Some places are traveled, some are explored, and some are lived. But Kashmir must be felt. Its beauty and allure will be etched in your memory for a long time. To see the best of this heaven on earth, however, you must not just visit and stay. You must do things – all of the most amazing 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir – you must try them. That is the only way to see what these amazing valleys have tucked in their basket of goodness. The piece lists 23 must-have experiences in Kashmir in 3 sub-sections – top things to do in Kashmir, top adventure activities to do in Kashmir, and spiritual activities to do in Jammu and Kashmir. The list offers complete information about these activities, and also gives you enough fodder to plan your holiday in Kashmir.
1. Shikara Ride
Lay back and admire the beauty of the distant mountains. As your boatman takes you through a ride across the lake. Away from the hustle-bustle of the polluted city life. A shikara ride ranks on the top of the list of the best things to do in Kashmir. No smoke or sound of the vehicles, no high-pitched angry crowd, nothing. Just the soft sound of the boatman’s oar breaking the surface of the water. And the touch of the cold water as you trail your hand on the surface of the lake.
If you want to enjoy your leisure time without exerting yourself too much, then golfing is one activity that you must try your hands at. There are four world-class golf courses in Kashmir with each one of them having beautiful landscapes. Offering fantastic views of snow-capped peaks, the golf course of Gulmarg is estimated to be the most elevated golf course in the world.
If you have ever wondered what river rafting feels like, then Kashmir offers you the opportunity to experience it firsthand. The Lidder River offers the perfect spot for your rafting adventure. Rafting on the White River promises to give you that adrenaline rush that you seek in Kashmir. The river rapids are quite moderate, so you do not need to be a pro rafter to explore it and enjoy the adventure. There are other rivers where you can go rafting, but the white water in the Lidder River located in Pahalgam is the most popular river for adventure seekers. There are safety instructions that you must adhere to, also, teamwork plays an important role in having a successful run. The fun and thrill has brought Rafting in the list of 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
4. House Boat Stay
And it is not just the shikhara rides in Dal Lake, this is one of the best offbeat things to do in Srinagar. Spending a night at the houseboat docked at the Dal Lake jetty is also among the top things to do in Kashmir. Be it honeymooners, families, or solo travelers; a night stay at one of the houseboats in Srinagar is something that you simply can not miss. The houseboats have Wifi and airport transfer facilities available. You can also avail of the facilities of the meal provided by them. Houseboat stay facility in Jammu and Kashmir is the best to experience if you are here with your family, a group of friends, or with your partner.
There are many things to do and enjoy in J&K but nothing can be more challenging and exciting than trekking. From short duration walks to weeks-long trans-mountain treks- it is not wrong to call Jammu and Kashmir ‘the trekking capital of India’. Casting a spell of magic are the trekking routes of Ladakh that give freaking trekkers multiple reasons to visit the place again and again.
Another popular adventure thing to do in Kashmir is paragliding. If you are an adrenaline junkie, then this something that you will love to try. The beautiful valley beneath you as you glide is truly a sight to behold. The view of the green valleys is unique in every way that you can think of, which is one of the reasons why paragliding is a thrilling adventure. There options available to adventure seekers in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Sansar, Bhaderwah, and Harwan. The most easily accessible paragliding spot is Harwan as it is located on the route of the Grand Mughal Gardens tour. This has brought it to the list of 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
7. Gondola Cable Car Ride
Riding the Gondola cable car is one of the exciting and fun things to do in Kashmir for people of all ages. Tourists prefer to travel via cable car to enjoy the best views of the snowcapped mountains. Taking a Gondola ride is one of the best things to do in Kashmir in May because during this month, the summers are coming to an end and the view is really great.
One of the main attractions in Jammu and Kashmir for adventure seekers is skiing. With snow-covered peaks and slopes of the Himalaya Mountain Range in the background, the state is blessed with world-famous destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Thajiwas glacier in Sonamarg which are also great places for skiing. Jammu Kashmir government maintains a number of accommodations for skiers at Patnitop, Sanasar, and Kud in Gulmarg.
9. Mountain Biking
If you have ever imagined what it might feel like exploring the valleys, rivers, and snow-capped mountains on a bike, there may not be a better location to experience this thrilling fun than Kashmir and Jammu. The location has the perfect scenery and terrain that is ideal for a thrilling mountain biking adventure. If you prefer to have less rocky rides, then the Kashmir valleys are a perfect spot, but if an off-road experience is what you are looking for, then Ladakh offers the ideal rugged terrain.
The best part about mountain biking in Kashmir is that you will also get to engage in some trekking during your cycling expedition, adding more thrill to the experience. There are several cycling routes including Srinagar to Sonamarg, Sonamarg to Manasbal lake, Srinagar to Gulmarg, Gulmarg to Pahalgam, and Pahalgam to Srinagar. Thrill, again brings it to the list of 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
Shopping is one of the most common things to do in Kashmir. And no, I do not mean just antiques and other souvenirs. Tourists here can shop for exquisite Kashmiri handlooms and Pashmina shawls, antique copperware like samovars, Nanda hand-woven carpets, local garments called Ferns, and expensive Doda Sapphire. And then there are flowers, fruits, and vegetables sold on the shikaras in Dal Lake. More than what you buy, how you buy will be the reason for your excitement here.
