Combine a spiritual trip to Vaishno Devi with an exciting sightseeing tour of the stunning Kashmir Valley. The land which was called “Heaven on Earth”, Kashmir will enchant you with its pristine Dal Lake and will mesmerize you with a Shikara ride on it, it will also enthral your sense with its snow-capped peaks and apple orchards... Tour is designed in such a way that every second of yours will be the reason to cherish always.
Day 1 : SRINAGAR
Arrival to Srinagar. Our representative will meet you at the airport. Check in to the Houseboat. Sightseeing in Srinagar.
Srinagar - “Paradise on Earth”, located in the heart of the Kashmir valley is the summer state capital of Jammu and Kashmir. This spectacular hill station is at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level.
The word Srinagar literally means “the city of wealth”. As the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, the city is renowned for its traditional handicrafts, lakes, gardens and houseboats. It's an ideal destination that can be visited throughout the year. This hill station is visited by travellers from outside India as well. A variety of tourist attractions makes the place worth visiting many times.
The Houseboats are generally made from local cedar-wood and measure 24–38 metres in length and 3–6 metres in width and are graded in a similar fashion to hotels according to level of comfort. Many of them have lavishly furnished rooms, with verandas and a terrace to serve as a sun-deck or to serve evening cocktails.
After lunch take a Shikara ride on Dal Lake.
The scenery around is breathtaking and tempting that might make you erupt in joy. You can also shop while taking a Shikara ride visiting floating markets. It is the centre of tourist activity in Srinagar and the best way to observe the surrounding flora and fauna and spot the different kinds of birds and aquatic plants and animals that form a part of the eco system. Overnight stay on Houseboat.
Day 2 : SRINAGAR – SONAMARG (80 km – 2 h)
Sonamarg – “The Meadow of Gold”. The drive to Sonamarg is through the Sindh Valley which presents yet another spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonamarg has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky.
The Sindh River that meanders through the valley abounds with trout. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier, which is a major local attraction during the summer months. Sonamarg is the base of a major trek that passes along several mountain lakes –Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. Sonamarg is also a base for undertaking the pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath.
Day 3 : SRINAGAR
Visit Mughal Gardens: NishatBagh “The garden of pleasure” built by Asif Khan - brother in law of Jehangir in 1632 AD. And Shalimar Bagh “Abode of love” built by Jehangir for his wife Empress Noor Jehan. Asia's largest Tulip Garden on the banks of Dal lake - the 15-hectare garden in the foothills of Zabarwan Range. All the gardens are situated on the bank of Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains in the background.
JamaMasjid is among the oldest mosques in Srinagar and displays a monument of Islamic architecture. It was built in 1674 with four spires tower, 370 pillars, prayer halls, etc. Each pillar is made from a single piece of deodar trunk. The temple was destroyed and restored many times. It is also known as the Friday Mosque.
Hazratbal Mosque located on the banks of Dal Lake, the Mosque is made from white marble and a fusion of Kashmiri and Mughal styles of architecture can be noticed in its construction. The Mosque is also called Dargah Sharif, Asar-e-Sharif, and Madinat-us-Sani. There is a shrine in the Mosque which is believed to contain a relic-a hair of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
The Rozabal Shrine in Srinagar is one of the biggest mysteries of the world. It contains the tomb of YuzaAsaf who is supposed to be none other than Jesus Christ! According to traditions dating 1st century AD and several ancient works in Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit Cultures, Jesus survived the crucifixion and migrated to live in Kashmir.
There are tantalizing architectural, inscriptional, anthropological, and archeological document evidences which strongly indicate this. This hypothesis makes the Rozabal Shrine a unique place in the world where all religions seem to unite, conveying the message of love, peace and harmony.
“Throne of Solomon” is a large ancient temple situated on the top of a hillock near the Dal Lake in Srinagar. The temple was built by Jalauka, the son of the great Emperor Ashoka, about 200 B.C. It was renamed Sankarachariya by the Hindu Maharaja in 1848.
AdiShankaracharya (788-820AC) lived, meditated and did Tapas (penance) here to review Hinduism which had been eclipsed by Buddhism. He worshipped the Shiva Lingam, which is still found in the Sanctum Sanctorum. It is believed , that AdiShankaracharya "attained spiritual knowledge" at this particular place and after that went out and formed the four Hindu schools of Advaita, the philosophy of non-dualism.Overnight stay at Houseboat.
