Kashmir, often referred to as “Paradise on Earth,” is a dream destination for travelers seeking awe-inspiring natural beauty and cultural richness. With its snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys, and serene lakes, this region offers an unforgettable experience. If you’re planning a visit, here are the best places to visit in Kashmir that will leave you spellbound.
Nestled in the heart of the Kashmir Valley, Srinagar is the summer capital of the state and one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. This captivating city is famous for its picturesque Dal Lake, where you can take a leisurely shikara ride and soak in the serene ambiance. Explore the floating gardens, indulge in authentic Kashmiri cuisine, and experience the charm of the traditional houseboats. The Mughal gardens, such as Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh, showcase breathtakingly beautiful terraced lawns, vibrant flowers, and cascading fountains.
Situated on the banks of the Tawi River, Jammu is the winter capital of the state and offers a perfect blend of spirituality and natural beauty. Visit the magnificent Bahu Fort, perched on a hilltop, and admire the panoramic views of the city. Seek blessings at the revered Raghunath Temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, which is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus. The region also boasts scenic wonders like Patnitop and Sanasar, where adventure enthusiasts can engage in activities like trekking and paragliding.
Located in the Baramulla district, Gulmarg is a popular hill station that captivates visitors with its untouched beauty. It is renowned for its lush meadows adorned with vibrant flowers, earning it the nickname “Meadow of Flowers.” In winter, Gulmarg transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting skiing enthusiasts from around the world. Take a ride on the Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest cable car systems in the world, and savor breathtaking views of the snow-covered peaks.
Translating to “Meadow of Gold,” Sonamarg is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The lush green meadows, dense forests, and glistening glaciers create a captivating backdrop. Embark on a thrilling trek to the breathtaking Thajiwas Glacier, where you can indulge in snow activities like sledging and skiing. The sparkling Sindh River flowing alongside adds to the serene charm of this scenic wonder.
Tucked away in the Anantnag district, Betaab Valley is a picturesque destination named after the Bollywood film “Betaab” and personally, one of my favorite places to visit in Srinagar. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, dense pine forests, and meandering streams, the valley exudes tranquility and natural beauty. Take leisurely walks amidst the blooming flowers, enjoy a picnic by the river, or simply bask in the serene ambiance of this hidden gem.
Speaking of the best places to visit in Kashmir, we just can’t forget about Vaishno Devi. Situated in the Trikuta Mountains, Vaishno Devi is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrim sites in India. The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi attracts millions of devotees every year. Embark on a spiritual journey as you trek uphill through scenic trails to reach the cave shrine. The trek itself is a mesmerizing experience, surrounded by stunning landscapes and the melodious chants of pilgrims.
Located in the northwestern part of Kashmir, Kupwara is a land of breathtaking beauty and pristine landscapes. The Lolab Valley in Kupwara is a hidden gem, offering lush meadows, clear streams, and dense forests. It is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The picturesque Bangus Valley in Kupwara is another must-visit destination, known for its enchanting beauty and tranquil ambiance. Explore the meandering trails, camp by the crystal-clear lakes, and immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness of this region.
Aptly called the “Rice Bowl of Kashmir,” Pulwama is renowned for its stunning landscapes and saffron fields. The region is dotted with charming villages and offers panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Aripal Nag, a serene lake surrounded by lush greenery, and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Pulwama is also famous for its almond orchards and is a delight for nature lovers.
Nestled amidst dense forests and rolling meadows, Yusmarg is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life. The meadows of Yusmarg are adorned with colorful wildflowers, making it one of the best places to visit in Kashmir for aspiring photographers. Enjoy a leisurely horse ride through the meadows, embark on scenic hikes to Doodh Ganga or Nilnag Lake, and experience the serenity of this untouched haven.
Tucked away in the Anantnag district, Aru Valley is a captivating destination known for its lush green meadows, gushing rivers, and snow-clad mountains. The valley serves as the starting point for various treks, including the famous Kolahoi Glacier trek. Spend your days exploring the beautiful landscapes, camping under the starry sky, and rejuvenating amidst nature’s embrace.
A significant pilgrimage site for Hindus, the Amarnath Cave is located in the Anantnag district. Every year, devotees embark on a challenging trek to seek blessings at the naturally formed ice lingam inside the cave. The trek itself is a test of endurance and devotion, taking you through rugged terrains and breathtaking valleys. The spiritual aura and the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains make this journey truly remarkable.
