Trips and Itineraries for Abbottabad
Hotels and Homestays in Abbottabad 6 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Abbottabad
180 Kms from Abbottabad
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.” This is how the Sufi mystic Amir Khusrow has described the Kashmir Valley, and Srinagar is at the heart of the valley. Smack in the middle of the city is the mighty Dal Lake, its placid water reflecting the vivid kaleidoscope of innumerous houseboats, shikaras (taxi-boats), and the snow-capped Pir Panjal range: a sight that will make your heart skip a beat. The city is home to the state-of-the-art Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh being the most famous of them. The gardens exhibit the Mughal taste of nature and the philosophy of disciplining nature rather than imitating it: fountain pools and canals, meticulously manicured hedges, and motley flowerbeds. Also known as the Kashmiri Venice, Srinagar is a place not to be missed by those seeking a tranquil refuge in the lap of the Himalayas.Read More
Bidding adieu to Leh was hard. We had to force our minds to leave now because our target destination was Srinagar and so it was going to be a long day. Everyone suggested us to stay in Sonmarg if we reached Drass on time as reaching Srinagar on time in a day was next to impossible. But we knew we have to reach Srinagar to see the beauty of Dal. People advised me not to interact with people in Srinagar. Listening to people was one of the things I am born not to do. We managed to reach Srinagar by 5:30 after taking a break in Kargil for a quick brunch. We took a wrong turn and we were lost in the streets of Srinagar. We asked someone the way to cross Srinagar and he said, "You looked tired. You should take some rest." Since we was looking scared, He continued, "If you're uncomfortable staying somewhere out, you can stay at my place and have a meal. Roaming Srinagar after sunset is not advisable." Such a generous act by someone who doesn't even know us made my heart melt and we promised our self that we will visit Kashmir soon. With this hope, we left Srinagar because next day we were supposed to reach delhi.
Things to do: Take an early morning shikara ride at the Dal Lake to see the floating vegetable market of Srinagar; attend a prayer meet at the Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan; sip on noon-chai as you watch the sun set by the Dal Lake; climb 400-stairs to reach the iconic Shankaracharya Temple; walk on the path of Mughal emperors at Nishat Bagh.
Our last day was supposed to be more relaxed and slower paced then first one.We were actually supposed to visit Doodhpatri on our last day but there was a sudden change in plans To Manasbal lake and Kheer Bhawani TempleManasbal lake
Srinagar: As we all know its Summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. A beautiful and developed place in J&K.
From Tangmarg you are supposed to hire raincoats and gumboots because Gulmarg has the most unpredictable weather so you should be well armed with all the weapons for those changing weather conditions.( It will cost you around 300-400 for a raincoat + gumboots per person.)#AdviceDo take a government guide from Tangmarg to Gulmarg . This helps you to save a lot of money from horse owners as well as from the Gondola ride.( There are fixed prices for the government guides - about 900 - 1000 INR)Local sightseeing :-Firstly we decided to hire the horses which will take you to all the spots.
Day-9: Sonmarg - SrinagarA day well-spent exploring Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Pari Mahal at Srinagar. We shopped for authentic Kashmiri handicrafts at J&K tourism art emporium. You can shop at Lal Chowk especially for dry fruits and try walnut fudge at Hazratbal bakery.
