51 Things to do in Jammu and Kashmir
There is no dearth of natural beauty in Jammu and Kashmir, be it the Dal Lake in Kashmir, Betaab Valley in Pahalgam, Pangong Lake in Leh or Lolab Valley in Kupwara, every attraction promises to sway away the heart of the visitors at once.
No doubt why Jammu and Kashmir allures millions of tourists every year, the state houses some of the most revered shrines and monasteries. Vaishno Devi, Amarnath, Shankaracharya temple, Thiksey Gompa, Phyang monastery, Rozabal are some popular names in the list of must-visits in Jammu and Kashmir.
Walk through the colorful Mughal gardens of Kashmir, have a look at the beautiful palaces of Leh, explore the forts of Jammu and enjoy sightseeing at the valleys of Ladakh, explore every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir.
When it comes to adventure, there is a wide array of options to choose from. Mountain Biking at Khardung La, White Water Rafting in Indus, Paragliding in Sanasar, Angling in Lidder, Sledding at Patnitop, Skiing in Khilanmarg, Camel Safari in Hunder, there is much to explore and experience.
These varied options make Jammu and Kashmir a great holiday destination for every kind of traveler.
In this blog, we sum up for you, 51 things to do in Jammu and Kashmir. Pick up the best for you and have a great holiday!
Conquer the Mighty Passes of Ladakh
|Ladakh – Chang La Pass connects Leh town to Pangong Lake|
Well-known as the land of passes, Ladakh offers numerous mountain passes which make it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The mountain passes take you to the beautiful monasteries, serene lakes and craggy mountains of Ladakh.
These mountain passes allure people from all across the globe for an exciting road trip. A road trip through these criss-cross passes makes one enjoy a unique experience. Nothing can be better than a road trip which offers spectacular views like Ladakh. Ladakh offers a number of mountain passes; the most popular amongst them is Khardung La Pass- Highest Motorable Pass in the world, other passes are Chang La, Fotu La, Namika La, Tanglangla Pass and Zoji La.
Shikara Ride in Dal Lake
Also known as ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’, Dal Lake is one of the most popular attractions of Jammu and Kashmir. Dal Lake is not only popular for its beauty and serenity, but also its colorful Shikaras. You really can’t miss enjoying a Shikara ride at Dal Lake.
The ride offers a soothing and relaxing experience to every tourist. Dal Lake is dotted with a number of Shikaras (long boats) which are beautifully decorated. These colorful boats offer an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Kashmir at its best as you sail through its most popular attractions. Shikara ride at the lake is a popular thing to do in Kashmir for those who wish to enjoy some time amid a soothing and pleasant ambiance.
Vaishno Devi Yatra
One of the most visited pilgrim sites in India, Vaishno Devi is a holy shrine set at an elevation of 6200 ft. Millions of pilgrims visit the site every year to seek the blessings of Maa Vaishno. Maa Vaishno is present in this cave shrine in the form of Pindis which are natural rock formations.
It is believed that no prayers go unanswered at this shrine and it is the place from where helpless and disheartened return happy. To reach the shrine, devotees have to cover a trek of 13.5 km. Ponies, palanquins and helicopters are available for reaching the shrine. The best time to visit the site is from the month of March till July and September to December.
One of the most popular Mughal Gardens in Jammu and Kashmir, Chashme Shahi is a beautiful garden known for its Mughal charm. The garden features Mughal architecture and also takes some influence from Persian architecture. The terraces of the garden are beautifully covered with colorful flowers. Beautiful waterfalls and fountains adorn this garden and make it more alluring.
The place is set at a picture perfect location which offers a number of views to capture in the camera. This is why, the place is a must visit for photographers. The star attraction of the garden is its freshwater spring which flows through the centre of the terraces into three sections: waterfall, fountains and aqueduct. The most popular feature here is the stream, rich in minerals and iron and has healing properties.
The garden remains open from 09:00 am in the morning till 07:00 pm in the evening. It is open all days except Friday. Entry fee to the garden is INR 10 per person.
