Lazy Yatra offers the Luxury Kashmir Tour Packages. Customize these tour packages as per traveller's taste, itinerary, vehicle, adventure sports, water sports, honeymoon. The mountain paradise called Kashmir is located in the northernmost geographical location of the Indian sub-continent. It is one of the three divisions of the Indian administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir – Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. The Kashmir division is bordered by the Jammu division on the South, the Ladakh division on the East, while the Line of Control covers both the Northern and Western borders.
This travel guide covers Jammu and Kashmir tourism. For information on Ladakh, do check out our Ladakh page.
Best time to visit Kashmir
Tourists visit Kashmir for a variety of indulgences. Some love the view of snow-covered landscapes in the vast stretch of mountains and the Kashmir valley. And yet for others, Kashmir is a getaway from the heat of plains during summer with its rolling green hills and cool valleys. Being a year round destination, the best time to visit Kashmir depends upon your preference accordingly – the chilling winter (December to early March) when the valleys are covered in snow, is a good time for winter sports, while the pleasant months of March to October offer pleasant days and unfettered sightseeing of the various Kashmir tourist places.
If you are a nature lover, the best time to visit Kashmir might be during the seasons of spring-summer (May to August) and autumn (September to November) when the average Kashmir temperature ranges between 20 and 30 degrees. As you make your way to Kashmir during these seasons, you will be greeted by blossoming gardens filled with tulips, swarms of migratory birds, the alpine meadows and most importantly, clean fresh air.
So, plan your Kashmir travel accordingly and pick from the most suitable Kashmir packages for the season.
How to reach Kashmir
Kashmir is predominantly accessible by air and train.
By Air: Travel to Kashmir is the most convenient if you choose to go by flight. Srinagar international airport, which is located at a short distance of about 15km from the city centre, connects the summer capital to major Indian cities. The state also has an airport at Jammu, which is more convenient if you wish to start your Kashmir trip with a visit to the Vaishno Devi shrine.
Direct flights to Srinagar are available from Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, and Bangalore. Flights to Srinagar are also available from all major Indian airports like Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, etc.
By Train: You can reach Kashmir by train through either of the railway stations at Jammu or Udhampur towns. From here, taxis and buses to other parts of the state are available. A limited railway service also runs from Banihal to Srinagar and Baramulla.
By Road: If you are travelling from a neighbouring state, then it is possible to travel by bus to Jammu, especially if you are planning to visit Vaishno Devi at the start of your Kashmir tour. You can then proceed by taxi or bus from Jammu to Srinagar or your next destination within Kashmir.
Places to visit in Kashmir
Chilling breeze and tender sunshine sum up the weather in Kashmir. Blessed with an incredible amount of natural beauty and stunning landscapes, Kashmir is worth revisiting time and again.
Here is our list of the important places to visit in Kashmir.
Known for its exceptional beauty, Dal Lake is one of the most popular attractions of Kashmir. The lake is set against the backdrop of the majestic Pir Panjal mountains and is dotted with colourful shikaras and lovely houseboats made of wood. For tourists, it is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir and enjoy the ethereal beauty of nature. Tourists can take a delightful ride in one of the shikaras and soak in the enchanting views. Dal Lake is the second largest lake in Kashmir. Surrounded by lofty mountains and the Mughal Gardens, the lake is everyone’s delight. It is covered with exquisite flora such as lilies, lotus and water-chestnuts in the summer whereas in winter, it lies silent and frozen.
Set against a spectacular mountainous backdrop, the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir are unmatched in their beauty. Some of the most famous Mughal Gardens in Kashmir are Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashme Shahi Garden in Srinagar. Nishat Bagh is a 12-terraced garden dotted with giant chinar trees and colourful flower beds. Known as “Garden of Love’, the Shalimar Garden has a canal in the middle which is beautifully decorated with endless rows of water fountains. While these two gardens are the most famous among tourists, the waterfalls and fountains of Chashme Shahi are equally charming to the visitors. The Mughal Gardens of Srinagar are an essential part of Srinagar sightseeing in a Kashmir tour package.
Located 15 kilometres away from Pahalgam, the Betaab Valley is one of the most visited places in Kashmir and was named thus when it was used as a shooting location for the a hit Bollywood film ‘Betaab’. The valley is a canvas of green meadows with beautiful deodar and pine forests. The snow-covered mountains in the background add to its stunning landscape, making it one of the popular attractions of Kashmir. Visited by tourists as well as locals, the valley is an ideal place for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in its serene environs, away from all civilization. Visitors can also spend a day camping in the beautiful valley, or go on a trek to explore the mountains. A place of eternal beauty, this place is a must-visit in Kashmir.