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by the acronym J&K. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. A part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, the region is the subject of a territorial conflict among China, India and Pakistan. The western districts of the former princely state known as Azad Kashmir and the northern territories known as Gilgit-Baltistan have been under Pakistani control since 1947. The Aksai Chin region in the east, bordering Tibet, has been under Chinese control since 1962. Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim-majority population. The Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, and Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Srinagar Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the centre of the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River and is surrounded by five districts. In the north it is flanked by Kargil and Ganderbal in the South by Pulwama,in the north-west by Budgam. The capital city of Srinagar,is located 1585 metres above sea level. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dried fruits. Transport Roads : The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D Air : Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domestic flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh and Delhi and occasional international flights. The International flights terminal was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with an Air India flight from Dubai. Hajj flights also operate from this airport to Saudi Arabia. Railways : Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Anantnag and Qazigund. The railway track also connects to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through a newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel, and subsequently to the Indian railway network after a few years. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for train to cross the tunnel. It is the longest rail tunnel in India. The train also runs during heavy snow. This railway system, proposed in 2001, is not expected to connect the Indian railway network until 2017 at the earliest, with a cost overrun of INR 5,500 crore. There are proposals to develop a metro system in the city. The feasibility report for the Srinagar Metro is planned to be carried out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Cable car : In December 2013, the 594m cable car allowing people to travel to the shrine of the Sufi saint Hamza Makhdoom on Hari Parbat was unveiled. The project is run by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC), and has been envisioned for 25 years. An investment of INR 30cr was made, and it is the second cable car in Kashmir after the Gulmarg Gondola. Boat : Whilst popular since the 7th century, water transport is now mainly confined to Dal Lake, where shikaras (wooden boats) are used for local transport and tourism. There are efforts to revive transportation on the River Jhelum Climate Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. The valley is surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall occurs in winter and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked for a few days due to avalanches. Summers are warm with a July daytime average of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. The highest temperature reliably recorded is 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) and the lowest is −20.0 °C (−4.0 °F) Places to visit Dal Lake Shankaracharya Hill Nigeen Lake Kheer Bhawani Temple Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden Mughal Gardens Shalimar Bagh Nishat Bagh Hazratbal Shrine Jamia Masjid and more...For more Please visithttps://www.facebook.com/TravelographybyPlabanBhattacharya
244 Kms from Abbottabad
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Jammu is one of the fastest developing cities in northern India. Its Vaishno Devi Temple, which is one of the holiest places for Hindus, sees millions of devotees every year. The city also has many more Hindu temples that are believed to be of significant religious importance, such as Peer Kho Cave and Panchbhaktar temple to worship Lord Shiva. If you are fond of shopping, Jammu has a number of markets offering shoppers a variety of options. Bahu Fort is another must-visit for its magnificent architecture and overwhelming views of the mountains in the distance. The Bagh-e-Bahu Garden is beautiful at spring time, and even more so because the dazzling river Tawi surrounds it. The garden will take you back to the Mughal era with its lush green surroundings and historic aura. Don't forget to enjoy a meal of kalhadi kulcha at any of the popular dhabas in Jammu!Read More
We reached Jammu and then from there we book a Innova for Pahalgam it’s around 280km from Jammu but its very long journey (around 9hrs)You can visit :
Day-11: Pahalgam- Anantnag – JammuOvernight at Jammu
Once, back in Katra, we picked our bags from the room and immediately left for for the airport (at Jammu). This cost us a lesser amount (Rs. 900) as it was an empty cab going back to pick up a ride from the airport. After quick (relatively) boarding formalities, we were on you way back home for dinner in the city of dreams.Although a weekend trip, it was planned much before, without much room for delays. I would recommend having an additional day as buffer, just to be sure.
We started early on Saturday. But it was evening by the time we reached Jammu airport (thanks to the long stopover at Delhi). We had tried to organise cabs from Jammu to Katra but I found it quite expensive at that. The best prices, (and very convenient) I found were the cabs arranged at the Airport itself. Charged us Rs. 1450 till our hotel at Katra, which was about the same when I researched about cab services online.
Next morning we start sightseeing for Jammu for full day. After finish the sightseeing we get back to hotel and took our lugguage and go to railway station & board the train for Delhi. I want to tell you here that God sent some persons for helping us and that was the persons who help us alot. God bless them.So, thats my unforgettable journey to the heaven on earth. ;) :) Please tell me how much you like it?
Today, bid farewell to your 'Kashmir - Paradise on Earth - Summer' tour as you are transferred to the airport / railway station in Jammu for your onward journey.