Shalimar bagh is one of the finest Mughal Gardens in Srinagar. The garden was built back in 1619 by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife, Nurjahan. Earlier, the garden served as the summer residence of the Mughals. Major area of the garden is covered with water canals and fountains which add to the beauty of the garden. Colorful flowers, soothing ambience and old Mughal architecture make this place perfect for a day out with friends and family. Nothing can be better than relaxing at the garden on a fine sunny day. Light and sound shows are organized in the garden every evening. The best time to visit the garden is from the month of May to October. Shalimar Bagh is open all days of the week except Friday from 9 am till 7 pm.
A popular attraction of Jammu city, Bahu Fort was built back 3000 years ago by Raja Bahulochan. During 19th century, the fort was renovated by the Dogra Rulers. Bahu Fort holds immense religious importance as it houses a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple is known as “Bave Kali Mata temple”. The historical ambience of the fort opens arms to history buffs and photographers from all over.
Bagh-i-Bahu, one of the largest underground aquariums in the subcontinent is located in the garden of the fort. The aquarium houses 400 varieties of marine and fresh water fish. The fort is a delight for every kind of traveler who desires to spend some great time at a beautiful place with their friends and family.
Golfing in Gulmarg
Gulmarg is not only known for its natural beauty and serenity, but also as a great golfing destination. Set at an altitude of 2,650 meters, Gulmarg Golf Course is the second highest and oldest golf course in the world. The golf course was built back in the year 1911 by the Britishers. The golf course was recently redesigned in the year 2011. The golf course is set at a beautiful location which adds to the fun of golfing at the course. Spread over an area of 7505 yards, the gold course has a layout of 18 hole, par 72. It is a must visit if you wish to experience golfing at its best.
|Chadar Trek – the most glamorous trek in India- Photo courtesy: Chittaranjan Desai|
What if you got to trek over a frozen river? Chadar trek is one of the most exciting and challenging treks. Covering a distance of 105 km, you will have to trek up to the Zanskar Valley which is beautifully nestled amid snow capped mountains. To reach the valley, you have just one way. Cross the frozen Zanskar River and enjoy every unique element of this trek, the unusual camping sites, picture perfect scenery and chilly weather. Test your trekking skills with this trek. Beat the extreme conditions and climb over the snow covered trails.
Set at an altitude of 1100 feet on a hill known as Takht-I-Sulaiman, Shankaracharya Temple is one of the oldest shrines of Jammu and Kashmir. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple dates back to 200 BC. The temple offers a great view of the snow covered mountains of the Pir Panjal Range. The inner chamber of the temple features a number of Persian inscriptions which were engraved during the time of Emperor Shahjahan’s rule. One needs to climb 100 steps to reach this temple which is set at an octagonal platform.
People from all over visit the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The temple is not only known for its religious importance, but also architectural importance. The temple remains open all days a week from 8 am till 5 pm. The best time to visit the temple is from the month of May to September when the weather remains pleasant.
Shanti Stupa was built back in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The stupa is located at a height of 4267 meter on a hilltop in Chanspa, 5 km away from Leh. Shanti Stupa safely preserves the remnants of the Buddha. Shanti Stupa was built with an aim to promote world peace and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. Also, the stupa acts as a symbol of ties between the people of Ladakh and Japan. The white-domed stupa offers a beautiful view of the surroundings. This is why, the place is a popular tourist attraction of Leh. The beauty of the place lies in its tranquility which offers a unique experience to every visitor. Shanti Stupa remains open for tourists from 5:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m.
Located on the banks of the famous Dal Lake, Hazratbal Shrine is a Muslim shrine which was built Sadiq Khan, Subedar of Shah Jahan as a pleasure house. Later, on orders of Shah Jahan, this pleasure house was converted into a house of prayer. The shrine is considered one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India and people from all over the world visit the shrine to seek blessings. Moi-e-Muqqadus, the preserved sacred hair of Prophet Mohammad can be found in the shrine. The hair is presented before the public during religious occasions. The shrine is considered an epitome of love and respect of Muslims for their Prophet Mohammad.