A small hill station in Kashmir, Aru Valley is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Pahalgam. The valley is home to a quaint and scenic village surrounded by majestic Himalayan peaks. The lush coniferous forests and the sweeping meadows of the village offer a picture-perfect scenery for photography lovers. Apart from its breath-taking beauty, it offers various activities for adventurers such as horse riding, hiking and trekking. During winters, one can also engage in skiing and enjoy the beauty of the landscape sparkling in snow.
The base-point of Amarnath Yatra, Chandanwadi is located a short drive away from Pahalgam. Chandanwadi is known for its captivating beauty and natural attractions. The Sheshnag River is the main attraction here, surrounded by lofty, snow-covered peaks and greenery. The location offers a picture-perfect landscape for nature lovers as well as photography fanatics. At Chandanwadi, you can also enjoy winter activities such as sledding in the snow, enjoying the sheer beauty of the pure white snow all around as you ride down from exciting heights. There are also some dhabas located nearby where one can enjoy a hot cup of tea and some snacks.
Gulmarg, a premier mountain resort with exceptional beauty, ticks off all the right boxes. The highest green golf course in the world is situated in Gulmarg at a height of about 2,650 m. Gulmarg also functions as the country’s prime ski resort in winter, when the valleys and grassy slopes are covered by a blanket of white snow. Winter sports lovers to enjoy the best skiing, snowboarding and cable car riding experience in Gulmarg. Gulmarg is by far one of the most important Kashmir tourist places for every kind of traveller, and an essential part of Kashmir tourism plans.
The jewel in the crown of Sonmarg valley, Thajiwas Glacier’s exquisite beauty is the main draw that brings tourists to Sonmarg. This paradise-like region is dotted with beautiful waterfalls and alpine meadows. The glacier can be reached by trekking or by taking a pony ride which will offer enchanting views of the pristine frozen lake and the lush surroundings. Encounter Gujjar tribes and grazing horses as you make your way up to the glacier. You can also set up a camp here, enjoy a sled ride, and spend a day amidst the heavenly surroundings. You add a day-trip to this glacier from Srinagar if you are booking Kashmir packages for travel from April to October.
One of the biggest and ancient mosques in Kashmir, the Jamia Masjid is another popular attraction that is visited by tourists and locals alike. The mosque was built by Sultan Sikandar in AD 1400 and features the Indo-Saracen architectural style with a sprawling courtyard of 370 wooden pillars. The mosque is visited by Muslims every Friday to offer their prayers. Surrounded by the bustling market outside, the mosque offers great peace and tranquility to its visitors. This is the largest mosque in the Kashmir valley; more than 33,000 people can offer prayers here at a time. It has undergone damage due to various natural calamities over the centuries, but has always been restored. The last renovation was carried out by Maharana Pratap and the mosque has been preserved well since then.
Perched upon the Gopadari Hill at a height of 1100 feet, the Shankaracharya Temple is an ancient Hindu temple named after pronounced philosopher Shankaracharya. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of Destruction. Built in 371 B.C., the temple has withstood various natural disasters. It has been renovated numerous times but the old Kashmiri architecture stays intact. It is situated atop a solid rock with an octagonal basement of 13 layers. The main shrine, situated above a flight of stairs in a circular complex, dates back to the 11th century and provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of Srinagar and the Dal Lake. This temple is said to be the oldest known site in Srinagar.
What to eat in Kashmir
Kashmir is known for its unique traditional cuisine with mouth-watering delights. A host of meat items, traditionally baked bread and hot beverages usually constitute the special range of cuisine in Kashmir.
Cheers to the Kashmiri chai: Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers, and drink ‘chai’ on every other occasion. Taste the smoothness of the Kashmiri chai, also known as ‘sheer chai’ or ‘noon chai’. Don’t misunderstand the word ‘noon’ - it refers to the ‘salt’ in the tea in Kashmiri. This ‘namkeen chai’ is made with black tea, milk, salt, bicarbonate of soda and has a special pink colour.
