Visit India : Kashmir Diaries

I started 2022 with a week-long visit to a place that was on top of my bucket list – Kashmir. Mughal Emperor Jahangir had famously said that if there is paradise on Earth it is Kashmir. And boy did Kashmir live up to that description. Here is part 1 of my travel diary.

About Kashmir –  Kashmir is part of the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir in the northern part of India. Flanked by the mighty Himalayas, Kashmir is rich in untouched natural beauty. From lakes to mountains to pieces of history to adventure sports and glorious treks – there is something for every kind of traveller in Kashmir. While it has been popular in western media for the conflicts with Pakistan and China (in Ladakh) in that region – Kashmir is truly every tourist’s dream come true.

Photo Credit: Mint Newspaper

How to get there

Flights – The summer capital of Kashmir, Srinagar, has an international airport that you can fly into from various airports in India as well as internationally. You can also fly into a major airport like Delhi/Bombay and get connecting flights to Srinagar.

Trains – You can take a train from all major cities in India to Srinagar.

Flight views be so gorgeous

COVID Rules & Regulations – I’m not fully aware of COVID related international rules, so I’d recommend checking them out online. For domestic travellers, if you are fully vaccinated, you need to show your vaccination certificate at the airport. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, you need to have a negative RTPCR certificate from less than 72 hours prior to travel. If you don’t have either, you’ll have to compulsorily take a test at the airport and only then you’ll be cleared to leave the airport.

While my family and I are fully vaccinated, we still chose to get our RTPCR done before travelling to ensure we didn’t put any other traveller in danger of catching the virus from us.

Srinagar airport

Places to visit – So the following 4 are the four main “tourist” hubs in Kashmir, these are well connected by road, have amazing stays, loads of amazing activites and are extremely easy to travel to –

1. Srinagar – the capital city which is most famous for the Dal Lake, is a beautiful point to begin your cultural immersion into Kashmiri culture. From beautiful Mughal gardens (designed by Empress Nur Jahan) to the centre of attraction – Dal Lake to amazing eateries and beautiful mosques.

Beautiful Dal Lake

2. Gulmarg – said to be THE most beautiful part of Kashmir. There are many adventure sport options and a skiing institute where you can get certified. The entire town is covered in a blanket of knee-high snow through winters making it the perfect winter wonderland.

Yes, I tried skiing and yes, I looked like a total idiot while doing it. (Please don’t judge my outfit, I was supposed to change before heading to ski but we got late and there was a snowstorm warning, so…)

3. Sonmarg – The name literally translates to ‘field of gold’. It is home to untouched lakes and peaks. The famous Hindu pilgrimage, Amarnath, can be visited from here.

4. Pahalgam – A beautiful town located on the banks of Lidder river and famous for its many valleys with gorgeous views. Pahalgam is called mini-Switzerland and for good reason.

Pahalgam Market

While these are the more popular and most visited places in Kashmir, in my next post I will share other more offbeat places to visit to escape the throngs of tourists in my future posts.

Why we chose to go to Kashmir? If you read my bucket list post for India, you must know that Kashmir was on top of my wish list for travelling within India. We also chose to go to Kashmir because we wanted to experience SNOWFALL. It was all of our first time experiencing snowfall and we almost felt like kids who couldn’t get enough of the magic of snowfall. We were blessed with snowfall in every location we went to and it just felt like a dream come true. Stay tuned to read my entire travel diaries.

Best time to visit – Kashmir is THE most perfect place to visit throughout the year. In winters, it is covered in snow and is almost like a place out of a fairytale. In summers, you get to experience the bountiful pristine nature that Kashmir has to offer.

If you haven’t already been to Kashmir, it should definitely be added to your bucket list. I can’t wait to share more of my experiences in future posts. I have been writing a lot less about travel mainly because I do understand that given the circumstances travel isn’t a top priority for a lot of people. But I hope you enjoy reading this series with me.

When was the last time you travelled and what places are on your bucket list for 2022?

PS: Through my travel stories in 2022, I hope to show a different side of India. It bothers me to read inaccurate or outdated accounts of Indian travel stories by foreign bloggers on here. I understand that the West likes to portray India as the land of ‘snake charmers’ and ‘slumdog millionaires’ but those are outdated views and there is SO much more to India. I, also, want to dispel myths like India isn’t safe for women travellers – if you have been following me for a while, you would know that I do embark on a lot of solo travels across India. I do take precautions to keep myself out of unwanted situations but I do the same when I am travelling solo abroad too. Apologies for this long note!

If you haven’t already, check out my other recent posts –

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful visit to the place rightly termed as the – heaven on earth! I have been to Kashmir twice and found the place full of enchanting scenery! I have also written a blog on Kashmir which you can visit on my site❤️🙏🏾

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A wonderful way to start the new year! Congratulations! What a beautiful place!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    Looks and sounds like a wonderful place to visit! So happy that you had a great trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. akshita1776 says:

    I had gone to kashmir during summers around 5 years ago, and pahalgam was soo beautiful, especially the jhelum river
    Pretty pics you’ve got there!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. vaniheart says:

    Ohhh it’s on my bucket list too..
    Kashmir is just so damm beautiful 😍
    I wanna go there…… i love reading this post a lot ❤ the pictures were mesmerizing too

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jas krish says:

    Very well written …Having been to Kashmir umpteen number of times I can say with conviction that it is one of the finest tourist destinations. A place worth visiting in any season.
    Stay blessed…keep sharing .🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed this post from your travel diaries. You renewed my forgotten wish of visiting Kaskmir some day. Actually I wish to travel across India, I have been to more places outside of India 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love reading your beautiful travel posts and I always feel like I’m there with you??

    Liked by 1 person

  9. petespringerauthor says:

    I appreciate you giving us an accurate picture of the places you visited, as it helps educate the misguided stereotypical portrayals.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love your enthusiasm for snow! Do you know the expression “Send it”?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tanvibytes says:

    Wow! Yay, you got to visit Kashmir, and during snowfall! I went to Kashmir with my family a few years ago and it’s one of our favorite places too– it’s so beautiful and charming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember I visited Kashmir during the year end in December when I was in 12th class. The temperature was in minus and we added layers and layers of clothing. But it was a lifetime experience. What a beauty the place its. ❤️ Dreamy and divine. The people were so lovely and helpful. Our drivers invited us to their houses. It was such a beautiful gesture. And it was the time of snowfall. We enjoyed a lot. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wow, love reading about it Ru and good for you! 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  14. IndiaNetzone says:

    Adventure sports in India are fast gaining popularity among the people. India, as a country, has fast emerged as one of the most famous destination for adventure sports in the world. Adventure sports in India include the rafting, mountaineering, paragliding, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, bunjee jumping, and sky diving. Skiing in Jammu and Kashmir, River Rafting in Himachal Pradesh, mountaineering in Uttarakhand, trekking in Arunachal Pradesh, scuba diving in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands, flying Fox in Kerala, Bungee Jumping in Karnataka, water sports in Goa, paragliding in Maharashtra and rock climbing in Madhya Pradesh are the popular adventure sports which are promoting tourism in Indian states.
    https://www.indianetzone.com/60/adventure_sports_india.htm

    Like

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