The beautiful structure of the Hazratbal Mosque is entirely made of white marble. The alluring Himalayan Mountain Range at the backdrop of the mosque adds to its beauty. The mosque features a blend of Mughal and Kashmiri architecture. People can enjoy great view of the Dal Lake from the mosque.
|Morning prayers in Thiksey Gompa|
Set at an altitude of 3600 meter in the Indus Valley, Thiksey Gompa is one of the largest monasteries in Central Ladakh. The Gompa is best known for its resemblance with Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The monastery is a 12-storey complex which houses a number of items related to Buddhist art, such as statues, stupas, swords and wall paintings.
The star attraction of the monastery is the Maitreya Temple which was built in the year 1970 to commemorate the visit of 14th Dalai Lama. The temple has a 15 meter high statue of Maitreya, which is the largest statue in Ladakh. Other than Maitreya temple, there are many more temples in the monastery which are dedicated to different guardians of the protector deity of Thiksey. The monastery offers a mystical ambience where people can spend some time in tranquility. Also, they can enjoy a panoramic view of the Indus valley from the monastery.
Thiksey Gompa remains open all days a week from 7 am to 7 pm. Entry fee per person is INR 20.
Taking its name from Bollywood super hit movie, Betaab, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh, Betaab Valley is a popular tourist attraction of Kashmir. Set at a distance of 15 km from Pahalgam, the valley is set amid snow capped mountains and lush greenery. Pine and deodar forests surrounding the valley offer a soothing ambience to every visitor.
This beautiful attractions is a must visit if you wish to spend some time close to nature. Musical chirping of birds, sight of colorful flowers and strong breeze adds to the beautiful experience of visiting the valley. The panoramic view the valley offers promises to sway your heart away at once. Betaab Valley is a well-known camping site for trekkers.
Hari Parbat Fort
Hari Parbat Fort is an ancient Mughal Fort, located on the western side of Dal Lake. The fort was built back in the 18th century by Atta Muhammad Khan, who was an Afghan governor. The walls surrounding the fort were constructed in the year 1590 by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Currently, the fort is maintained by the Archaeological Department of Jammu and Kashmir. To visit the fort, tourists need to seek permission from the department. The fort remains open on all days a week from 9.30 am till 5.30 pm.
Set on the top of the Sharika Hill, Hari Parbat Fort holds immense religious importance. Sharika Hill is considered sacred as the famous Sharika Mata Temple is located there. The hill also serves as a location for the shrine of Makhdoom Sahib. Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi is another religious shrine located in the vicinity of the fort.
Kheer Bhawani Temple
Kheer Bhawani is a popular temple dedicated to Goddess Bhawani. The temple is constructed over a sacred spring. There is an unusual tradition of offering Kheer to the presiding deity, Goddess Bhawani. This tradition became a part of the name of the temple, which is why the temple is known as Kheer Bhawani Temple.
The water of the scared spring changes occasionally. When the water turns black, it is believed to indicate inauspicious times for Kashmir. The temple holds much importance for people following the Historical Vedic Religion in Kashmir, who are known as Kashmiri Pandits. People from all over the world visit the temple to seek the blessings of Kheer Bhawani Temple.
Camping in Aru Valley
Set amid sparkling lakes, snow capped mountains and colorful meadows; Aru Valley is located at a distance of 12 km from Pahalgam. Aru valley is a perfect site for camping as it offers a scenic and tranquil ambience to stay. The beauty of the valley lies in the peaks, lakes and meadows surrounding it. The valley serves as the starting point for the trek to Kolahoi glacier. Aru valley is also a base camp for the Tarsar-Marsar lakes trek, the Katrinag valley, the Vishansar-Kishansar lakes trek and Kangan trek.
The best time to visit Aru Valley is during the summer season, from the month of March to June when the weather remains cool and pleasant which is apt for camping and other adventure activities. During winter season, the entire Aru valley gets covered in snow which also makes it a great location for activities like skiing and heliskiing.
One of the most popular attractions of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheshnag Lake is located near Pahalgam. The lake is considered sacred and is believed that a serpent named Sheshnag dug this lake and made it his abode. People believe that the divine serpent, Sheshnag still resides in the lake. The lake is located on the pilgrimage route to the holy Amarnath Caves.
The sparkling waters and breathtaking sights of the snow- capped mountains leave every visitor mesmerized. The place offers a great ambience to photographers. There is so much what photographers can capture with a visit to this beautiful lake. The beauty of the lake is enhanced by the sprawling green pastures surrounding it. Sheshnag Lake is natural habitat of brown trout fish which is mainly found here.