Welcome to your 'Kashmir- Paradise on Earth - Summer' tour! On arrival at the airport / railway station in Jammu you will be met and transferred to Pahalgam where you will check- into your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Pahalgam. None (Meals on your own).Request A Call Back
Never forget the spiritual aspects of travellingNext short road trip was to a Holy place, a 14Km trek to the Temple of Vaishnodevi in Jammu. This was the final destination for my recovery journey, and I made sure that the higher power was involved in my ordeal for a healthier life. It seemed like a fitting “rite of passage”. There, I worshipped and thanked God for giving me a new life. I was grateful for a new reason to live in happiness, after being through some hardships.
In the enchanting valleys of Kashmir, and the supernatural landscapes of Ladakh, Jammu is easily forgotten by travellers.Situated on the banks of Tawi River and a busy hub for domestic pilgrims, Jammu gets its name from Raja Jambu Lochan, founder of the city. He named it Jambupur, but eventually decided to change it to Jammu.While Kashmir and Ladakh are infested with tourists every year, it's unfortunate to see Jammu not being celebrated for its share of distinctness from its beautiful cousins.And let me assure you, there's more to Jammu than just Vaishno Devi. In this article I'm going to show you a different side to Jammu, where you can walk by gushing rivers and have a gastronomic affair with the street food of Jammu.
133 Kms from Abbottabad
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Gulmarg is synonymous with beauty so stunning that finding another place like it would be impossible. From its overwhelming ski-slopes, astounding meadows, numerous small streams to its hidden trekking trails, Gondola rides and Bollywood connection, Gulmarg is a must visit when you are visiting Kashmir. Gulmarg is visited by thousands of starstruck tourists every year and it's every bit worth the hype. Though at first glance it might seem like just another hilly resort, the serenity of the place will surprise you. Do try everything touristy here including the gondola and pony ride lest you miss out on a true Gulmarg experience. The route from Srinagar to Gulmarg is absolutely stunning and there are several places you can stop at including Baba Reshi Shrine and Tangmarg. There are quite a few resorts, cottages and hotels in Gulmarg so you'll be spoilt for choice though if you are visiting only for the day, the restaurants and dhabas here more than make up for a hearty meal. Do carry extra layers since it tends to get a little chilly here. Travelling here during winter is a little tricky so it's best to take a local taxi rather than driving yourself. And if you are lucky, you might just spot a snow leopard or two, though for that you'll need to go a little higher than Gulmarg. Another thing that stands out in Gulmarg is the effort to keep it clean, so if you happen to be there, do your bit.Read More
Gulmarg: One word come “Gondola Ride” there are 2 phase in gondola ride.1st Phase: It’s normal so anybody go there oxygen level is good and there you will enjoy some good food, Bike ride to the snow, there you also enjoy sledging.2nd Phase : The view around you is like heaven on earth because of low oxygen level infants are not allowed on top. There you will enjoy skiing and sledging and reach on the top.Over all gondola ride is most amazing experience. Its height 1400ft (2nd Phase) I recommend to stay in Gulmarg at least one night. I enjoyed rain there and that was awesome if you are lucky then might be you will also enjoy and feel the rain.
It was our second day in Gulmarg. We reserved this day for Gondola and local sight seeing.Gondola costs you 1600 INR per person for both the phases.You'll encounter many local guides who will ask you to accompany on your ride to Gondola. One such incident happened with me. An old man in his 60's-70's approached me and asked to serve as a guide for Gondola. I politely told him that I want to explore the place myself and don't need his assistance. He was extremely persuasive and denied to leave my back. In the end I had to give him 50 bucks just to leave me alone and let me go on my own.Note: You don't need a guide for Gondola. Take your passes from the counter and enjoy the ride. I would suggest you to cover Phase 1 and Phase 2 both.In the second phase you''ll be able to reach Apharwat peak. On your left, you'll find Sunshine peak and Shark peak on your right. You'll be able to see Indo- Pak border as well.Snowcapped mountains, cool breeze of air with skiing. This is what Apharwat is all about.As the sun went down, we started riding back to Srinagar from Gulmarg.While riding back, I felt that this was the best of Kashmir that I saw. It couldnt get better. Well, I was wrong.
