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Kashmir

Pahalgam

Pahalgam

 Pahalgam a place of such unexplainable beauty , magnificence and marvels that it beholds the sight of the countless that are fortunate enough to witness it .Its beauty ignites an everlasting impression and memories that can be cherished thereafter for an entire lifetime .Pahalgam is a destination who many consider the most enticing , popular and the most mesmerising  in the valley , situated at an altitude of 2200 metres and located along the banks of a turqoise coloured  river  lidder. Pahalgam lies approx 88 kms from srinagar(the capital city of kashmir ) . The endless lush green meadows and mountains and brooks and snowclad mountains laden with huge unending rows of pine trees makes you fall in love with the place. The place is vast and very diverse and places like famous betaab valley (a small valley of immense beauty ), chandanwari a place with waters resembling pearls in luster , aru valley and many such similar exotic places of endless beauty Pahalgam also provides extensive options for trekking , fishing and mountaineering .This place is also a paradise for rafting .It is advisable for the tourists to stay overnight at pahalgam as it is quite far from srinagar and the lodging facilities at pahalgam are plentiful . Additionally the places to visit for tourists are in abundance .Generally the trips to these magnificent spots like aru , chandanwanri betaab valley etc   from the pahalgam town are carried out by the local taxis within the premises of pahalgam as vehicles from outside pahalgam are not permitted to ply to these farther destinations .
 
Gulmarg
Gulmarg

Gulmarg

 

Gulmarg, in kashmiri language meaning meadow of flowers is yet another stunning tourists destination situated at an altitude of 2650 m or higher with its other famous adjoining places at even higher altitudes like khilanmarg , seven springs , kongdoori , drang , alpathar lake and maharani temple . Gulmarg is roughly 49 kms away from the capital city of srinagar and it takes generally 90 minutes or so to reach their in a normal cab .It is regarded as one of the finest skiing destinations in the world and in addition to skiing it is very famous for gondolo cable car setup built by a famous french company pomagalski it is the second longest and second highest cable car hub in the world .It is divided into two phases the first phase reaching a height of 3100 metres till kongdoori and the 2nd phase going beyond kongdoori all the way till the shoulder of the famous apharwat peak at an altitude of almost 4200 mtrs this cable car trip ultimately provides an unforgettable experience traversing above the  white snow and theexperience feels like one is flying at a brisk speed over an unexplored eden . Gulmarg is also famous for decent horse riding options as the horse breeds at gulmarg are quite superior and it results in a fabulous experience for the passionate and intruiging individuals .Tourists can visit gulmarg for both day trips or can also stay overnight as the lodging facilties at gulmarg are adequate and diverse. Their are numerous other great adjoining places closer to Gulmarg and worth visiting like golf course , tangmarg and  a famous dargah namely baba reshi. Gulmarg is very famous for winter sports and this is the place which tourists specifically visit to enjoy and witness snowfall.

 

DODHPATHRI
DODHPATHRI

Dodhpathri

Dodhpathri is approx 50 kms away from srinagar, the capital city of kashmir and located roughly at an altitude of 2730 mtrs above sea level and falls under the jurisdiction of district budgam . Dodhpathri , its literal meaning in kashmiri is a valley of milk. Dodhpathri is an endless terrain of lush green meadows entwined with infinte tall green pine trees and ornamental flowers that add to the beauty of the hill station remarkably The alluring waters of the crystal clear shaliganga river flowing through the valleys and meadows of dodhpathri have a milky appearance from far off and therefore the name dodhpathri comes into the context  One can have a good oppurtunity to experience a good session of horse riding along the meadows of dodhpathri and witness great splendors of nature in its vast green valleys , ridges, meadows & mountain slopes . At present their are no lodgings or hotels at dodhpathri therefore night stay is not an option here and thats why it is an ideal place for day visits only .Other attractive places closer to dodhpathri worth visiting  are mujpathri, palmaidan (having huge white rocks), tangnar and diskhal. All tourists visiting kashmir should surely attain the pleasure of visiting this untamed land .

 

Sonamarg
Sonamarg

Sonamarg 

Sonamarg in kasmiri language meaning meadow of gold is a mesmerising hill station that is roughly 82 kms away from srinagar and situated at an altitude of approx 2730 metres above sea level has been historically called the gateway to tibet and fostered trade between the two places enormously.Today it is a great tourist destination that provides passages to reach some of the great lakes of kashmir like gangabal ,vishansar ,kishansar and numerous other lakes that are full of different species of trouts and hence a real paradise for tourists who adore fishing and trekking . Sonamarg has magical scenic beauty with snow clad mountains and glaciers and closer to some of the highest peaks of the himalayan range .The most remarkable thing about sonamarg is its unbelievably high mountain peaks that almost seem to touch the sky .The famous river sind flows through the valleys and meadows of this breathtaking place and enormously add to the beauty of it . Its quite strange  that great number of places of sonamarg are still unexplored and waiting to be unravelled by the  determined and willful individuals . This place certainly lives up to its reputation being called the meadows of gold and they truely are. Sonamarg is ideal for day and night visits and staying options are abundant . Pony ride at sonamarg is a thing to admire and adore if one is willing to try.