The lake becomes inaccessible during winters as snow covered mountains feed it.To reach the lake, one needs to trek uphill from Chandanwari for which ponies are available. The best time to visit the lake is from the month of June till September, when the weather remains pleasant.
Gondola Ride in Gulmarg
Gulmarg boasts of housing the 2nd highest cable car in the world – Gulmarg Gondola. Gulmarg Gondola is an exciting ride which is Asia’s longest and highest cable car ride. The ride is a two-phase ropeway which carries 6 people at a time.
People are taken through two phases, the first one is from the starting point to Kongdoori valley and the other phase is from the Kongdoori valley to Apharwat peak. This 20- minute ride promises to every individual with an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy the breathtaking sights of the alluring Gulmarg valley and enjoy some great time with your friends and family. You really can’t miss this on your visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Mountain Biking at Khardung La
Khardung La Pass, set at an elevation of 18380 ft, is the highest motorable road in the world. What if you get a chance to enjoy mountain biking at Khardung La Pass?
Mountain biking at Khardung La Pass includes tons of excitement, fun and challenges. You get to ride through the high mountain passes which offer spectacular views of snow capped mountains, picture perfect landscapes and rugged terrains. Mountain biking tour through the pass covers the entire Ladakh Range as it is connects Leh city to Indus and Nubra Valley.
While you cross the Indus Valley, you get to enjoy beautiful views of the Zanskar Range to the southwest and the Karakoram Range to the northeast. To enjoy a great biking experience at Khardung La is to join the biking tours organized by several tour operators.
White Water Rafting in Indus
Originating in Tibet, the sparkling Indus river flows through Ladakh, Leh and then passes into Pakistan. Indus River offers with a great river rafting course where camps are set at different locations to meet the interests of every individual. Indus River rafting is commonly suitable for grade 2 and 3 trips. At some areas, it also matches with 4 and 5 grade rapids.
While you enjoy river rafting on Indus River, you get to enjoy captivating views of the beautiful landscapes of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. You also get to look at Buddhist monasteries set at high cliffs around Ladakh. People from all over the world visit Ladakh to enjoy river rafting at Indus River.
A variety of options are available for rafting lovers. River rafting expeditions range from a day to 2 weeks.
Paragliding in Sanasar
The hilly terrains of Sanasar make it an ideal destination for adventure sports like paragliding, skiing, trekking, rock climbing and hot air ballooning.
All the adventure activities in Sanasar are organized by Jammu and Kashmir Government authorities. Soar high through the clear blue skies and let the fresh breeze caress your face. Explore the beauty of the Sanasar Valley by gliding high in the sky like a free bird.
Located at a distance of 129 km from Jammu city, Sanasar is a must-visit, if you are an adventure enthusiast. The best time to visit Sanasar for paragliding is from the month of May to June and September to October.
Built back in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal, Leh Palace is one of the major attractions of Leh. The palace is nine storey’s high, which used to accommodate the royal family. During mid 19th century, the palace was abandoned when Ladakh came under the control of Dogra forces. Today, the palace is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. One can enjoy panoramic views of Leh and surrounding areas from the roof of the palace.
There is a museum inside the palace which has a great collection of ornaments, jewelry, crowns and dresses. One can also find Chinese Thangka paintings which are around 450 years old. These paintings feature intricate designs and bright colors derived from crushed gems and stones.
Leh Palace is open all days a week from 7 am to 4 pm. Entry fees to the palace is INR 15 per person for Indians and INR 100 per person for foreign nationals.
Rozabal Shrine is a popular shrine set in the Khanyar district of Srinagar. The shrine is claimed by both Muslims and Christians. While Muslims believe that the shrine is a tomb of a saint called Yuz Asaf, Christians believe that the shrine has the holy body of Jesus Christ. Also known as Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph, the shrine is under controversy between Muslims and Christians.
The tomb holds immense importance for Christians and Muslims as The formers believe that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion wounds and came to this place. People believed that his body has been buried as per the Jewish traditions in the shrine.
