Situated in the northern part of India, Kashmir is the essence of everything that is Indian-its culture, history, tradition, people, and natural splendor. The Valley of Kashmir is full of the mighty mountains, Lush greenery, and blossoms of pinks, whites, yellows and flowers of all the rarest varieties. Rainbows are spread across the blue skies, meadows are spangled with daisies, flower beds with pansies, primroses, hyacinths and daffodils grow all over. Almond, cherry, apples strawberries are in abundance. All in all Kashmir is considered as the heaven brought on earth.
Day 01: Arrival at Srinagar
On your arrival at the Srinagar International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative who will assist and escort you to your waiting vehicle. From the airport it is a 35 minutes drive through the heart of New Srinagar city. The drive takes you past the Abdullah bridge which connects the banks of the Jehlum river, snaking its way towards the North-Western frontier of Kashmir. Today we will do some half a day of local sightseeing that includes a visit to the famous Mughal gardens of Nishat and Shalimar. Built in between a period of 14 years the two gardens are a heritage left behind by the erstwhile Mughals, whose taste for laying exquisite gardens was fascinating. With a backdrop of the sprawling Zabarwan mountains, the gardens boast of green turfs, blooming flowers and cascading water fountains. We will explore the gardens and later drive for a 02 hrs shikara ride in the lake. This boat ride glides you past some wonderful vegetable gardens and aquatic life. Dinner and Overnight in hotel / houseboats.
Day 02: Srinagar - Sonamarg (79.2 kms. / 2 hrs)
We begin our second day with a sumptous breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we will drive to the majestic mountain resort of Sonamarg. The route towards Sonamarg takes us on a picturesque country side drive where we will come across rolling hills, green forests, clear water streams and blooming rice fields. We will zoom past the town of Kangan which handles all the local needs of this region. From Kangan, we will drive towards Mammar, famous for its trout farm and stopover for a warm cup of tea before we head towards Sonamarg. We will once again alight from our vehicles at the tourist spot of Gagangir. The spot is built in the middle of the river Sindh and looks like an island with snow glaciers covering one or the other spot. In Sonamarg we will take a 3 hour walk or horseback trip to the Thajwass glacier. After our return we will visit the small town market for some snacks or just pay a visit observing the local people going with thier daily routine. We will drive back to Srinagar in the evening and transfer to the hotel / houseboats for our overnight stay.
Day 03: Srinagar - Pahalgam (97 kms. / 3-4 hrs)
We will begin our trip towards Pahalgam and drive on the National Highway 1A. This road connects the Valley to the rest of the country. We drive past the saffron fields of Pampore, the marvellous ruins of Avantipura and the village of Bijbehara which remains famous as the bread basket of Kashmir. You can even sample a few exotic breads sold by vendors near the road. We switch the the national highway at Khanabal and drive through the second largest city of Anantnag. From here the road turns scenic as we drive parallel on the Lidder river flowing from the opposite direction. In Pahalgam we check in at the hotel and later do some nature walks to unwind ourselves. Overnight in hotel.
Day 04: Sightseeing at Pahalgam
After breakfast at the hotel, you can opt to spend your day of sightseeing by driving to the picturesque Chandanwari and Betaab valley or ride by horseback across the wildlife sanctuary towards Baisaran meadows. Rest of the day will be at leisure for individual activities. Overnight in hotel.
Day 05: Pahalgam - Gulmarg (152 kms. / 4-5 hrs)
After breakfast in the morning, we will begin our country tour towards Gulmarg. The drive past colorful villages and rice fields, gives you an insight of the rich cultural past of Kashmir. We arrive at a small picturesue market town of Tangmarg and drive ahead on a scenic drive of 14 kilometers to Gulmarg. We arrive in Gulmarg early in the afternoon and check in at the hotel. Later we will begin a short tour around the meadow familarising ourselves with the beauty. We will stay at the hotel for overnight.
Day 06: Local sightseeing at Gulmarg
In Gulmarg we will board the Gondola cable car system, and ascend towards the Afarwatt Mountain range. The 08 minutes of ropeway will take you past colorful shepherd hutments to the lower ridge of the Afarwatt peak. From here you can click lots of photos of the nearby mountain ranges that stand tall like sentinels guarding the rich natural beauty of Kashmir valley. We descend back to Gulmarg base after an hour or so and later do some horse-riding to the strawberry valley. (D)
Day 07: Departure transfer to Airport
After a late morning breakfast, we will drive to the airport for your flight home. On your way to the airport you can make a brief stopover for some last minute shopping in the city center. At the airport the driver will assist you with your luggage screening and drop you at outside the terminal gate.
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