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Kashmir Dreams: 9 Days in Paradise!

Kashmir is arguably India’s prettiest state, visually! Beautiful locations, decked up shikaras, thousands of stars in the night sky, pretty valleys, skiing destinations, lush greenery, Himalayan mountains, scenic meadows, kahwa tea, incredibly gorgeous panoramas, bristling rivers, peace and tranquility of nature, hospitality and the niceness of the Kashmiri people are some of the things a traveler will experience in Kashmir!

We’ve visited Kashmir thrice, twice during spring and once during winters, and both seasons have their own charm and beauty. In this post, we shall lay down a scenic Kashmir Itinerary for 9 Days which will help you plan your trip well. We had hired a car for our entire journey. You can reach out to Wasim bhai (+91 97963 32642) or Kefayat bhai (+91 70062 75542) for the car. We highly recommend them. They’re very friendly, co-operative, helpful and knowledgeable people.

Day-Wise Itinerary:

Day 1:

On the first day of our trip, we arrived in Srinagar early in the morning, feeling refreshed and ready to explore the city. We started our trip by visiting some of the most beautiful gardens in the city, Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi, and Pari Mahal.

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Nishat Bagh is a stunning garden built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife Noor Jahan in 1633 AD. It is the second largest Mughal garden in Kashmir after the Shalimar Bagh but is more beautiful than Shalimar. Also known as “The Garden of Bliss”, it has the Zabarwan Mountains forming an imposing majestic background. Chashma Shahi, also known as the Royal Spring, is another beautiful garden built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan. Pari Mahal, is a beautiful seven-terraced garden that offers breathtaking views of the city of Srinagar.

After a few hours of exploring these beautiful gardens, we went back to our houseboat Young Manhattan at Ghat No. 7. The houseboat was charming and comfortable, and we felt right at home. For lunch, we headed to Krishna Dhaba, a popular eatery in the city, known for its delicious North Indian cuisine. In the evening, we went to Winterfell Cafe, which is a cozy place that serves a variety of dishes.

Day 2:

The second day of our trip was dedicated to exploring the natural beauty of Doodhpatri, which is a picturesque hill station located about 42 kilometers from Srinagar. We took a day trip to Doodhpatri by pony and enjoyed the stunning landscapes on the way. The hill station is known for its lush green meadows, sparkling streams, and dense forests. It’ll be covered completely with fresh-white-powdery snow in winters. 🙂

To make the most of our trip, we rented coats and shoes, which helped us stay warm and comfortable during the snowy ride. We enjoyed the breathtaking views of the hills and valleys, and the fresh air was rejuvenating. After a day of exploring, we returned to our houseboat at Young Manhattan for the night. For dinner, we went back to Krishna Dhaba, where we had a delicious meal.

Day 3:

On the third day of our trip, we transferred to Pahalgam, which is a beautiful hill station located about 90 kilometers from Srinagar in the Anantnag district. On the way, we stopped at some fascinating places, including the saffron fields in Pampore, Awantipora ruins, rice fields, and a bat factory.

The saffron fields in Pampore are a must-visit attraction, as they are the largest saffron fields in the world. The saffron that is grown here is of high quality and is known for its distinct flavor and aroma.

The Awantipora ruins are a group of ancient Hindu temples that were built during the 9th century. These temples are made of sandstone and were built in the Kashmiri style of architecture. It is advisable to hire a guide to explore the temples and learn about their history and significance.

Then we passed though lush green rice fields and the bat factory, where we learnt about the process of making cricket bats. This factory uses traditional techniques to make high-quality bats that are used by cricketers around the world. We had the opportunity to see the craftsmen at work and learn about the different types of wood used to make the bats.

We checked-in to our resort at Grand Heritage Resort, which was a luxurious property that offered a comfortable stay. For lunch, we went to Dana Pani, which is a lovely restaurant that serves delicious Kashmiri cuisine.

Day 4:

The fourth day of our trip was dedicated to exploring the beautiful Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, and Chandanwadi. These valleys are known for their breathtaking landscapes and are popular tourist attractions in Pahalgam.

The Aru Valley is a beautiful valley located at a distance of 11 kilometers from Pahalgam, and it is known for its sparkling streams and lush green meadows.

The Betaab Valley is another beautiful valley that is named after the Bollywood film Betaab, which was shot there. We spent some time here, walking around, enjoying the serene environment, and taking in the beautiful views.

Chandanwadi is a scenic spot that is located at the base of the Himalayan range and is a popular spot for skiing and snowboarding. We opted for the sled ride and enjoyed every moment of it as we slid down the snowy slopes. We enjoyed the picturesque views of the valleys and clicked some great pictures to capture our memories.

Our last stop for the day was the Deer Park, which is a wildlife sanctuary located about 10 kilometers from Pahalgam. We saw a variety of animals, including deer, musk deer, and black bears. We also enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the park and were amazed by the natural beauty around us.

In the evening, we attended the New Year Party at Pahalgam Club, which was a grand event. However, we were reminded that a pass was required for entry, which we had obtained earlier. We spent the night at the Grand Heritage Resort.

Day 5:

After a good night’s rest at Grand Heritage Resort in Pahalgam, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast before setting off for a scenic drive to Gulmarg via Tangmarg.