However the Muslims, believe that the shrine has the burial tomb of a local Muslim saint, called Yuz Asaf, who was buried here as per Islamic traditions. Currently, the tomb is maintained by a Board of Directors which includes Sunni Muslims.
Rozabal shrine is open all days a week from 9: 30 am to 5: 30 pm.
|Magnetic Hill in Ladakh – Gravity defying Phenomena|
Also known as the gravity hill, Magnetic hill is located at an elevation of 11,000 feet. The hill is believed to possess some strong magnetic properties. Indus River flows on the south side of the hill, which originates in Tibet and flows through Pakistan.
The Magnetic hill is a must stopover for all. With the hill at the background, the alignment of the road gives an illusion that cars are able to drift upwards.
Magnetic Hill is a popular tourist attraction of Leh. It is a must visit for nature lovers and photographers who are looking for something unique and unexplored.
Sankar Monastery is affiliated with the revered Spituk Gompa. Following the lineage of Gelug, the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism, the monastery is an important place of worship in Leh. Sankar Monastery is not only an important shrine but also the residence of The Kushok Bakul –regional head of Gelug.
The interiors of the monastery are beautiful and they speak much about Buddhist culture. The walls of the monastery are painted with mandalas and Tibetan calendars.
There is a small temple in the monastery which is dedicated to Dukar, an important guardian deity of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery remains open all days a week from 07:00 am to 10:00 am and 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm.
Stok Kangri Trek
Considered one of the easiest 6000 m peaks in the world, Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in the Stok range of the Himalayas in Ladakh. Stok Kangri is one of the most adventurous treks in India. The place is a must visit place for trekking lovers. Stok Kangri Trek does not require any technical climbing experience but great physical fitness, confidence and strong determination. Stok Kangri trek comes with a number of challenges and most of them are related to thin air on high altitudes. This trek requires maximum 10 days.
You can assure yourself with a great trekking experience as it includes crossing glaciers and long stretches. On this trek, you get to enjoy the view of the beautiful Ladakh range, Leh city, Zanskar range and Indus valley.
Angling in Lidder
Kashmir has a large number of snow fed streams and rivers, which make it a paradise for fishing and angling lovers. Lidder River is a dream location for angling lovers as it offers a great location to enjoy the activity. Pleasing weather, immense serenity and sparkling waters of the place allure people from all over the world.
The river feeds the entire region with its different streams and tributaries. A variety of fishes can be found in the river such as brown trout, shuddgurn, anyour and rainbow trout. Do visit Lidder Valley if you wish to take back a memorable angling experience. The best time to visit Lidder for angling is from the month of April to September.
Spituk Monastery is an ancient Buddhist shrine, which was built back in the 11th century. The monastery is set on the top of a high hillock, which overlooks the Indus River.
In the main hall of the monastery, there is a huge idol of Buddha. Along with his idol, there is a small image of Amitayus – the deity of long life. There is a large wax bowl right in front of Buddha’s statue which keeps burning continuously. The flame burns for a period of one year and then gets replaced on a sacred day.
The main prayer hall of the monastery has a high throne, which has been exclusively built for Dalai Lama. There is a dark old chapel beside the throne where one can find images of Lord Buddha, Tsong-kha-pa and his disciples.
One can find a variety of thangka paintings, weapons and ancient masks in the monastery. Also, there are murals depicting Buddha’s various hand gestures in the monastery. A number of Tibetan festivals are celebrated in the monastery.
Kausar Nag Lake is located in the Pir Panjal Range in the Kulgam District of Jammu and Kashmir. Set at an elevation of 4000 meter above sea level, the lake is all around surrounded by thick forests and snow-capped peaks.
For past three years, a trek to the Kausar Nag lake is organized, which is also known as Kramsaras Tirtha Yatra. More than 4,000 people participate in the Yatra to Kausar Nag, which is regarded as the purest spring in the Valley. Devotees embark on the trek during the occasion of Nag Panchami and attend a six-day puja. The journey is considered incomplete without taking a dip in the lake.
