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Kashmir - Excursions

The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is a saga of nature complete with rugged mountains, blossoming valleys and pristine forests. Often referred to as the Switzerland of the East, Kashmir owes its natural beauty to the rugged mountains, which restrict mobility however, especially during the winters, when the mountain ranges are covered with a thick blanket of snow. Here, we are presenting some popular excursion points of the region.

Wular Lake - One of Asia's largest fresh water lakes, Wular Lake changes character with every few miles. There are the calm waters of Manasbal Lake, a bird watcher's paradise, sporting Shikaras that take you on a ride through the tranquil waters. To the right of the Wular Lake, is a delightfully laid out Mughal Garden and one may also see old women picking water chestnuts and deftly navigating the weeds in flat-bottomed skiffs.


Achabal - The erstwhile pleasure retreat of Empress Nur Jehan, Achabal is situated at a height of 1,677 m. 58 km from Srinagar; it has a fine garden laid in the Mughal (Persian) style and oozes with its own charm and character. Kashmir sports the best of the Mughal gardens of India and perhaps, Achabal is the best. Fringed by stately Chinar trees, it is situated at the foot of a hill and is a visual treat with its stepped terraces, formal elegance, ornamental shrubs, sparkling fountains and falling water.

Daksum - Amidst the breathtaking splendor of the springs at Kokarnag, Daksum is tucked away in a densely forested gorge with the Bringhi River passing through its heart. At an altitude of 2438 m, Daksum is a walker's paradise with coniferous trees, gurgling brooks, the music of flute of the shepherds tending their flock and the grassy meadows where sheep are taken to pasture. It has everything to rejuvenate the visitors with its bracing mountain air, solitude, densely clad hills and snow-covered mountains in the backdrop that lend to the Daksum's mystique and make it a perfect retreat.


Kokernag - Situated in the heart of Bringhi valley, Kokernag is situated at an altitude of 2,020 m. 70 km from Srinagar, Kokernag is set amidst sprawling gardens with its air full of fragrance that owes itself to the thousands of flowers blooming in the region. The Kokernag Spring bubbles at seven places at the foot of the forested mountain and its water is famous for its medicinal and digestive properties.

Yusmarg - 47 km from Srinagar, Yusmarg is a vast grassy meadow fringed by forests of pine with awesome and stately snow clad mountains in the backdrop. A favorite picnic spot, it boasts of walks of every sort, from a leisure stroll amidst the flower-strewn meadows to the mighty river of Dudh Ganga foaming white and crashes its way over the rocks. It has a beautiful lake called Nilnag, which is cradled by hills. There are several peaks nearby such as Tatta Kutti and Sang Safed and Charari- Sharief, the Shrine of Kashmir's patron saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din or Nund Reshi is a short distance from here.


Aharbal - The roaring waterfall of Aharbal crashes down a narrow gorge and is the highlight of the place. Several picnic spots surround the area and an excellent trekking point; it has delightful walks of varying lengths all over the hillsides. One of the most interesting treks is the high-altitude lake of Kounsernag at 13,500 ft above sea level has its starting point in Aharbal.

Verinag - 80 km from Srinagar, situated at an altitude of 1,876 m, Verinag boasts of a spring, which is believed to be the chief source of the River Jhelum. Mughal Emperor Jahangir started the construction of the octagonal base of the spring and the arcade around it, which was completed during the reign of his son, Shah Jahan. To the east of the stream, lie the remains of a Mughal pavilion and baths.

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