Gulmarg is one of India’s premier hill resorts. Historically a favourite haunt of emperor Jahangir. Gulmarg today is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty – it also turns into India’s premier ski resort in winter.
The famous shrine of Baba Reshi ,a highly revered Kashmiri Sufi saint ,is another attraction of Gulmarg and is thronged by thousand of devotees all year around.
The Gondola Cable car offers rides to the upland meadow of Kongdori and beyond to the top of Apharwat range to a height of 14000 ft for viewing the Himalays peaks in summer and for downhill skiing in winter.
Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the Sheshnag and the lidder streams. Once a humble shepherd’s village, it is now Kashmir’s premier summer resort, cool even during the height of summer.
The resort is surrounded by many places of interest, the best being the upland meadow of Baisaran.hagan, on the way to chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for picnic. And Mamal, one of the eight tiny villages of Pahagam, has a 5th century shiva temple.
Chandanwari 16 Kms from Pahalgam is the starting point for the annual Amarnathji Yatra held in summer.The Amarnath cave houses an ice stalagmite in the shape of a natural Shivling, which waxes and wanes with the Moon.
Sonamarg lies at the head of the Sindh Valley. The drive through this valley presents a spectacular fact of the Kashmir countryside.
Sonamarg is surrounded by colourful mountains and thick pine forest. There are many attractive walks, the best being a trek or pony ride to the Thajiwas glacier. Sonamarg also serves as a base for the amaranth yatra from the Baltal route.
Verinag is the source of Jhelum with deep blue water spring and wonderful resort at the foothills.
The Dal Lake is Srinagar’s most distinctive landmark. It is divided by causeways into four parts, the Nagin lake being one of them. Not merely a lifeless body of water, the Dal is unique for the communities that have made it their home, from fisherman to Houseboat owners.
There are fields of Lotus blossoms in parts of the Lake, Vegetable patches, shops and even villagers. The best way of exploring the lake and the sites on its shores by Shikara boat.
The hill of Hari Parbat is considered sacred to the Hindus, Muslim and Sikhs alike. For the Hindus it is sacred due to the presence of the Temple of Sharika Mata, a form of goddess Durga or Shakti. On its southern side is the historic shrine of Makhdoom Sahib, a sufi saint of Kashmir revered by people of all faiths.
Further down the Hill is the historic Gurudwara Chhatti Padshahi near the Kathi Darwaza (gate) of the Fort. It is associated with the visit of the sixth Sikh Guru to Kashmir. There is also Mughal Fort on this Hill called Hari Parbat. The Afghan Governor, Ata Mohammad Khan, developed it to its full size in the 18th century.
The Shankaracharya Temple, another prominent landmark of Srinagar, is built on a high octagonal plinth, on the hill known as Takht-i-Sulaiman .The site dates back to 250 BC and is associated with the Hindu Philospher Shankaracharya who visited Kashmir ten centuries ago.
Another distinctive feature of Srinagar is the Mughal Gardens with their terraced lawns, cascading fountains and bright flowerbeds, overlooking the panorama of the Dal Lake.
On a nearby spur of the mountain is the ancient monument Pari Mahal, located on the National Highway, it is famous for the saffron that grows here from September to October.