Kashmir: Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir
is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons -
always extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the
Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape
and south respectively. They are the source of great rivers,
which flow down into the valleys, forested with orchards and
decorated by lily-laden lakes.
Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realized. In
winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing,
tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In
spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and
blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the
mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700 m above
the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized
rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys
of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats are some
of the most favoured ones.
Kashmir has four distinct seasons,
each with its own peculiar character and distinctive charm.
These are spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Winter: Through December, to the
beginning of March is winter time, which presents Srinagar in
yet another mood. Bare, snow-covered landscapes being watched
from beside the warmth of a fire is a joy that cannot be
described to anyone who has not experienced it. Some houseboats
and hotels remain open in winter-these are either centrally
heated or heated with ‘bukharis’, a typically Kashmiri stove
kept alight with embers of wood, quite effective in the winter.
Spring: Spring, which extends
roughly from March to early May, is when a million blossoms
carpet the ground. The weather during this time can be
gloriously pleasant at 23oC or chilly and windy at 6oC.
This is the season when Srinagar experiences rains, but the
showers are brief.
Summer: Extends from May until the
end of August. Light woollens may be required to wear out of Srinagar. In higher altitudes night temperatures drop slightly.
Srinagar at this time experiences day temperatures of between 25oC
and 35oC. At this time, the whole valley is a mosaic
of varying shades of green - rice fields, meadows, trees, etc.
and Srinagar with its lakes and waterways is a heaven after the
scorching heat of the Indian plains.
Autumn: The onset of autumn, perhaps
Kashmir's loveliest season, is towards September, when green
turns to gold and then to russet and red. The highest day
temperatures in September are around 23oC and night
temperatures dip to 10oC by October, and further drop
by November, when heavy woollens are essential.
of Kashmir - 3
Nights / 4 Days
Delhi - Srinagar
airport, welcome with flowers and transfer from
airport to deluxe class
house-boat. Post lunch, visit the famous Mughal
gardens (Shalimar Bagh & Nishat Bagh) and
Srinagar: Srinagar is located in the heart of
the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above
sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum.
The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque
setting, while the changing play of the seasons and
the salubrious climate ensures that the city is
equally attractive to visitors around the year.
Srinagar - Gulmarg
Morning bed tea, then
breakfast at 8:30am. Leave for Gulmarg along with
packed Lunch by tata sumo / Maruthi Van. Return to
the houseboat in the evening. Dinner and overnight
Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and
proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the
premier hill resorts in the country. Originally
called ‘Gaurimarg’ by shepherds, its present name
was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah,
who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes
emblazoned with wild flowers. Gulmarg was a
favourite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once
collected 21 different varieties of flowers from
here. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort
of exceptional beauty- it also has the highest green
golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2,650 m,
and is the country's premier ski resort in the
Gulmarg - Sonamarg
Morning bed tea, After
Breakfast, Leave to Sonamarg along with lunch boxes.
Return to Srinagar and overnight stay at the
Sonamarg is situated at a distance of 84kms from
Srinagar, on the Srinagar-Ladakh Road. The drive to
Sonamarg is through the Sindh Valley which presents
spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir.
Situated at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonamarg (‘The
meadow of gold’) has, as its backdrop, snowy
mountains against a cerulean sky. The Sindh River
that meanders through the valley abounds with trout
and mahaseer. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to
Thajiwas glacier, which is a major local attraction
during the summer months.
Srinagar - Delhi
Morning bed tea, After
breakfast, proceed to Vegetable market in lake by
Shikara (local boat). Visit the market on the lake
and in lake canals, floating gardens, Nehru Park.
Return to house boat. Transfer to airport.
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