Kashmir’s blissful aura can never be expressed in words. Snowy glaciers, pristine lakes, expansive grassland and stunning orchards await visitors in this paradise. The unbelievably beautiful places to visit in Kashmir have fascinated tourists from worldwide, and now it is your turn to discover this ‘Paradise on Earth’. If you are planning a trip here in 2021, we have compiled a list of 12 tourist places in Kashmir to include in your itinerary for a memorable vacation.

1. Srinagar (5,200 ft.)

Dal Lake

#1 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), is split into two by the river Jhelum. The star attraction here is the idyllic Dal Lake, having been ranked TripAdvisor’s top travellers’ choice for 2020. You can take a shikara ride in the daytime or a midnight cruise for a romantic evening. You will also spot Asia’s most extensive Tulip Garden and India’s only floating market here. Hotels in Kashmir cater to all kinds of travellers, so you can book your accommodation accordingly.

  • Best time to visit: September to November
  • Ideal Duration: 1-2 days
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam International Airport (11 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (12 km)

2. Sonmarg (8,960 ft.)

SONMARG

#2 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Literally meaning the ‘meadow of gold’, Sonmarg observes a widespread bloom of yellow crocuses during spring. Sonmarg or Sonamarg is a high-altitude tourist attraction in Srinagar’s northeast region. It is home to the famous three sisters – a group of rivers (the Lidder, Sind and the Neelum). It is also a popular base point for trekking excursions to the Thajiwas Glacier. While its surreal beauty will leave you stunned, a river rafting experience on the gushing Indus River will get your heart racing.

Sonmarg is truly one of Kashmir’s marvellous attractions that you will want to visit more than once.

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 days
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam International Airport (102 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (101 km)

3. Gulmarg (8,694 ft.)

Gulmarg

#3 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Gulmarg is a beautiful place in Kashmir that is an absolute delight for adventure seekers. This is the state’s crowning glory, offering the world’s second-highest gondola ride to Apharwat Peak (14,403 ft.) and the third-highest ski resort. Skiing, snowboarding, trekking and other activities will add more excitement to your holiday. For a culturally rich experience, visit this place during the three-day Winter Festival organised by the Indian Army and Tourism Ministry every year.

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • Ideal duration: 3-4 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam International Airport (57 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (56 km)

4. Pahalgam (7,200 ft.)

PAHALGAM

#4 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Pahalgam is a visual treat with its breath-taking vistas of lush greenery, vast Himalayan ranges and pristine mountain rivers. Stretched along the Lidder River, it is a popular spot for adventure junkies to try trout fishing, trekking and angling among others. It serves as the base camp for popular trekking getaways to Amarnath, Aru Valley, Kohaloi Glacier, and other high-altitude destinations.

Pahalgam is a wonderland that is dotted with prominent attractions like the Aru valley and Betaab valleys. You can either explore Pahalgam on foot or opt for a pony ride. Don’t forget to bargain!

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • Ideal duration: 4-5 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (89 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (93 km)

5. Pulwama (5,419 ft.)

Pulwama is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list for multiple reasons. It is famous for its widespread saffron fields, largest milk production, and untouched surroundings. It is truly the ‘Delight of Kashmir’, as its blissful aura is unrivalled among Kashmir’s other attractions.

It is a sought-after attraction where important religious sites and historical monuments can also be found. Do visit the Aharbal Waterfalls, Tarsar Lake, Shikargarh and Avantishwar Temple here. If you aren’t short on time, plan a 7-day Tarsar Marsar Trek; you won’t be disappointed!

  • Best time to visit: April to October
  • Ideal duration: 3-4 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (31 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (34 km)

6. Aru Valley (7,920 ft.)

Aru Valley

#6 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Aru Valley’s scenic beauty is like a Windows wallpaper image. You can explore the stunning sights of this valley on a pony ride or foot. The drive to this gem of Kashmir is an experience in itself. Book a cosy, local homestay, and savour traditional delicacies at roadside cafes.

The Aru Valley presents unparalleled views of the Kashmir Valley, so if nature and tranquillity are what you seek, you know where to go. You won’t be able to get enough of the natural scenic views here, so don’t miss this gem!