We had 2 days reserved for Gulmarg and 2 days are more than enough for the place. Stay in Gulmarg is expensive and in the peak season time its difficult to find a hotel even at the highest price. We decided to stay at "Tangmarg". Tangmarg is 11 km before Gulmarg. It's a small village. We booked the hotel "Pine view Resort" through Goibibo at mere 750 INR for a night.The hotel room is clean and the restaurant serves delicious food. Do try their dosa.The moment I entered Gulmarg, some locals asked me to park my bike and told me that I might have to face penalty if I roam around on the bike. I decided not to hear them and continued to explore Gulmarg on my bike.Note: Some people might mislead you, I would suggest you not to throw away your money and get to know about the place. Kashmiri people can get a lot pushy while selling you something, so, keep that in mind.Day 1 in Gulmarg was amazing. Coming from Delhi it was surprising to watch huge green meadows, thousands of sheep, superb weather all at once. We roamed around for a while appreciating its aesthetics. It was around 4 pm when we decided that we were going to Khilanmarg enjoying the pony ride. Well, if you are a first timer, I must tell you that pony ride is not so interesting as it sounds. You'll get to know more once you'll do it.Gulmarg to Khilanmarg is around 5 km. Pony ride is going to cost you around 400 Rs.You'll cross deodar and pine forests on your route to reach Khilanmarg. Once you'll reach the place you can enjoy skiing and sledgingas well. Though its not quite famous for its adventure sports but a ride on sledge will do no harm.It was almost dark when we reached back to Gulmarg. We decided to leave for Tangmarg for our night stay. We had to come back to Gulmarg on the next day for Gondola. It was total dark on our way back. There was no other vehicle on the road except ours and it was horrifying.Later in the morning, locals told us that there have been some cases of the encounters with wild animals between the route of Gulmarg and Tangmarg. That was the day when I decided that it was the last time that I rode at night in the mountains.
This day we started off early and headed to Gulmarg. It was a day trip to Gulmarg and we went to Sonmarg for stay from there. Gulmarg was one beautiful place with lot of pine trees and valleys. Way to Gulmarg was fabulous.W e saw a valley flowing by road and stopped there for a while. After we reached Gulmarg , we had two options : Afarwat peak through gondola and khilanmarg through horse with several stops. We chose Khilanmarg as we experienced Gondola and snow a lot. And this was our best decision. We rented out jackets and we were on horses the next moment. In these places , the guide you get is as important as place. We got a very good guide here. The horses soon went into pine trees. We were seeing nature at its best. Our horse even crossed small water bodies and we felt like kings and queens. Then we were at a point where there were all snow capped mountains and the view was perfect. Next stop was view Reshi baba mandir/mosque from a mountain top. Then we headed to a childrens' park and this was magical. Park was green and there was water flowing through it with a small bridge across water. We were into water the next moment not even caring about how cold the water is. We spent a lot of time there. Then we headed to Khilanmarg. Khilanmarg had very murky ice. It was long time it snowed there as it was summer. We didnot do much there except for sledging in ice. Then we came down and started for Sonmarg. Our Sonmarg hotel was right in front of the mountain. We checked in to hotel, had dinner and relaxed for our next exciting day.
