Saturday, 1 October 2016

Trip to Kashmir Valley


I had a flight from Delhi to Srinagar, Kashmir today. We had taken a tour package of Thomas Cook. We reached the airport, checked in, got security checked and then boarded our GoAir plane. The journey was about 1 and a half hour long. When we reached the Srinagar International Airport, a person from Thomas Cook greeted us and some other families. There were 2 Force Travellers and 1 TATA Winger as there were total 39 people who had come from different places in India. I was in a Force Traveller.

From the airport all of us went to a house boat situated on the Dal Lake. It was a 30 mins drive from the airport to Dal Lake. On the banks of the lake we stopped and sat in a boat to go to our house boat. We were staying in the house boat named The Alps. It was located among the various houseboats in this beautiful lake.

My House Boat

One more family was staying with us in the house boat, there were 3 bed rooms in the house boat. It was an interesting place to stay with a hall, dining room and an open area to sit. After we got fresh in a short time, a 'Shikara' arrived to take us for ride on the Dal Lake. It was a pleasant ride, we saw the floating market and got photographed in Kashmiri traditional dress.

View from Shikara
After the Shikara Ride we went back to our house boat to have dinner. After the dinner we went to sleep. That night it had rained heavily.


The next day we had our breakfast in the house boat and left for Shankaracharya Temple. It is a very old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. To reach to the temple we had to climb 243 stairs. Then, from there we went to The Ruins of Avantipura. These were ruins of an ancient temple.
Me with my mother and sister at The Ruins Of Avantipura

From there we travelled to Pahalgam. On the way we visited saffron fields from where we bought saffron and walnuts. From the saffron fields we directly went to Pahalgam. The name of our hotel was Aksa Hotel. In that hotel we were staying only with one other family. That evening I was watching a movie in the hotel as today there was no tour plan. That night we had dinner at the hotel and slept. As it was cold, there were electric bed heaters installed. In Kashmir nights were extremely cold and days were partly sunny.


The next day first we went to Chandanwari, where we played with little snow. We climbed till a nice height in the snow and then we came down from a sledge. Chandanwari is also the place from where the annual 'Amarnath Yatra' begins in the months of July-August.

We all at Chandanwari

Then from Chandanwari we went to Betaab Valley which got it's name from the movie-"Betaab" because it was shot there. It was a very beautiful garden on the river side. We clicked many pics there and spent some quality time there.

Me with my sister at Betaab Valley

Then from there we went to Aru Valley and then proceeded to The Pahalgam city for lunch. We had lunch in a restaurant named "Sagar Ratna". I had a Dosa there. Then from there we took a taxi from the main city to our hotel. That evening we were in the hotel.

Our resort at Pahalgam


The next day we left the hotel early in the morning as we had to travel 140 k.m. to reach Gulmarg which was past Srinagar. On the way we stopped at a bat factory which manufactured bats for famous Indian cricketers. I also bought 1 bat from the factory. They also showed us how are bats made. Then from there we went to a handicraft showroom which had a good stock of Kashmiri carpets, jackets, caps, showpieces etc.

We stopped at Tungmarg for lunch. Then from there we went to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is located in North Kashmir and is famous for the world's highest golf course. The name of our hotel there was "Royal Park Resort". We had the view of snow capped mountains from our rooms. In the evening, we went around the place, visited a small Shiva Temple which was 101 years old and came back for dinner and rest.

Me with my sister at Gulmarg


After morning breakfast we went to the 'Gondola' station which was near our hotel to take the ride further up to the mountains. From the 'Gondola' destination, we took ponies to go a nearby place which had lot of snow and also a waterfall. After we reached the last point where the ponies could go, we took sledges to go further up near waterfall. Over there there was a small restaurant where we had some snacks and then I learned skiing. It was first time in my life that I was skiing in a natural environment.                                                                                                                                                                
Inside the Gondola
That is me skiing

After skiing and walking close to the waterfall, we came down which was quite a fun. Then we took the Gondola back to the town, had a late lunch and boarded our vehicle to proceed to Srinagar.

We reached Srinagar city by evening and visited the famous Shalimar Garden (one of the three Mughal gardens in the city), it was a beautiful place with variety of flowers.

@Shalimar Garden
After that we checked in to our hotel Paradise Gateway in the Nishat area. We had dinner and took rest.


After having breakfast, we drove to Sonamarg which is another hill station close to the banks of Indus river. We travelled on the Srinagar Leh Highway which is one of the highest roads in India. The view on this drive was one of the best but since it was raining, we couldn't go to the main snow points. We had lunch in the town and went around the place.
Me at Sonamarg

In the evening,we came back to our hotel in Srinagar. My parents went to a nearby bakery to get some Kashmiri biscuits.


Today we had flight to Delhi in the afternoon. Since we had some time after breakfast we visited the nearby 'Nishat Bagh', another Mughal garden. It is close to the famous Dal Lake and a beautiful place booming with flowers of all colours. This garden is ideal place for picnics and because it was Sunday, it was full of local people.

After that we went to Srinagar airport which is one of the most secure airport in the country with multiple layers of checking. Our flight was delayed by an hour but we could reach our home in Gurgaon by evening.

Overall the trip was great with lots of fun.