  • Best time to visit: July to September
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (101 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (105 km)

7. Yusmarg Valley (7,861 ft.)

Yusmarg or Yousmarg, literally meaning ‘Meadows of Jesus’, is a perfect alternative to the country’s other popular hill stations. It is believed that Lord Jesus stayed here for a short duration and he got extremely impressed by its spectacular expanse. This mini hill station of Kashmir is a favourite among couples who want to spend quality time together amidst tranquillity. This place is also ideal for those who enjoy trekking for long periods in remote locations.

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • Ideal Duration: 1-2 days
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (47 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (45 km)

8. Betaab Valley (7,851 ft.)

Betaab Valley

#8 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Located just 5 km from Pahalgam, Betaab Valley is yet another attraction among the beautiful places in Kashmir. You can take in the scenery while sipping tea, coffee, or Kashmiri Kahwa at a roadside café. It is a common stopover en-route Chandanwari.

Bollywood has an undeniable affection for the Betaab Valley, with blockbusters as old as Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964 and more recent movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) showcasing the best of Kashmir. If you want to soak in the breath-taking combination of nature and peace, it’s right here.

  • Best time to visit: October to June
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 days
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (96 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (99 km)

9. Dachigam National Park (5500 ft.-14000 ft.)

The Dachigam National Park is the world’s best-preserved natural habitat for the near-extinct Hangul or Kashmir stag (Red deer). It has piqued the interest of many wildlife enthusiasts to visit and photograph a wide range of species in their natural habitat. They believe that one visit is insufficient to explore its wilderness.

  • Best time to visit: April to October
  • Ideal duration: 3-4 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (29 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (31 km)

10. Chandanwari (Approx. 9,498 ft.)

Chandanwari

#10 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Chandanwari is the popular entry point to Amarnath, one of the four dhams of Hinduism. It is located exactly halfway between Srinagar and Amarnath. It is named after an interesting phenomenon in that it has a holy sandal (meaning ‘Chandan’) tree that is unlikely to survive at such high altitude and topography.

A trek to the Chandanwari Glacier point will give you unparalleled views of Pahalgam. Don’t skip the adrenaline-rushing sledge ride across a snow bridge and be mesmerised by this visual treat. As it remains covered in snow all year, it is advisable to rent a pair of gumboots from a nearby local shop.

  • Best time to visit: April to June
  • Ideal duration: 2-3 hours
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul Alam Airport (89 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Srinagar Railway Station (92 km)

11. Patnitop (6,640 ft.)

Patnitop

#11 Places to Visit in Kashmir

Patnitop is one of Kashmir’s most developed tourist locations where you can spend quality time with your loved ones in peace. On a clear day during winters, you can enjoy paragliding at Dawariyai. If you come here in the summer season, make a reservation for a round of golf at its 9-hole course (a major crowd-puller).

You can also take a refreshing bath in any one of the area’s three freshwater springs, which are thought to have medicinal properties. Get your hands on a ‘Patisa’ prepared in pure desi ghee to satisfy your taste buds. Its melt-in-the-mouth texture will make you crave it even more.

  • Best time to visit: September to October
  • Ideal duration: 1-2 days
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Jammu Airport (115 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Udhampur Railway Station (46 km)

12. Sanasar (9,505 ft.)

Sanasar, a lesser-known gem of Kashmir, is an eco-friendly village in the Ramban district of J&K. This attraction is notable for its cup-shaped meadow surrounded by huge conifers. If adventure and thrill are top on your list, this is the place for you. A day at Sanasar is all about adventures like a paragliding session or a hot balloon ride, as well as a horseback ride through the green hills followed by an overnight camp stay.

If you cannot get enough of it, you can go for rock climbing, on trekking expeditions, or enjoy a game of golf at a premium golf course.

  • Best time to visit: May to June/September to October
  • Ideal duration: 1 day
  • How to reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Jammu Airport (133 km)
    • Nearest Railway Station: Udhampur Railway Station (64 km)

We have carefully selected these attractions to ensure that there is something for everyone. All of these places to see in Kashmir are among the top-rated attractions by tourists from around the world. It is now up to you to plan your itinerary as per the days in hand and get mesmerised by the heavenly charm of Kashmir.