Kashmir Winter Trip: A White Vale Odyssey
“a winter to remember”
A captivating winter experience in offbeat and carefully selected destinations of Kashmir. This is the Kashmir of our dreams. Witnessing this stunning landscape draped in a gorgeous blanket of snow is a genuine treat to the eyes. Fulfill your bucket-list experience of seeing a snowfall in Kashmir. And discover a white paradise in all its glory. Once it starts, our love affair with a white Kashmir never ceases. It continues for a lifetime.
- Explore lesser known locales and isolated villages of Kashmir tucked away from touristy routes
- Saunter on the snowy fields of Gulmarg & enjoy a high altitude gondola ride with incredible views
- Take breathtaking road trips weaving past awe-inspiring mountains and dense pine jungles
- Witness a snowfall in Kashmir to add to your magical experience of a wintry paradise
- Marvel at a snowy wonderland with deep alpine gorges, icy rock faces and a spectacular waterfall
- Trek in seclusion in the Wangat valley through a snow-covered forest along pristine creeks
- Connect with locals and experience their culture at idyllic hamlets of the Sindh valley
- Relax on a pleasant Shikara ride to vibrant floating bazaars of the iconic Dal Lake
- Visit the stunning frozen waterfall and the serene Ferozpur stream in Drung village
- Discover the ancient ruins of an 8th-century temple built by the erstwhile Hindu empire
Day 1 : A Land of Lakes, Shrines and Royal Gardens
Welcome to Srinagar. Our Kashmir winter odyssey begins here from this historic city. On arrival, we pick you up directly from the airport. After navigating the busy streets of Srinagar, we take a quick Shikara ride on the iconic Dal Lake to get to our cosy stay, an intricately designed and exquisitely crafted houseboat, our home for the first two nights. We then go out and explore the splendours of this beautiful city.
With Grand Mughal gardens, remarkable views, magnificent lakes, floating bazaars and peaceful, historic shrines, Srinagar, located against the backdrop of the towering Zabarwan mountain ranges, has a lot to offer for curious travellers, culture buffs and nature lovers. We visit some of these popular places of interest and also a few lesser known splendours of the city.
Day 2: Waterfall Wonderland
This day is marked for an awesome road trip, where we drive along the scenic Mughal Road passing by snow-topped apple orchards and walnut groves to one of the unexplored parts of the Kashmir valley. A wintery Kashmir is very different from other seasons and today we find out how. A couple of hours from Srinagar in the Kulgam district lies the stunning Aharabal waterfall, one of the lesser known natural wonders that often gets overlooked in standard tour itineraries. Here, the waters of the Vishaw River, a tributary of the Jhelum gushes down boisterously cutting the alpine gorges covered with pines and firs.
Frequented mostly by the Kashmiri locals, the area is beautiful in all seasons. But in the winter, the snowfall in kashmir in this part makes it look mesmerizing and enchanting. With frozen waterfalls, snow-laden boulders, crystal clear waters and surrounding green foliage around the main attraction, the snow makes it a veritable winter wonderland. We explore and hike around the area and return to Srinagar by evening to spend some leisure time in the warmth of our houseboat.
Day 3: Skiers’ Paradise
A picturesque drive from Srinagar weaving through gorgeous coniferous jungles takes us to our next stop. World famous for winter sports and an uber popular destination that is synonymous with winters in Kashmir, Gulmarg is nestled in the Pir Panjal Range in the form of a smooth cup-shaped valley and is a perfect location for a beautiful snowy getaway.
Held in high regard by the mughal emperors and admired by the British, Gulmarg in winters is blanketed by snow. It offers a breathtaking panorama of vast white meadows bejeweled with partially frozen pine trees and imposing mountains in the backdrop.
Our day in Gulmarg is spent wandering around its dreamy surroundings. Snowfall in Kashmir is best experienced here in this scenic town. We also hop into a high altitude gondola ride that takes us for some magical views high up in the mountains. Along with enjoying some local sightseeing, we indulge ourselves in the myriad thrilling and adventurous activities on offer.
Day 4-6: White Magic Beyond the Beaten Trails
It is well known that Kashmir in winters is exceptionally beautiful. On this particular trip, we are going to make it even more impressive over the next couple of days when we visit a few uncommon, unfamiliar locales with surreal sceneries and fairytale-like settings.
We cover some of the lesser known villages located in the interiors, going away far from the teeming touristy crowds. Moving away from Gulmarg, we visit the Drung village and waterfall near Tangmarg. Later, we proceed towards the Sindh valley, a breathtaking wonder in the winters. Along with some less frequented spots like Gagangir and Marmar by the Sindh river, we also explore the mesmerizing snow fields of Sonamarg, provided the roads leading to this popular tourist town are open. Sonamarg is another beauty where the snowfall in Kashmir is to die for.
The scenes and sights that we will come across will be quite different from the standard tour packages out there. In these last few days of our white odyssey, we witness stunning mountain reflections in turquoise reservoirs, take leisurely strolls to view amazing sunsets in secluded hamlets, trek on offbeat shepherd trails of the Wangat valley lined with snow-laden pine trees and explore some of the fascinating remnants of ancient temples. We meet the most hospitable people in the villages that we visit, and experience their simple daily life, local culture and traditions. Imagine this: We visit a quaint village perched on a hill; It’s freezing outside with chilly winds and foggy surroundings. We sit inside the warm, cosy kitchen of a local, surrounded by her family members. Sipping some hot noon chai, we break the soft lavasas as we listen to their incredible stories, amazing folktales or just discuss about life in general. We warm our shivering hands and legs by the fire of the chullah and all of a sudden someone exclaims it’s snowing; we somehow muster our courage to reluctantly get up and run outside to witness a dreamy magical scene: real experiences can’t get better than this. These beautiful connections that we build in some of the most unexpected places, remain with us and we go on to cherish these genuine moments forever.
On the last day, we pack our bags as the trip comes to an end. We leave for the airport with a heavy heart and a promise to return and relive these special moments of our unforgettable white vale odyssey.
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