Kashmir Travel Blog: Experience the Paradise on Earth in Feb 2022
Hello everyone. My name is Vishal. I am a digital marketer by profession and a traveller by passion. In the past few years, I have travelled to a few different places in India with my friends who also love to travel. We have visited many cities, including Shimla, Manali, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra, Mussourie, Rishikesh, and many famous tourist places. And by visiting those other places, I must say that every time we have a different travel experience. So, today I am going to share one of my travel experiences from my last trip to Kashmir with you guys. So, it can help you guys in any form if you are travelling to Kashmir with your loved ones.
It is basically a 7-8-day trip. So I am going to divide it into days, which will bring more clarity about my travel experience.
Kashmir Travel Blog: Day 1
Our first day starts with our train journey. So basically, we have booked our train from Chandigarh to Jammu Tawi. And our train departure time from Chandigarh is 10 pm and the time of arrival at Jammu Tawi Station is 4:40 am. All packed up, we reached the railway station on time and also reached Jammu Tawi Railway Station on time. After reaching the railway station, we head towards the bus stand to hire a taxi or bus. When we arrive, we take a shared taxi from Jammu to Srinagar. The taxi cost us around Rs. 1100 per person.
You can bargain more. We agreed because we didn’t know when to get another taxi and also because we were a little bit exhausted. But we were also excited that, finally, we were going to Kashmir (the paradise on Earth). We slept in the taxi as we were a little tired and also because it was a long journey. But we don’t know that it will take more hours to reach Srinagar than we were expecting because of unfortunate events that were going to happen. Firstly, the traffic jam, then the tyre puncture. These two events cost us more time to reach Srinagar. We all (me and my four friends) were exhausted. But, that’s okay, soon we will be in Kashmir. This was nothing in front of Kasmir.
When we are close to Srinagar, the beauty of Kashmir is in front of our eyes. We thought if this is the beginning, then a lot is coming.
Finally, we reach Srinagar. I would definitely say that I can’t even believe that I am in Srinagar. But, yes, we are finally in Kashmir. The trip that we have been planning for a long time has started. The taxi driver drops us in front of Dal Gate No. 1 at Dal Lake, Srinagar.
From there, we approached the Shikara owner and told him to show us a boat house because we had decided to stay in a boat house. Then the Shikara (boat) owner took us to a boat house named Nightingale. He already told us that he was going to show us different boats till we selected one. But the irony is that the first boat that we saw liked it and booked it. The boat house cost us around 1500 per night. We booked it for 2 days. In the boat house, there were three rooms; one dining room, and one living room. And there was no one else staying in that boat house. It’s like we got this whole boat house at 1500 per night. The advantage is that there is no one who is going to disturb us. So, after getting freshened up, we go outside the lake to have dinner. One more thing: pick up and drop off are included when you book a boat house.
There are a lot of restaurants in front of the lake. We ate at one of the restaurants that we thought was good, but I would say that the food was good but the price was high. Also, the quantity was less. It cost us around 850. After that, we call the boat house manager to pick us up from Gate No. 1. He then turns around and drops us at the boat house. After reaching, we talk a little bit and then sleep. This was the end of our day 1. Not that much great, as we have only traveled.
But, we don’t know how much excitement and fun the coming days will bring us. I will share each and every experience, and I hope you all enjoy them.
Day 2: Gulmarg
We woke up at around 9 am in the morning. The weather was pleasant. After waking up, we stood on the balcony of the boathouse for a little while to enjoy the weather. Moreover, we were in a boat house, and in front of us, there was all water. It was really a good morning, different from all the other mornings I have seen in my lifetime. So, as we were enjoying ourselves, one seller of artificial jewels came to us to show us the items. We bought some artificial jewels from him for our family. You should bargain, otherwise you will have to pay a lot. But in my opinion, instead of buying it from them, buy it from the local market and you will save your money.
After purchasing things from that seller, we get ready to explore Kashmir. At the boat house, we decided that today we were going to explore Gulmarg. Our boat house manager has told us that at Batamloo we can easily get a shared taxi and that we can save some money. So, after eating a little breakfast, we took a bus to reach Batamloo. On the bus, we were introduced to two tourists who were also going to Gulmarg. We then took a shared taxi, which cost around 3,000. There were six of us, 500 per person. So, if you are travelling by road, you can reach Gulmarg in approx. 2 hours. The distance from Dal Gate to Gulmarg is around 50 km. If you want to know more about Gulmarg, click here. We then reach Tanmarg, the beginning point of Gulmarg. There we had our breakfast. Finally, we reach Gulmarg. more beautiful than we have heard.