Salim Ali National Park
Also known as City Forest National Park, Salim Ali National Park is a popular national park in Srinagar. Salim Ali National Park is considered a paradise for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Covering an area of 9.07 km2, the park is known to house a number of wildlife species like Himalayan Black Deer, Hangul, Leopard, Himalayan Serow and Musk Deer. Also, one can spot around 300 species of birds like Himalayan monal, ring dove, paradise flycatcher and Himalayan snow cock.
The park was converted into Royal Springs Golf Course in between 1998 and 2001 by Farooq Abdullah, the then Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.
Salim Ali National Park can be visited throughout the year. However, the best time to visit the park is from the month of April to November.
Set on the top of a mountain, Rangdum Monastery is a revered Buddhist shrine. The monastery overlooks the beautiful Rangdum Valley which features a picture perfect landscape.
The shrine has a central prayer hall which displays a wide variety of Tibetan antiques and other artifacts. The monastery serves as the residence of around 40 Buddhist monks. The monastery holds immense importance and people from all over visit it to pay homage.
People can enjoy beautiful views of the valleys around. The place is a hotspot for photographers as they can click a number of pictures at this scenic location.
Road Trip to Ladakh
A road trip to Ladakh is one of the most thrilling experiences across the world. Set at an elevation of more than 3000 m above sea level, Ladakh takes you through high passes, snow capped mountains, beautiful valleys and rugged terrains. The breathtaking views of the surroundings add to the road trip experience at Ladakh. The best way to explore the beauty of Ladakh, the land of high passes, is through a road trip.
When you travel to Ladakh by road, you get to enjoy spectacular sights of mountains of Greater Himalayas, Zanskar range and Monasteries. You really can’t miss taking a road trip to Ladakh which makes you discover the real you!
Located at a distance of 17 km from Leh, Phyang Monastery is one of the most important monasteries in Leh. The monastery belongs to Dri-gung-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery serves as home to 100 monks. There is also a school inside the monastery which aims to impart training in Buddhism along with modern education.
There is an ancient temple dedicated to Mahakala inside the monastery which was built during the foundation of the monastery. You can explore 900-year-old collection of scriptures, idols, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian firearms and weapons in the museum of the monastery.
The Phyang monastery festival is a major attraction of the monastery and it allures a large number of tourists. The main feature of the event is mask dance and music.
Phyang Monastery remains open all days from 08:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Gurdwara Pathar Sahib
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib was built back in the year 1517 to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak Dev ji who was the founder Guru of Sikhism. The Gurdwara is believed to stand at a place where Guru Nanak defeated a demon.
According to the legend, the demon threw a large boulder on Guru Nanak who was meditating at the base of a hill. However, the rock melted and became soft and failed to cause any harm to Guru Nanak.
Gurdwara Pathar Sahib is set in Buddhist Ladakh and is worshipped by a number of Buddhists. Guru Nanak is worshipped as Guru Gompka Maharaj and Nanak Lama by Tibetan Buddhists.
The Gurdwara remains open all days of the week from 6 am to 7 pm.
Sher Garhi palace
One of the most visited attractions in Jammu and Kashmir; Sher Garhi Palace is the former residence of the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir from the Dogra Dynasty.
The palace complex was built back in the year 1772 as a fortress and palace by the Afghan governor, Jawansher Khan. Today, the palace complex is known as the ‘Old Secretariat’ and it houses the administrative departments of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The architecture of the complex speaks much about the style and culture of Dogra civilization.
During 21st century, the palace was destroyed by fire. Though important structures of the palace are destroyed, the attraction holds the position of a major tourist attraction of Jammu and Kashmir.
Camping at Pangong Lake
|A wonderful view of Pangong lake|
Known for its ever changing hues, Pangong Lake is set at the higher reaches of the Himalayas in Leh. Pangong Lake is a must-visit for adventure seekers, photographers and nature lovers. There is a camping site on the shore of the lake, from where tourists can enjoy spectacular view of the Himalayas and take back a camping experience like never before. Camping is the best way to have a look at the real beauty of the lake and its surroundings. The view of the sunrise and sunset is breathtaking from the shore. Pangong Lake is a paradise for photographers as they get to capture a sunrise and sunset like never before.
