The brown of pine trees against a lovely contrast of white of snow and imposing mountain peaks, with a little bit of green. Everything but grey concrete buildings. This is the first impression of my Kashmir. The paradise which is so beautiful in summers enthralls you with its magic in winters. Nothing looks so much prettier as Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar are all cast in the snow. Look for your dream Kashmir Tour here.
Imagine season’s first snowflake grazing your cheek as you tilt your head upwards to the sky. When little beds of flowers are covered with snowflakes and so are the benches that line the promenade. And so is the pine tree that you can see from the window of your hotel room while you sip on the flavorful Kashmiri tea- ‘Kahwa’. You sleep peacefully in the cocoon of your room as the fire crackles in a Bukhari. When you wake up, the whole world beyond the window is encased in the purest white of snow. You revel in nature’s magic as snow encompasses everything around you and your heart. Click here to check 30+ Kashmir Tour itineraries, & see the one suits you.
Ready, steady and whoosh. The slopes of Gulmarg are India’s best and Asia’s 7th best for both novices and avid skiers. When you’re going at a speed and don’t know how to stop, just fall. This was one of the best tips for novices that I got from an instructor. And quite an easy instruction to follow! Riding a cable car in Gulmarg is truly an incredible experience. Hiking, skating, and heli-skiing are some of the other popular activities. There are quite a few local operators in Gulmarg who make arrangements for adventure sports. You can make a snowman and indulge in snowball fights with your family or friends or spouse or the local kids. I made my own ‘Olaf, the snowman’ and relived Disney’s ‘Frozen’ here. Kashmir is an experience that can be enjoyed both solos and with company. Click here to see 30+ Kashmir Trip itineraries.
The Shikaras are all at your disposal and so is the Dal Lake which lacks the hordes of tourists that throng in summer. You can experience the tranquility of the lake while you enjoy a ride on the Shikara in winters. The chirping of birds, the sound of prayers – Azan and the ripples of water are all you would hear. Of course, staying in a houseboat is also a distinctive experience that you can opt for. I spent some of my best times in Kashmir while I sat on the loveseats in the balcony of my houseboat in the wee hours of morning. The kingfishers and men selling flowers, vegetables and all sorts of wares came to my door on the lake. Of course, you can’t indulge in a ride in a frozen Dal Lake. But a frozen lake would be quite a lifetime experience to behold if and when it happens. Click here to see 30+ Kashmir Trip itineraries.
The golden beauty of Sonmarg turns into a sea of white. The ponies guide you through the Betaab Valley in Pahalgam to witness the winter magic. For the more adventurous, the Zanskar region is famous for one of the most thrilling treks in the world – Chadar trek. This 20-day trek is both dangerous and beautiful as it involves crossing the frozen river in a world that looks nothing less than the ice age at this time of the year. Click here to see 30+ Kashmir Trip itineraries.
There are a lot of things to do when you are in Kashmir. And tasting Kashmiri cuisine is one of them. Kashmiri Pulav, Yakhni, Kahwa and the Kebabs are of course mouthwatering delicacies. But you should also try Harissa which is the local Kashmiri food. The non-vegetarian delicacy that takes almost 12 hours to prepare with Lamb and rice as the primary ingredients is a staple diet of Kashmiris in winter.
You can stroll the markets to shop for some of the best pashminas, shawls, suits and woolens with indigenous embroidery that Kashmir is world famous for. The riots of colors of paper-mache and other Kashmiri handicrafts will amaze you.
Plus, you will get amazing discounts if
you visit Kashmir in winter. So, before thinking of all those exorbitantly priced Switzerland packages, do experience Kashmir and its hospitality. It will rival any picture of Switzerland and that too on a budget with memories that would never fade. Click here to check 30+ Kashmir Tour itineraries, & see the one suits you.