Taking a trip to the “Switzerland of India” – Kashmir? Why not go about the trip in a different way? In this article, I will tell you about the hidden places in Kashmir which are not as popular as the generic tourist spots such as Gulmarg, Sonamarg etc. but are serene and tranquil. They say that every vacation spot has its hidden places which most of the time only trekkers can stumble upon. Well, here is a sneak peak of some of those hidden places in Kashmir for you to add to your itinerary.
This beautiful picnic spot is about 5-6 km before Gulmarg. It has a beautiful stream of water and is surrounded by mountains. It is a perfect spot to have a nice picnic while listening to the sound of water flowing. You can take a short trek up the hill if you feel like exploring the mountain terrains. And it’s a treat for trout lovers as there is an abundance of trout in the ice fed mountain streams. Insider tip: If you are planning to have a nice and quiet picnic by the stream, sitting on the boulders, I would suggest you pick up some sandwiches, chicken patties, chicken lollipops etc. from Jee Enn Sons Bakery on M.A road in Srinagar. A scenic place with amazing views, so you can get busy clicking selfies and uploading them to your Instagram!
Another tranquil place to see is Drang, which is a beautiful meadow by a stream, a short distance from Tangmarg. It is a place where you can do rock climbing. One can enjoy walking through the pine forest and walk on the quaint log bridges to get the feel of a Yash Raj movie. Across the hill, you can find some monuments reputed to be the ruins of ancient Pandava temples.
Martand Sun Temple
On the road from Srinagar to Pahalgam, you can make a short detour and visit the Martand Sun Temple, built during the 8th century (C.E.). Martand is another Sanskrit name for the Hindu Sun God. It lies on a hill above Mattan town on the K.P. road. The ruins of the temple are still very impressive and one can imagine its formal glory. This was the location for a famous song in the film Haider – Bismil.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
For all you backpackers and trekking enthusiasts, the most beautiful trek is the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek! On this trek, you will get to see five beautiful mountain lakes. Enthusiasts say this is the most beautiful trek in India. It begins at Shitkadi, a few km ahead of Sonamarg. From there you trek to Nichnai via Shekdur, from Nichnai you trek to Vishnusar Lake. Close by is the Kishansar Lake. Next, you will trek to Gadsar Lake and from there, your next stop and a feast for your eyes is the Satsar Lake. On day 7, you will trek from Satsar to Gangabal Twin Lakes. On day 8, you will trek from Gangabal to Naranag which will end the trek, post which you will drive back to Srinagar. Over these 8 days, you will witness awe striking sceneries which will leave everlasting impressions of pristine beauty in your mind. However, this trek is considered moderate to difficult and is best for experienced trekkers.
I hope reading about these hidden spots in Kashmir Valley entice you enough to visit them and create memories with your friends and family.