Kashmir is a land of verdant hills and lofty mountainscapes. The snow-capped landscapes during the winter months or the lush greenery afterwards provide holiday-goers with respite from the daily hustle of their lives. This paradise on earth has had its decent share of history, whose remnants are still visible today in the form of mosques, gardens, and forts. Some important towns in Kashmir worth visiting are Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam which definitely deserve to be part of your Kashmir itinerary.
Here is your to-do list for a 5-day Kashmir itinerary
Day 1: For the Pilgrims
Kashmir has been an important part of empires for centuries. Their history as well as their faith found expression in beautiful monuments that stand tall even today. Therefore, the places listed below deserve to be on your Kashmir itinerary.
1. Jamia Masjid
Still in use today, Jamia Masjid is the largest mosque in Kashmir. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Sikander and completed in 1402 CE. The architecture of the mosque has Persian and Buddhist influence throughout along with the garden that is built in the typical Char Bagh style. This grand mosque has the capacity to hold a total of 33,333 persons at a time.
Location: Nowhatta Kathi Darwaza Road, Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190003
Timing: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: No entry fee.
2. Hazratbal Masjid
The Hazratbal Masjid called Dargah Sharif is a very revered masjid in Kashmir. A holy relic, Moi-e-Muqqadas, the hair of Prophet Mohammad is believed to be held in the mosque. This beautiful masjid was constructed in the 17th century by Mughal Subedar Sadiq Khan and continues to function even today with thousands of pilgrims each year.
Location: Hazratbal near Fire Brigade station, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190006
Timing: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: No entry fee.
3. Kheer Bhavani Temple
The temple is dedicated to the Kheer Bhavani Goddess and was built over a spring that is considered sacred. This holy spring changes colours from time to time and assumes shades of pink, orange, green, and blue. A mela, Jyestha Mela, is also held every year where the largest number of Amarnath Pilgrims gather. This temple definitely deserves to be on your Kashmir itinerary.
Location: 6PCH+PWJ, Tulmulla – Dangerpora Link Rd, Tulmulla, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191201
Timing: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: No entry fee.
4. Shankaracharya Temple
The Shankaracharya Temple is also known as the Jyesteshwarya Temple and is considered the oldest temple in Kashmir. Furthermore, it is not known who built the temple, but the Hindus of Kashmir believe it to be built by Adi Shankaracharya. Every year, hundreds of Amarnath pilgrims flock to this temple, and Shiva’s mace is brought here.
Location: Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
Timing: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: No entry fee.
Day 2: For the Adventurers
For your second day in this gorgeous Union Territory, you can add Gulmarg to your Kashmir itinerary. This is a magnificent town located at a distance of 51 km from Srinagar. From here you can take either shared buses and taxis or hired cabs to Gulmarg. The journey takes a little more than an hour, so you need to start early from Srinagar.
The ski season lasts from January to March in Gulmarg. For this, you need seasoned and certified instructors. They are available in Gulmarg and charge around INR 2500 for a day. Do note that thorough research is needed before opting to ski in Gulmarg.
2. Gondola Ride
The Gulmarg Gondola is the highest and longest cable car in Asia and the second longest and highest in the world! Do not miss adding this to your Kashmir itinerary at any cost. It is the ideal activity for families and couples and the best time is during the skiing season because of the scintillating carpet of snow as far as the eye can see. Remember to book in advance to avoid waiting at the ticket counter during season time.
Location: District Baramulla, Alambal Road, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir 193403
Timing: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm every day.
Entry fee: INR 700 for the first stage, INR 900 for the second stage and INR 300 for chairlifts.
3. Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary
The Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its lush flora and varied fauna. It hosts the highly endangered Musk Deer. The Sanctuary itself is lovely and worth a visit.
Location: 38JW+RR2, District Baramulla, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir 193403
Timing: 24 hours every day.
Entry fee: INR 500 per person.
Day 3: For leisure seekers
After your trip to Gulmarg, you can return to Srinagar and tick off more places from your Kashmir itinerary. Furthermore, you can have a relaxed day by doing just a few things on Day 3.
