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Kashmir Valley Attractions; the Paradise on Earth

Updated on February 2, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika is highly passionate of traveling and keen in observing things for penning them into a travel article.

Kashmir Valley
Kashmir Valley | Source

“Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast!”

This was the famous couplet written by Mughal Emperor Jehangir in Persian language while sitting in a houseboat in Dal lake of Kashmir Valley. He meant, “If there is ever a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here”. Jehangir was a great patron of art and the charismatic Kashmir had impressed him so much that it’s beauty was glorified generously by the regal Emperor.

This hub is the second part of the expansion of my ultimate dream vacation in Jammu & Kashmir. The Kashmir Valley or Vale of Kashmir is a valley located between the Karakoram and the Pir Panjal Range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has an area of about 135 km length and 32 km width, flanked by the Jhelum River. Sparkling lakes, colorful Chinar trees, flowerbeds, Mughal gardens all contribute to the heavenly ambience of Kashmir Valley that is a Paradise on this earth. Let’s have a look at some of these spell-binding spots.

1. Verinag Spring and Garden

Verinag Spring
Verinag Spring | Source
Verinag garden
Verinag garden | Source

Verinag town is the first tourist spot in Kashmir Valley one may come across when traveling from Jammu. Lying at the entrance of Kashmir Valley, Verinag hosts a spring that is said to be the major source of Jhelum River. The spring that was spurring from a mountain scarp surrounded by evergreen forests got noticed by Emperor Jehangir and he constructed a tank in octagonal shape around it. The arcade encompassing the spring tank in lush green backdrop chills the eyes of the weary traveler. The crystal blue water collected in the tank flows through a long canal and reaches the Bihat River. It is also a revered place for Hindus as there is a ‘Shivling’ in one front of one of the arcs.

A garden also was constructed facing the tank of the spring by the Emperor in Mughal style. His son Shahjehan further embellished the garden with cascades and aqueducts using the water from Verinag spring. With velvet green lawns, pine trees and Chinar trees, Verinag garden amuses everyone in its meandering waterways. Also, a temple with ancient idols of Hindu goddesses exists here.

2. Srinagar

Dal lake, Srinagar
Dal lake, Srinagar | Source
Nishat garden
Nishat garden | Source

Perhaps, Srinagar might be the heart of this Paradise where major lakes and stately gardens lace radiantly. Famous for its traditional handicrafts and dry fruits, it is also the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

As Srinagar has an abundant list of tourist spots, I think it’s better to describe them in a separate hub. They are:

  • Dal and Nagin Lake - famous lakes in Srinagar, with house boats called Shikaras.
  • Manasbal Lake-natural stamping ground for several aquatic birds and has the sobriquet of ‘Supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes’.
  • Mughal gardens such as Shalimar Gardens, Nishat gardens, Chashme Shahi and Badamwari gardens
  • Pari Mahal- From this old monument, you can overlook Dal Lake.
  • Indira Gandhi Memorial tulip garden – Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, this long array of vibrant tulips are laid on the foothills of Zabarwan Hills.
  • Shankaracharya Temple- Ancient Temple of Lord Shiva on the summit overlooking Srinagar.
  • Hazratbal Shrine – Mosque situated on the left side of Dal Lake
  • Hari Parbat- Ancient Temple of Goddess Sharika Bhagwati and an old fort on this hill.
  • Kheer Bhawani Temple-dedicated to Goddess Kheer Bhawani constructed over a sacred spring.

3. Gulmarg

Gulmarg
Gulmarg | Source
Gulmarg
Gulmarg | Source

Gulmarg meaning ‘place of roses’ is really like its name. This valley is a rolling green meadow that becomes teemed with beds of bluebells, daisies, forget me not flowers and buttercups when spring arrives. Even if it’s a resort of all weather conditions, winter is what most enchants the adventurous traveler. Snow pavements bordering the walkways is the much coveted view offered by this vibrant, gorgeous, natural beauty Gulmarg. Long-run skiing and snowboarding are the two main winter sports loved by adventurers and Gulmarg snow slopes are the ideal platform for ski beginners.

Being the base ground for trekking in the Pir Panjal range, Gulmarg offers golf-courses also in its green plain meadows. It is the summer tourist destination for many, owing to its pleasant, cool climate suitable for indulging in sports activities.

4. Sonamarg

Sonamarg
Sonamarg | Source
Sonamarg glacier
Sonamarg glacier | Source

This dreamy destination imposed in high Himalayan peaks meaning ‘meadow of gold’ is the rendezvous of glaciers and placid lakes with snowflakes scattered everywhere. The drive to Sonamarg itself gives golden experience as the road meanders through the gushing Sindh valley fringe on one side and snow covered mountain fence on the other side. God’s design of natural spots of beautiful scenery is unique when perceived from the places of the paradise, ‘Kashmir Valley’.

Kolhoi glacier, lying in the vicinity of Sonamarg is a wonderful vista in the hefty altitudes. Sonamarg is also the base camp for trekking several mountain peaks and the pilgrimage to the popular, sacred Amarnath cave starts from here.

5. Pahalgam

Pahalgam
Pahalgam | Source

Yet another majestic hill station in the lap of Kashmir Valley, Pahalgam welcomes its guests with all its glory. This tourist destination was once a popular spot for shooting Bollywood films, but now a health resort. Formerly known as ‘Valley of the Shepherd’, Pahalgam is a natural shower of pinewoods, green meadows and snow clad mountains along-with the center of attraction Lidder River. Trekking, golf-course, boating are the major amusements in this graceful wonder and its plain, low terrain is the ideal start for pilgrimage to Amarnath cave.