Situated near Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The meadow is surrounded by towering snow-covered peaks, offering panoramic vistas of the Kashmir Valley. During summer, the meadow blooms with colorful flowers, creating a captivating sight. Take a cable car ride to reach Khilanmarg and indulge in activities like horse riding or simply soak in the breathtaking views.
Baltal is a picturesque valley located on the banks of the Sindh River and serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kashmir. Surrounded by lush green meadows and lofty mountains, it offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The enchanting beauty of Baltal attracts nature lovers and trekkers who can explore the nearby Zojila Pass and enjoy the mesmerizing views.
Situated in the Budgam district, the Anarbal Waterfall is a hidden gem that cascades down from a height of 15 meters. Surrounded by lush greenery and rocky cliffs, this waterfall creates a mesmerizing sight and offers a peaceful escape from the bustling cities. The area around the waterfall is perfect for picnics and nature walks, allowing you to reconnect with the tranquility of nature.
Situated in the Jammu region of Kashmir, Kathua is a historical and culturally rich city. Visit the majestic Jasrota Fort, an architectural marvel built in the 18th century that served as the historic capital of the Jasrotia Rajputs, and admire its stunning surroundings. Explore the enchanting Ujh Barrage, where you can enjoy boat rides and witness a variety of migratory birds. Kathua is also known for its sacred temples, such as the famous Bani Temple and the Sukrala Mata Shrine.
Drass, located in the Kargil district of Kashmir, is a small yet significant town that holds the distinction of being the second coldest inhabited place on Earth. Nestled amidst the rugged and picturesque terrain of the Himalayas, Drass offers breathtaking views and a unique cultural experience. Known as the “Gateway to Ladakh,” this charming town serves as a base for exploring the enchanting Ladakh region.
Drass is also renowned for its historical importance, being the site of the infamous Kargil War. Visitors can explore the Drass War Memorial, pay tribute to the brave soldiers who fought in the war, and gain insights into the region’s rich history. Surrounded by towering mountains and lush green valleys, Drass is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
Located in the Chenab Valley, Doda is a nature lover’s paradise. Surrounded by snow-clad peaks, lush green meadows, and enchanting waterfalls, this region offers a serene retreat. Discover the mesmerizing beauty of the Chenab River, go trekking in the picturesque Padri Meadow, or visit the ancient temples like Chandi Mata and Athra Devi. Doda is a perfect destination for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s splendor.
This list of the best places to visit in Kashmir couldn’t be complete without Pahalgam. Situated on the banks of the Lidder River, Pahalgam is a charming town in the Anantnag district. Known as the “Valley of Shepherds,” Pahalgam offers breathtaking vistas of snow-clad mountains, gushing waterfalls, and lush green meadows. It is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, horse riding, and fishing. Pahalgam is also the starting point for the famous Amarnath Yatra.
Martand Sun Temple
Located in the Anantnag district, the Martand Sun Temple is an ancient architectural marvel dedicated to the sun god, Surya and one of the best places to visit in Kashmir for spiritual travelers. Built during the 8th century, the temple is known for its intricate carvings and grand structure. Despite being in ruins, it still exudes a sense of grandeur and is a significant historical and cultural site in Kashmir.
Known as the “Land of Springs,” Anantnag is a district in the Kashmir Valley that boasts abundant natural beauty. Experience the serenity of the Verinag Spring, considered to be the source of the Jhelum River, and marvel at its picturesque surroundings. Visit the enchanting Achabal Gardens, with its Mughal-inspired architecture and cascading fountains. Anantnag is also famous for its saffron fields, apple orchards, and vibrant festivals that showcase the cultural heritage of the region.
Kishtwar National Park
Located in the Kishtwar district, Kishtwar National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species like the Kashmir stag and the Himalayan black bear. Embark on a thrilling wildlife safari, hike through the dense forests, and soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Kishtwar National Park offers a unique opportunity to experience the untouched wilderness of Kashmir.
Situated in the Reasi district, Sanasar is a picturesque hill station surrounded by lush green meadows and towering pine trees. This serene destination offers a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, and camping. The Nag Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is also a popular attraction in Sanasar, known for its spiritual significance and panoramic views of the valley.
