Day 1 - 10 Aug 2018
Content: We reached Srinagar airport. This airport was mainly operating for military purposes so that it was highly secured. It offered a domestic flight from various cities. We could see many Indians as well as foreigners from all parts of the world. The airport was looking good. We got a taxi easily from the gate to our hotel at a reasonable price. The Srinagar is known as 'Heaven on Earth', located on the banks of river Jhelum. The presence of mountains, lakes, meadows, and beautiful gardens make it a perfect spot for all kinds of travelers.
Content: We booked 5-star property in Srinagar which is located at the banks of Dal Lake and surrounded by beautiful mountains. We checked into the hotel. It was a luxurious resort but worth for enjoy the beauty of Srinagar. The rooms are beautiful with overlooking view of Dal Lake. The bathroom is equipped with a bathtub along with the signature toiletries.
Content: The Pari Mahal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Srinagar city. It is also known as the 'Abode of Fairies'. It is a six-terraced garden located at the top Zabarwqan mountain range. We wander around the historical monument to experience its architecture style. The entry to the garden was on the third terrace, and then there are stairs to either walk up or down. On all levels, we saw many flowering plants, shrubs, and trees. We enjoyed a beautiful scenic place. We took many photos on the backdrop of the garden.
Content: Our next destination was Nishat Bagh which is known as "The Garden of Bliss". It was located very close to Dal Lake. It was a perfect destination was photography lovers. We got many scenic photos on the backdrop of the mountains. There is a beautiful rectangular shaped pool at the center of the garden. It was a huge garden with lots of plants and flowers. The overlook from the entrance attracted many travellers. The pathway was lined with beautiful red flowers. We could sit on the lawn to enjoy the beauty of the garden.
Content: We walked down to the Dal Lake which is located very close to the garden. It is the second-largest lake in Jammu and Kashmir. The mirror-like water reflected the beautiful image of peaks and mountains. There are many houseboats in the lake. We could feel the cool breeze of the lake. After dinner we got in to the room.
Day 2 - 11 Aug 2018
Content: We had breakfast from the hotel and headed towards Wular Lake. The food was good and fresh. The dining area of the hotel was excellent. There was a separate tea lounge that offered varieties of flavoured coffee and tea along with freshly baked cakes.
Content: We reached the Wular Lake which is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. It was located on the northwest side of Srinagar. We took 2 hours to reach the destination. The natural beauty of the lake attracted many tourists all parts of the world. It was one of the favourite picnic spots for locals as well as for travellers. The lake was very calm in its appearance. We went for short boating in the lake to enjoy the mountains and peaks. After spending some time we headed to Hazratbal Shrine.
Content: After lunch, we reached the Hazratbal Shrine which is the holy place of Muslims located at the banks of Dal Lake. It attracted with its white appearance, built with white marbles on the backdrop of mountains. It was on the opposite side of Nishat Bagh. We came to know that formerly it was built as a pleasure house and later converted into a prayer house. It was a well-known place for travellers.
Content: On the way back to our hotel, the driver stopped at Shalimar Bagh. It was another most important as well as a beautiful garden in Srinagar. The main attraction of the garden was the Chinar trees. The garden contained varieties of plants and a lush garden along with beautiful fountains. It was very similar to Nishat Bagh in its appearance. It was a perfect spot to spend the evening with family.
Content: We had dinner at the hotel dining area Infinity. It was a little costly but good in taste. There are quite varieties that could choose from the menu. The food was good and well-presented.
Day 3 - 12 Aug 2018
Content: We started our day early in the morning. We reached Dal Lake to visit the floating garden. After rowing for 45 minutes, we reached the morning vegetable market in Dal Lake. It is a local market where farmers come to sell their vegetables to the local shopkeeper of the city market. We stayed for some time watching the locals interacting with each other in Kashmiri. It was the best place to learn about the lives of Kashmiris.
Content: Then our Shikara moved around the lake through different markets. We watched the mountains and valleys. On the way, we could see some floating flower market. Then our Shikara passed through a floating lotus garden and many cranes. We saw some local women extracting weeds from the lake for their home gardens. There is a small island on the lake called Char Chinar. We picked some freshwater lilies from the floating water lily garden.
Content: We came back to the hotel and packed our belonging. After check out, we started to next to the next city on our list, Gulmarg. It is the most favourite tourist destination for all age travellers. It offered a beautiful view of the Pir Panjal mountain ranges. Gulmarg is formerly known as 'the meadow of flowers'. Our journey was through a flat road till Tangmarg, after that actual steep ascent started. The journey was smooth and comfortable as the roads are well-conditioned.
