Cradled by the Himalayas of India and the Pir Panjal mountain range, Kashmir is the northernmost region of South Asia. For its picturesque landscapes, Kashmir is known as the Switzerland of India. The captivating beauty of Kashmir makes it one of the most celebrated tourists place in India. Kashmir’s beauty is flawless loveliness where there are exquisite autumns that you only get to read in fairy-tales and romantic winters which makes it the perfect getaway for couples.
This region of India is referred to as the “paradise on earth” and we could not agree more. There are a lot of exclusive places to visit in Kashmir. Although every nook and corner of Kashmir is worth visiting, tourists may get overwhelmed on deciding where to go first. Get yourself a paper and a pen while we narrow down a list of most lucrative places to visit in Kashmir for you.
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Srinagar is one of the most famous and mesmerizing places to visit in Kashmir. This place is locally considered to be the mirror to the mountains. It not only drizzles with natural beauty but also offers many adventurous activities from trekking to boating to water skiing. Being the largest city of Kashmir, Srinagar is adorned with wooden mosques, lush greeneries, serene lakes and scenic views. The city also has a floating market where you can buy vegetables and fruits. In the northwest side of Srinagar situates the charming Old City which is an interesting place to visit in Kashmir. Summer is the best time to visit this amazing city.
Pahalgam, locally known as the Land of Shepherds, is one of the famous places to visit in Kashmir. The tourists love this place because of the exciting adventures it offers. You can partake in river rafting, golfing and trout fishing here. This place is also the departure point for the pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra. Betaab Valley and Lidder River are the two main attractions of this resort town. It is named after a famous Bollywood movie called “Betaab”.
Known as the “Meadow of Gold” as the name suggests, Sonamarg is breathtakingly beautiful. It is situated on the Srinagar Ladakh Highway, just 2 hours’ drive away from Srinagar. You must have Sonamarg in your list of places to visit in Kashmir if you do not want to miss the chance of witnessing sheer perfection of the Mother Nature that can be seen in the extravagant view of the place. The main attractions of this place are its boundless rows of beautiful flowers and the Tajiswas Glacier which is popular among the tourists.
One of the worthwhile places to visit in Kashmir is Gulmarg which is also one of the popular ski resorts around the world. As the name depicts, Gulmarg is truly the “Meadow of Flowers”. The contrasting combination of vibrant flowers and the snow-kissed mountain peaks makes the place a treat to its visitors’ eyes. Gulmarg also has many adventurous activities such as snowboarding, mount biking, golfing and fishing. For a more calm and serene experience, one can visit the Mount Apharwat or take a cable car ride to enjoy the beauty of the place from above.
Pulwama is popularly known as the “Rice Bowl of Kashmir”. This district of the Jammu and Kashmir state is the ideal place to visit in Kashmir for enjoying the undisturbed beauty of the state. It is also known as the “Dudha-Kul of Kashmir” because of its high milk production. Ornamented with rich saffron fields and friendly weather, Pulwama is filled with lush culture. One can indulge in trekking in the summer or snowboarding and skiing in the winter.
6. Dal Lake
Dal Lake is one of the most enchanting places to visit in Kashmir. Kashmir is bejewelled with many serene lakes and snow-capped mountains. Among the lakes, Dal Lake is the second largest one in Jammu and Kashmir. The locals believe that this lake was originated from the Pleistocene Lake which once covered the Kashmir Valley.
The three sides of the Dal Lake is surrounded by mountains. There are five basins and channels linked to each other which is the most amusing part of the city. You will find houseboats and shikaras that will take you to explore the lake. The banks of the lake are festooned with blooming orchards and gardens. You can also spot a lot of Mughal monuments.
Adorned with stupas and mud-brick houses, Leh is one of the most attractive places to visit in Kashmir. The main feature of Leh is the Pangong Lake which has stunning surroundings. The lake is mostly famous for its azure water. It is a welcoming place for migratory birds as well. You can pick up souvenirs and have delicious food in the restaurants of the bazaar. One of the main attractions of this Old Town is a Tibetan style fort and palace topping a rocky ridge.
Among the remarkable places to visit in Kashmir, Anantnag deserves a special mention. People consider it to be the financial and commercial capital of Kashmir Valley. Here you can enjoy the facilities of a city as well as the warmth of the magnificent nature, truly the best of both worlds. Three streams namely Sandran, Arapath and Brengi flow near Anantnag which then results in a river named Jhelum or Veth.
9. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
Covered with 70 varieties of two million tulips, the 20 acres land of Kashmir is one of its kind. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest Tulip Garden in Asia. It is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Kashmir. The vibrant colors of the flowers create a heaven-like scenery which attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is located at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountain Range. Overlooking the famous Dal Lake, the garden is a treasured possession of Kashmir. To enjoy the garden at its best, you should visit the place during March or April when the flowers will be blooming.
