You start your romantic dance with your partner to your favorite song. There is an entire crew of dancers behind you, who are so happy that they are also celebrating your love.
What is even more amazing is you are dancing in one of the most beautiful places on earth, ‘Switzerland’.
Mountains covered with snow surround you. As you are imagining all the dancing in the heavenly place of Switzerland, your mind bursts your dream bubble by asking you “Dude, are you kidding me?
One Swiss franc= 68 Indian rupees, today.
So chill, cos you can’t afford a trip to Switzerland”. Snap! Hurts? Don’t worry, why you would even need Switzerland, when we Indians have our own Switzerland ‘KASHMIR’.
12 places to visit in Kashmir
Kashmir has always been that one place, which we have heard of, watched in movies, but somehow never planned to go there on a vacation.
Nevertheless, it never too late to plan a trip to India’s own Switzerland ‘Kashmir’. Go ahead, block your dates, and here are 12 magical places visit in Kashmir’.
1. APHARWAT PEAK:
As Indian kids, if there was something which we always fanaticized about, it was SNOW!! White Snow.
It was probably because of our American cousins, who would drop on our heads once in two years and say “ did you know, we made snow angels, and a huge snow man, the last winter!” and we would sit there wondering, what snow felt like, looked like.
To add to this trauma all our favorite cartoon characters seemed to have loads of fun with snow. Enough of sadness now there is not gonna be any wall between you and your beloved snow.
Apharwat peak in Kashmir, offers you two things
2) Breathtaking view.
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Located around 4390 ft above sea level, this place will offer you more than you expect. A 13kms trek from Gulmarg to this place can be tiring.
But take my word on this, with some nice company with you; this will be one of the best place to visit in Kashmir. BONUS: on reaching the peak, you have a beautiful lake with pure water named the ‘ Alpather lake’.
2. Dal lake :
When we travel somewhere, we would normally be staying at some hotel. But Dal Lake in Sri Nagar, gives you the opportunity to stay in a palace.
And not just any palace, but a floating palace.
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Tourists who come to Sri nagar, prefer staying in the house boats of Dal lake, which are often referred to as ‘floating palaces’.
With a well furnished house boat, authentic Kashmir food and the mesmerizing view of the valleys of Kashmir, Dal lake should surely be added to the list of places to visit in Kashmir.
3. Vaishno Devi temple:
If there is one thing which is common in all Indians it is- laziness. We are lazy to even pass on the TV remote lying beside us, let alone go on an adventurous trek.
It must indeed be the greatness or divinity of the goddess ‘Vaishno Devi’, that the young and the old alike choose to trek to the temple located in a cave, despite the erratic weather conditions.
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Spirituality at its core can be experienced in the vaishno Devi temple. Located 13kms from the town of Katra, vaishno Devi temple, attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world every year, who trek from Katra, making their way through heavy snow fall.
All said and done, some things can’t be explained in words, but have to be felt and experienced.
This sentence will make absolute sense to you, when you experience unknown positive vibes when you are in the presence of the goddess.
(Ps: the town of katra can be reached by railways from Jammu . Most people claim that this particular train journey leaves their eyes with marvelous pictures of Kashmir)
5. Gulmarg Gandola:
Humans from times immemorial wanted to have wings, with which they could fly high in the sky, like birds do.
Gulmarg Gandola is that place, where wishes come true.
This place provides you with Asia’s highest and longest cable car project. Sitting in the cable car, makes you feel nothing less than a bird flying high through the mountains of Kashmir.
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The cable car ride comes with two stages. The first stage starts from Gulmarg resort to the beautiful valley of kongdoori. The second stage starts from Kongdoori valley and will take you to a greater height of the ‘Afarwat peak’.
Now here is where it gets even more exciting, with adventurous activities like skiing, Gulmarg Gandola is the place, where thrill comes alive.
7. Shalimar Bagh:
Once upon a time, there lived a king ‘Jahangir’ who couldn’t bear the torture of his wife, and hence to keep her happy, he asked his workmen to build a beautiful garden, dedicated to her, on the banks of the ‘Dal lake’.
Thanks to the queen ‘Nur Jahan’ who showed what women power is and gave us – the tourists, this beautiful, exquisite garden.
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With fountains, waterfalls, rare species of flora and fauna located in the garden, I am quite sure you would also wish you were born during the ‘Era of the Mughals’.
8. Thiksey monastery :
Buddhism is a way of life which preaches love and peace. Our understanding of love is entirely different from the pure love which has been propagated by Buddha.
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It is probably the same love which monks who follow Buddhism have towards god which makes them give up all their material comforts and live a life in recluse.
To experience this kind of magical pure love, Thiksey monastery is your place. The beautiful architecture of this place is an added treat to your eyes.
9. Lidder river
Water rides have always excited us in amusement parks. How would it be if you experienced a greater adrenaline rush, as you raft through the strong waves of lidder river?
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Splashes of pure water! laughs and excitement!
This is what lidder river in Kashmir offers to you. You also have an opportunity to stay in a hotel located on the banks of the beautiful river surrounded by mountains.
10. Betaab valley:
It’s when we see our beloved actors on the screen, that we wonder ‘where do these people, exactly find such beautiful locations!’ Well this particular valley of Kashmir has been named after the movie ‘Betaab’, which was shot here.
Now you know where ‘Shammi kapoor’ first fell in love with ‘Sharmila Tagore’ in the movie ‘Kashmir ki kali’.
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You don’t need to be an actor, to go and enjoy such beautiful locations since Betaab valley is easily approachable from Pahalgam. You could also camp at this valley, beside streams of crystal clear, sweet water that flow through the Himalayas.
As pure and as rich as gold- a one liner to explain about SONA MARG.
Nature’s marvels come alive, in these meadows. Lit by bright clear sky, white snow, dark green grass, these meadows, look like that perfect scenery framed on the walls of your home.
Except this is not just a picture but reality. Beautiful scenery created by god.
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The more you explore Sonamarg, the more will you be intrigued to explore further. Such is the beauty of this place, which offers camping, river rafting and many more fun filled activities.
A small village, located in the valleys of Kashmir is the home for rare species of wild animals.
Could you ask for anything better?
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On one side you get to marvel at the beauty of nature on the other hand you have a wildlife park which has animals like the snow leopard.
Now go out into the open space, be it your balcony or a nearby window. GO!
Now that you are there, breathe in some air… Did you feel anything? Nope? Now look around and see…do you see any mountains? Nope? Now you know what you are missing.
There is magic.
Magic, at every step in ‘Kashmir’.
Every walk will lead you to something you have never seen before. It’s more than seeing to the eyes, it’s a treasure called ‘Experience’.
So, do yourself a favor! Go ahead, make plans and a list of places to visit in Kashmir!!
There is so much beauty to see in our own country which will make you wonder, ‘What beauty can exist beyond this?’
We have our own Kashmir, our own Kashmir which is still untouched and beautiful like how god made it. Our very own Kashmir, which will make you open your mouth wide, in wonder at its marvels. We have our own Kashmir which doesn’t have to be compared to any expensive ‘Switzerland’, because it is magical in its own way. Get ready to ‘get lost’ in the laps of the ‘Valleys of Kashmir’.
Ps: Singing your duet in Kashmir is much easier and economical. Take my word on this; Indian crew dancers are way better than firangi crew dancers!