Day 3 - 12 Aug 2018
Content: We checked in to the Hotel Affarwat which is located at the centre of the city. The rooms are very comfortable and well furnished with woods. The staff was very polite and friendly. We ordered lunch from the hotel. The food was good but taste was not up to expectation. We dropped our luggage and headed to Gulmarg Golf Course
Content: We reached the first destination in Gulmarg. Gulmarg Golf Course is considered as the highest golf course in the world. We enjoyed a walk in a beautiful green-carpeted meadow. The meadow was decorated with beautiful rare varieties of flowers. We spend about 2 hours of playing and chatting.
Content: We had dinner from Bakshi Restaurant which is near to our hotel. The food was nasty with a lot of oil and spices.
Day 4 - 13 Aug 2018
Content: This was our big day, we started with the Gulmarg Gondola ride. It is believed that the trip to Gulmarg was incomplete without Gulmarg Gondola ride. It was one of the world's highest operating cable cars which operate in two phases. Gulmarg town was the starting point of the ride and Apharwat peak was the final destination, in between, it stopped at Kungdoor. The boarding point for the ride looked like a hotel, with a huge waiting hall. We boarded to Gondola for phase one. We arrived at Kungdoor station after 15 minutes ride. It was a short ride but the view was great and worth it. We stepped out to enjoy the beauty of Kongdoor.
Content: We tasted Maggi at Kongdoor valley open shop. The taste was good and heavenly. There are many small tea shops and restaurants. We saw a very small waterfall in the valley which was cute enough.
Content: Then we reached phase two at the top of the Apharwat peak. We walked towards Apharwat Lake. It was located at the mountain, Apharwat Peak. The route was a bit confused through the rocky pathway but after 3 km we could see the lake view. This place was famous for its common name, Frozen Lake. That is, during the months of winter the entire lake freezes completely, and by March month it started to melt with ice floating in it. The beautiful view of the lake caught our eyes. We got amazing pictures as well.
Content: We reached back to the hotel. We set remaining time for rest.
Day 5 - 14 Aug 2018
Content: We reached Pahalgam situated at Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir Valley. It is a beautiful hill station and popular among travellers. It served as the base of one of the most important pilgrimages in India - the Amarnath Yatra. The Lidder River added beauty to the place. We checked into the Hotel Mount View which was the best hotel with mountain views. The rooms are good and neat with the necessary amenities.
Content: We headed to Betaab Valley, the most popular spot in Pahalgam. It featured in the famous Hollywood movie "Betaab". It is the most famous place encircled with mountains and pine forests. It was the perfect place for a relaxed evening in the lap of nature. We spend some time clicking photos on the backdrop of mountains and forests. Then we headed to Lidder River, another famous attraction in the valley.
Content: It is a glacial river that originated from the Kolhoi glacier flowing through the valleys of Pahalgam. We spend some leisure time on the banks of the river. The place was so crowded with both locals and travellers. We headed to the hotel after dinner.
Day 6 - 15 Aug 2018
Content: We set this morning for Aru Valley which is a small village in the south Kashmir. After breakfast from the hotel we headed towards Aru Valley. The hiking, fishing, and horse riding are popular activities in the valley. The place was overloaded with the natural beauty of mountains, green lands, and refreshing air. The silence in the valley captured the minds of the travellers. We enjoyed a short ride on the back of the horse.
Content: After lunch, we headed towards Chandanwari which is located 16 km from Pahalgam. The road to Chandanwari was filled with beautiful traditional Kashmiri houses and the Lidder River was on the right side. It was well-known as the starting point of Amarnath Yatra so that it was crowded with lots of pilgrims. We passed through Hajan an idyllic spot for a picnic. We got an amazing opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains and valleys. It is a very ideal place for photographers. We spend our evening on the valley enjoying the refreshing air and cold breeze.
Content: We reached the hotel and had dinner. The food was average in taste. We had mutton rogan josh which was not up to our expectation. The meat was not perfectly cooked.
Day 7 - 16 Aug 2018
Content: We had breakfast from the hotel and checked out of the hotel. We rented a taxi with the help of the staff and headed towards Jammu. Jammu is located in the southern part of Jammu and Kashmir. It was the winter capital of Kashmir.
