On visiting the Valley of Kashmir, Jehangir, one of the Mughal emperors, is said to have exclaimed: “If there is paradise anywhere on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.”
The tour starts as we board a flight from Delhi to Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir and then carry on to Pahalgam (2130m). We check into a comfortable hotel and have three days at leisure to soak in the real beauty of this picturesque town. Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, Pahalgam was once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views. Explore the beautiful woodlands alongside the meandering Lidder River. Hikes to the many lakes and meadows spread in the hills seem like a perfect way to enjoy enchanting Himalayan views, maybe spot some birds and connect with nature.
After spending three nights at Pahalgam, we drive to Gulmarg. This scenic drive will take 5 hours with short photo ops and tea-stops en route. Gulmarg means ‘meadow of flowers’. It is a huge cup-shaped meadow, from where you can get fabulous views of great expanses and its undulating mountainous slopes. Lush and green, the silence on the slopes is broken only by the tinkle of cowbells.
Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a film. With snow-capped mountains all around, on a clear day, you can see all the way to Nanga Parbat. Gulmarg is the ultimate beginner’s ski resort in winter. Known for its cable car, which takes skiers up to the slopes for skiing, it’s as popular and thrilling for non-skiers. You can spend the days at leisure exploring the town at your own pace. “
Gulmarg also boasts of one of the world’s highest golf courses. You can enjoy a pony ride or a cable car ride to Khilanmarg for fabulous views of Nanga Parbat peak. The next day we’re back on the beautiful roads leading us to Srinagar (2½ hr.) We check into a lovely houseboat on the quieter Nagin Lake, which is far more pristine and calm than the more popular and busier Dal Lake. Staying in these houseboats, which are like townships floating on water, is an unforgettable exotic experience. Each houseboat anchored yet floating on the water is a traditionally decorated cozy apartment in itself with bedrooms, toilets, kitchen, and even a drawing room.
You must taste the traditional Kashmiri wazwan meal at one of the authentic eateries. In the evening do take a shikara ride and watch the sun go down on Dal Lake. Shikara ride is one of the most relaxing and romantic aspects of a holiday in Kashmir.
An early morning visit in a shikara to the floating vegetable and flower market on the lake. After Breakfast one can go on an old city tour that includes Zainul-Aabideen Tomb, Jamia Masjid, Shahi-Hamdaan Shrine, and Hazratbal Shrine.
The morning will take you back to the airport for your flight to Delhi. You will be met in Delhi and transferred to your hotel. The tour will end once you reach your hotel.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||San Francisco International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
Day 01: Delhi-Srinagar-Pahalgam
Day 02 & 03: Pahalgam
Day 04: Pahalgam-Gulmarg
Day 05: Gulmarg-Srinagar
Day 06: Srinagar
Day 07: Srinagar-Delhi