The initial need that I had to reach the top had now being overtaken by the amusement of being on the track-path and sitting down at the cottages, having Nun chai (salt tea- Kashmiri tea). After a long journey up the mountain we finally reached. I could tell by the beams of sun that landed on my face, a reward for making it up so far. It was the most miraculous feeling I ever had, maybe it was the reason I was brought to India, to watch the blue skies kissing the mountain top, which was in the veils of white snow. I felt that I was on the peak of the world, and everything else is below my feet, and no one can reach me. I could see people climbing up below, like tiny dots. They would reach anytime soon. The feeling was so magical that I had not realized my palms turning red, with the unbearable cold that my body was exposed to for the first time in my life. Blood ran up to my top layer of paled skin to fight the strong breeze against me, but it was not powerful enough to kill the smile on my face out of the happiness. Surprisingly, Abid was not scolding me for not bringing proper winter clothes. Instead he was beaming, with a broad smile on his face that touched the corners of his ears as he watched me gradually picking my breath. He was equally happy as I was, to have been the pioneer to bring me to Kashmir, which till now has become a home than any other to me and will always be.
Gulmarg: February is an excellent time to get your gear on and go snow boarding and skiing in the the snow-clad meadows of Kashmir. Gulmarg not only becomes the hub of adventure activities in this season but also promises surreal landscapes and a clear night sky for those who want a peaceful vacation.The nearest airport is in Srinagar, 56 kms from Gulmarg. Taxis and buses are available from Srinagar to Gulmarg everyday at regular intervals.Read more: Snow-Covered Gulmarg In Photos by Ayandrali Dutta
God himself showers light upon this place. And the people there, they couldn't be any more generous in their attitude. Even in a state of curfew, they helped the tourists, the families to get to a safer place, and offered them all the help they could give selflessly.
This summer vacations, my family decided to land on the one place that hits every Indian Middle class family's vacation list, yes-Kashmir! It truly is the 'Heaven on Earth', with the green flowing all around,naturally growing flowers making it even more beautiful, those horses, the hills, and the clouds completing the image of a fairyland.
Gulmarg ("Meadow of Flowers") is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is within the Himalayas and is within miles of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. ccording to CNN, Gulmarg is the "heartland of winter sports in India." Gulmarg was being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. As such, Gulmarg has been rated by CNN International as Asia's seventh best ski destination. This resort is famous because of its "Gulmarg Gondola," one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski.
234 Kms from Abbottabad
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August,September,October
Fondly called the 'meadow of gold', Sonamarg is situated on the banks of a tributary of river Jhelum in Kashmir. A spellbinding valley 80 km from Srinagar, en-route to Ladakh, it is on every traveller's list for its colourful views, serenity and charm. Much has been said about the beauty of Kashmir and one may wonder what the hullabaloo is about. But a visit to Sonamarg is all you need to understand the ways of nature! From Sonamarg, you can trek towards Krishnasar Lake and Vishnasar Lake, amongst others. A perfect place to camp and also to enjoy leisurely afternoon picnics, it would be best if you have a local showing you around. Though there are no well-defined touristy spots within Sonamarg, there are umpteen spots around it. Depending on what you'd like to explore, do gather information and then plan your day here. Read More
Day 2, headed to Sonamarg. August is summers of Kashmir, it was pretty hot. Sonamarg is such a beautiful place, should have spent overnight there with river flowing next to cottages and snow capped mountains all around. However, had booking in Srinagar so had to go back. Here you can visit Thajivas glacier where snow is very less during this time of the year. Need to hire a pony to go ahead. They would lure you in to 5 points site seeing which is basically Zojila pass nothing more, best thing about it is its terrain completely different from Sonamarg.
Sonmarg: It’s famous for Thajiwas Glacier you have to hire a pony from Sonmarg . It’s beautiful place where you can find clean snow and beautiful scenery.If you want to see more snow and wanna play with snow ball with crystal clean ice then you have to defiantly go “0 POINT”
Srinagar-Sonmarg-Drass-KargilWe left Srinagar by 6:00 am as a curfew was declared in the city. Thanks to our driver who informed us last night. Thanks to our houseboat manager, who rowed the shikara himself and dropped us at the bank. We were lucky to leave the city without any disturbance. The beauty will leave you thrilled. We stopped at few places to click pictures (we just couldn’t resist getting ourselves clicked) and once at a local dhabha for a light breakfast.We reached Sonmarg by 9:00 am. We now had to take another cab to go to Thajwas Glacier. (Entire J&K has this issue; you have to use local vehicle to explore. Outside vehicles are strictly not allowed). We bargained with a taxi driver to take us up for Rs. 1000. We skipped ice skating as our driver suggested that its more beautiful at Zero Point (en-route to Kargil, after Zozila Paas). Lot of pestering by pony riders though. We did trekking for some 2 hours before coming down.