Considered one of the holiest of all Yatras of Hinduism, Amarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage on foot to Amarnath Cave, which is a naturally occurring shrine of the Hindu faith. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known as the creator, preserver and destroyer. The Amarnath Cave has a visible hole where Shivalinga formed naturally of an ice stalagmite is present. By the side of the Shiva Lingam, there are two more Lingams of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesh. Devotees from all over the world visit the shrine to pay homage to Lord Shiva. Attend the aarti and chant prayers to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
Kargil War Memorial
Also known as the Drass War Memorial, Kargil War Memorial was built to commemorate the brave soldiers who lost their lives during Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1947, 1971 and 1999. On the walls of the memorial, there are names of all Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the wars. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of snow capped peaks from the memorial.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on 26th July in the Drass Kargil sector to pay tribute to Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the wars.
Outside the memorial, there is a memento shop which sells coffee mugs, hats, T-shirts, designed in memory of the war.
Located at a distance of 47 km from Srinagar, Yusmarg is a popular hill station of Jammu and Kashmir. The hill station is set amid green fields, dense forests and snow capped mountains. Yusmarg is a great destination if you wish to spend some time in a tranquil and pleasant ambience. Set at an altitude of 2713 m, Yusmarg offers spectacular views of the snow clad mountains which are truly treat for the eyes. Walk through the colorful meadows and feel close to nature as the strong breeze caresses your face. The best time to visit the place is during the summer season.
Located at the base of Pir Panjal Range, Verinag spring is a source of Jhelum River. There is an octagonal tank made of sculptured stones around the spring which was constructed by Mughal Emperor Jehangir. The water of the spring is well-known for its medicinal values. In the year 1620, a garden was laid near the spring by Emperor Shah Jahan. The natural beauty and serenity of the place is enough to add tons of happiness to your day.
Verinag spring and Mughal garden surrounding the spring has been officially recognized as a Monument of National Importance by Archaeological Survey of India.
Set in the northern district Kupwara of Jammu and Kashmir, Lolab valley is a place sprinkled with natural beauty, warmth and tranquility. The valley allures tourists from all over, who wish to explore Kashmir at its best. Locally known as ‘Wadi-e-Lolab’, Lolab Valley is famous for its springs, fruit orchards, lake and rice fields.
Lolab Valley is a must-visit for nature lovers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. You really can’t miss capturing the scenic beauty of the place in your camera. The valley is home to a number of Himalayan wild animals such as Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Ibex, Markho and Hangul.
The best time to visit Lolab Valley is from the month of February to April and October to December.
Gurez valley is located at a distance of 133 km from Srinagar. The valley is set in the high Himalayas and holds the real essence of beauty. Set at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level, the valley is all around surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Gurez Valley is well-known for its exotic fauna and wildlife which includes the snow leopard and Himalayan brown bear.
The beautiful valley is set on the ancient Silk Route and it features a unique culture, language and lifestyle. The serenity of the place is enhanced by the sparkling waters of the Neelum River which flows through the Gurez valley.
The main attraction of the valley is the Gurez festival, which is celebrated every year to enhance the tourism in the valley. During the festival, cuisine, culture, sports and handicrafts of the valley are displayed in front of the tourists.
The valley of old monasteries, Zanskar is one of the most popular attractions of Jammu and Kashmir. Zanskar is the starting point of the famous Chadar Trek. Zanskar features sparkling rivers, snow capped mountains, picture perfect landscape and pleasing weather, which makes it a great attraction.
The unexplored beauty of the place leaves every visitor spellbound.
There are a number of monasteries in Zanskar which display exquisite architecture and work with an aim to impart spiritual knowledge. The place is a hot spot for adventure enthusiasts as it offers a variety of adventure activities like paragliding, trekking and river rafting. Zanskar remains accessible only from the month of April to August.
Markha Valley Trek
One of the most popular treks of Ladakh, Markha Valley trek disappoints no one. It offers an opportunity to reach the top of two high passes – Gandala La (4800 m) and Kongmaru La (5150 m). Treat your eyes with the beautiful sights of Ladakh en-route your trek. With this trek, you get to take a step closer to nature. Explore the untouched beauty of streams and rivers. The trek takes you through great trails near Rumbak Village and Markha Village. Enjoy the spectacular views of Kangyatze Peak.
