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5 best places to visit in Kashmir during your vacation, 2021

Famous as the Switzerland of India, Kashmir is enclosed by the great Himalayas and Pir Panjal mountain ranges. Kashmir is on the bucket list of every avid traveler, it is a perfect destination for relaxing and rejuvenating in the lap of nature far from the bustle of daily life.  It attracts tourists for its natural charm, sightseeing locations, adventurous activities, culture, tradition, plentiful wildlife, pilgrims, and local handicrafts.

The valley of Kashmir is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and visited tourist destinations in India. Kashmir is an all-year-round destination. In summers, you will get to witness blooming flowers, green meadows, chinar trees, and sparkling blue water in lakes. In winters, amidst snowy mountains, frozen lakes, and fascinating landscapes, the valley of Kashmir looks like a fairytale.

Kashmir has plenty of tourist attractions to visit, check out our list of the 5 best places to visit during your vacation.

Gulmarg Gondola

One of the prime attractions in Gulmarg, Kashmir, the Gulmarg gondola is the second-largest and highest cable car in the world at an elevation of 13,400 Ft. Gondola lift is divided into 2 phases, it ferries 600 People from Gulmarg to Apharwat. In Phase 1, the gondola transfers people from the Gulmarg resort to Kongdoori station.

It takes 9 minutes to reach an altitude of about 9,000 Ft in the first stage. In Phase 2, the gondola ferries from Kongdoori to the top Apharwat peak at an elevation of about 13,000 Ft. Spectacular visuals of Nanda Devi, LOC, and Pir Panjal range will spellbind you. For an unforgettable lifetime experience, this gondola ride should be on your bucket list for the Kashmir tour.

  • The price for the first stage is INR 750 and for the second stage is INR 950.
  • Apart from the gondola, You can also enjoy skiing, jet ski, snowboarding, and snow biking.
  • October and November is the best time to enjoy a gondola ride in Gulmarg.

Shankaracharya hill

Perched at an elevation of 6,077 Ft, Shankaracharya hill often called Takht-i-Sulaiman (Throne of Sulaiman ) is a hill on Zabarwan mountain ranges. Situated at a distance of 11 Km from Srinagar, the hill is famous for a Shankaracharya or Jyeshta Eshwara temple on the hilltop.

The temple is one of the oldest and sacred shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Supported by an octagonal base, The Jyeshta Eshwara temple is made of ancient grey stones and sits on solid rock. You have to climb 243 steps to reach the main temple. It is one of the most visited shrines by pilgrims and Hindus in Srinagar.

Every year, many tourists visit the temple to celebrate the festival of Maha Shivaratri. The top of the temple offers stunning views of Dal lake, Zabarwan mountains, and the Jhelum river in Srinagar.

The ancient temple is maintained and guarded by the Indian army. You can visit the temple from 9:00 Am to 8:00 Pm, cars are not allowed after 5:00 Pm. May to November months are the best time to visit the temple.

Sonamarg

Nestled at an altitude of 8960 Ft above sea level, Sonamarg is a popular hill station in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. Located at a distance of 80 Km from Srinagar, Sonamarg is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, glaciers, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. Sonamarg is a perfect destination for adventure seekers in alluring natural charm. You can enjoy adventure activities like trekking, trout fishing, camping, skiing, and hiking.

Renowned as a meadow of gold, Sonamarg was the gateway of the silk route to Tibet in ancient times. Zoji La pass, Krishnasar Lake, Vishansar Lake, Thajiwas Glacier, Nilagrad river, Gangabal lake, Baltal valley, and Satsar lake are attractions to visit in Sonamarg.

The best time to explore the hill station is in the pleasant climate of April to October.

Apharwat peak

One of the major attractions in Gulmarg, Kashmir, Apharwat Peak is situated at an elevation of 14,400 Ft from sea level. At a distance of 13 Km away from Gulmarg, the mountain peak is near LOC (Line of control ) between India and Pakistan. The mountain peak is snow-covered most times throughout the year as it receives heavy snowfall. Apharwat peak offers breathtaking views of landscapes and Pir Panjal mountain ranges.

 You will be stunned by the unparalleled charm of surrounding valleys and lakes. If you are an adventure Junkie, you simply can not miss out on adventure activities such as skiing, sleighing, heli-skiing, snowboarding, and cable car ride. A 12 minutes ride on cable car ride will take you to the majestic peak. You can visit the peak from 9:00 Am to 7:00 Pm. Winter months November to February are the ideal time to have fun and witness surreal beauty at Apharwat Peak.

Also Read: Pondicherry French Colony travel guide

Amarnath cave

One of the holiest Hindu shrines, the Amarnath temple is situated in the Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir. Located at a distance of 144 Km from Srinagar, Amarnath is a cave temple, the abode of Lord Shiva. Perched at an elevation of about 13000 Ft, Amarnath is famous for naturally formed Shiva Linga by freezing water drops from the roof of 130 Ft cave.

Heaven for pilgrims, every year millions of devotees and visitors visit the holy cave. It opens for a short period due to high altitude and snow. Amarnath is accessible in the 56-day period during the Amarnath Yatra season in the Holy month of Shravana around July-August. The Yatra is a 43 Km mountainous trek from Pahalgam and Baltal base camps. The Trek takes 3-5 days to reach the cave from the base.

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