Why even think of Switzerland, when you have Kashmir? Yeah, thatâ€™s true! We all know how beautiful Kashmir is during winters. It is one of the best winter destinations to visit in India. The views of snow-covered meadows, mesmerizing peaks, thrilling adventure sports, and astonishing frozen lakes can make a person fall in love with this paradise on earth.
Thus, when you plan a trip in winter in India, put Kashmir on the top of your list as this place becomes a land from a fairytale, thus ideal for honeymoon, family vacation as well as solo travelling. Not only this, Kashmir also evolves as a bustling hub for winter sports and activities in the season that indeed adds to the reason why you should plan a holiday here.
Read our blog further to find the top things to do at this best winter getaway in India.
Kashmir is one of the best places for winter vacation in India. There are several skiing destinations in Kashmir that vary according to their difficulty level. Amongst these top places, Gulmarg is the prime skiing destination in the state and also hosts one of the worldâ€™s highest lift-served ski resorts. The time of Christmas marks the skiing season in Gulmarg which continues till the middle of April. Another major attraction in Gulmarg is the Gondola Cable Car lift which lets you get to the top of the elevation of the ski slope and is significantly one of the highest Cable Car Projects in Asia.
Best Skiing Resorts in Kashmir
Before explaining the point let us first know what sleigh riding is. A sleigh is a small toy car made up of wood which works on snow. During the sleigh ride, one person pulls the sleigh by rope and the person sitting in that toy car enjoys the ride. And you ask where you can enjoy a sleigh ride in India? Well, Kashmir is the answer, of course. Gulmarg is the most preferred destination to enjoy this winter sport in Kashmir. However, it is also available at Zero Point in Sonmarg. This winter activity is very much idyllic for kids and adults both.
Snow trekking is also an option in Kashmir while you plan a visit in winter. Snow trek expedition is an opportunity for the hikers and nature enthusiasts to explore the beautiful state of Kashmir closely. As you trek higher, you will get to see the changing landscapes. Sind & Liddar Valleys, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam along with a trek to Gangabal and to the famous Great Lakes are ideal for the winter season in Kashmir.
The temperature in Kashmir during winters drops to zero and even minus degrees. And it is during this time, the lakes and pools in the region get covered by the thick sheet of the ice making them the perfect place for ice skating and ice hockey in India. Srinagar and Pahalgam are the prime sites for ice skating and ice hockey. Gulmarg is also a good spot for ice skating in Kashmir. For beginners, there are instructors who run the training courses for ice skating. So, even if you are a novice, you have the opportunity to learn something exciting in winter!
Heli-Skiing: Go on Another Level of Thrill in Winter in Kashmir
Looking for something more thrilling than just skiing in Kashmir? Well, then here is the better variant of this enthralling sport to enjoy in the region. Heli-Skiing is another snow activity which offers the extreme thrill of sliding down from a mountaintop. It is one of the best adventure activities to do in Kashmir. Kashmir is the only place for heli-skiing in India. In this adventure activity, one gets to the top by chopper and drops on an inaccessible submit and then enjoys a rapid downward descent by skiing. This kind of adventure sport delivers magical opportunities for viewing the beauty of snowy peaks. Just like for other snow activities, Gulmarg is the prime spot for heli-skiing as well countryside kashmir
Snow Festival is one of the top attractions in Kashmir during winters. It is held in Gulmarg in the month of January and is celebrated with full enthusiasm. This is a 3-day festival which includes a number of activities like cycling, skiing, snowboarding, and ice-skating. Snow cycling remains the major attraction on all three days of the festival. Mountain bikers take part in it and the spectators cheer for them. Moreover, the tourism department recently added baseball to the sports list of the festival. Cultural shows can also be enjoyed by the tourists during this lively Snow Festival in Kashmir.
Who doesnâ€™t love shopping? And shopping in Kashmir is definitely a must. The region is known for its wide range of handicrafts along with dry fruits and textiles. Pashmina shawls and stoles of Kashmir have won the hearts of thousands with their beauty and quality. But, shopping in Kashmir is not limited to these. Willow baskets, green tea leaves, Kashmiri art, and spices are some of the best buys. The region has interesting handicrafts shops and bazaars from where you can pick some cool stuff to take back home. Maharaja Bazaar and Kokar Bazar are famous for the rich spices of Kashmir. Along with that, these are the main markets to buy the embroidery items from Kashmir.
Top Things to Buy in Kashmir
Trying the local cuisine is one of the most important things to do when you visit Kashmir. Kashmir offers some delectable dishes like Mutton Rogan Josh, paneer Chaman, Dum Aloo, Gogji Rajma, Dhaniwal Korma, Tshock Wangan, and Kashmiri Saag, tasting which in the winter season is truly a delight. Besides, there are some other things that you must try during your trip to Kashmir like Noon Chai, which is the most famous tea in Kashmir region. The tea is also known as the â€˜pink teaâ€™ or â€˜Kashmiri teaâ€™. Bread, Kandir, Tchot, Sheermal, and Lavasa are the best allies of this tea. Mango and Raw Apple chutney are other traditional foods in Kashmir that are a must try. The chutney comprises flavors of Kashmiri spices like cardamom, saffron, and a few nuts.
Kashmir has some exquisite and exotic sites and attractions for tourists to visit. It doesnâ€™t matter whether it is your family tour, honeymoon, or an outing with friends, you must plan it wisely so not to miss the best places to see in this paradisiacal destination in the season of winter. Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar are the chief draws in the region but then there are plenty of other sightseeing places that you must add to your go-to list to make your vacation in Kashmir the best one. These places are so serene and tranquil that they make an inner connection with the visitors. Beautiful valleys, snow-clad peaks and meadows, shrines, and frozen lakes and rivers are the top attractions in Kashmir.
You must experience the fun of Pony ride if youâ€™re in Kashmir. It is one of the best activities to enjoy in winters. Pahalgam in Kashmir is a very popular destination for pony rides and horse riding. You can explore the beautiful destinations like Betaab Valley, Chandanbari, Aru valley, Baisaran on a pony, it will be one of the most pleasurable experiences one can ever have. Sometimes walking on foot can be physically very tiring so, it is best to hire ponies to climb steep mountains on a rough route.
Camping is one of the most thrilling adventure activities to do in Kashmir. It takes a lot of guts to camp in high altitude places but if you are an adventurer you must try this exciting activity in Kashmir. You will witness the drop- dead gorgeous meadows, shimmering lakes, alluring snow-clad mountain peaks in your camping Tour. It will give you a chance to experience what itâ€™s like to live in an open space in the lap of nature where there are no modern amenities and luxuries.
Your travel experience of Kashmir in winter will be awesome if you try Shikara once. A boat ride in the beautiful lakes of Kashmir offers fantastic views of partially frozen lakes and the scenic fairytale-like setting all around which will compel you to tune into the rhythm of euphoria the place has to offer. It is one of the best things to do in Kashmir if you are a couple. A romantic day on a houseboat amidst the delightful sceneries will invoke the romance and you will be able to cherish some awesome moments of togetherness.