Top 10 Things To Do In Kashmir

If you are travelling to Kashmir and looking to plan the perfect itinerary, here are the Top 10 MUST DO activities you should not miss.

Table of Contents

Shikara ride in the Dal Lake

Visiting Kashmir and going back without a Shikara ride is unheard of.  This leisurely boat ride manned by a boatman lasts around 45 minutes in which you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the lake, the surroundings, do some bird watching and also look at all the houseboats as you pass them by. You also get a chance to shop at the various floating markets (personally I do not recommend as it’s easy to get scammed here). 

Where to book? There are “Ghats” or Shikara stands all around the huge Dal Lake, where you can book and board a Shikara. The official cost for the boat ride set by the government was Rs 700 (in Feb of 2023), however the prices quoted at the Ghat will be upwards of Rs 2000 or even 3000. Be sure to negotiate and agree upon a price before you get on a ride. 

What time? You can take a ride during sunrise or sunset to get the best views. Usually rides during the middle of the day is not suggested since the weather is usually hot and the sun will be reflecting off the water.

Visit the meadows of Pahalgam

The town of Pahalgam NEEDS to be in your itinerary when you are visiting Kashmir. The lush greenery, the mountains and the rolling meadows will make any heart weep with joy. For enthusiast trekkers, there are several famous trekking activities around this area. For the non-trekkers, there are several meadows to relax in.

Hike up to the Shankaracharya Temple

A sacred temples for Hindus, this temple is situated atop the Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar and can be accessed by climbing around 200 steps. Get your blessings from Lord Shiva and take in the magnificent view of Srinagar from atop.

Entrance fees: No entrance fees. However, you can leave a donation for the temple if you want.

Visit the ruins of Avantipura

If you are a history buff, this place should be high on your list. Situated in Avantipura near Anantnag district, these 9th century temple ruins are easily overlooked by most tourists but I highly urge you to not give them a miss. This can be easily added to your itinerary while travelling between Srinagar and Pahalgam.

Entrance fees: No entrance fees.

Have a picnic in the Mughal Gardens 

While you are in Srinagar, be sure to visit the famous Mughal Gardens in the city. Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi and Shalimar Bagh are few of the famous gardens one can visit. 
Entrance fees vary depending on the garden you are visiting but are usually within Rs 100 per person.

Get your Adventure on

Be it rafting in the Lidder river, skiing on the Himalayan slopes or trekking in the various famous spots around Pahalgam, Kashmir has a lot of options for adventure enthusiasts.

Visit the Switzerland of India – Gulmarg

The top most destination for honeymooners in India, Gulmarg is a thing of beauty. The breathtaking peaks of the Himalayas, the view from the gondolas while you journey to the top or having a plate of hot maggi in the freezing cold – are all things one needs to experience if you are travelling to Kashmir. 
There are a lot of snow activities like snowboarding, skiing and sledding that one can opt for as well on the peaks.

Admire the Mughal Architecture scattered all across Kashmir

Visit some of the still-standing remnants of the Mughals in Kashmir like Pari Mahal and Hari Parbat Fort while you are in Srinagar.

Try the Local Cuisine

While you are in Kashmir, you should not miss out on trying the local cuisine. Starting from the traditional tea of Kashmir – Kahwa to the local dishes like Kashmiri Pulao, Nadru Yakhni (yoghurt based curry with lotus stems), and much more, Kashmir has a lot to offer in terms of food. Oh, while you are here, drop by a bakery and experience the various Persian-influenced breads they have to offer.

Shopping

When you are in the land of Pashminas, shopping for an authentic Pashmina shawl is a must. If Pashminas are little out of your budget (like it was for me) you can pick up really good quality woollen shawls and other accessories with BEAUTIFUL traditional Kashmiri embroidery instead. Saffron, Kahwa, Papier Mache products are few other items one can shop for in Kashmir.

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