Located in the Leh district, Alchi is a quaint village famous for its ancient monastic complex and one of the most peaceful places to visit in Kashmir. The Alchi Monastery, dating back to the 11th century, is renowned for its intricate artwork and vibrant frescoes. Explore the various temples within the complex and immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance of this cultural gem. The surrounding landscapes, with the Indus River flowing nearby, add to the enchanting charm of Alchi.
Hemis is a village located in the Leh district, known for its iconic Hemis Monastery. This Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the largest and wealthiest in Ladakh, and it houses a remarkable collection of ancient artifacts and thangkas (religious paintings). Witness the vibrant Hemis Festival, held annually, where locals and tourists gather to celebrate with masked dances and traditional music. The village of Hemis offers a serene and spiritual atmosphere, surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains and picturesque landscapes.
Situated in the Kishtwar district, Sinthan Top is a breathtakingly beautiful mountain pass that offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and snow-clad peaks. The winding roads leading to Sinthan Top are a delight for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Experience the thrill of driving through the mist-covered hills, and take in the mesmerizing vistas that unfold at every turn. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk amidst the serene natural beauty.
Great Lakes Trek
Speaking of the best places to visit in Kashmir, for avid trekkers and nature enthusiasts, the Great Lakes Trek is a dream come true. Located in the Kashmir Valley, this trek takes you through a series of stunning alpine lakes, including Gangabal Lake, Vishansar Lake, and Nundkol Lake. Traverse through lush green meadows, cross gushing streams, and camp under a star-studded sky. The Great Lakes Trek offers a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty, making it an unforgettable experience.
Tucked away in the Kupwara district, Lolab Valley is a hidden gem known for its untouched natural beauty. Surrounded by lush green meadows, dense forests, and snow-capped mountains, this valley offers a peaceful escape from the bustling cities. Explore the charming villages, trek through the picturesque trails, and witness the enchanting beauty of this off-the-beaten-path destination.
Last but not least, we round up this list of the best places to visit in Kashmir with Wular Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia and a vital part of Kashmir’s ecosystem. Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, the lake offers breathtaking views and is a haven for birdwatchers. Take a boat ride to explore its tranquil waters, witness migratory birds, and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of this natural marvel. Wular Lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers alike.
Did you like this list of places to visit in Kashmir? Did you ever visit any of them? Which one was your favorite? Do you think there are other exciting places in Kashmir we should include in this list? Let us know in the comments below.
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Sunday 14th of April 2019
Awesome information with wonderful images. The information you have covered satisfy the necessities of each traveler and best for the individuals who want to enjoy travel in a unique way. Thanks for sharing this lovely article.
Wednesday 17th of April 2019
Thank you, Erika. I'm glad to hear you liked this post.
Friday 16th of November 2018
I would love to come to the Kashmir mountains area. I wanted to go there while in india but didn't have enough time. How is the safety there nowadays?
Saturday 17th of November 2018
It's relatively safe to visit and it's in my opinion, the most beautiful part of India.
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Congratulations on being the first Macedonian who reached the Stok Kangri top. I enjoyed reading your adventure hiking to the top as well as reaching the valley. I'm glad you could make it even without the oxygen. Staying with the locals and learned about them sounds very interesting. I'm sorry to hear you being robbed, but you found good people along the way and I'm sure this trip and experience will stay forever in your heart.
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Thank you Umiko, I"m really happy to hear you enjoyed reading about my adventure :)
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
So sorry you've been robbed from Leh - anyway great decisions by going more adventurous coming to Kashmir! What an experience you have! I can feel that it is a very different culture - far different from the nearby counties. I want to taste the butter tea, too! Haha. For sure I'll also visit there someday but not with kids.
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Thanks, Kate- I'm glad you liked the article and I hope you get the chance to visit one day, with or without kids (it's generally pretty safe to visit despite the things that happened to me).
Monday 12th of November 2018
Kashmir is on my bucket list, but it wasn't super high until reading your post. LOOOOOOVVVVVEEE how you talk about the "story." Your sentences "But it is the traveler that has the power to smell the air, to take a look inside the houses, and most importantly the power to bring out a story. A story filled with compassion and life" were so beautiful! And I love thinking about the stories that mountain holds! Oh if only they could talk!
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Thank you, Chloe, for your kind words. It makes me really happy knowing you liked this article :)