Day 4 : SRINAGAR – GULMARG (56 km – 1.5 h)- KHILANMARG (AFFARWAT) - SRINAGAR
Full day trip to Gulmarg - “Meadow of Flowers”, 2730 m. above sea level.
Gulmarg is an enticing attraction for golfers from all over the world. The world's highest, 18-hole green golf course is at Gulmarg. A highland meadow, just 4 km from Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is accessible by foot, by pony or in a dandi. From here, the view of the snow peaks and the limpid waters of the Wular Lake is a breathtaking one, unfolding view upon view of Himalayan splendour. Khilanmarg offers an unparalleled view of the great Himalayan range.
Enjoy ride in a gondola from Gulmarg to Apharwat peak. It is the world's highest cable car using gondolas and the only one in the world that takes skiers to a height of 4,390 mts.
Return back to Srinagar. Overnight stay on Houseboat.
Day 5 : SRINAGAR – PAHALGAM (110km – 2.4 h)
Full day tour to Pahalgam, on the way visit Saffron fields, Avantipur ruins and Anantnagsulpher spring. Pahalgam is the most famous place for Indian Film Industry. Enjoy the nature charm of the valley.
Pahalgam valley is located at the confluence of Lidder River and the streams originating from serene Sheshnag Lake. At an altitude of 2,130 m above sea level, this lush green valley is most sought by travelers seeking relaxation and leisure. The valley offers breathtaking panoramic views of the beautiful Himalayan Ranges. Pahalgam is a humble village and the base camp for the renowned AmarnathYatra. Pahalgam offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan Ranges and is appropriate for adventurous activities. It is also a famous shopping place for woolen products.
Ruins of Avantipur is an archeological and historical delight. The site comprises of two temples dating back to 9th century, standing just a kilometer apart. King Awantivarman, who ruled Kashmir during 9th century, built both the temples – Shiva Temple and Avantiswami Temple. The Shiva Temple is renovated and in daily use, while Avantiswami Temple, which was dedicated to Lord Vishnu is now a ruin. Both the temples reflect Greek style of architecture.Night in the hotel in Pahalgam.
Day 6 : PAHALGAM – CHANDANWARI( 95 km – 2 h)– PAHALGAN
Proceed to Chandanwari for a magnificent view of Lidder valley, the Sheeshnag river is captivating with its sheer force and clear waters . Visit Aru Valley - a fascinating Valley 16 km from Pahalgam. Chandanwari is the starting point of the AmarnathYatra, which takes place every year in the month of Sawan (Rain). It is famous for snow sledging on a snow bridge.
Day 7 : PAHALGAM - KATRA (300 km 10 h)
After Breakfast move towards Katra. On Arrival check in to hotel. The town Katra serves as base camp for pilgrims on their way to VaishnoDevi Yatra. Rest of the day is free.
Day 8 : KATRA – VAISNODEVI SHRINE (14 km) – KATRA)
After breakfast, start your Journey to Mata Vaisnodevi Shrine. Mata Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the oldest shrines of India, located at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range. It is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti and is the second most visited religious shrine in India after TirupatiBalaji Temple. Trek to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine (14 km), ponies/helicopter can also be arranged for the trek at your own cost.Return back to Katra late in the evening.Overnight stay at hotel in Katra.
Day 9 : KATRA – JAMMU (32 km – 1 h)
After breakfast sightseeing tour in Jammu.
Amar Mahal Museum, constructed by King Raja Amar of Dogra in 1890s, is planned by a French architect and looks like a French chateau with Indian artisans. This beautiful architectural monument served as the Royal family residence for many years. It was made out of red sand stone. Later the palace was turned to museum with rich collections of paintings, books, inscriptions and sculptures.
The Bahu Fort - an impressive structure is amazing due to its construction itself and is the oldest fort in Jammu city. The fort was constructed by Raja Bahulochan, nearly 300 years ago.
A majestic garden, known as Bagh-e-Bahu with extensive lawns beautifully filled with flowers and plants surrounds the Bahu Fort. The garden has all types of attractions ranging from plants, shrubs, big trees and flowers to waterfalls.
The renowned BaweyWali Mata Temple is placed interior to the fort and the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The local folks believed that this Goddess, BaweyWali Mata, is the presiding deity of the whole region of Jammu. Lots of devotees throng to this temple offering prayers on Tuesdays and Sundays. It is strongly believed that the BaweyWali Mata has mystical powers and the temple is second only to Mata Vaishno Devi temple.Overnight stay at hotel in Jammu.
Day 9 : JAMMU DEPARTURE
Transfer to Jammu Airport to catch your flight .