Sharing its borders with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, along with the international borders of China and Pakistan, Kashmir is a little slice of heaven on earth, offering some of the most mesmerising topography and natural wonders. Surrounded by the Himalayas, the beautiful hilly region attracts tourists from all over the world. To be able to keep them engaged, there are many things to do in Kashmir ranging from activities and adventure to dining, shopping and sightseeing experiences. A single visit to this spectacular destination will leave you with a lifetime of blissful memories.
How to Reach Kashmir
By Air – Srinagar airport is the main airport in Kashmir, operating flights to and from all the major cities within India and is located at a distance of around 14 kilometres from the city centre.
By Road – National Highways NH1 and NH44 connect Kashmir to many of the prominent cities within India.
By Rail – The closest railway station to Kashmir is Jammu Tawi train station and is located at a distance of approximately 300 km from Srinagar.
Known to be a destination of all seasons, almost throughout the year is a good time to visit Kashmir. However, the months of March – October see a higher demand in Kashmir tourism due to the pleasant weather conditions.
Things to do in Kashmir
1. Take a Shikara Ride
Sit back in a ‘shikara’ and admire the scenic backdrop while you cruise the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. It is a serene experience, away from the pollution and bustling city life, giving you a chance to be one with nature. Dal lake is a marvel to witness with its natural water creepers and is considered one of the prettiestplaces to visit in Kashmir.
2. Stay In a Houseboat
Despite there being several resorts in Kashmir, one of the unique experiences includes staying in a houseboat. Complete with all modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, you can stay in the midst of Dal Lake and enjoy unequalled views of the mountainous terrain while enjoying the luxurious interiors and stellar facilities.
3. Gondola Cable Car Rides
Enjoying the view of the snow-capped mountains while you soar the skies in a Gondola cable car is a perfect activity for people of all ages and is definitely one of the best things to do in Kashmir. The month of May is the best time to engage in this activity as the summer season is nearing its end, and the views are crystal clear.
4. River Rafting
For adrenalin junkies, white water rafting is one of the best adventure activities to explore when in Kashmir. The river rapids range from easy to moderate, which means that it is comparatively easy to do. The Lidder river in Pahalgam is famous for this activity, but you can also do it in Sonmarg.
5. Sink your Teeth in Local Cuisine
No trip to Kashmir would give it true justice without the indulgence in its local cuisine. Traditionally, the local cuisine is extremely scrumptious, and there are several restaurants in Kashmir serving it. Some of the popular dishes include Kashmiri Kahwa (local tea), lamb rogan josh, paneer Chaman, dum aloo, gushtaba and matschgand.
6. Retail Therapy
Lastly, shopping in Kashmir is bound to give any shopaholic a retailgasm of sorts! Visitors can get their hands on some of the most beautiful, locally handcrafted items at very reasonable prices. Pashmina shawls and Kashmiri handlooms are world-famous, and you will be able to buy authentic products in shops and markets within the city. Additionally, you can also buy antique copperware, hand-woven carpets, local garments and the very expensive and exclusive Doda sapphire stone.
A visit to Kashmir is an assured bet that you will have a memorable and thrilling holiday. The sheer beauty of the place will enamour you, while a plethora of things to do will keep you busy for weeks. Whether you choose a short 4-5 days trip or a longer 4-6 weeks trip, you will never be at a dearth of activities, adventure and sight-seeing options when in this pristine haven!