All seasons of Kashmir!

30th Mar 2021

A struggling conservative year of pandemic era was mentally straining human brain when we, the family of 4, decided to break barrier and go out. There comes a dream to be true when we headed to Kashmir in month overlapping winters and summers. Yes, we visited in March.

Here Starts the journey

Day 1

Day 1: Being early starter, we started our journey from hometown to Amritsar and boarded flight sharp at 1. Flight took 55 minutes to take us to heaven, Srinagar. We planned to ‘not’ stay in Srinagar but go ahead to Pahalgam. We had option to book taxi for whole trip at 17000 from prepaid taxi booth at Srinagar airport which we did not opt. We hired a taxi @ 3500 to go Pahalgam. It was hot in Srinagar but cold enough in Pahalgam to wear jacket. Ours was not planned trip, so hotel hunt was an activity.

Activity: Hotel Hunting. (Yes, it’s an activity if you go on unplanned trip)

Hotel: Hilltop

Hotel Review: clean hotel with good food. Pocket friendly too for family of 4!

Tip: try to plan hotels beforehand.

Weather: It was very pleasant weather in day and light jacket suited in evening.

Photo of Pahalgam by Nimasha

Day 2: We started our day with good breakfast in hotel. We booked horses to visit Pahalgam for all the 7 points. It was awesome journey on ponies, started early morning. The path, the scenarios, bright sun and waterfalls make it worthwhile. We came back around noon. We hired a cab (only local cabs are allowed) and saw valleys betaab, aru and chandanwadi.

Activity: Pony ride to 7 places. Valley visit to Aru, chandanwadi and Betaab valley.

Tip: Don’t miss pony rides, you can keep it short as per time convenience. Betaab valley is most beautiful with lake and kids play area. The man who take care of pony are good photographers mostly, get a group pic from them and one pic with them 

Start day early with heavy breakfast.

Weather: It was mildly cold. Wearing a cotton jacket and cap would be make the day.

Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha

Day 3: Although every transit require to pass through Srinagar, We planned to go straight to Gulmarg from Pahalgam. It tool was almost 4 hours with 1 photo session break. We cannot skip the picturesque. Try to go via Anant nag route to and from Pahalgam, it contains typical Kashmir views. Again, we had not booked hotel in Gulmarg which means next activity was hotel hunting. Gulmarg was covered with snow so it required woolen clothes like a quilted jacket. There is a local market nearby and good number of hotels from budget to luxury. The time we visited was cusp of summer and winter making it very apt to visit all seasons of Kashmir.

Activity : Hotel hunting. Sledge, skiing and roaming around.

Hotel : Afrawat Hotel. We paid premium as it was peak season. Expensive than its worth.

Tip : Get a small sledge ride here as after Gandola also, there are sledge rides. Carry Woolens.

Weather: Quite cold

Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha

Day 4: We started again an early day to go for Gondola ride. We asked sledge wallas to book tickets for us. It was very pleasant walkable distance but parents cannot walk so they hired sledge. The same sledge guys got us Gandola tickets of approximately 1500/- per person.

Gondola ride was again a beautiful experience, seeing the green trees covered in snow bed. We got lot of picturesque areas. We went till phase 1, there are 2 phases but owing to companions. We stayed there for 3 and half hours and came back by noon. Our luggage was packed to leave for next destination. We hired a taxi to go back Srinagar. We booked a houseboat for stay in Srinagar

Activities: Gandola ride, Snow Mobile.

Tip: To avoid long queues of Gandola ticket, start very early like 9 AM (if your previous night was Gulmarg). Get the snow shoes and quilted long jacket to get the better feel of snow play.

Get a pocket friendly taxi, try to find a taxi heading back to Srinagar.

Weather: Chilly

Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha

Day 5

Srinagar is warm in many ways, the people – they not only say it but carry Kashmiriyat in them. Warmth is all you feel in their postures, language, eyes. Then of course Dal Lake and Shakira make Srinagar more beautiful. We booked houseboat which built 50 years ago using walnut tree woods. The host and houseboat both were so warm to let all the fatigue of journey to take away. We planned the day to visit Sonmarg. We hired a to and fro taxi for same.

Sonmarg have its own beauty. Rocky Mountains covered with snow. The angle of hills crossing each feel like all the hills are just surround you. Its 2.5 hours one side journey from Srinagar to Sonmarg. In Sonmarg we had traditional Kahwa to get away the chilly feel. We hired a snow mobile to take us further. Negotiate best with sledge and snow mobile as they overcharge. We spend some 2 hours on top when it started snowing. It was mildly scary as means of going back on snow mobile were less as compared to people around. We had dinner with

Tip: Sit outside houseboats early morning to see beautiful sunrise and Shikaras. Wear enough clothes and carry an extra pair for single day incursion.

Activities: Sonmarg incursion, Shikara in morning, sunrise

Weather: hot in Srinagar, chilly in Sonmarg.

Day 6

It was kept a relaxing day and Srinagar Sightseeing. We kept this day to relax and get the sovienger from Srinagar. We visited Tulip garden, nishat and Shalimar garden. Tulip Garden is opened only from 20 days. This trip was planned in such a way to include this duration. Srinagar is mainly gardens and Shikaras. We spent day in less sightseeing but in dal lake houseboat.

Tip: Check the traffic and VIP movement before planning day in Srinagar

Activities: Shikara, Tulip garden

Weather: Hot

Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha
Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha

Day 7

We again had a shikara ride and shopping in Dal lake before board flight in noon. Here come end to Kashmir trip of ours.

We loved the place and the people. There is nothing to be scared off but be nice to people there. Not even a single person seemed non-genuine.

Photo of All seasons of Kashmir! by Nimasha