4 Iconic Hillside Destinations Of An Ancient Land Of Kashmir

Whenever there is a mention of Kashmir, people tend to think first about the political turmoil that has engulfed the region. Yes, being sandwiched between age-old rivals India and Pakistan certainly has not done the place and its people any favours, but Kashmir is much more than its political problems!

Nestled in the lofty heights of the Himalayas, the region is frequented by not just casual tourists, but a lot of curious tourists as well! Kashmir’s cultures, food, and surreal scenic beauty make it one of the major tourist hubs of North India, and if you head there any time soon, be sure to pay a visit to these dreamlike destinations! You may book Kashmir Packages to visit this heaven on Earth.

Pahalgam

Pahalgam is probably one of the first names to pop up in anyone’s head when Kashmir’s on their minds! The majestic Lidder and Seshnag rivers and valleys, surrounded by spectacular snow-capped peaks as far as the eye can see, make for breath-taking views. As a town, Pahalgam has seen massive crowds in recent years. Don’t let it fret you though, in case peace is your drug! There are plenty of places near town than can convince anyone to laze away in this picture perfect destination for more than a couple of days. Pahalgam also acts as the base for the Amarnath Yatra (journey), one of Kashmir’s best treks for Hindu pilgrims. If you want to explore the lavish Pahalgam landscape on horseback, take a trip to the nearby village of Aru.

Leh

As the capital city of the Leh District, Leh serves as a gateway to the more remote locations in the Ladakh region, but it is a grand tourist destination in its own right. Nestled at an altitude of 3,524 m., Leh can certainly pose a challenge when it comes to altitude. Take it easy the day you arrive in the city. After you have had enough rest, step out and behold the landscape that has mesmerized both residents and visitors throughout the years. Leh is much different from the lush green setting from Pahalgam. Its mountain desert landscape makes for warm daytime temperatures, but the nights can be awfully chilly! The culture here has a strong resemblance to Tibetan culture, with Buddhism being the prominent religion. Leh Palace is undoubtedly the city’s most revered tourist destination. The city also acts as a base for trekkers en route the peak of Stok Kangri, regarded as one of Kashmir’s best treks. In addition to the city’s thriving markets and iconic monasteries, it is recommended to pay a visit to the iconic lakes of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri as well!

Srinagar

Jammu & Kashmir’s capital city Srinagar is ideal for the tourist who wants a bit of everything. Spectacular mountain views, iconic lakes and landmarks, interesting markets and monuments; Srinagar has them all! Even though the city has fallen prey to political indifferences between India and Pakistan in recent years, it still remains a massive favourite among tourists travelling to Kashmir. Dal Lake has been the centre of tourist attention in the city for many decades, and that’s not about to change any time soon! Hire a shikara (canopied boats)and let the lake soothe your senses. Bird watching, golfing and water skiing are other popular activities in the city.

Before you venture into the Jammu & Kashmir capital, be sufficiently informed of the political environment. If you sense danger, it’s best to avoid Srinagar altogether!

Gulmarg

Notfar from Srinagar lies the gorgeous hill-station of Gulmarg. The hill-station came into prominence in the 19th century, when British civil servants used it as an escape from the harsh summers of the plains. One of the sole survivors from that era is the Gulmarg Golf Club. Situated at an altitude of 2,650 m., it is regarded as the highest golf course in the world. While golfing in Gulmarg is certainly very enjoyable, it is skiing that the hill-station is most famous for! During the peak season, Gulmarg attracts tourists from all parts of the world, and a huge percentage of these tourists happen to be adventure sports enthusiasts. Apart from skiing, mountain biking and snowboarding are the other popular adventure sports in Gulmarg. The cable car service is recommended for those who want to enjoy Gulmarg’s natural beauty at its best! Mt. Afarwat is an absolute joy to behold, and you can even catch a glimpse of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world, across the border in Pakistan! Khilanmarg and Nagin Valley near Gulmarg are also worth visiting!

Kargil

Kargil is situated in the Ladakh region, and is a must-visit if you take a keen interest in India’s military history. Over the years, Kargil has witnessed some of the most memorable military encounters between Indian and Pakistan. In the modern day, the city enjoys a peaceful environment, even though tensions linger in the air. Kargil is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts, with numerous camping, river rafting, and trekking opportunities available. The Suru Valley trek is a popular choice for many a trekker here. You could also visit the nearby city of Drass. If you plan to stay in Kargil, hike up to the Central Asian Museum for some stunning views of the city!