Trip Highlights :-: – Delhi | Srinagar | Sonmarg | Gulmarg | Pahalgam | Srinagar | Delhi |
Tour duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Saffron - Some of the best Saffron in the world comes from Kashmir, where it has been grown in the fields of Pampore near Srinagar for close to 2000 years. Crocus sativus (saffron) is the world's most expensive spice. Saffron is the stigmas (Saffron threads) from the Crocus sativus flower. There are only 3 stigmas per flower. Saffron is hand harvested that is why, it is so prized and expensive. It takes about 13,125 threads to weigh one ounce. For centuries, saffron from these ancient fields has graced feasts of emperors and commoners alike and satisfied the high standards of herbal doctors. Kashmir has geophysical, historical and cultural advantages which have made it an excellent cultivation ground for the most expensive spice in the world.
Delhi: On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centres of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products
Srinagar: Srinagar, arguably a city that embodies romance and beauty is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir; perfectly placed in the centre of the Kashmir Valley. Srinagar has an average elevation of 5200 feet above sea level. It is situated on the banks of Jhelum river, a tributary of the Indus. The beauty of Srinagar can not only be seen in its lakes, gardens, springs, mountains, and the rich heritage, but also in the people who embrace the guests with open arms. And the city itself is a gateway to some of the most beautiful scenic places of the Indian subcontinent. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, dry fruits and mouth watering cuisine. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the clean climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors round the year. Name of this city is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (venerable) and nagar, which means "city". One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashoka (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) built the city of Srinagari. Another theory is that Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present village of Pandrethan, 05 kms to the North of the existing capital.
Sonmarg: Sonmarg is one of the smallest resorts in Kashmir, lying in the heart of a gorgeous valley carved by the river Sindh. Known as the 'Meadow of Gold', it is set amidst a valley of flowers and lakes, this place gets its name 'Son' meaning Golden, from the bloom of Yellow Crocuses that fill this valley in the spring. The road which runs through the picturesque Sind valley is flanked on one side by the densely populated slopes and many varieties of Alpine flowers. The dense forests here comprise of Sycamore and Alpine flowers, Silver Birch, Fir and Pine. The place is frequently visited by nature lovers in the search of tranquil peace and soothing natural beauty. The stunning blue water lakes and grasslands are the other attractions. The enchanting beauty of the towering snow clad mountains is a real treat to the eyes. Sonmarg is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass. This place is renowned for trekking and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonmarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions.
Gulmarg: The best ski resort in the Himalayas, Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill spots in the country. It lies at the western end of the Himalayas in a subsidiary range called the Pir Panjal and close to Nanga Parbat - mountain. It is an all-weather resort and attracts tourists for Trekking, Mountain Biking, Horse riding, Water Skiing, Fishing, Skiing, Heli-skiing, Snowboarding, Sledding and Snow-shoeing. An International Tourism destination for Winter Adventure Sports - Gulmarg is one of the best powder snow resorts of the world owing to regular and considerable snowfalls all winter long. Originally called 'Gaurimarg' by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. A clear day offers some breathtaking views from Gulmarg: fields of rice; clusters of walnut, pear and mulberry; meadows, ridges and forests that lead to the snow slopes. Gulmarg's international lush green golf course is the highest in the world. Gulmarg is also an important trekking base. Sports gear such as Skis, Boots, Sticks, Gloves and Goggles are available for rent at the Ski shop which is owned and run by the Government where you would also find skiing instructors. You would be surprised to know that the world's second highest Cable Car operates in Gulmarg.
Pahalgam: It is located at the confluence of River Aru and River Sheshnag. River Lidder runs right through the town of Pahalgam. River Aru originates in the Kolahoi Glacier and River Sheshnag from Sheshnag Lake and other glaciers in the Himalayas. Before it became a tourist hot-spot, Pahalgam was a quiet 'Village of Shepherds' from whom it derived its name. Whether in summer or in winter - Pahalgam offers breath-taking views of the Valley, the Meadows, the Rivers and the Mountains. Situated at an altitude of 2130 mt above sea level, it has a golf course at 2400 mt above the sea level. The bubbling Lidder harbours a sizeable population of rainbow Trout and Mahaseer. The nearby forested slopes are home to the Himalayan brown bear. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan an idyllic spot for a picnic. Extremely popular with tourists, it is an important trekking base. Chandanwari, is also the starting point of the journey to the Amarnath Shrine which takes place every year in the month of July/August
Upon arrival in India you will be greeted and assisted by our airport representative to your hotel. Check in at hotel, overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel; later proceed for the full day city tour of Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi in earlier times known as Shahjahanabad has impressive monuments built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, visit the Red Fort for a photo stop - 17th century imposing fortress built of red sandstone, the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer at a time, visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city with a cycle-rickshaw ride and Raj Ghat - Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial.
Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone "Arch of Triumph", erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House. Later visit the Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 meters. Also visit the Bahai Temple - Lotus shaped structure; it is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquillity.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. In time transfer to domestic airport to board flight for Srinagar.
Upon arrival transfer assistance from airport to hotel / Deluxe Houseboats.
Late afternoon Shikara ride on Dal Lake visiting floating Flower and Vegetable markets etc. Also witness Walnut woodcarving and Papier Machie making demonstration.
Overnight stay at deluxe houseboat.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the full day sightseeing and visit important sights of Srinagar City. Visit Shankaracharya Temple - This Temple, known to be built by Jaluka, the son of Emperor Ashoka around 200 BC, is an ancient shrine located on the Takht-e-Suleiman hill. This sacred site, situated at a height of about 1100 ft on the south-east of the city, offers splendid views of the valley and the snow clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range. Local folks tell a story that saint Shankaracharya spent some of his time at this site during his visit to Kashmir to revitalize Sanatan Dharma. It is constructed on an elevated octagonal plane, can be reached through a flight of steps bounded by side-walls. The inner sanctum adorns a modern ceiling & several Persian inscriptions.
Visit Hazratbal Mosque - Also known as Dargah Sharif, Assar-e-Sharif and Madinat-Us-Sani, this Mosque on the western banks of the majestic Dal Lake is considered to be one of the most important shrines for Muslims. With the impressive Nishat Bagh in the vicinity, this enchanting white marble mosque offers great views of the Lake in the back drop of the majestic Himalayas. The Mosque is a combination of Kashmiri and Mughal styles of architecture, with historical significance dating back to the 17th century. The distinctiveness of the Hazratbal Mosque is that it enshrines the 'Moi-e-Muqaddas' (the sacred hair) of the prophet Mohammed, which is shown to public only on special occasions.
Visit Khanqah of Shah Hamadan, also known as Khanqah Mosque, Shah Hamadan Masjid, Khanqah-e-Moula and so on, is one of the oldest Muslim Shrines in Kashmir. It is ideally situated on right bank of the River Jhelum. This mosque was built in 1395 by Shah Sikandar in the memory of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, a preacher from City of Hamdan in Persia. The shrine bears aesthetically designed wooden structure with surprising carved roofs, rich interiors carved with ancient religious sermons and historical inscriptions, with antique chandelier and carved hanging bells. This shrine was gutted in a devastating fire twice in year 1480 and in 1731 and was reconstructed by ruler Sultan Hassan Shah and by Abul Barkat Khan respectively.
Later visit the famous Mughal gardens –
Nishat Bagh (Garden of Pleasure) - The largest Mughal garden situated on the banks of world famous Dal-Lake in the backdrop of Zabarwan hills encircles the Dal Lake. Empress Noor Jahan's brother Asif Khan laid the Garden in 1633 AD. Nishat has seven terraces with a beautiful central water course flowing right in the middle. These terraces rise dramatically off the mountains from the eastern part of the lake.
Shalimar Bagh - It was planted by Mughal Emperor Jehangir for Empress Noor Jahan in 1619 and later extended in 1727 by Shah Jahan. Shaded by magnificent Chinar trees, the Shalimar is a series of stone pavilions and flowing water with paint box bright flower beds. The Garden blooms with innumerable varieties of flowers in spring and autumn.
Chashme Shahi Garden, founded in 1632, is a small beautiful garden, the smallest among the famous Mughal gardens it is also known as Royal Spring, by road. The garden is established in three sections with an aqueduct with fountains and waterfalls located along the middle. Different varieties of beautiful fragrant flowers and manicured lawns are the main attractions in this garden. It is believed that the fresh water spring in the garden has medicinal value.
Overnight stay at deluxe houseboat.