 

MUGHAL GARDENS
NISHAT GARDEN

MUGHAL GARDENS (Pari Mahal, Chasma Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh)

Mughal gardens as the name suggests are a group of majestic and splendid gardens in the valley of kashmir built by the mughal emperors .The gardens build by the mughals are a unique blend of artistic, skillful and a very elaborate work that still amazes countless even in the 21st century .The construction of these mughal gardens in kashmir valley was mainly done by the mughal emperor jahangir as he was inspired by some of the great Persian gardens mainly the charbagh a very famous garden in persia . The main features of these splendid gardens is their massive size , fountains and  pools within them , a stunning array of  ornamental flowers and trees ,exquisite woodwork and thick and huge carved stone walls along their perimeter .The famous mughal gardens built in kashmir valley that are the main source of attraction for the tourists are pari mahal , chashma shahi , shalimar bagh and nishat bagh.

PARIMAHAL AND CHASHMA SHAHI GARDEN

Parimahal and chashma shahi , both these marvellous gardens were built at a high altitude along  the slopes of the famous zabarvan range a sub range of the great himalayas . Both these splendid  gardens overlook the  city of srinagar especially the famous dal lake the panormic view from both these gardens especially the parimahal is breathtaking  .Parimahal is a cluster of 7 beautiful gardens one above the other with exquisite stone  work .Parimahal as the name signifies is often referred to as palace of fairies. On the other end the chashma shahi has an even more beautiful and scenic presence , as its lush greens gardens and  diverse array of ornamental flowers and trees  make it a mouth watering prospect for the nature lovers .Furthermore the famous spring namely chashma shahi meaning royal spring is found  in the chashma shahi garden  and thats  where the garden acquires its name from .Their is a legend about this spring that its water is strangely very sweet and has great healing and medicinal properties . Both these gardens should mandatorily visited by all the tourists visiting the kasmir valley . Both these gardens are approx 4-5 kms away from srinagar.

 

SHALIMAR BAGH 

is the earliest and the largest of all the mughal gardens in kashmir valley .It was built by the mughal emperor jahangir in the year 1619 . In addition to the nishat garden it is another garden built on thd north eastern shores of the famous DAL LAKE from the front end and is overlooked by the skyhigh pirpanjal mountain range from the rear side adding to its stunning scenic presence.The shalimar garden was also referred to as the farah baksh meaning the delightful garden .This garden is three terraced with a total area of 31 acres ,the total length of the garden is 587 mtrs and the width is 251 mtrs The garden is connected with the  dal lake via a 1.6 km  long n 11 mtr wide channel that persistently channelizes the water crossing through this magnificent garden and finally drains into the dal lake. The garden like the nishat garden hold a few pools and fountains and a stunning array of ornamental trees n flowers. The grass resembles a sumptous carpet in smoothness , comfort and continuity .The garden is also known as the “crown of srinagar” and advisable for all the tourists to visit it .The garden still holds architectural  structures and building dating back to four centuries but  the glimmer and uniqueness of these mughal era structures is still intact as it was in the past and is still admired and loved by those visiting this garden illustrating the pedigree and impressiveness of mughal architecture. This garden is approx 12 kms from lal chowk and takes a local cab almost 30 mins to reach.This garden is also closer to the famous dachigam national park and dargah hazratbal .

 

NISHAT GARDEN

 often referred to as the “garden of bliss “is a massive and spectacular 12 terraced garden built on the north eastern banks of the famous dal lake and it extends from the rear side all the way to the foothills of the skyhigh pirpanjal mountain range which adds to its breathtaking view and presence from the backdrop. The garden is roughly 8 kms from srinagar.This famous mughal garden was built by asif khan in the year 1633. Asif khan was the elder brother of the mughal empress noor

 jahan.The garden has sky high chinar and cyprus trees , the flower varieties grown by the mughals 400 years ago are still intact and bloom equally impressively even centuries have not dissipated their charm and splendor. All the 12 terraces have a specific purpose.The garden still holds architectural structures of mughal era that are partially ruins now but still have the shimmer of fabulous mughal architecture visible in them.The kashmir arts and crafts market outside the nishat garden provides good options for the tourists to buy kashmiri shawls, ornamental walnut items and paper mache products .

 

Dal Lake
Dal Lake

DAL LAKE 

Dal lake is a mesmerizing  freshwater lake amidst the capital city of the kashmir valley . It is the second largest lake in kashmir and has an area of roughly 18–22 sq kmrs .its shoreline is approx. 15 kms .Along its shoreline on the eastern side lies the boulevard road and the famous mughal gardens i.e nishat and shalimar gardens . The dal lake is located in the heart of srinagar and is surrounded by the skyhigh mountain ranges whose peaks are snow covered almost year round on the 3 sides making the view from within the lake breathtaking and alluring to say the least .Additionally dal lake hosts sumptuous houseboats and shikaras in large numbers that indeed are a source of bliss for the tourists visiting the valley .Houseboats within the dal lake have an exquisite woodenwork , with splendid and large wood carvings , kashmiri carpets, furniture made out of finest carved walnut and deodar wood , paper mache objects that makes these houseboats look like persian palaces  and staying in these houseboats an experience to cherish for a lifetime.

             The shikara ride in the dallake especially during the evening time is very romantic and memorable and an experience that one never forgets in his entire lifetime.

             This famous lake has also a prominent and impressive market from the rear side where tourists can purchase different mementos of their choices that depicts the strong culture and customs of kashmiris. This famous lake also boosts different water sports and recreational activities that are so very enticing for the the passionate and inspired individuals and  truely a dream for the tourists .This lake is roughly 3 kms from lal chowk and is readily acessible by local transport and cabs.The lake has a decent traditional market alongside its shore on the boulevard road where shopkeepers sell great no.s of good quality traditional kashmir goods like kashmiri carpets, pashmina shawls , paper mache articles, samavars , kashmiri dry fruits like dried apricots ,almonds ,walnuts, figs , pistachios etc etc .

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