Srinagar also known as the Paradise on Earth is considered one of the ideal holiday destinations of India. A large number of tourists visit Kashmir all round the year. Golfing at 2,600 meters above the sea or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats and exploring the rugged Himalayan terrains by cycle or motorbike are some of the most favoured activities done by tourists while visiting Srinagar.
With so many fun-filled activities to offer, the picturesque town of Gulmarg has attracted many tourists in recent years. Gulmarg is located about 40 km from Srinagar and regular buses and tourist vehicles are available from Srinagar to Gulmarg. There are many luxury and budget accommodation for tourists to choose in and around Srinagar and Gulmarg.
From adventure activities to religious and city walk tours, travellers will find everything in Kashmir to make their trip enjoyable and memorable. Read on to know more about the activities worth enjoying and experiencing while visiting the charming land of Srinagar and Gulmarg.
Shikara Boat Ride
A shikara ride is one of the most soothing, relaxing aspects of a holiday in Srinagar. It is worth to take a pleasure ride around the lake in a shikara. Sightseeing on a shikara boat in Dal Lake and Nagin lakes culminates to a romantic trip especially if you are seated inside canopies of the Dal lake shikara boats. The feeling of joy and pleasure is unaccountable and the experience definitely unforgettable. The banks of the Dal Lake and Nagin Lake along the Boulevard road in Srinagar, feature several Shikara Boat Ghats where the boats are available for hire. The Shikara Boat Ride is open to tourists all round the year except during winter months (December - January) when the lake becomes frozen.
Srinagar is a paradise for shopaholics. From the beautiful trinkets to the famous Kashmiri Shawls, travellers will find it all in Srinagar. Row upon row of shops filled with handicrafts line the streets of Srinagar. The array is awesome. There are objects to suit every pocket, for the variety within each craft is wide. Kashmiri handicrafts are prized everywhere for their exquisite craftsmanship. Kashmir carpets, in both wool and silk with their Persian design, are a lifetime investment and the shoppers' selection range from the simple to the most extraordinarily intricate patterns.
Srinagar offer ‘City Walks' for the interest of tourists who are not too keen in adventure activities in Kashmir. The capital city of Srinagar offers excellent opportunity for city walks along its pathways filled with historic charm, ancient shrines, churches, gurdwaras, temples, mosques, water bodies, forts, and bazaars, to mention a few. City walks within the Old City of Srinagar offers an enormous chance to view its rich heritage and to showcase its cultural influence among the tourists.
Horse Riding in Gulmarg is one of the best way to explore the beautiful countryside and mountain passes. If you are trekking, then horses can be used for carrying your luggage and trekking equipment up to the highlands of Kashmir. The town of Gulmarg and Pahalgam in Kashmir is dominated with good horses for rides.
For birdwatching enthusiasts, the Hokersar and Anchar Lake are the ideal place for birdwatching. These lakes are situated about 14 km from Srinagar. Migratory ducks and geese are some of the common birds found in these lakes. The ideal time to visit the lake is from the month of September and November. These are the months when the birds are seen in large numbers on the lake. On request, half or full day bird watching tours are also available to tourists. The ideal time to cite these birds are in the early morning and a good powerful set of binoculars are recommended before setting for a birdwatching tour.
Mountain Biking or Cycling
Mountain Biking is one of the most challenging and exciting adventure sports for any adventure enthusiasts visiting Kashmir. Biking or cycling along the treacherous and adventurous trails of the Himalayan Mountains can be quite fun and a memorable experience. It is also a great way to explore nature, the local people, their customs and traditions and different aspects of their lifestyle as you move along. The ideal spots for mountain cycling are Srinagar to Gulmarg, Gulmarg to Pahalgam which takes about 2 hours to exolore the terrain, Pahalgam to Srinagar and back to Srinagar. The ideal time to explore the rugged terrains are from June to November.
Jammu and Kashmir has got rich cultural and religious potential to attract the pilgrimage tourists. The state has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in the lifestyles of the native people who live in the villages in the different districts of the state. The religious tours include visits to a number of ancient Hindu, Muslim and Sufi and Buddhist temples, shrines and monasteries. The Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, Amarnath Caves, Shankaracharya Temple and Hazratbal Shrine are some of the important religious places worth visiting while touring Kashmir.
The main areas of attraction for the trekker in Kashmir are the Sind and Lidder valleys and the townships of Gulmarg and Pahalgam are the main trekking spots, both for short hikes and longer treks in the Himalayas.The ideal time for trekking is from the months of June to October. There are many camping sites organized close to the trekking sites.
Gulmarg offers a unique opportunity to play golf in invigorating surroundings, where the wind whispers through enormous chinar and pine trees. The course at Gulmarg is like nothing tourists have ever seen or imagined before. Situated at an altitude of about 2,600 meters, it is believed to be the highest green golf course anywhere in the world. During winters, the golf courses in Gulmarg are closed, only when there is a snowfall.
A Gondola Ride at Gulmarg
Gondola cable car is among the most important attraction for tourists to experience. Mostly all the tourists who come to Gulmarg prefer to travel via cable car for the best views of snow capped mountains and several landscapes there. The months of November and December are the ideal time to enjoy the cable car ride when the entire landscape of Gulmarg is covered with white layer of snow. There are many staying options in Gulmarg to suit the budget of every travellers.