Day 8: Leh – Nimmu – Lamayuru – Khaltse – Kargil – Drass – Zoji La – Sonamarg Confluence of Zanskar and Indus at Nimmu, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, and Kargil War Memorial (Vijaypath) are must see places in this route.Enjoy the beautiful landscapes en route.Night Stay at Sonmarg.
It rained all night in Sonmarg. The moment we came out of our hotel room, it was a different world altogether. We reserved this day for "Zero Point". Zero Point lies approx. 10 - 15 km before "Dras". Dras is the world's second inhabited coldest place. You can continue from Dras to reach Kargil and then Leh. Road from Sonmarg to Zero Point goes through "Zozilla Pass".It was one eventful ride through Zozilla Pass. I would rate it in one of my most difficult and adventurous rides. Note: The road condition is not good. It is narrow and might be muddy at times. The scenic beauty on this route is unbeatable. Huge mountains covered with snow, piles of snow stocked on both sides of the road. It is a treat to the eye.Zero Point is a happening place. It is one of the pitstops for the riders to Leh. You'll see a heap of people playing around the moment you enter the place.You can enjoy skiing, sledging, snow biking here. Maggi is definitely a treat, though a little expensive from the usual rates. Don't rent the snow boots or clothes. I don't think it's a requirement.We enjoyed for a while and had some chit chat sessions with other tourists from Delhi.Stayed there for almost 2 hours and started riding back to Srinagar as the sun was falling.We had a 110 - 120 km ride in front of us (Zero Point - Sonmarg - Srinagar). It started raining on our way and we reached Srinagar by night.
The last leg of the journey was to head to Sonmarg. And without a blink NH1 was smooth road with magnificent view. A view you can't close your eyes on. Sonmarg is a quaint town. It looked right out from a movie scene. We had booked ourselves in international youth hostel. Its close to the Thajwas Glacier. But due to Amarnath Yatra were shifted to Apple tree resort i.e yatri niwas in a dormitory. Must say it was well kept and clean. The person to get in touch for IYH is Mr. Mohammed Yusuf. Extremely soft spoken and can guide you well. The cost was Rs 350 per person.
I researched 100s of itineraries to plan my Kashmir travel. Almost every itinerary suggested 1 day stay in Sonmarg and kept Sonmarg as an optional destination.To my surprise, Sonmarg is one place you can't miss on your trip to Kashmir.We stayed for 2 days in Sonmarg. You can cover the important destinations in one day if you leave from Srinagar early and reach Sonmarg early in the morning.Route: Srinagar to Sonmarg route offers you a picturesque view of huge mountains and flowing streams at one of your end. The road is superbly built. Biking is going to be a treat on these roads.Distance: 80 km. 90- 120 minutes ride. We took a pitstop on "Kangan" for some refreshments.Altitude: 2800 metresYou'll spot loads of riders in Sonmarg traveling to Leh. Sonamarg is one route every biker has to travel to reach Ladakh. Another route passes through Rohtang Pass (Manali).The main attraction point in Sonmarg is "Thajiwas Glacier"We rode our bike as far as we could have gone on bike to reach Thajiwas Glacier.From that point there is just 1-2 km trek to Thajiwas Glacier.Note: Local guides asked us to take a pony. Trust me, you don't need one. It's an extremely small and easy trek.It is so difficult to get these local guides off of your back. They almost follow me for a km instead of my constant denial.I decided that I'll not speak anything to any guide who is going to approach me next in a hope that it might work and they're going to leave me alone eventually.So, this man came to me and said "Seth, sledge karega?" I said nothing, tilted my head low towards the ground and kept walking. Again "Ghoda, kar lo. Bohot door jana hai." I greeted him with my silence again. He stopped and said to his partner "Lagta hai saab behra (dumb) hai".So, trust me, if you're going to ask them to leave. They will not leave you. If you are going to argue with them. Thats not going to work at all. Try to remain silent and stop responding. Keep walking. You might get lucky this way.There are high chances that you'll get to see snow covered mountains. We visited in the month of June and it was fully covered in snow.Thajiwas will offer you a perfect place for Skiing and Sledging. Rate depends on season and your bargaining skills everywhere in Kashmir.I did skiing for 150 INR/person and Sledging 100 INR/person.Thajiwas is beautiful indeed. We trek further up from the base of Thajiwas Glacier.We came back to Sonmarg by the evening and booked our hotel. It rained for the whole night. Sonmarg is famous for its heavy rainfall throughout the year and the mornings of Sonmarg are priceless.