6. Amarnath cave

Ice lingum in Amarnath cave
Ice lingum in Amarnath cave | Source

The ‘ice lingum’ formed in this cave surrounded by snowy mountains is regarded as the Shiv lingum by devout Hindus. The ice stalagmite is the result of freezing up of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave. According to legend, here’s where Lord Shiva explained the secret behind life and eternity to his consort, Parvati. Two other ice formations near the lingum are said to be Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

For a short period of time in summer, the cave is open to the pilgrims when snow subsides. This famous shrine is visited by lakhs of devotees by trekking from Pahalgam Valley.

7. Betaab Valley

Betaab Valley
Betaab Valley | Source

This valley, a part of Pahalgam area is also visited by tourists to enjoy its natural glamour. The Valley got its name from the hit debut film ‘Betaab’ of Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh. En route Amarnath Temple Yatra, Betaab Valley offers delightful views of crystal clear waters of the stream bubbling down the snowy hills. Lakes nearby also add to its charm, a whopping bonus to Pahalgam.

8. Aru Valley

Tarsar lake, Aru Valley
Tarsar lake, Aru Valley | Source

About 12 km from Pahalgam, this scenic, green meadows valley dazzles the wayfarer. It is a base camp for trekking to the Kolhoi glacier and Tarsar Lake. Several lakes surround Aru Valley fringed with pinewoods and mountain peaks. During winter, Aru receives heavy snowfall and becomes the practicing center for skiing and heliskiing.

Kashmir,

How can I cajole your striking beauty?

Who showered these showy hues and sheer spell upon you?

The unseen angel from the heaven or the surreal dream?

You always cheer me in my dreams

with the ethereal glamour you’ve;

My ever loving dreamy moments

in your jazzy lakes, gardens and snow beds.

Please vote!

Which part of Kashmir you like most?

See results

National song of Kashmir

show route and directions
A markerKashmir Valley -
Kashmir Valley
get directions

B markerSrinagar -
Srinagar
get directions

C markerGulmarg -
Gulmarg
get directions

D markerSonamarg -
Sonamarg
get directions

E markerPahalgam -
Pahalgam
get directions

© 2013 Radhika Sreekanth

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    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Akriti Mattu for such a great comment. Glad to hear that you belong to Kashmir.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Excellent hub.

      So good to see fellow Indians writing about 'home' Kashmir is where i get my roots from. Voted up.

    • profile image

      abidzainabbasi 3 years ago

      Very amazing views dafentlly kashmir is paradais on earth

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Jaspals for the positive feedback.

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 4 years ago from India / Australia

      Excellent hub. Really amazing place. I wish to visit it very soon. Thanks for sharing.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks livingsta for making such an impressive comment. Thanks for the votes and share.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Elias Zanetti for reading and for commenting very nicely. Yes, Kashmir valley is awesome.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks ishwaryaa for reading my hubs and commenting. May you be lucky in visiting this god's wonder and get a memorable experience.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for this beautiful hub Radhika with lovely photos and completing it with the final song. Kashmir is on the list of my dream destinations. Voted up and sharing!

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      An excellent presentation and a well written travel hub. Kashmir valley seems as a wonderful destination.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Ruby,

      Gulmarg is another scenic spot that adds charm to Kashmir's beauty. Thanks for the comment and have a nice day!!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Another wonderfully-written hub in your installments! Enchanting photos and clear details made me want to visit this lovely place in the near future. Way to go!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Beautiful. Voted up & shared

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Sanjay,

      I'll write another hub on Kashmiri people and their culture. Thank you for bringing this to my notice. Very happy that this hub could transport you to a shady place in Kashmir.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks phoenix for the comment. Sure, Kashmir is a gem of nature.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks sunilkunnoth for the wonderful comment. I'm glad that you liked this hub. Have a nice day!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is another beautiful hub. I especially love the Gulmarg Valley, i would love to see the bluebells in full bloom. Thank you for showing the beauty of your country....

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks ameliam.michelle for such a pleasant comment and feel very nice to hear that you want to visit Kashmir. Thanks for the votes and love.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks georgescifo for stopping by. Kashmir is a wonderful place and I think all hubs about Kashmir would be as good as this one.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Excellent hub, and voted up, but you have left the people, culture, manners etc. the photographs are marvellous. I feel like being transported to a shady place, under one of the trees in your photographs. Good job ! and keep it up.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This hub was awesome. I never realised what a gem Kashmir is.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      True, Kashmir is India's paradise. You have presented this beautiful place in a even beautiful way with awesome photos. Your efforts are appreciated. It is a heaven like place and India's great masterpiece to showcase. We are lucky that we have such a wonderful place. I love your presentation. Thank you for sharing.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile image

      Ameliam Michelle 4 years ago from London, England

      Very good hub radhika, one of my dreams is to visit Kashmir, especially riding in the shikara, and Gulmarg especially looks stunning. Loved reading your hub, it literally transported me into that heaven. Voted up and loved it a lot!

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 4 years ago from India

      Amazing Hub. Thanks for sharing travel information about Kashmir is a wonderful way!!