Our local driver stopped at the breathtaking Drung waterfall, which is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts who enjoy trekking and hiking. The waterfall is situated at a height of around 2,730 meters above sea level and cascades down from a height of over 100 feet. To reach the waterfall, visitors have to take a short trek from the main road, through a picturesque forest of pine and fir trees. The trail is moderately difficult and takes around 30 minutes to cover. We couldn’t resist taking some photographs to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.

After a short while, we continued our journey to Gulmarg, a picturesque town surrounded by snow-capped mountains. As it was winter, we rented warm coats to protect us from the chilly weather. The rental process was quick and hassle-free.

We then checked into the Welcome Hotel, where we were greeted with warm hospitality. It was inarguably our best stay in Kashmir. We had dinner at the hotel and enjoyed the delicious Indian cuisine. Later at midnight, we experienced heavy snowfall. It was one of the most magical moments during our trip. 🙂

Day 6:

We woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel before heading out to experience the snow-covered landscape of Gulmarg. The route is full of pine trees, deodars, chinars, amaltas and kikar trees flanking the mountainside and render the tall hills an even greater beauty.

Gulmarg is probably one of the most scenic places in all of India. Gulmarg is the top destination to ski in India, and one among the top ten in all of Asia. 

We took the Gandola ride on the world’s highest cable car to the first phase, which offered stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The ride itself was an adventure, and we took numerous photos to capture the breathtaking views.

Once we reached the top, we indulged in snow activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and sleigh ride. Our guide, Manzur Bhai (+91 96227 74404), was very helpful and ensured that we had a fantastic time by clicking loads of our pictures.

We also had lunch and dinner at Punjabi Rasoi, which was known for its delicious food.

Day 7:

Today, our first stop was the Shalimar Bagh, a Mughal garden built by Emperor Jahangir in the 17th century. The garden was well-maintained and offered stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

We then visited Char Chinar, an island in the Dal Lake with four Chinar trees. We enjoyed the scenic boat ride to the island and learned about its history.

Next, we visited the Shankaracharya temple, a hilltop temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple offered panoramic views of the city and the Dal Lake.

In the afternoon, we went on a peaceful Shikara ride on the Dal Lake, which was a highlight of the trip. You can even convince the boatman to let you ride the shikara under his guidance. 🙂 Boating in the Dal is a fun experience with the majestic Himalayan mountains flanking the lake in the background and the Mughal gardens and the markets overlooking the lake with pride. Watch how life goes on in the dal, as local kids ply small shikaras and go to school, adults ferry between the town and their houses, boatmen come closer to you and offer to take photographs, offer to sell saffron and much more. 

We had lunch at Krishna Dhaba, which was known for its delicious cuisine, and enjoyed sweets at Gulab Sweets. We left for Srinagar via Tangmarg after lunch. Our stay was at The Shelter Heritage, Srinagar tonight.

Day 8:

We had an evening flight to Mumbai from Srinagar, but unfortunately, it was cancelled due to heavy snowfall. We had lunch and desserts at Grand Mughal Darbar, a popular restaurant in the city, before embarking on a seven-hour tempo traveler ride to Jammu. It was a long and tiring journey, but we had a comfortable ride.

We checked into the Colonel’s Retreat Home in Jammu, which was a cozy homestay. The property is owned and run by a retired army colonel and his wife, who provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere to their guests. We had dinner there, which was delicious and satisfying.

Day 9:

After breakfast at the homestay, we took a flight from Jammu to Ahmedabad via Delhi, concluding our memorable trip to Kashmir. We were left with lasting memories of the stunning landscapes, delicious food, and warm hospitality of the locals. We vowed to return to Kashmir someday to explore more of its beauty.

Final Thoughts:

Kashmir is not about madly rushing everywhere or waking up early and hurrying to checklist twenty things. It is about sipping Kahwa and taking in the morning sun, having a nice breakfast and then setting off to explore the beautiful countryside, stopping wherever you find something pretty, taking photographs, getting closer to the mountains, besides sitting with the people you have met on the group and getting to know them, striking up conversations with the locals, or just soaking in and losing yourself to the surroundings.

Kashmir is famous for kahwa, apples, walnuts, saffron, pashmina shawl, wood. You can choose to buy what you like. 🙂

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30 Responses

  1. dobry sklep says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  2. Taxi Booking says:

    Very informative blog and suggestion for travelers. It looks like you have covered almost every place. A very detailed, inspiring and informative post, all pictures are extremely beautiful.Visit on – Bilal maszid, Amda Kadal Lal Bazar Near Darul Aloom Bilalya, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190023

  3. shravyami says:

    Excellent blog post with beautiful pics of Kashmir trip

  4. Car Rental says:

    A valuable and informative description of Srinagar. Beautiful pictures, Informative and well-explained blog about Srinagar.

  5. Shameem A says:

    This is so good and informative,….portrayed well…

  6. Bharat Taxi says:

    Thanks for sharing your itinerary for the trip,it is very beautiful place many. I really appreciate this post, all images are so beautiful, Thanks for sharing this post.

  7. Bharat Taxi says:

    Thanks for describing about Srinagar, all pics are so beautiful very nice information. I really appreciate this post, Thank you for sharing these type of post, a very energetic and informative article.

  8. rahul says:

    If someone based an Internet meme on you, it would have impeccable grammar. Never such an impressive informative blog. Keep up the good work wil look forward for more. kashmir tour packages

  9. melbincresto says:

    Hi Thanks for sharing the information about the kashmir itinerary for 8 days

  10. melbincresto says:

    Hi thanks for sharing the information about the kashmir itinerary

  11. Travelkida says:

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