Kashmiri green tea: The Kashmiri green tea is a beverage special to wedding feasts, festivals and religious places. Also called the ‘Maugal chai’ by some, it has saffron, spices, almonds or walnuts and the varieties differ with the household. Kashmiri Kahwa is famous across India. Here is the interesting part – if you choose to add milk in it, then it is called ‘half Kahwa’.
A vegetarian festival special: The dum aloo is one of the most famous festival dishes in Kashmir. Steamed potatoes are skewered and cooked in aromatic spice and yogurt. This round ball of goodness will win the hearts of not just vegetarians but also meat lovers. So, you have another exciting specialty to look forward to on your Kashmir trip.
The spiced flat-bread from Old Dhaka: ‘Bakarkhani’ is a hard-crust roti that is consumed hot during breakfast. This tandoor-baked marvel has a special place in the Kashmiri cuisine and has its origin in Bangladesh. Special ingredients include saffron water, and poppy or nigella seeds, which are added to the ghee smeared and flattened dough before baking.
A Kashmiri signature recipe: The ‘Rogan josh’ (Rogan Ghosht) is an aromatic lamb dish prepared by stewing in ghee. It is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine and also a part of the infamous ‘wazwan’ meal of Kashmir. Brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, this dish of Persian origin enjoys a generous use of Kashmiri red chilli, which imparts its dramatic red colour. Don’t forget to dig into this spicy meal on your Kashmir trip.
The greatest highlight of Kashmiri dishes: The Kashmiri ‘Wazwan’ is a multi-course meal consisting of at least 36 courses and is particularly in demand over the wedding season in Kashmir from May to October. The dish is served to a group of people seated together. Whether you are on your Kashmir honeymoon tour or family vacation, this master dish should be savoured in a grand setting, should you find yourself lucky enough to be a part of a Kashmiri wedding!
Fun things to do in Kashmir
If you still find yourself debating over the uniqueness and heaven-like feel of Kashmir tourism, try exploring the lesser known sides of this snow-clad beauty. Whether you explore the mainstream Kashmir attractions or the offbeat places to visit in Kashmir, here are some suggestions on interesting things you can include in your preferred Kashmir packages.
Shikara Ride on Dal Lake
A Shikara ride on Dal Lake is one of the best experiences to have on your Kashmir trip. A Shikara is a small wooden carved boat which is used as a leisure ride for tourists and as a means of transport by the locals. Enjoy sailing in your colourful Shikara on the tranquil Dal Lake, past beautifully decorated colourful houseboats and floating markets. Witness the breathtaking snow-covered Pir Panjal Mountains reflecting in the serene waters of the lake, and the magnificent Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and the grand Hazratbal Mosque in the distance. Revel in the serene atmosphere of the lake as you enjoy the surreal beauty of the surroundings and capture amazing photographs. This is an ideal experience for couples to add to their Kashmir honeymoon package, to make their Srinagar trip even more special.
Stay in a Kashmir Houseboat
If you are visiting Kashmir and want to stay close to nature where you can wake up to the exquisite beauty of Kashmir every day, then opt for a Kashmir houseboat. Staying in a houseboat is one of the best experiences that can be included in Kashmir packages. Spend a night or several nights in a Kashmir houseboat and enjoy the amazing view of the star-lit sky and the water bodies drenched in moonlight. Wake up to a chill morning and enjoy a stunning view of the misty mountains in the distance. A Kashmir houseboat is available in a variety of budgets. This experience is ideal for everybody, but is especially suited for honeymooners who want to add a romantic touch to their trip. We therefore recommend adding the Kashmir houseboat experience to a Kashmir honeymoon package.
Gondola Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg
One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic vistas of Kashmir is to take an exciting Gondola Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg. This is one of the best experiences to indulge in, if you are visiting Kashmir with family or friends. Take a Gondola Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg and enjoy stunning views of the valley sparkling in snow. Witness the beautiful lakes, the pine trees and the snow-capped mountains as you soar high in the sky. This Gondola ride is one of the must-do activities in Gulmarg. Make the best of your Kashmir trip by adding this experience to your Kashmir holiday packages.
