I always wanted to travel solo but was reluctant because of many reasons. After my friends ditched me for our weekend plan, I decided to travel solo. I had only 4 days with me so i booked return flight to Srinagar as I wanted to explore as much as i can in 4 days.
I reached Srinagar at 8 in the morning and came out to look for a taxi or auto. I always prefer shared taxis or auto but unfortunately there were none that early outside airport. I enquired about same and got to know that they start after 10am. So i booked a private taxi to regal chowk where i booked my hotel. My check in time was 12 noon but the hotel manager was kind enough to let me check in early. I had some yummy breakfast in hotel and started planning about how i wanted to spend my day.
Today i wanted to explore local Srinagar, my hotel manager helped me to book a auto for all the points that I needed to cover.
First point - Dal Lake and its beautiful. There are many ghats there that offer shikara ride. Govt charges are 500 per hour but you can negotiate.
Don't take any package deal. They will offer you some stupid deals like to cover 9-10 points in 1500-2000. Trust me go by hourly basis
Next i went to some gardens like chashmeshai, Nishad garden and later to Hazratbal Shrine.
I wanted to go to Nigeen lake but it was too hot and sunny and I decided to came back.
Kashmir/Srinagar is quite famous for thier local food. I had Famous Kashmiri Wazwan - this is rice served with 4-5 different types of mutton/chicken curries and kebab and it was amazingly delicious.
I decided to go to Dal lake again for sunset to capture some photographs there. Spend some good 2-3 hours and came back to hotel and i slpet like a baby.
Yesterdat I asked around some locals for day trip taxis and and negotiated the price on 2000 per day. The govt union rate is 3000 per day. I made a deal with some local guy.
My driver reached my hotel at 7 am and we left srinagar towards Sonamarg.
We stopped for some tea pakora and reached sonamarg there in about 2 hours.
I stopped at Indian army's post where you can get a helicopter ride for amarnaath yatra.
Walked side by side of Sindhi river for a hour and just sat there. It was so peaceful and beautiful there.
I went to the main point of sonamarg and you can go to Thajiwas Glacier. It's an easy trek of about 4-5 kms one side. You also have a option of hiring a pony if you don't want to walk.
I decided to walk and reached the glacier point in about 2 hours. If you have watched bajrangi bhaijan of Salman Khan, the border scene was filmed here.
The sun was shining, water was flowing with cold winds. It cannot be expressed in words. I sat there with some locals for couple hours. The local are very friendly here and will go an extra step to help you around with anything.
Someone told me that Kashmiri stuff is amazing so i asked them and yas they got it for me.
We had few puffs there and had some funny conversations.
we trekked down where my taxy was parked and we left for Srinagar again. I wanted to stay the night there but next day i had to go to pahalgam which has a total opposite route. There are few camping sites and many hotels in sonamarg if anyone wants to stay the night. You can pitch your own tent as well after getting permission from camping sites.
So I started my day with quick tea and omelette breakfast and my taxi was waiting for me outside my hotel.
We reached pahalgam in 2.5 hours. The road was good and there were many apple gardens on the way.
If anyone wants to buy dry fruits or kesar, the Pahalgam rd is best to shop.
I stopped on a picnic spot near running river and took couple of photos and then went to main market of Pahalgam.
There is another trek to few tourist spots from that market for Kashmir valley, baisaran, tulian lake.
I decided to hire a pony this time as the trek was very muddy because of rain and it was a steep one.
After spending couple of hours on top,i walked down the trek as it was relatively easy and paid the pony guy. I hired the pony in 600 rs. He asked for 1500 but it all depends how well you negotiate. My taxi driver negotiated for me in local language.
I came back to Srinagar and watched the sunset over dal lake and had a good night sleep at my hotel.
Back to home. Delhi
I checked out of hotel and went to nearby market to shop and eat some more local food.
Later went to auto stand, took a shared taxi to airport and reached 3 hours early.
Please note that there are various checkpoints before Srinagar airport and inside airport so its better to leave couple of hours early to avoid any last minute rush.
If anyone have any queries, you can DM me at www.instagram.com/iamshobhit and you can watch my Kashmir stories videos on my instagram highlights.
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