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5 places to visit in Kashmir this winter

Post by on Monday, November 22, 2021

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 Kashmir, known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ is an honest manifestation of this title during the winter. From exquisite Harissa to thrilling Heli-ski and other adventure sports, winter in Kashmir has so many delights to offer to those who are planning to visit the valley during the cold months. It doesn’t matter whether it is your family tour, honeymoon, or an outing with friends, you must plan it wisely so not to miss the best places to see in this paradisiacal destination.

Historic shrines, mesmerizing valleys, snow-clad peaks, and frozen lakes are awaiting you this winter in Kashmir. The tranquility and peace that the valley offers helps the visitors build an inner connection with themselves.  
Although the whole of Kashmir flourishes with beauty and bliss during the winter, we have selected five places that are the chief draws and shouldn’t be missed while you are in Kashmir. Although in summer, you may choose many other places to visit in Kashmir, during winter, these places have the best possible adventure, exhilaration and thrill to offer.
Recently designated as a creative city by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation —the only Indian City to earn that title— Srinagar is one of the best places in Kashmir where you can make the most of your holidays with your loved ones. Apart from ancient temples and historic shrines, the city boasts of rich art and traditional crafts that are aesthetically profound and inspiring to look at.
Some of the traditional arts are Walnut-wood carving, Wicker-work, Pashmina making, Copper-ware work and Carpet-weaving. The city, especially the downtown, is full with places, clusters and workshops where those who have a taste for traditional arts can visit to satisfy their eyes and purchase the works to adorn their drawing rooms.
Having a lush forest cover, the city is also close to nature and places like Shanakaracharya Temple and Dachigam wildlife reserve are must visits for those who love to be in nature.
For a stay, the houseboats in the world-famous Dal-lake and Jhelum river offer a comfortable substitute if you don’t want to spend your nights in a boring hotel-room with no view of nature through your window.
Srinagar is also home to famous Mughal Gardens that were constructed by the Mughal rulers during 16 to 17th century on the banks of Dal-lake and the dusk and the dawn are the best time of the day to visit the gardens. Apart from these, some other interesting places to see in Srinagar are: Hazratbal Mosque, Jama Masjid, Nigeen Lake, Khanqah, Hari-Parbat Fort, and Jalali House. Also, if you are into history and historical artefacts, Srinagar’s SPS Museum at Lal-Mandi is a treasure trove of historic artefact.
Located only six kilometers away from the actual line of control, Gulmarg, the meadow of flowers, is the quintessence of beauty during winters. Clad with shimmering snow, the famous tourist destination is the perfect paradise for all those who love to witness snow.
Gulmarg, considered the capital of adventure sports during winter, has many winter sports to offer, including skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, snow cycling, sleigh-riding and snow-mobile riding.  Also, for those who wish to take their adventure a bit further, Heli-skiing is also available.  Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest ropeway projects in the world, can take tourists as high as 4200 Meters above the sea level to the peak of Apharwat mountains.    
The major attraction at Gulmarg during winter is the snow festival during which cultural shows and snow sports tournaments are organized by the department of tourism and culture, Jammu and Kashmir.
Other attractions at Gulmarg are Alpather Lake, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Strawberry Valley, Apharwat peak, Maharaja’s Gulmarg palace, Maharani Palace, and St. Mary’s Church.
While you are on your way to Gulmarg, Hookersar is a must stop. Located in Srinagar’s Zainakoot, Hokersar is the largest bird reserve in Kashmir Valley. Falling under the Central Asian Flyway zone, Hokersar is a home to nearly one million migratory birds during the winter. These migratory water birds fly in droves from Mangolia, Siberia, Europe, and Turkey to make Kashmir their home during the winters. Watching these exotic visitors of Kashmir sway, swim and swell their majestic wings is a real treat for eyes.  
For people planning to visit Kashmir this year in winter, Sonmarg brings the great news. Made possible by the construction of Z Morh tunnel, the beautiful winter spot is anticipated to remain open this winter.  
Sonmarg or ‘the meadow of gold’ is one of the most sought-after destinations in Kashmir. It is the best place to visit in Kashmir in winters. With the perfect view of snow-clad mountains, Sonmarg stands out alone in the crowd to make the vacations of the tourists mesmerizing. A trek to the Thajiwas Glacier would shake the gloom of any temperate city off the mind. 
Pahalgam, called the village of shepherds, is a small valley located nearly 90 Kilometers in the south of Srinagar. Its lush green meadows and pristine waters attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. The destination attracts nearly 70% of visitors to the valley and is the base camp to the Amarnath cave.  
A one-day trip to Pahalgam may not be enough because the place has lots of other sightseeing spots to offer. The hotels at Pahalgam are very comfortable and economical. So, while you are in Pahalgam, some of the must visit to places are:  
·        Aru village: Located nearly 12 kilometers away from Pahalgam, Aru is a small idyllic village that is very popular amongst the tourists who are seeking peace and tranquility. There are almost 20 alpine lakes, peaks, and meadows surrounding the Aru village. During the winter, the village receives heavy snowfall and therefore, skiing and heliskiing is also enjoyed by the tourists visiting the peaceful village.  
·        Betaab Valley: Situated at a walkable distance from Pahalgam, the valley got its name from a Bollywood movie Betaab that was shot there. The valley is lush and green. Fishing Trout in the Lidder river is a favorite pass time at the place. 
·        Baisaran Valley: Barely 5 kilometers from Pahalgam, Baisaran valley is a verdant meadow on a mountaintop flanked by snow capped mountains and studded with thick pine woods. If you want to experience the snow, the optimum time to go to Baisaran is from January through March. 
Apart from these five places, there are plethora of destinations in Kashmir that outshine one another in beauty, bliss and natural bounty. So, make sure to browse about them if you wish to explore Kashmir beyond the few places that we have mentioned here. 
The temperature in Kashmir during winters drops to zero and even minus degrees. So, remember to pack your warm clothes and brace up for a wonderful experience in Kashmir. The valley is famous for its hospitality and people are very favorable towards the tourists.

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