Breakfast and check-out from houseboat. Check-in to a hotel in Srinagar city, later in the morning drive for a full day excursion trip to Sonmarg. Sonamarg (Meadow of Gold) - It is a place of enthralling beauty, lies in Sindh Valley, streamed with flowers, surrounded by snow clad mountains and perched at an altitude of 2690 mt. It is a quiet alpine retreat surrounded with Sycamore, Silver birch, Fir and Pine trees. It is also the base for some interesting treks to the high altitude of Himalayan Lakes.
Visit Nichnai Pass is the commanding point to have bird's eye view of breathtakingly beautiful lakes of Vishansar, Krishansar and Gangabal.
Visit Nilagrad river, located at a distance of about 6 km from Sonamarg, it is a confluence of a mountain river and Indus river, the water of this river is red in colour, it is believed that the reddish water of this river bears medicinal properties. Local inhabitants often take a bath in this water.
OPTIONAL - Enjoy horse / pony ride upto Thajiwas glacier - a wonderful place where nature blooms at its best and sledge riding on snow. Later in the evening drive back to Srinagar, for overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel, afterwards drive to Gulmarg, upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in.
Later proceed for the sightseeing of Gulmarg. Enjoy a ride on Gondola Lift, a cable car system, popular among tourists for the aerial breathtaking view it offers. Gulmarg boasts Asia's highest and longest cable car project, situated at the height of 13500 ft above sea level, this lift covers a distance of 5 km in 2 stretches from Gulmarg to Kungdoori and from Kungdoori to Apparwath. The second stage of the gondola ride is exhilarating.
Visit Khilanmarg, It remains carpeted with beautiful flowers in the spring and offers a spectacular view of the Great Himalayan range and the Kashmir Valley.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Baba Reshi Shrine (Ziarat) built and dedicated to the famous Muslim Scholar & Sage - Baba Reshi who breathed his last in Gulmarg in 1480. He was a prominent member of the court of Zain-ul-Abidin - a Kashmiri King of the early 15th century. This shrine was built amidst a luxuriant garden and is a major tourist attraction apart from the visits from its devotees. Remaining day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at hotel.
After early breakfast check-out from hotel. This morning drive to Pahalgam (Valley of Shepherds). Arrive and check-in at hotel. Afterwards proceed for the sightseeing and visit following places in and around:-
Baisaran is situated at an altitude of 2438 m above sea level, at a distance of a mere 5 km from Pahalgam. Magnificent snow covered mountains, dense pine forests, and sprawling unspoilt meadows attract tourists from far-flung places. The top of the hill allows for a mesmerizing view of the Lidder River Valley and Pahalgam Valley. The place is considered similar to European resorts and serves as a picnic and camp site for tourists.
Visit, Aru Valley which is a small yet self-sufficient scenic village located 15 km from Pahalgam. The drive up to the village is alluring too. The location of the village among the grasslands, make this place a tourist delight. It is reachable by walking along a mountain path. The village also serves as the start point for trekking to Kolahoi glacier.
Later visit Hajan valley also known as Betaab valley, because of its scenic location few movies have been shot here. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast, check-out from hotel. Drive from Pahalgam to Srinagar en-route visit at Saffron fields of Pampora, see the beautiful countryside, lots of rice fields and Awantipura ruins on the way, Awantipura Ruins (1100 years Old Temple) - Built in 09th century AD by King Avantivarman and dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the temple ruins at Awantipura represent some of the finest examples of architecture of this region. Later continue your drive through the pine forest, the confluence of the streams flowing from the river Lidder & Sheshnag Lake which are famous for their scenic beauty. Arrive in Srinagar, in-time transfer to airport to take flight for Delhi, upon arrival transfer to a local restaurant for Farewell Dinner. After dinner transfer to international airport to board flight for return journey.
Departure from Delhi early in the morning, by an international flight.
End of our services
1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes
2. 02 Nights stay in Srinagar in Deluxe Houseboat on Dal Lake on AP Basis (Full board).
3. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.
4. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to railways station / airport and vice - versa
5. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary
6. Air tickets for sector/s NEW DELHI / SRINAGAR and SRINAGAR / NEW DELHI in economy class.
7. Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, Shikara (boat) ride in Dal Lake in Srinagar and Gondola (Ropeway Cable car) ride in Gulmarg.
8. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
9. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
10. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day
11. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes
1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
3. Horse / Pony ride in Sonmarg mentioned in programme as OPTIONAL.
4. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".