Try Kashmiri Cuisine
Any Kashmir trip is incomplete without trying the authentic Kashmiri cuisine. Kashmir will have you drooling over its flavoursome delicacies cooked with aromatic spices like dry ginger powder, Kashmiri red chilli, fennel powder, and garam masala. If you are a meat-lover and on a Kashmir holiday then you must try the delectable Rogan Josh and Goshtaba. Another must-have Kashmiri preparation is Yakhni, a yoghurt based curry, which can have vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian versions. Kashmiri cuisine also caters to the taste buds of vegetarians with dishes like Rajma, Paneer Chaman, and Modur Palav. Also try Kahwa, Kashmiri tea flavoured with saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon and garnished with chopped almonds.
Pony Ride in Pahalgam or Gulmarg
One of the best ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of Kashmir is to take a pony ride through the beautiful valleys of Pahalgam or Gulmarg. With outstation taxis not allowed to conduct sightseeing tours in Gulmarg, hiring a pony for a tour is the best way to see the sights in Gulmarg. You can view the picturesque landscape of sweeping meadows and snow-capped mountains in the distance. Soak in the natural scenery of your surroundings under the canopy of clear blue sky. You can also carry cameras with you and capture the surreal beauty of the heavenly valleys of Kashmir. Add this experience to your Kashmir tour packages, and make the best of your Kashmir trip.
Old Srinagar Heritage Walk
Discover the historic charms of Old Srinagar on a Heritage Walk through the city and obtain a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Kashmir. Explore the many shrines, lanes and bustling bazaars that whisper stories of their past. Visit the Khanqah of Shah-i-Hamadan, a 14th century mosque, the 17th century Pathar Masjid, the Tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin's Mother, an octagonal shaped dome built in 1465 AD, and the famous Jamia Masjid. Wander through the old markets full of dry fruits and spices. If you are a history buff and photography lover, then this heritage walk must be added to your Kashmir tour package.
Winter sports in Gulmarg
If you are visiting Kashmir in winters, then you must explore one or all of the winter sports that Kashmir offers. For skiing, Gulmarg is one of the best places to visit in Kashmir and one of the highest ski-resorts in India. For ski-lovers it offers an amazing ski experience. Enjoy a thrilling Ski down the mighty snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg and make the best of your winters. Other fun winter activities in Gulmarg include sled rides, ice skating and ice hockey. Add these activities to your Kashmir holiday packages and enjoy an adventurous Kashmir trip.
Visit the Tulip Garden
If you are visiting Kashmir between March and April, then you are in for an awe-inspiring visual treat that the colourful Tulip Garden offers. The Tulip Garden is one of the most popular attractions of Kashmir and is known for its vast stretch of green carpet dotted with vibrant tulip flowers. Visit this garden to enjoy a breathtaking riot of colours bursting with 7 parallel rows of multi-coloured Tulips. The stunning background of the Zabarwan ranges and the magnificent Dal Lake adds to the beauty of this garden. You can stroll amidst the blossoming tulips and take lovely photographs to capture the immense beauty of this scenic landscape.
Kashmir is known for its beautiful handicrafts, spices, dry fruits and textiles like exquisite shawls and carpets. The fine Kashmiri silk, antique copper and silverwares are some of the most popular items that are also bought by tourists here. You can explore the vibrant markets of Kashmir and buy a wide range of Kashmiri items at a reasonable price. If you are staying in Kashmir houseboat, you can also buy fruits and flowers from the Shikaras. Don’t forget to buy Kahwa powder which you can use to make your own kahwa tea when you are back home to remind you of your amazing Kashmir trip.
If you love the thrill of adventure, then paragliding is for you. Enjoy the best of both, the scenic beauty of Kashmir as well as the adrenaline-rush of paragliding. Paragliding is one of the most popular adventure activities that tourists enjoy in Kashmir. As you glide over the Kashmiri valleys, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the green meadows, snow-covered mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. You can try paragliding in a number of places in Kashmir such as Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Sanasar, Baderwah, and Harwan. For adventure lovers, this is an ideal activity to add to your Kashmir holiday packages.
Excursion to Doodhpathri
'Doodhpathri' is a green meadow close to Srinagar but still lesser known. Legend has it that this lush green meadow surrounded by snow clad peaks was named thus when a priest prayed and poked the ground with his stick for water, but milk oozed out instead. Though green in summer, the meadow becomes a ghostly white in the winter cold. You can even choose to stay in igloo-shaped houses here.
Now you know a little more about the important Kashmir tourist places, the best time to visit Kashmir as per your preferred activities, and what to do to make your Kashmir honeymoon package more interesting. So ahead and start making your Jammu Kashmir holiday plans a reality!Remove It.