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Monday, January 25, 2016

Kashmir : India's most beautiful state

Kashmir will take your breath away at every turn.

Explore the Magic of Heaven (Kashmir):-
"Cherish forever the Wonderland of Kashmir, Snow capped Mountains, Sunny Gardens, Romantic Houseboats, you will never want to go back."

Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Historically the term Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range.

Gaffara Tour & Travels invites you to Discover and Explore the Ultimate Paradise on Earth, Kashmir, the crowning glory of India. India's northernmost state and crown of India, Kashmir is a Paradise regained. Kashmir is so precious, no outsider is allowed to own land here.

Kashmir throughout the ages has remained another name for Paradise. Cradled in the lap of majestic mountains of the Himalayas, Kashmir is the most beautiful place on earth. On visiting the Valley of Kashmir, Jehangir, one of the Mughal emperors, is said to have exclaimed:
"If there is paradise anywhere on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here."

The Mughals aptly called Kashmir ‘Paradise on Earth’ where they journeyed across the hot plains of India, to the valley’s cool environs in summer. Here they laid, with great love and care, Srinagar’s many formal, waterfront gardens, now collectively known as the Mughal Gardens. Anecdotes of four and five centuries ago describe their love for these gardens, and the rivalries that centered around their ownership. They also patronized the development of art & craft among the people of Kashmir, leaving behind a heritage of exquisite artisan ship among these people and making the handicrafts of the land prized gifts all over the world.
Kashmir has four distinct seasons, each with its own peculiar character and distinctive charm. These are spring, summer, autumn and winter.
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 23°C or chilly and windy at 6°C. This is the season when Srinagar experiences rains, but the showers are brief.

Summer extends from May until the end of August. Light woolens may be required to wear out of Srinagar. In higher altitudes night temperatures drop slightly. Srinagar at this time experiences day temperatures of between 25°C and 35°C. 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.

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 23°C and night temperatures dip to 10°C by October, and further drop by November, when heavy woolens are essential.

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.

World Famous Dal Lake
The heart of the Kashmir is known as Srinagar, the heart of the Srinagar is known as Dal Lake, because of its own frame. The Dal Lake is not famous only in India but is famous through out the World. Lying in the eastern side of Srinagar, at the foot of the Zabarwan Mountains, with Shankaracharya hill in its South, and Hazratbal on its West; is the lake Par-excellence- the Dal. The lotus flower cover it in autumn, the Dal is ideal site fro magnificent Houseboats, while "Shikaras" skim about with the sails in the transparent waters of the Lake. Areas of the Dal Lake are grouped with slanting roofed houses on islands, while other parts seems lush green like well-planned gardens. As the eye travels onward, houseboats, houses and vegetation conclude unevenly and two huge sheet-like bodies of water - the Bod Dal & Lokut Dal, come into view.
Floating Gardens
The lake is probably at its most beautiful when the lotus flowers bloom in July and August. The floating gardens, known as "Rad" in Kashmiri, are one of the stranger aspects of Dal Lake. They're composed of matted vegetation and earth, which are cut away from the lake bottom and towed to a convenient location where they are moored. Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Melons all grow amazingly well in these gardens, if one look underneath one can see that they do literally float on the lake.
One can also approach the floating gardens by road; the boulevard runs along the eastern edge of the lake, providing fine views all the way. One will often see weeds being pulled up out of the lake - this serves a double purpose. The lake waterways are kept clear and the weeds are rotted until they form excellent compost for the gardens. The shallowness of the lake and its heavy growth of water weeds is probably the main reason there are so very few powered boats on the water. Dal Lake would be nowhere near as pleasant if there were powerboats rushing back and forth across its tranquil surface.
The largest group of houseboats lies along the western edge of the lake near the lakeside boulevard, towards Dal gate. They are lined in looping rows and around small islands. Several hotels can also be found on flat islands in the lake. Beyond the houseboats to the northwest are the floating gardens.

Nageen Lake (Srinagar)
Known as the 'Jewel In The Ring', Nageen is generally held to be the most beautiful of the Dal lakes. Its name comes from the many trees, which encircle the small, deep blue lake.
Nageen is only separated from the Larer Dal lakes by a narrow causeway and it also has a number of houseboats moored around its perimeter.If one wants to really get away from the chaotic city life all then Nageen is a good place to find a house boat and do it the surroundings are much more serene and isolated than on Dal Lake. One can rent rowboats from the camping site here - either to simply row around the lake or to look around for a houseboat.

Naseem Bagh (The Garden of Breezes) Srinagar
Naseem Bagh is situated on the western side of Dal Lake, about 1 Km beyond Hazratbal. Akbar the great is said to have laid out Naseem Bagh on the shores of Dal Lake. The Bagh is dotted with hundreds of magnificent Chinars. The saplings are said to have been watered with milk mixed with water. The breeze of the lake makes it an abode of serene and tranquil peace.

