Kashmir Valley has been known as heaven on earth and not without a reason. However, most of the tourists who visit Kashmir tend to go about the more popular tourist destinations of Srinagar, Dal Lake, and the Mughal gardens, while some would head on to Sonmarg and Pahalgam from there. However, there are lots of other hidden gems in Kashmir which many have not yet explored and those who have etched those precious moments in their minds forever. A true traveler will always seek the unknown and there is no dearth of such unknown and quaint places nestled deep within the Kashmir valley. There are some places that are truly mystical and will make you awestruck when you encounter them.
Places To Explore at Kashmir Valley
- Sinthen Top
- Warwan Valley
- Lolab Valley
- Gurez valley
- Bangus valley
- Achabal Valley
- Dachigham National Park
1. Sinthen Top
Located at an altitude of 12,500 feet, the Sinthen Top in the Breng Valley is one of the most gorgeous places on this planet. It is situated about a 130 km away from Srinagar and because of minimal human habitation, the place has hardly seen any commercialization, which makes it possible to experience the best gifts of nature. The sight of the peaks from here is fascinating and the region remains under snow for almost the entire year. It has the potential of becoming the adventure spot of the state.
The region of Daksum in Kashmir is like an oasis is a snow desert. While the mountains in Kashmir are almost always snowclad, the Daksum is a little haven which is filled with grasslands and evergreen forests. It is about 85 km away from Srinagar and would be en route to the region of Kishtwar. One can also catch a glimpse of the wonderful Bringhi River and it is a great spot for trout fishing. The place is tranquil but it is also a great place to try out river rafting.
3. Warwan Valley
The Warwan Valley is definitely a crown jewel in Kashmir and its beauty is indeed inexplicable. The valley falls in between Kashmir and Ladakh and it is filled with waterfalls and opulent greenery. Some tourists might face certain difficulties because this region is still lacking in electricity and many other basic amenities, the mesmerizing beauty of the place more than makes up for it. Moreover, a night stay here is definitely recommended as the moonlight on the snow clad peaks is a sight to behold!
Merely an hour’s drive away from the capital city of Srinagar, one will across one of the least explored places of Kashmir. It is known as the Valley of the Milk and is located at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level. A number of peaks, thickets and meadows can be seen from here and the region gets in name from the white foam which is created when the rivulets and fast streams hit the rocks. It is now slowly being explored and is being included in many Kashmir tour packages.
5. Lolab Valley
If you are on the lookout for some more crowd free spots, then you should definitely check Lolab Valley. It is very well connected to Srinagar, but low knowledge of the place had meant that tourists often miss this gem, leaving it quite clutter free. This is an oval shaped valley that stretches for more than 24km and presents some truly amazing vistas. A number of trees are to be found here like peach, apple, walnut, and apricot. The Lahwal River flows just close by and the nearby Kalaroos Caves makes it a great region to explore. The Lolab Valley is not a part of the itinerary of most tour packages just yet and so chances are one might have to customize it.
6. Gurez valley
Another little known valley in the vicinity is the Gurez valley. It is actually one of the highest points of Kashmir and is situated at a height of 8000 feet. It is not only very minimally habited by humans but at the same time, it is also known for its wildlife species. One definitely has to be careful around here and should not move about without a local. If one is fortunate enough, then one might catch a sight of the famous snow leopard, and the Himalayan Brown bear, which is quite common in this region. The peaks in this valley remain capped in snow throughout the year. The Kishanganga River flows through this region.
7. Bangus valley
Once believed to be a frequently visited spot during the British era, Bangus Valley is mesmerizing valley which is not much known at present times. It is perhaps one of the most colorful, because of the wonderful flower trees that are found here. The valley is about 72 km away from Srinagar and is located a whopping 10,000 feet above sea level. One can find breathtaking snow covered mountains, as well as evergreen forests here and the freshwater streams, provide ample scope for fishing, or just a quiet spot to sit and introspect. Some of the most notable mountains here are the Chowkibal, Qazinag, and Shamsbery. The region provides a great mix of medium to difficult level trails and is a paradise for trekkers.
8. Achabal Valley
If getting away from commercialization and urban life is your sole motive, then the Achabal Valley is the destination for you. It is said that it was the summer retreat of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and the Achabal Gardens were the quarters of his Begum, Noor Jahan. She, in turn, had contributed much to the expansion of the garden. The valley can be visited at any time of the year but the best time is surely autumn when the leaves start changing colors and that is an unforgettable sight.
9. Dachigham National Park
One of the most picturesque ranges here is the Zabarwan range and one can visit the Dachigham National Park nestled within it. It is home to several endangered mountain species and is one of the least explored ones in the entire country. The area was originally built to provide clean drinking water to Srinagar but now serves as a national park because it was protected.
Hence, if you truly want to explore Kashmir beyond the tried and tested routes, do head for a few of these locations. You will have a real treat for the senses and will perhaps fathom why Kashmir is indeed the Paradise on Earth.
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