Kashmir- From Aru, With Love
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Amritsar Jalliwanwala Bagh Entrance to the Jalliwanwala Bagh Memorial Revisiting history - the Jalliwanwala Bagh Memorial Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) Golden frame - The Harmandir Sahib The Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) Wagah Border (Attari-Wagah Border) Flag lowering ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border Katra The road to the Vaishno Devi shrine on top of the Trikuta mountains Anantnag (the gateway to Kashmir valley) Anantnag - the gateway to the Kashmir valley; seen from the Titanic view point Close-up of the terraced fields at Anantnag Pahalgam Mesmerizing Pahalgam Misty mountains Cloud-capped View from our hotel window - Pahalgam Aru Valley Way to Aru valley from Pahalgam Exquisite scenes at the Aru valley Hotel in the lap of nature - Aru valley Road to Betaab valley from Aru Betaab Valley View of the Betaab valley (Hajan); the Lidder river passing through it Chandanwari Majestic mountains at Chandanwari "V"iew of the mountains, Chandanwari Baisaran Baisaran - "mini Switzerland of Kashmir" Srinagar Reflections on the Dal Lake - from the Boulevard Road, Srinagar Misty Dal Lake scenes Houseboats at the Dal Lake Mini markets on the Dal Lake Hari Parbat as seen from the Dal Lake Houseboats at the Dal Lake Shikara - Dal lake Shikara(s) lined along one of the many Dal Lake ghats Peaceful evening, Dal Lake Sonamarg Road to the Mountain - Sonamarg Awe-inspiring Sonamarg valley Mountain and valleys , Sonamarg Close-up of mountain peaks, Sonamarg Gulmarg Dreamy Gulmarg Someone clicked me...amidst the slippery snow Snowy Gulmarg scenes Enjoying ski-ing in the Gulmarg valley Father and daughter Gondola ride in Gulmarg View of Apharwat Peak, Gulmarg Char Chinar, Dal Lake The Char Chinar amidst the Dal Lake Nishat Bagh & other Mughal Gardens, Srinagar Nishat Bagh Misty Dal lake near Nishat Bagh Shalimar Gardens Chashme Shahi Overnight stay at Dalgoma Houseboat, Dal Lake Dining space in the Dalgoma houseboat Interiors of the Dalgoma houseboat Rooms inside the Dalgoma houseboat View from the balcony of the Dalgoma houseboat Itinerary Day 1 - Amritsar: We reached Amritsar early morning; post-breakfast visited Jallianwalah Bagh and Golden temple and nearby market Next, to Wagah border to witness the flag lowering ceremony at dusk (had lunch in a road-side dhaba mid-way);back to hotel at Amritsar Day 2 - Early morning started for Katra (Jammu); Rested in a hotel at Katra for at least 4-5 hrs Started for the Vaishno Devi Shrine on foot, around 8.30 pm night Day 3 - Reached the Shrine around 1.30 am ; started our descent downhill around 2.30 am - back to hotel around 8.00 am in the morning Day 4 - Started for Kashmir valley post-breakfast; entered Anantnag after a long drive (~6 hrs) - this is the gateway to the valley; After a halt at Titanic View Point, started for Pahalgam; checked in a budget hotel at Pahalgam around evening Day 5 - Explored the mind-boggling beauty of Pahalgam on foot; interacted with locals, visited a small market nearby Day 6 - Took a rented car (from local car renting stand) for a day tour to nearby Aru Valley, Betaab Valley and Chandanwari Day 7 - Visited the Mamal Temple (near the banks of Lidder river), next - went to Baisaran on horseback - it is often called the mini Switzerland of Kashmir; came back to hotel in the evening Day 8 - After an early breakfast, left for Srinagar - en route we halted at Awantipora or Avantipura to witness the remains of the ancient Avantiswami Temple; reached Srinagar at dusk Day 9 - Had breakfast in hotel and started for Sonamarg; the beautiful valley was totally awe-inspiring - reaching there, we began our journey on foot towards the Thajiwas glacier; mid-way had to return to starting point due to snowfall & bad weather Returned to our hotel in Srinagar, in the evening Day 10 - Went for Gulmarg post breakfast; reaching Gulmarg, took the Gondola ride to Kongdori ; view from the gondola is the one to die for After a blissful day, returned to our hotel at Srinagar Day 11 - Visited the Mughal Gardens throughout the day; went for Shikara ride on the Dal lake ; did some shopping at the local market Day 12 - Went for Shankaracharya Temple and Pari Mahal; view of Srinagar from both these places are extraordinarily beautiful Put up at the Dalgoma Houseboat at evening; was unique & great experience staying on the Dal Lake Next moring, we left Srinagar for our journey back home...
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Credits: Ankur P What to see: On your way from Srinagar, make halts at the 9th century temples of Martand and Avantipur; make sure to stop at Kashmir's 'Saffron Town' aka Pampore, that's sown with purple saffron blossoms as far as the eye can see; upon reaching Pahalgam, visit a cricket bat factory and watch willow bats being made; keep aside a few hours to go fishing for trout or white-water rafting at the choppy Lidder River; walk up to one of the town's many orchards and take back some apples and apricots to your hotel; hike up the grassy slopes to reach the quaint Aru Valley and later, take a taxi down to Baisaran for lunch....
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Aranmula Snakeboat Race '15 - the one race you wouldn't want to miss ;)
Actually Me and my uncle wanted to go to this water fiesta and on that day, it was already much traffic to the place which made taking my car a problem...so took my bullet and we both went there to watch the water fiesta... thankfully one of my uncle's connections got us a ticket for a nice view of the race...rest you can see here in pictures...:) Now on to the details......
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Aru Valley- 12 kms from Pahalgam, is a picturesque meadow and base point for trekking to Kolhai glacier, Katar Nag, Lidder Watt and Trasar & Marsar Srinagar- The Jewel of a destination Srinagar, more fondly famous as the state's winter capital, is the most favourite stopover to travellers in Kashmir due to its great lake views, meandering river, exquisite gardens, romantic shikara rides, the old-world charming houseboats, agelessly graceful architecture, and what not!!...