So, we have reached Gulmarg, and now the fun begins. We have all heard a lot about Gulmarg and the snow activities at Gulmarg. So, we decided to do some. We all agreed upon the sledge ride, which cost us around 1000 per person. This was the bargain price. You have to bargain if you want this ride at this price. A sledge was basically a wooden block which was pulled by the person handling it on snow and on which the rider could sit.
Then they took us to St. Mary’s Church, where we took some pictures. After that, we enjoyed skiing, which cost us around 200 per person. Skiing was difficult as balancing on snow was not a simple task. We have some pictures there also. After that, we visited the Rani Temple, and it was snowing a lot there. I have never seen such a snowfall in my life. There was a heavy snowfall. We spent a little time there, and we got some pictures.
Read: 7 things to do in Gulmarg
Then we came back to our taxi to return. Another thing to consider is that snowshoes can be rented for around 100-200.
As we came back to Dal Lake, we talked and exchanged pictures. We really enjoyed Gulmarg. We all thought that today was the day spent well. And at that time, I decided that I was going to explore the whole of Kashmir. I think we all have the same feeling. After reaching Dal Gate, we had our dinner. We all ate at the same restaurant; me and my three friends and the two friends we met on the bus. Actually, they suggested we eat at the restaurant. They said they had been eating at this restaurant. and that it was a good restaurant. The food was really good, and the price was very fair. The name of the restaurant is Fork ‘n’ Spoon. After having dinner, we came back to our boat house. Today we spent some time talking, making fun of each other and falling asleep at around 2 am.
And this is how our day 2 ends. But you can explore more by visiting 20 best places in Gulmarg
Day 3 Shikara Ride
As I said last night, we had a long talk. So, today we slept a little longer, and we woke up around 10 a.m. We are a little bit late to go to Pahalgam or Sonamarg, so we decide that today we will explore Srinagar. We had heard a lot about Shikara rides, so we hired a Shikara, which cost us around Rs. 1200 for the whole day.
Our first stop on the Shikara ride was Nehru Park. It was a nice day, the weather was good, or I can say that it was a perfect day for a Shikara ride. After reaching Nehru Park, we had our breakfast. It was a good park to spend time in. Then we head towards our next destination, the floating market, where we spend our time buying some shawls for our families. Then we make a round of the whole lake while relaxing. We also clicked a lot of photographs while on the Shikara. You will also see people selling fruits, vegetables, etc. on these boats.
After finishing our shikara ride, we then decide that we will now go to Lal Chowk and the local market there. We then went to Lal Chowk, clicked some pictures, and explored the local market. Then we came back to Dal Gate, had dinner, and came back to the boat house. I would like to say if you want to buy something for your family, buy it from the local market. You can easily save your money.
Day 4: Sonamarg
We woke up at around 8 a.m. After getting ready, we decided that today we should go to Sonamarg. Sonamarg is around 80 km from Srinagar, which will take us around 2 hours to reach.
So, we took a taxi, which cost us around Rs. 2800 till Sonamarg. I would like to tell you something. In Kashmir, the maximum number of taxis is the Chevrolet Tavera. You will see more taveras here than in any other place. Then, after some time, our taxi driver took us to a dry fruit shop. They were selling a lot of things like saffron, almonds, cashews, perfume, oil, creme, and many other things (all natural). We buy some of that stuff from that shop. After that, we had our breakfast in a riverside restaurant. We then reached Sonamarg.
We then took snow boots and moved towards the snow glaciers. It’s like a small trek. Here we have decided that we are not going to do any activities, as we have already done in Gulmarg. Here we spend our time getting pictures and videos, enjoying the snow, and doing a little bit of trekking. We enjoyed it a lot. We then ate Maggie. In the cold weather, eating Maggie is great fun. Although it was all snow, the view was different from that of Gulmarg.
After that, we came back to our taxi and headed towards Dal Lake, Srinagar. Then, as usual, we had our dinner and we came back to our boat house. This is how our day ends. Sonamarg did exceed our expectations. The interesting part was that we enjoyed the path or the view from the roadside because it was so beautiful.
Day 5: Pahalgam
Another day, another destination. That is Pahalgam. After having breakfast, we hire a taxi, which costs us around 2,500. Pahalgam is around 90 km from Srinagar. And it will take us approximately 2:00-2:30 hours to arrive in Pahalgam. We enjoyed the ride and made videos throughout our journey. Finally, we reached Pahalgam. We learned there that you had hired a horse to take you to the top, also known as a pony ride. It was famous in Pahalgam.
So, we hired 4 horses, which cost us around 2100 per person. We were all very excited as we had never ridden a horse and in a hilly area. It was going to be fun. We then sat on the horse and started our ride. It was a different experience, and we all liked it. But when the horse started walking on a hilly slope, we were a little bit nervous because of the snow, as the path became slippery. However, we reached our first destination where we took some pictures sitting on the horse with the view and with the rabbit also. After that, we reach another spot with a large ground on top that has trees covering it. This is the place where the shooting scene from a famous Bollywood movie was shot, named “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.
