right after landing to Srinagar Airport, we booked taxi from the Taxi stand to PahalGham. The time we boarded the taxi it started raining heavily, indeed it was amazing weather.
It took around 1 hour to reach Pahalgam but it was amazing journey in the rain.
After an 1 hour of rain and the sky was once again clear as you can see in above picture, Pahalgam is really a Amazing place, it is also famous because Amarnath Yatra starts from just few Km from here.
You can easily see the ice covered mountains which presents a spectacular view of the place. Pahalgam has number of small hotels and cottages where you can stay. Its always better to book in advance because in peak season it is really difficult to get one.
We started our journey to see main points in Pahalgam. There are various points to see in Pahalgam such as –
- Aru Valley
- Betaab Valley
- Kolahoi Glacier
- Golf Course
- Sheshnag Lake
- Tullian Lake
We hired horses to reach above valleys whichever accessible, as lot Lakes were closed during that time so limited places were accessible due to heavy rain and snowfall in Pahalgam.
Going up through the rugged mountains is one of the best experience you ever had. Horses are usually well-trained and they know the route already. As you move up , path becomes more and more tough as it was too muddy to walk bare foot or with shoes. You can see Ice melting snow which makes mud more and more wet. But if you have previous experience in trekking and confident enough then you can take longer trek path which will take little longer but its accessible.
Aru Valley– One of the best valley in Pahalgam, you must visit Aru valley situated near Lidder river & around 11 km from Pahalgam. Horses are available round the year, its always better to take horse , don’t think about walking in terrain and rugged route to Aru. It is best place to do camping if you have necessary material available.
As you reached here, you will realize what you are missing in those years of your Life. Beautiful scenery of the snow covered mountains is just jaw-breaking.
Betaab Valley– This is famous Betaab valley named after famous movie Betaab of Sunny Deol, this is also a route of Amarnath temple, Valley is surrounded by ice covered mountains ,greenish meadows and abundant vegetation.
One can only feel the beauty of the place when you are actually there, sometimes words are not enough to describe a place how beautiful it can be in real.
Chandanwari– This is the starting point of Amarnath Yatra, located at the distance of about 15 Km. Lots of small and ice melting waterfalls can be easily seen on both the sides of the road. Here,you can see the ice even in the summer.
Here, there are different shops available where you can buy necessary items including mobile accessories like SD cards.
Kolahoi Glacier– Situated on Lidder river at height of around 18000ft, this is mostly inaccessible for common people and the only route is through trekking which nobody opts. As per the locals, this glacier is the prominent source of water for Jhelum and Lidder river.
Kolahoi Glacier is one of the difficult trekking destination in Kashmir as it was mostly covered with Snow & route is very circular and rough. Best time to visit Kalahoi glacier is b/w April-Sept as during this time snowfall is less.
Golf Course– One of best golf course you have ever seen in your life, it is surrounded by snow clad mountains and greenery from all sides.Playing Golf here is one of best thing one can do.
Sheshnag Lake– This Lake is the main pilgrimage site and popular tourist destination. It freezes during winter and route was made fairly inaccessible for tourists. Best time to See the lake is in Summers.
Tullian Lake– This lake is situated at a height of around 11000ft , view after the reaching the site is magnificent as it can be accessible
via trek only. You can see the crustal clear water of the lake showing its own beauty acting as a mirror for mountains. Lake remains frozen during winters and water can be seen only during summers.