Day 7 - 16 Aug 2018
Content: It was too long journey. We booked a hotel at Katra for one night which is the most important place of worship in India. It is located at the Uddhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. The place is surrounded by a lot of water bodies.
Content: We checked in to the Lemon Tree Hotel which is located very near to the railway station. The rooms are good with the view of the Trikuta Mountains. The staff welcomed us politely and kindly. We had dinner from the hotel itself.
Day 8 - 17 Aug 2018
Content: After breakfast we moved to Vaishno Devi temple. We booked taxi and driver helped us to take tickets and all.
Content: Our day was set for Vaishno Devi temple which is located amidst of Trikuta hills. It was the most popular holy place dedicated to Hindu Goddess Durga. We booked a ticket for a helicopter in advance which made our trip easy. We took a helicopter from Sanji Chhat, Katra. It was the quickest way to reach the temple. We saw Ardh Kuwari Cave which is a holy cave located 2km from the main temple. It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi meditated within this cave for nine months. Then we entered into the Sanctum sanctorum of the Mata Vaishno Devi temple. The temple complex was crowded. Inside the Sanctum sanctorum, we could not find any idols apart that we saw three Pindis (pieces of rock). The three rocks are part of the same rock but each of them has a different shape and colour. This is the miracle associated with the rocks. The centre one is the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Lakshmi and rock has a yellowish tinge to it. There is the Baba Bhaironath Temple at the top of the hill. It is believed that pilgrimage is only complete once you have visited the Bhaironath Temple. There are also temples of Mata Durga and Shri Ram. We could easily find these temples with help of signboards. There are some Bhojanalayas that offered hygienic and cheap food at the hill. We spend our day at the holy place.
Content: We return back to hotel and kept remaining time for relax.
Day 9 - 18 Aug 2018
Content: We checked out the hotel early in the morning and headed to Jammu. We checked in to the Lords Inn hotel which is very near to bus stand. The location of hotel was great and easily accessible to find transportation. The rooms are clean and their service was great. Our reaming day was set for sightseeing.
Content: Our first destination in Jammu was the Amar Mahal Museum which is situated on the bank of Tawi River. It is the perfect place to study the royal past of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the most famous tourist spot in Jammu. The museum houses many famous artefacts and statues. The most attractive one is the Golden Throne which is well-guarded and protected inside a locked room. We could see the most amazing view of the Tawin River from the Museum.
Content: Next, we moved to Mubarak Mandi Palace which is another most popular spot. It has an amazing architecture which is the mix of Rajasthani, and Mughal features. The 'Pink Hall' is the most attractive part of the palace. It is historically known as Gulabi Darbar Hall. It was believed that the ruler held their Darbar at this hall. The hall exhibits a gallery about the place. Nala Damyanti Gallery exhibited many artworks that portray the romantic tale of Nala and Damayanti. There is a library which contained many rare collections.
Content: We reached our next destination, Bahu Fort which is the oldest fort in the city. It was a religiously signified place as it contains a Kali temple. There was nothing much impressive. There was a small garden around the Kali temple with an aquarium. We got many stunning images on the background of the garden as well as fort.
Content: We came to the hotel and had dinner. We ordered Aloo Dum and Kashmiri Pulao accompanied by a special pickle. The food was very tasty and delicious.
Day 10 - 19 Aug 2018
Content: After breakfast, we headed to Mansar Lake, the most famous tourist spot. It was located in Samba town. The lake was lined by pine trees that attracted many tourists with its beauty. We went boating which was the most amazing activity in the lake. Pracheen Baba Sheshnag-Ji Temple was the main shrine in the lake which houses a statue of the six-headed snake God. We went for a relaxed walk around the lake.
Content: We had lunch from a local restaurant and headed towards Peer Baba Dargah. It is a unique shrine where all religions offered their prayers. It crowed with many pilgrims. It is dedicated to the famous Sufi saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. After that, we returned to our hotel.
Content: Our final destination was the Gole Market which was close to the last destination. It was located in the centre of the city that connected many attractions. The popular things available at the market are wooden carvings, Papier Mache, shawls and carpets, sweets, etc. the carpets are most famous for their uniqueness. The chocolate burfi was another mind-blowing thing. Every age groups like this sweet.
Day 11 - 20 Aug 2018
Content: After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the airport. Jammu Airport is the nearest airport. The airport was not a big one but well maintained and cleans. When we reached the airport all networks of our phones are bounded and can't able to access. There was no Wifi. The waiting rooms are air-conditioned and well maintained. We enjoyed every day in Kashmir.