After spending some time and having some food, we came back to the ground. But before returning, one incident occurred. One of my friends fell along with the horse because his horse slipped due to snow. Thank God he and his horse didn’t get hurt that much. So, I would like to say that I know that there is a lot of fun, but with fun, there is also risk. Also, it can hurt the animals. So, please take care while doing this. We then make the payment. One more thing is that you can easily get the ATMs at Pahalgam. Then we head towards Dal Lake, but before going back to Dal Lake, we spend some time at the river alongside the road, where we took some pictures. Then later, we reach Dal Lake, where we have our dinner and we return to our boat house to sleep. This is how our day 5 ends.
Day 6: Local Srinagar
As we have visited the famous tourist places in Kashmir, we thought that now we should explore Srinagar. So, we hired a taxi at around 2200 for the whole day. The taxi driver did tell us a lot of things about Kasmir while he was showing us the places near Dal Lake. Firstly, we visited Shankaracharya Temple, which was on a hilltop. Phones and cameras are not allowed in the temple.
So, we kept our phones in the taxi. We then reach the temple by climbing a few stairs. One more thing: it’s been raining a lot since the morning. So it’s kind of cold. The temple is nicely built in a great location. We then explored the whole temple. We then returned to the temple, but before returning, we clicked some pictures. After that, we visited Chashmashahi Garden, Shalimar Bag, and Nishat Garden, and last, we visited Chakreshwari Temple.
We really loved the parks and the temple. We did not spend that much time in all of the places because of the rain. When we were at Shalimar Bag, the snowfall began. We enjoyed it a lot. This was the first time we’d seen snowfall in the city. After that, we returned to Dal Lake to have our dinner and go to sleep. This was how our day ended. But a lot more is to come.
Day 7: Going Home
Today we were thinking about leaving, but after we woke up and what we saw outside was heavy snowfall. It was snowing all over. There was no movement of vehicles, no one was outside. When we were living in the boat house, we never expected to see such heavy snowfall. At that time, we got excited and took some pictures and videos. It was really a nice view. I will show you the view below. We have already decided that on our return we will go by air. So, we booked our flight last night. But, after seeing the snowfall, we don’t know whether the flight will depart or not.
So, one of my friends tried to call the airlines to get an update on our flight, but we couldn’t contact them. It is kind of obvious that there will be no flights today. But, we tried. After waiting for a few hours when the snowfall decreased, we thought that we should go to the airport to know whether the flight was running or not. Maybe the flight is delayed. There should be any reason. But, because there was no contact, they couldn’t take any risk. So, we hired a taxi, which cost us around 1500 to get to the airport, which is very expensive because of the weather.
However, we head towards the airport, but after reaching the airport, we come to know that all the flights have been cancelled due to weather. So we go back to our boathouse. While returning, we get a message from the airline that your flight has been cancelled. We thought if this message came to us before we left for the airport, then we could save our money and time. Soon, we reach our boathouse.
After that, we contacted the airline’s customer care and booked our seats for tomorrow’s flight. We had to stay the whole day in our boat house because of all the snow on the road. We can’t go anywhere. But at night, the electricity is gone. We then ate our dinner and, after watching a movie, because there was nothing to do, we slept and prayed to God to please make tomorrow’s weather good so that we could go home. This is how our day 7 ends.
Day 8: Reached Chandigarh
Due to heavy snowfall yesterday, we could not go to our home as the flight was cancelled. After waking up, we saw the weather. Thank God today’s weather was good, which means today there will be no flight cancellations. After getting ready, we had our breakfast, and we left for the airport.
This was the first time that we were going by plane. We were very excited. We saw a heavy rush at the airport after reaching it. We then went through security, received our boarding passes, and waited in the waiting area because the flight was running late. The cost of the flight is 4,500 per person. Finally, we are on the plane. We then get to our seats. Our flight takes off after that. We are in the air. We were so excited because it was our first time on a plane. We then, after 30-40 minutes, reach Chandigarh. One small incident also occurred. One of my friends’ luggage remained at the Srinagar Airport because it contained a power bank. We then contact customer care, and they say that after removing the power bank, the bag gets back on the next flight. We then took a cab and reached home.
So, friends, this was my Kashmir Trip Experience with me and my three friends. Among the three friends, one was my cousin. We all enjoyed ourselves a lot. It was really a paradise on Earth. And I recommend all of you guys to visit Kashmir once in a lifetime.
That’s all, I hope you enjoyed my experience of the ‘Kashmir Trip Feb 2022’. Please share it with your friends. Till then, have a good day. Soon I will return with a new travel experience. Also, thanks a lot to Travelindays for publishing my travel blog.