This meadow of gold at an easefully adventurous altitude of 2800 meters promises a comfortable Himalayan lap to rest. With the Kolhoi and Machoi Glacier at the vicinity of this campside more adventures await the bravehearts. The river Nallah Sindh meandering through the location, gives you ample fishing opportunities and manage a mahseer for dinner. Sonamarg is Best time for camping: Mid-April till October
331 Kms from Abbottabad
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August
This beautiful district in Ladakh has been part of many significant moments in India. Its close proximity to Pakistan makes Kargil an integral part of India's geographical dominance and its awe-inspiring beauty makes it a must visit for travellers. If you are making your way from Sringar to Leh, Kargil is a definitely stopover. The Sani monastery here is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and is home to a 20 feet tall Stupa and a Buddhist shrine. Other notable monasteries here are Mulkbeh Monastery, home to a laughing Buddha sculpture; Phugthal Monastery, Zongkhul Monastery, Stongday Monastery and Karsha Monastery. If you are here for a day or two, do walk around the villages to experience life in one of India's coldest regions. The people are warm and welcoming with myriad intriguing stories to share.Read More
Leaving for Kargil and finally telling leh adiós was a bit difficult. Though driving on NH1 had its own excitement. Kargil has importance because of the war. It turned out to be pretty crowded area. Drass is much better and recommended where the war memorial is built. We stayed in Hotel Green Land(Kargil). The cost was Rs 900 per person (dinner + bkfst)
Kargil is frequently visited by lot of travelers who take the Srinagar Leh highway. However, even though people stick around here for a day or two to acclimatize for the long road ahead, Kargil is in itself a delightful town. With its bazaar always busy with the newest fashion items that come from Srinagar, it is just like a hill town in Himachal Pradesh with its own stories and tales. Kargil remains an area of strategic importance due to its close proximity to the LoC. Before you reach Kargil you must cross Drass, which is the world’s second coldest place in the world after Antarctica. Even though the terrain seeming inhospitable and ruthless, life goes on in the villages and people have found a way to survive the worst. Drass has extreme climatic conditions but also is a personal favorite if I ever chose to wander!
The excitement was real, we were off to Leh, the most famous place in Ladakh. Having done my homework, I was well aware off the excellent roads we would travel on (apart from the small patch near Mulbekh), unlike most others in the Himalayas. This made me feel that, that tad bit of adventure was cut down, but that was to be a welcome respite from the terrible roads that we had, and would encounter. We were to take the more common route through Lamayuru, since we did not have the permits for the Batalik route, which can be procured in Leh, and maybe Kargil! Our list included a whole lot of things to see, two passes, a few monasteries, a gurudwara and much more. Early breakfast meant that we were on the roads by 7 AM. Initially the roads were a little rough, up until Mulbekh after which no one could have any complaints.