Sledding at Patnitop
During winters, Patnitop gets covered with a thick sheet of snow, which makes it a paradise for snow lovers and adventure seekers. Patnitop has every option which one requires for a day filled with fun, adventure and excitement. Skiing, sledging and snow cycling are the top options for exploring the snow covered Patnitop. Sledging is the best among these options as it makes you explore the snow covered slopes with an ease, but in an exciting way. Also, while indulging into sledging, you get to enjoy it at different slopes like that of Madha Top and Natha Top.
Great Lakes Trek
If you desire to explore the beauty of Kashmir and experience trekking at its best, then Great Lakes Trek is a must for you. Great Lakes Trek takes through high altitude passes, colorful meadows and turquoise lakes. As soon as you reach your starting point, Sonmarg, you will get an idea of what the Great Lakes trek has to offer. The breathtaking view of the snow capped peaks and thick pine forests promise to leave you mesmerized at once. Great Lake Trek has medium level of difficulty and is a cross over trail that covers a number of meadows and passes. The best time to take up the Great Lakes trek is from the month of June to September.
Skiing in Khilanmarg
Located at a distance of 6 km from Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is a hotspot for skiers. The snow covered ski- runs of the place allure skiers from all over the world. Explore the pristine beauty of Khilanmarg while you whoosh through those long and curvy slopes. Soak yourself in the beauty of the place and enjoy the breathtaking sights of the snow capped mountains. There are slopes to match the experience of every skier. Qualified and experienced trainers are present to impart training to beginners.
Other than skiing, you can also enjoy activities like skating, snow bobbing and tobogganing at Khilanmarg. A two-day snow festival is organized every year in the month of February. During the festival, a number of competitions like night skiing, snow cycling and snowboarding are organized.
One of the most revered monasteries, Hemis Monastery is set at a distance of 45 km from Leh. The monastery is located at a picture perfect location, where it is all around surrounded by spectacular mountains. Hemis Monastery belongs to the Drupka Lineage of Mahayana Buddhism. The wealthiest monastery in India, Hemis Monastery is known for its rich collection of ancient remnants like Buddha statue made of copper, mud stupas and gold and silver stupas. The monastery also has a variety of murals and artifacts. The monastery has around 200 branches with more than 1,000 monks across the Himalayan region.
Camel Safari in Hunder
Camel safaris are a great way to explore Ladakh and take back some of the most memorable sights of the Himalayas. Nubra Valley, one of the highest deserts in the world allures tourists from all over the world.
While you are enjoying the shaky movements of the camel, don’t forget to have a look at those rugged terrains, remote villages and vast stretch of desert. The double humped Bactrian camel in Hunder will make you take back an experience like never before.
Stop at the non-motorable side of Shyok River and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Visit the beautiful villages which are set nearby. Don’t miss visiting Buddhist Monasteries and taking a dip in the famous hot springs of the place which are believed to have therapeutic properties.
Visit the confluence of Indus and Zanskar
One originates from the great Himalayan Ranges and the other from Zanskar Ranges. While one is sparkling blue in color, the other one is green. The confluence of both, Indus River and Zanskar River is something you can’t afford to miss. Coming from the high Himalayas, these rivers meet at a scenic location near Nimmu in Ladakh.
The confluence of the two Himalayan Rivers is so beautiful that it leaves every visitor mesmerized. The tranquility of the place adds to the beauty of the sight. The place is a paradise for photographers as you get to capture a lot.
Undertake the Trans Himalayan Safari on a 4X4
A great holiday with friends and family is never enough to enjoy every ounce offered by Ladakh. The beauty of this high altitude desert does not end with those rugged landscapes, unique culture and exotic flora and fauna. There is so much more to Ladakh, which surely can’t be missed.
To explore the raw beauty of Ladakh, it is best to take Trans Himalayan Safari Safari on a 4X4. It takes you through some of the highest motorable roads in the world, beautiful valleys, ancient temples and revered Buddhist Monasteries. You get to see great destinations like Leh, Sarchu, Pangong Lake, Khardung La Pass and Nubra Valley. Uncover the real beauty of Ladakh, experience its glorious history, culture and traditions which it has preserved for years.