Kokernag (Anantnag)
'Koker' means 'Cock'. Its claws have five fingers. 'Nag' means 'spring or stream'. The five main springs of Kokernag are spread like the claws of a cock.
It is a beautifully laid garden around a fresh water spring famous for its curative properties. A botanical garden, with several kinds of roses, has been woven around fresh water stream here. The thickly wooded sheer mountain that rises sharply from the spring is the main attraction of Kokernag. Picturesque paths and shded walks have been created in the forest.

Achabal (Anantnag)
The place is famous and attractive due to ancient spring surrounded by a garden, terraced and developed by the 'Mughal Emperor'. The place has got some historical background too. The upper portion of the garden is called "Bagh-e-Begum Abad" developed by Malik-e-Noor Jahan Begum in 1620 A.D. and renowned as Saheb Abad in which there was a "hamam" getting heat from a logical lamp.

Verinag (Anantnag)
It is stunning location; an almost vertical, densely wooded, mountain with a flat green at its feet. A spring at Verinag is considered to be the orginal source of river Jehlum. The spring is situated at the bottom of hill covered by pine trees, evergreen plants and Chinars which even stand today along, the spring in magnificent size.

Ahrabal (Pulwama)
Surrounded by fir forests, Ahrabal is famous for its 24.4 metre waterfall created by river Vishav. The waterfall is horribly beautiful.

Mattan (Anantnag)
This pilgrim village is just off the road that leads to Pahalgam. The word 'Mattan' is an abbreviation of 'Martand'. It has traditionally been a major Hindu pilgrimage. Since ancient times, Lord Vishnu has been worshiped here in his Martand (Surya) manifestation. There are temples, and a gurudwara around this tank. It is said that Surya was born to Aditi was the wife of Kashyap, the saint from whom Kashmir probably takes it name. Surya was her thirteenth child. The spring at Mattan is connected with this legend.

"According to the legend, somewhere in the valley, there is a well whose water turns any substance into gold. This is 'Sonamarg' means 'Meadow of Gold'." 
Sonamarg lies at a distance of 84 kilometers from Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Sonamarg lies at an altitude of 2740 meters above the sea level. To be precise it lies on the Srinagar-Ladakh road. The Sindh River flows through the region.
Sonamarg is a hill resort. It is also a base camp for those visiting Ladakh.

As far as activities for tourists are concerned, travel to the Sindh River in Sonamarg offers ample opportunities for fishing. The Krishnasar Lake is also a site for fishing. Sonamarg is also a trekking base. A number of hiking and trekking trails makes Sonamarg an interesting place to travel to. Sonamarg is known for its natural beauty; in fact it is popular for its alpine flowers, sycamore, silver birch and pine trees.

Gaffara Tour & Travels make tours and travel to Sonamarg a memorable experience by providing you with all the relevant details.
Tours and travel to Sonamarg involves a visit to several tourist attractions. One of these is the Baltal camping base. Nilagrad is another tourist spot, where a small stream meets the Sindh River. The glaciers at Thajiwas are also an important tourist attraction. Sonamarg is well connected by road to Srinagar. The travel time in between the Sonamarg and Srinagar is about two hours.
Sonamarg is also the base of a major trek that passes along several mountain lakes –Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. Sonamarg is also the take off station for the drive to Ladakh across the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, through which the Srinagar-Leh Road passes.


"Pahalgam or the 'village of shepherds' is the most popular tourist resort in Kashmir after Srinagar; partly because of the variety it affords: mountains, pine, fir forests, a spectacular river and a lively marketplace."

Arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, the town of Pahalgam (Village of Shepherds) offers you breath taking views. You can just enjoy the town of Pahalgam or trek to some of the most beautiful places on earth. One can trek to Lidderwat, Kolohoi Glacier or to Sonmarg. Pahalgam is also the entry point for the famous Amarnath Cave, a holy site for Hindus.

Pahalgam is located on the banks of the Lidder River, at the river's junction with the Shesh Nag. The resort is situated at an altitude of 2,130m. The Pahalgam valley is very attractive and spreads along the banks of the Lidder River, which is the local point of interest to the angler. The river Lidder runs through Pahalgam in a rushing torrent, foam flecked, and breaking in curling waves against the boulders that lie in its path, lending it both charm and majesty. The sound of the river Lidder is as eternal as the whisper of wind through pine and fir.

Horse Riding (Pony Ride)
Pony riding is one of amusements for the tourists. There is a large open area which is most beautiful with natural scenery and comfortable for horse riding. the horses or ponies are available in large on hire.

The Lidder and Shesh Nag streams are full with beautiful trout fishes and offer excellent fishing beats. Fishing equipments can be hired from Srinagar.

There is a small beautiful free meadow golf course of 9 holes at an altitude of 2400 meters from sea level. Golf sets are also available on hire here.

Pahalgam is the base camp for more treks than any other place in Kashmir. Few recommended ones are: The Amarnath Yatra, Bai Saran, The Tulian Lake, Kolahoi Glacier, Mamleshwar, Aru Chandanwari, Shikargah, Phirisalan and Lake Tarsar.