Some places are explored, some are traveled, and some are lived. But Kashmir is a place which must be felt. It’s beauty and glamour will be carved in your memory for a very long time. To visit the best of this heaven on earth, however, you must not just see and stay, you must do things – all of the most impressive things to do in Kashmir you must try them out. That is the only way to see what these amazing valleys have tucked in their basket of morality.
This piece lists 8 happening experiences in Kashmir – things you can do all year round. The list offers complete information and also gives you enough fodder to plan your holiday tour in Kashmir.
Fun things to do in Kashmir all year-round
1. Take a Shikara ride
Lay back and admire the beauty of the tall mountains as your boatman takes you through a ride across the beautiful lake. Away from the hustle bustle of the polluted city life, a Shikara ride ranks on the top of the list. There’s no smoke or sound of the vehicles, no high-pitched angry crowd, nothing. Just the soft sound of the boatman’s blade breaking the surface of the water and sense the touch of the cold water as you trail your hand on the surface of the lake.
Where to try: Manasbal Lake near Sonamarg and Dal Lake in Srinagar
2. Spend night in a houseboat
It‘s not just the Shikara rides in Dal Lake, spending a night at the houseboat docked at the Dal Lake pier is also among the top best things to do in Kashmir. Be it honeymooners, solo travelers or families; your trip to Kashmir isn’t complete if you miss a night stay at one of the houseboats in Srinagar.
3. Go for a ‘Gondola’ cable car ride
Riding the Gondola cable car is one of the breathtaking and fun things to do in Kashmir for people of all ages. Perhaps the best attraction of all is the cable car, Gondola which has become famous all over the world for many reasons. Tourists prefer to travel via cable car to enjoy the best views of the snowcapped mountains during the winters.
The ride takes place in three different phases.
Phase 1: Gulmarg to Kongdoori
Phase 2: Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak
Phase 3: Kongdoori to Mary Shoulder [Chair Lift]
4. Ride the rapids in Lidder River
White river rafting in Lidder River is one of the adventurous things to do in Kashmir. The rafting in Kashmir is not very difficult as rapids here are easy or average. However, the white water rafting in the Lidder river in Pahalgam is more famous out of all other rafting spots. You can also go for river rafting near Sonamarg as well.
5. Glide over the majestic valleys
For all those stress junkies, there is also a best option to go for paragliding. The majestic beautiful valley beneath is a sight to see. The distinctive view of the green valleys makes paragliding one of the most exciting thing to do in Kashmir. One can relish paragliding at Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Bhaderwah, Sanasar, and Harwan (Srinagar). Of these, paragliding in Harwan is most easily accessible as it lies on the route of the Grand Mughal Gardens.
Tip: Along with paragliding one should also go for hot air ballooning at Sanasar.
6. Gorge on some delectable Kashmiri food
Like in any other destination across the world, trying their local food is one of the most important things to do. We all have heard about the famous Kashmiri Kahwa (tea) and Lamb Mutton Rogan Josh. But the cuisine has many more grand dishes. These include Nadroo Yakhni (yogurt based Kashmiri curry with lotus stems), Paneer Chaman, Dum Aloo, Matschgand (minced meatballs cooked in spicy red gravy), and Gushtaba. Don’t miss these mouth-watering food when in Kashmir.
7. Visit the many tourist attractions in Kashmir
Be it a small family tour, honeymoon, or an outing with friends, no one would want to miss the beautiful attractors of Kashmir. Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Sonamarg are the most popular places to visit in Kashmir. Heading to explore these cities is one of the most amazing thing to do in Kashmir.
Places to visit in Srinagar: Dal Lake, Nehru Park, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Shankaracharya Hill Temple, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin’s mother, Floating Post Office, Chashme Shahi, Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat Fort are the key attractions of Srinagar.
Places to visit in Gulmarg: Maharani Temple, Apharwat peak, Khilanmarg, Seven Springs and Strawberry Valley are some of the places to visit in Gulmarg.
Places to visit in Sonamarg: Thajiwas Glacier, Ganderbal, Manasbal Lake, Gangabal Trek, Khir-Bhawani temple, and Narang temple are the major tourist attractions of Sonamarg.
Places to visit in Pahalgam: Lidder River & Amusement Park, Deer Park & Zoo, Mamleshwar Temple, Sheshnag Lake, Betaab Valley, Matrand Sun Temple, Saffron fields, and Anantnag Sulpher Springs are some of the attractions of Pahalgam.
8. Go shopping for a retail therapy
Shopping is one of the most common thing to do in Kashmir. And no, I do not mean just antiques and other memorials. Tourists here can shop for elegant Kashmiri hand-looms and Pashmina shawls, Namda hand-woven carpets, antique copperware like samovars, local garments called Ferins, 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 in Kashmir.
So, this was a list of top 8 things to do in Kashmir on your next trip.