10. Jammu City
The city of Jammu is undoubtedly one of the famous places to visit in Kashmir. Also known as the “City of Temple”, Jammu houses Mata Vaishno Devi Temple which is a very holy pilgrimage place for the Hindus. There are a lot of religious sites here that the beauty and purity of which will fill your heart. Among the many, some significant ones are Raghunath Temple, Mahamaya Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple. You can also visit the charming Bahu Fort and the Aquarium at the Bagh-e-Bahu which is the country’s largest underground aquarium.
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Hemis is a small village situated 40km southeast of Leh. Like every other place in Kashmir, Hemis also oozes with natural beauty and serenity. The main attraction of Hemis apart from the picturesque landscapes is the Hemis National Park which is famously known to be the Snow Leopard capital of India. Besides this, there are other categories of rare animals as well. You can also visit the Hemis Gompa while you are there. Because of the beautiful monasteries and calm surroundings, Hemis becomes one of the desirable places to visit in Kashmir.
12. Nishat Garden
If you are visiting Kashmir, you should know that the Nishat Garden is one of the unforgettable places to check out. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Dal Lake, the garden’s alternative name is the “Garden of Bliss” with a backdrop view the Zabarwan Mountains. It is one of the largest Mughal gardens designed by Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan.
The garden is still dotted with ruins of some building can be dated back to the Mughal Period. It is a two-storied pavilion with two sides enclosed with latticed windows. A small spring named Gopi Tirth can be detected on the back of the garden which is also the water source of the garden. An interesting feature of the garden is that it is decorated with terraces each of which represents a different zodiac sign.
A rather less famous and unexplored part of Kashmir is Yousmarg, a hilly haven situated in the Badgam district of Kashmir and Jammu, almost 50km south from Srinagar. The remoteness of the place makes it even more beautiful because it is not as crowded and has managed to encapsulate the wholesomeness of Kashmir. Furthermore, dense forest and snowy peaks cover this place. You can enjoy a pony-ride or indulge in trekking in your way to hills such as “Sang Safed” and “Trata Kutti”. 4km downhill from Yoursmarg is the Nil Nag Lake which has gorgeous blue water. Some parts of the lake remain frozen throughout the year. You should definitely put down Yousmarg in your list of places to visit in Kashmir.
Sharing the borders with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, Kathua is a small city in Jammu and Kashmir. It is called the “City of Sufis” because of the abundance Sufi shrines of Pirs in its presence. Since it is situated on the banks of the river, the city gives a perfect view of nature. If you are a history enthusiast, you must have Kathua in your list of places to visit in Kashmir because the city offers pieces of Kashmir’s past.
Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Chashmashahi is the smallest of three Mughal gardens situating in Kashmir. Although it is the smallest, the garden is equally magnificent with several terraces. These terraces are adorned with fountains that constructed through the center of the garden. Chashmashahi also has waterfalls and a shrine named “the Chasma Sahibi”. The garden’s alternative name is “the Royal Spring” and it deserves to be on top of the list of places to visit in Kashmir.
One of the must-visit destinations among the places to visit in Kashmir is Kupwara which is a small district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The place has clean water, wide green meadows and alpine mountains. Undoubtedly, It truly gives you the feeling of seeing heaven on earth. You can visit the and Qamar Reshi Sahib Shrine while visiting the district.
Being a remote district of Kashmir and Jammu, Poonch is encircled by the Line of Control (LOC) from three sides making it one of the most historic places to visit in Kashmir. You can visit this remote area to witness the lush greeneries and know more about its history. The seven lakes of Girgan Dhok is one of the main attractions of Poonch.
18. Shalimar Garden
Shalimar Garden was built by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan. This garden is one of the most bewitching places to visit in Kashmir due to its royal essence. The garden has four terraces, each of the terraces rise above the other. The fourth terrace was reserved for the royal ladies, hence it is the most beautiful one. The garden also has a canal lined with polished stones that runs through the center of the garden. You can also enjoy light and sound shows every evening in the garden.
Slightly out of the general tourist’s radar, Kishtwar is a small district of Kashmir situating on the banks of the Chenab River. The place fills with hypnotizing beauty of lofty hills and greenery which includes deodar and pine forests. Consequently, It is one of the very few undisturbed natural places to visit in Kashmir.
Kargil is a small town in the states of Kashmir and Jammu situated in the Ladak region. Apart from the historical value of the place, Kargil embellishes with natural miracles. Moreover, It is a town full of emotions. The Suru River flows with crystal clear water on the sturdy rocks. You should absolutely have Kargil on your list of places to visit in Kashmir because of its utter gorgeousness.
Now that you have your list of places to visit in Kashmir, do not waste any more time and plan your vacation in the land of heavenly views and serene dreamlike atmosphere.