1. Stroll in the Tulip Garden
The Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden is the largest in Asia and hosts a variety of tulips. It is rendered more scenic because of the Dal Lake that you can glimpse and the Zabarwan range at whose base the garden is situated. All this gives the Garden its heavenly aspect. However, the tulips are in full bloom only during the month of April, and since they do not survive for more than 20 days, it is imperative to visit this place during spring.
Location: Jammu and Kashmir, Cheshma Shahi Rd, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
Timing: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry fee: INR 60 for adults and INR 25 for children.
Don’t forget to check out this article MAJESTIC BEAUTY OF KASHMIR WELCOMES YOU ON BOARD!
2. Shikhara ride in Dal Lake
The iconic Dal Lake is the face of tourism in Kashmir. Indeed it is picture perfect with the still lake and at its backdrop the magnificent mountains. This relaxing activity offers a view of the Lake and its surroundings which you can take in with ease as you float along the lake in quaint boats.
Location: 4VG5+Q47, Srinagar, 190006
Timing: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry Fee: Anywhere between INR 1000 to INR 1500 for an hour.
Day 4: For the Shoppers
Shop till you drop because Kashmir has a lot to offer. So keep an entire day for this in your Kashmir itinerary as the Union Territory is rich in handicraft items which makes for a good souvenir.
1. Floating Market
The Floating Market is so named as the goods are sold on boats along the Dal Lake. Although only vegetables and perishables are sold, it is worth the visit for tourists as the scene is very picturesque.
Location: Dal Lake, Karapura, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
Timing: 6: 00 am to 7:30 am.
Entry fee: No entry fee.
2. Lal Chowk
Kashmir is famous for dry fruits, Pashmina shawls, woollen items and other handicraft products. Lal Chowk, the oldest market in Srinagar, is famed for selling all this and more. You can visit this market to pick up a few things for yourself and your loved ones after visiting the floating market.
Day 5: For the Heritage Tourists
For the last day of your tour, visits to famous heritage sites across Srinagar should be added to your Kashmir itinerary, to soak in the history of this place.
1. Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal is also known as The Palace of Fairies. Its location atop the Zabarwan Mountain range provides it with a view of the entire city of Srinagar along with the magnificent Dal Lake. It is famed for hosting Dara Shikoh and was used as an observatory. Furthermore, astrology and astronomy were taught here as well. Since there is no public transport to take you to the palace, you will need to hire a private taxi to get there.
Location: 3VJG+FVC, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
Timing: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: INR 40 per person tentatively.
2. Hari Parbat Fort
The Fort is also known as Koh-i-Maran and was built by an Afghan Governor Atta Mohammad Khan during the 18th century. The first fortifications, however, were built by Akbar during the 16th century. The fort has Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh shrines as all religions believe the area to be sacred.
Location: Nohata, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190003
Timing: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days except Sunday.
Entry fee: Rs 20 for locals and 40 for non-locals.
3. Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Bagh was built by the Mughal emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. A high point in Mughal architecture was reached in the building of this Mughal Garden which is now considered the Crown of Srinagar.
Location: Chinar chowk, Shalimar, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191121
Timing: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm on all days of the week.
Entry fee: INR 24 per person.
4. Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh also referred to as the ‘Garden of Joy’ is also located on the banks of the Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountain in its backdrop. A beautiful terraced garden built by the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, this is a must-add place to your Kashmir itinerary.
Location: Main road Nishat next to Mughal garden Nishat Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir, 191121
Timing: 9: 00 am to 9: 00 pm all days of the week.
Entry fee: INR 30 per person.
We hope this article finds you just when you are looking to plan a 5-day Kashmir itinerary. The nearest cities are Chandigarh and New Delhi, where you can catch a flight, overnight bus, or train. So do plan a trip to Kashmir with your loved ones and head over to the mountains whenever you hear their call for as the famous poet Wordsworth says “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”.
1. How many days are enough for Kashmir?
Depending on your intent, 5-6 days are enough for exploring Kashmir.
2. Which is the best month to visit Kashmir?
December to March is perfect for those who wish to see the snow otherwise March to August is also pleasant for a visit to Kashmir.
3. When does it snow in Kashmir?
Months between December to March experience snowfall in Kashmir.