Welcome to one of the most scenic places in India : Kashmir. With its epic mountain views, its unique culture, the many Buddhist monasteries and its rafreshing air, this amazing state is heaven on earth. There is no wondering why it is also referred as India’s Switzerland. All kind of travelers will enjoy this destination. There are so many activities to do that you might have a hard time choosing. To help you plan the perfect trip itinerary in Kashmir, here are the top 10 things you should definitly put on your list.
Kashmir will for sure amaze you with its scenic snowy mountains. To make the most of it, don’t forget to make a stop at Gulmarg Valley where you will be able to take a Gondola ride. Gondolas are sky-high cable cars that offer some of the best views in India. Are you thinking about visiting Kashmir during summer? Don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the cable cars. The green landscapes are going to be as impressive as the white snow.
Since you are going to be around Gulmarg Valley for a Gondola ride, why not staying a little longer to take some ski lessons? Gulmarg is a great spot to practice your favorite winter sports. If you are new at skiing or snowboarding, you will be happy to know that there are many courses available. This is an activity you will simply never forget. That said, you will have to plan to go during the winter time.
The adventure seeker inside of you is ready for an unforgettable trek in India? Trekking is one of the best things to do in Kashmir and for one good reason: the magical views are breathtaking and will leave you speechless. It is also a nice way to introduce yourself to do the culture as you will probably be staying the overnights in homestay accommodations. The best trekking destinations are Ladakh and Zanskar, but many routes are possible. Don’t forget to hire a local guide.
Looking for a romantic destination in Kashmir? Book a houseboat in Srinagar. This is a unique experience that you will not regret. You will be surrounded by the beauty of the nature of Kashmir and the picturesque views. You can pre-book a houseboat package, go for a luxury deal or you can simply pick one on you arrival if you are not in the peak season. Some of the best areas to stay include Dal Second Row, Nagin West Bank and Jhelum River. Cheapest deals might be found on Foreshore Rode.
Buddhism is very important in Kashmir and you will probably feel it through the culture. One of the best things to do is to visit one of the many Buddhist monasteries located all around the state. Among the best ones, there is Hemis monastery, Yungdrung Gompa, Diskit Gompa, Alchi monastery Phuktal Gompa and so much more. Don’t forget to respect the Buddhist etiquette while visiting.
You may have heard about this famous route before. Indeed, the highway connecting Manali to Leh is among biker’s favorite rides in India. If you have the chance to do it, and if you have a bike or you are able to rent one, then this is probably going to be your best memory of your trip in Kashmir. The narrow valleys will captivate you and the landscapes will make you believe you are dreaming. Note that there are many places where you can stay for an overnight stop including Sarchu, Keylong and Pang. Biking is really not an option for you? You can also do the route by bus or you can rent a jeep.
What could be better than river rafting or kayaking nearby the Himalayas? This activity is for the adventure enthusiasts who are looking for an adrenaline rush. In the summer time, Zanskar offers many options of trek and raft expeditions in the roughest waters of India. Dal Lake, Nagin Lake and Willard Lake are among the best places to go kayaking in Kashmir. Water sports lovers will be pleased by all the options possible. A nice way to be in contact with the raw nature and to enjoy some of the greatest landscapes in the world.
While traveling, discovering new food can be really fun. One of the must do in Kashmir is to taste the yummy Kashmiri cuisine. Indeed, it is so unique that it has to be your bucket list. Fill your belly with tabac maaz (fried lamb’s ribs), cheese-based curries and yogourt lamb curries. After a long day traveling between the greatest mountains, you deserve it!
Shikaras are a type of wooden boat that you can find on many lakes in Kashmir including Dal Lake. Once again, you will be charmed by the picturesque views that your eyes are going to witness while enjoying a Shikara ride. One of the most romantic activity in Kashmir is to ride one of these while looking at the sun go down. You will forever remember how the sunset hides itself behind the imposing mountains.
The Mughal Gardens near Srinagar’s is a must see in Kashmir. The well-manicured flowers and trees, the fountain pools and the great architecture create some of the most beautiful gardens in India. This is a great family activity to enjoy during the afternoon. Make a stop to Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. Also, if you have the chance to visit from March to April, go to the Tulip Garden. The colorful flowers will for sure be a delight for your eyes.