Situated mainly in the Himalayan Mountain Range, Jammu and Kashmir is a state of varied heights. From Kashmir Valley to Zanskar Range, there are several mountains, low and high, easy and challenging, that offer mountaineers wonderful opportunities of mountaineering. Harmukh, Tattakutti, Sunset, and Kolahoi in Kashmir Valley, White Needle, Z-1, Z-8, Bobang, Nun – Kun of Zanskar Range and Stok Kangri, Gulap Kangri, and Kang Yatsey in Ladakh are some of the well-known peaks in J&K.
12. Camel Safari At Ladhak
Among the dozen activities that you can do in Kashmir, camel safaris in Ladakh is a top choice for many tourists visiting the region. Ladakh is famous for its teeming population of double hump Bactrian camels. The Ladakh Safari commences from Hundar Village in Nubra valley to Diskit and ends at Panamic village. This could be an experience of a lifetime for many tourists, as riding on the back of a double hump Bactrian camel is not something that you get to do in many places across the globe. If you are visiting Ladakh during your stay in Kashmir, add camel safari to your list of adventure activities to do. July to December is the best time to do the camel safari.
13. Old Srinagar Walk
They say, walk more to know more. And the same is true with Srinagar. Taking a stroll is one of the best things to do in Srinagar. With some structures over 4 centuries old and gardens that are no less than a paradise, the city has an architecture that is influenced by 3 different styles and 3 different religions. Walking through the old town is one of the peaceful things to do in Kashmir. Visit the marvelous structures including Jamia Masjid featuring 370 pillars made of the Maple tree. Take a walk through the lanes of the old Srinagar that has old markets of spices, dry fruits, and threads. Old heritage brings it to 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
14. Angling and Fishing
With a network of rivers, lakes, and streams, Jammu and Kashmir is a paradise for angling and fishing. It is common to see people engaged in this interesting activity in the entire state. Fishing at Dal Lake is a popular activity; however, Pahalgam along with Lidder River is considered as the best spot to enjoy angling. The water bodies of the area are rich in both brown and rainbow trout. But you have to take permits from the Jammu Kashmir government before going for the activity.
Kashmir, Jammu, and Ladakh feature numerous spots for trekking and hiking, which is one of the major reasons why there is a lot of camping activities going on around these areas. Camping in Kashmir allows tourists to soak in the ambiance of the region. Pahalgam makes the perfect destination for campers. Other areas including the remote valleys of Daksum, Karnah, and Chatpal are interesting places to go camping. The fun brings it to 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
16. Wildlife Tour
The snow-capped mountains and dense forests of Jammu and Kashmir treasures some of the most wonderful and rarest species of flora and fauna. Best protected within the boundaries of over 7 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Jammu and Kashmir, you can explore these wildlife species by visiting any of these places including Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park, Dachigam National Park, Kazinag National Park, and Salim Ali National Park.
Snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, Marmot, red fox, Himalayan black bear, golden eagles, Monal pheasants, and griffon vultures are some of the rare species that are found in this region. You can also go bird watching at one of the 24 wetlands in Jammu and Kashmir where over 500 different species of birds find a home. Gharana and Surinsar regions in Ladakh are ideal places to spot migratory birds. You would get to see Black-necked crane, European blue whistling thrush vulture, falcon, and bar-headed geese.
17. Bird Watching
If you think sightseeing in Jammu and Kashmir is limited to man-made marvels. Then think again as there are many natural habitats the state that is heaven for bird watchers. There are about 24 wetlands dotted all across the state where bird watchers can enjoy this activity l. Home to around 500 species of bird, bird watching in J&K is an all-season activity. The eastern part of the Ladakh region and Gharana and Surinsar wetlands are the perfect places. To spot a lot of local and migratory birds. Black-necked crane, bar-headed geese, falcon, and European blue whistling thrush vulture are the notable birds of the state.
18. Hot Air Balloon
Jammu and Kashmir have countless options when it comes to adventure activities. And they are not just limited to land and water. The vastness of the landforms here and the beauty of the scenic views make it a perfect destination. For Aero sports too. Just like paragliding, hot air ballooning is also gaining popularity demand. The mesmerizing sight of the lush-green and floral hills, deep valleys, snow-covered mountain ranges, milky-white streams, and those signature-style slope-roofed houses, from the top will really want you to extend your stay in this heaven on Earth. The valleys of Suru and Zanskar are the popular spots in Jammu for enjoying hot air balloon rides. The ride takes to a height of around 3,000 feet and lasts for about 2 hours. Winter months are the best time to experience this activity. The fun brings it to 19 Things To Do In Jammu And Kashmir.
19. Road Trips
It may not click many travelers who look at Jammu and Kashmir’s trip as a refreshing honeymoon break. Or as a family holiday. But for travel junkies, especially for bike lovers. Toad trips are one of the most captivating and exciting things to do in J&K. The winding ways, sometimes passing across scenic meadows and sometimes cutting across hills. Are too strong a temptation to be missed. And when these trips are through broken and deserted roads of Ladakh, the sense of adventure only amplifies. A drive on Khardung La, one of the highest motorable roads in the world. Is a unique way to experience the beauty of the region.
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