Kashmir is located in the far north of India and is one of the most undiscovered areas of the country. Unfortunately, because with its snowy mountains, vast pine forests, and green valleys, it is really incredibly beautiful. When you visit this Indian piece of paradise, you should definitely not skip the “golden triangle of the north”.
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Srinagar is the capital and one of the largest cities in Kashmir. In the city there are many places of interest such as ancient mosques, beautiful botanical gardens and of course the iconic Dal Lake with its houseboats and the famous floating market. Due to the tensions between India and Pakistan and the attacks that accompany it, there is a lot of security in Srinagar. We ourselves did not notice the unrest and we did not feel unsafe for a single moment. We have visited Srinagar in the winter, but I would recommend going there myself between March and October, because there is much more to see and experience.
We visited Srinagar at the invitation of Ahad Hotels and Resorts and slept at the Fortune Resort Heevan , located between the botanical gardens Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. It is a beautiful resort with large rooms, two restaurants, a lounge, a small bakery and a large garden overlooking the Zabarwan mountains. The hotel is quite far from the center, but you can easily arrange a taxi in the hotel or stop a rickshaw on the street.
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Skiing and snowboarding in India; did you ever think that was possible? Not me in any case. When I first read about this ski area in Kashmir, I immediately knew that I wanted to celebrate Christmas there. And I certainly did not regret it, because wow, Gulmarg is so beautiful! Because of the great location and the breathtakingly beautiful nature, the city is also called “the crown of Kashmir” and I can fully agree with that. We visited Gulmarg when it was a snowy winter wonderland, but even in the summer it seems to be super beautiful. And do not skip the gondola ride when you are in Gulmarg, because the cable car takes you to the most beautiful places.
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In Gulmarg we slept in Heevan Retreat , part of Ahad Hotels and Resorts. This hotel is surrounded by tall pine trees and overlooks the snowy peaks of the Apharwat mountains. In the summer the area around the hotel is surrounded by thousands of colored flowers, while in the winter everything is covered by a thick layer of snow – a magical sight! The hotel has an ideal location, close to the gondola and the ski rental, and has various lounge areas where you can warm up with a delicious Kashmiri Kahwa.
Pahalgam is also called “little Switzerland” and there is no word of it. As soon as we entered the valley, I thought about the times I went to Switzerland as a child. Pahalgam is located on the Lidder river and is surrounded by dense forests and snowy mountains. If you like walking and nature, Pahalgam is really a dream destination – both in winter and in summer. Be sure to rent a taxi to visit the valleys in the area and do not forget to look out your window on the way, as you regularly drive past characteristic villages and thundering waterfalls.
We slept in Hotel Heevan , also part of Ahad Hotels and Resorts, with a great location on the Lidder river. This hotel is also surrounded by pine trees and overlooks the high mountains that surround the valley. It is a quiet, peaceful place where you can really fully relax and enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. You can walk to the city from the hotel within 10 minutes and the reception is happy to help you arrange a driver. The hotel has a good restaurant with authentic Kashmiri and continental dishes.