2. Kargil to Srinagar via Drass
Leaving Mulbekh, we directly drove to Kargil. We were startled to witness how the barren desert-like mountains slowly transformed to greenish ones and how Buddhism gave way to Islam. Kargil is a district and is the second largest town of Ladakh division after Leh and is situated along the banks of the Suru River (Indus). The town lies near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan to its north.
We reached Kargil shortly and first visited Kargil memorial. My husband was wearing a shawl and behaving like he worked in army. It was Kargil diwas few days later and all preparations were going on. We were happy to see whole army preparing for the event. We saw Vijay path, we were shown tiger hill where attack took place. Then a shop for souvenirs where we picked two. There was a museum which displayed all things used in war and all paper cuttings after victory. Then we came to our hotel.
Kargil & the story of warThe Kargil memorial built in the memory of all those who lost their lives during the 1999 war, is a vast space in front of the Tololing range. Vijaypath, a long walk way, leads up to the lit up torch, under an Indian flag. A wall with the names of the Shaheed from various gentries stands right behind. In the vicinity, you will notice an MiG that was extensively used during the war, captured Pakistani bunkers & possibly a 100 grave stones of the buried soldiers.There is a small museum built exhibiting details of the war, including photographs of the soldiers, scenes from the war, weapons used, a salutation poem by Harivansh Rai Bachhan & a wall for people to leave messages onMore than the museum, it were the stories from local people that kept us mesmerized for hours when we halted for the night at a hotel in Kargil, overlooking the valley with the Batalik range around it and the LOC just 20kms from it. Clearly, the locals took pride in the fact that it was because of them that the war was won...”koi Madrasi army mein pahaad kabhi chadh payega?”Kargil is a story of valour & heroism. One fine summer morning, a shepherd while walking his sheep, noticed some strange looking faces – ‘alag’ as the locals called them, comfortably staying in the bunkers up on Tololing Range. When he reported this suspicious activity to the army, little did he know that this information would be the start of a war that will go down in history as one of the first conventional warfare between 2 nuclear nations at a high altitude in mountainous terrain?The Pakistan army had infiltrated into the LOC & had occupied the Indian bunkers in the peak of winters, when the Indian army had receded back to the base camp owing to severely cold conditions. What ensued was Operation Vijay, which lasted almost 3 months - surely leading to some wins - recapture of 4 mountain peaks, but many losses – of lives.While there were these heroic tales at one end, on the other, the locals gave us their version of the story of war. Lots of locals had volunteered to help during the war – some carried ammunition & food for the army as they could climb mountains easily, some worked for them in the kitchens & bunkers, some even agreed to fight against the army risking their lives – all in the hope that once the war was over, the government or army would appreciate their effort & provide them an opportunity to serve in the army, ensuring a sustained profession. However, it was disheartening to hear, how none of them were even recognized leave alone any kind of appreciation or a permanent job! This left some bitterness among the locals who therefore weren’t ever as over-awed as us, by the great effort that the army put in for our tomorrow.What if the shepherd hadn’t noticed anything suspicious, what if the Pakistani army had moved closer, what if they had bombed & captured NH 1D, oh what if there was no partition at all – would we have saved thousands of lives, would we have had more harmony, would the Indian map have changed completely & would we have ever been able to travel to Ladakh today – with a million questions cropping in our minds, we silently sat in the car, staring outside the window as the landscape changed gradually – the lush green valleys of Kashmir, giving way to the barren, rugged, desolate, yet colourful rocky mountains of Ladakh.
Not too many people are aware that Ladakh forms the third region of J&K after Jammu & Kashmir – wonder why the state isn’t called J, K & L? Despite, Ladakh being over-shadowed by its more popular cousin Kashmir, it’s still been in the to-do list of travellers from all over the world. Indians however, began to throng this place, only after it was made famous by the Kargil war in 1999 & of course Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’.
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