Adventure Tourism

Kashmir Adventure Tourism

Kashmir adventure tourism offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to explore the vast terrains of the exotic Himalayan mountain ranges. Kashmir is one of the most sought after Adventure Tourist destinations of World ! Apart from natural beauty, the unique landscape of Jammu and Kashmir also encourages one to find out one's inherent sporting caliber.

Some of the main adventure sports in Kashmir valley of India are: Fishing, Golf, Mountaineering, Skiing, Trekking, River Rafting, Paragliding in Kashmir, Aero Sports, Backpacking, Canoe Trips, Camping, Kayaking etc.

Trekking in Kashmir

Kashmir is a land of outstanding scenery which forms stunning mountain peaks to deep valleys with fast flowing streams. Above all Kashmir offers walkers peace and tranquility - No overcrowding and no pollution. Rural village walks bring a primitive and a preserved cultural heritage to light and walking through apple orchards, almond groves, rushing streams and alpine pastures is mesmerizing.

Trekking in Kashmir is one of the highlights of tourism in the Kashmir valley. Some of the popular and famous routes for trekking in Kashmir valley of India are: Amarnath Yatra, Gulmarg, Sonamarg etc.

Mountaineering in Kashmir

For mountaineering in Kashmir, you need to take permission from the Government of India through the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF). The relief and terrain of Kashmir offers exciting opportunities for mountaineering in the state. High peaks of the Himalayas attract thousands of adventure sports lovers to the state.

These mountains can be categorized as Alpine and Himalaya. The four important mountaineering zones in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are Kashmir, Zanskar, Kishtwar and Ladakh. With the mighty ranges of the Himalayas towering 10,000 to 28,000 feet above the sea level, mountaineering options in Kashmir are almost unlimited.

The Pir Panjal, Karakoram and Zanskar ranges are the mountaineer's delight. Add to that the charm of the green pine forests, the rich plants and animal life on the mountains. The peaks of Sonamarg facilitate quick ascent and decent, while the lower peaks of Kishtwar are more challenging owing to their ruggedness.

Skiing in Kashmir

Snow skiing in Jammu and Kashmir is like a dream come true to any adventure sports enthusiast. The snow capped mountains in Kashmir offer great opportunities for snow skiing. The best place for skiing in Kashmir is Gulmarg. Infact, Gulmarg is the best ski resort in the Himalayas.
Gulmarg offers some magical skiing. A new Gondola takes skiers to the heights where crisp snow makes skiing a delight. Some of the best slopes in the country for beginners and intermediate skiers are available at Gulmarg. Skiing equipment is available on hire from the Ski-Shop. In winter Gulmarg's natural slopes and inclines turn into the country's premier skiing resort. Not all tourists who visit in winter come for skiing. Tobogganing, the most popular among them requires no skill. No skill is required - a flat wooden board is taken up the hill and is allowed to descend downhill. There are also snow scooters and snow bobbing.
In fact if one talks about skiing in J&k, it is only about Gulmarg as it has one of the most renowned skiing resort in Asia, when it comes to facilities and surrounding ecstasies. It also has the distinction of being the highest lift served resort in the world. Gulmarg is a great place for total beginners. They can learn to ski on the two Poma ski-lifts on the snow covered golf course.

There are slopes that are apt for people with all levels of skills. You will see even young kids skiing on relatively easier slopes using a wooden board and professionals swarming on tougher looking tracks. Gulmarg was also the host to the first winter games in the year 1998.

To start your skiing pleasure, you can choose the height from which you are comfortable. If you think you are good enough, step into the gondola lift and roll up to the top of Apherwat mountain at about 13000 ft from where you can slide down. As and when you reach the top of the mountain, you will notice the instant difference, the place is unimaginably quiet, exquisitely lonely and chillingly cold. The winds exaggerate the feeling of biting in the air. But you probably won't mind it as you will be looking at the most spell-bounding scene you would have ever seen. Right in front of you are the twin peaks of Nun and Kun and to your left is an 8000 m plus mountain which is either K2 or Nanga Parbat. After being satiated just slide down the gentle but unpredictable slopes of Apherwat.

Fishing in Kashmir

One of the major attractions for tourists in the Kashmir valley is fishing. With the ending of the winter season starts the season for fishing in Kashmir, India. However, for fishing in the valley, one requires to get a permit. There are a number of other restrictions also like only artificial flies are permitted, you can keep only 6 fishes a day, etc. The best time for fishing in Kashmir is from April to October.

One of the major attractions for tourists in the Kashmir valley is fishing. With the ending of the winter season starts the season for fishing in Kashmir, India. However, for fishing in the valley, one requires to get a permit. There are a number of other restrictions also like only artificial flies are permitted, you can keep only 6 fishes a day, etc. The best time for fishing in Kashmir is from April to October.

Kashmir valley has a number of lakes, rivers, streams, etc, where you can go for fishing. There are two main fishing resources in Kashmir:

  • Rivers (Jhelum, Sindh, Liddar, Wangat, etc)
  • Lakes (Dal, Krishanshar, Vishanshar, Gangabal, Nunkhol, etc)

Golfing in Kashmir

Golf tourism is one of the main attractions of the Kashmir valley in summers. The peak season for golf in Kashmir is from April to November. One advantage that the game of golf in Kashmir has over other golf courses that the weather here is quite refreshing & the shade of the bordering Chinar & Pine trees enables the play to go on longer.

River Rafting in Kashmir

Kashmir is quite famous for a number of picturesque lakes and rivers. These water bodies of Kashmir not only serve as delight to the eyes, but are also a hub of a number of activity-oriented leisure sports.

The less adventurous people go for the quiet Shikara boat rides on the Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar. The Shikara rides offer peace and serenity as well as the option of sightseeing some of the beautiful places on the embankments. Other options include riding motorboats or going for water skiing.

However, what takes the cake is white water rafting in Kashmir Rivers. River rafting tourism was introduced quite recently in the Kashmir valley. The best season for River rafting in Kashmir is from August to September. The following rivers of the Kashmir valley are quite popular from the river rafting point of view:

  • Lidder River-in pahalgam
  • Sindh River—in Ganderbal
  • Drass River via somarg
  • Suru River in ladhakh
  • Zanskar River – via kargil
  • Chenab River-in jammu
  • Jhelum River—in kashmir

Paragliding in Kashmir

Aero sports are a rage amongst those visiting the Kashmir valley. Amongst the numerous aero sports, paragliding is the most popular in Kashmir. Also, it is one of the latest adventure sports that are picking up fast in the Kashmir valley. Para gliding takes you on a tour of the green valleys and majestic mountains of Kashmir. Looking from above, you will find the sight of the valley almost breathtaking. There are a number of adventure clubs in Jammu, Sanasar and Batote that offer paragliding facilities. At Jammu and Sanasar, proper training camps for both paragliding as well as parasailing are organized. Paragliding equipments are easily available at the tourist office in Jammu and the local agencies in Jammu and Sanasar. The best time for paragliding, especially in Sanasar, is the period of May-June and September-October.

Sonamarg

Sonamarg is a place of enthralling beauty. Three lakes viz Kishensar,Vishensar and Gangabal can be viewed from Nichnai Pass. 20 Kms east of Sonamarg is Zoji-La Pass at 3540 mtrs which leads into Ladakh Plateau. Sonamarg is in Srinagar District on the Srinagar Leh Highway approx.110 Kms from Srinagar.The nearest Airport is in Badgam Distt. This Airport is connected with major cities of India.The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with
India. Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxisply on this Highway. It Takesaround 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountaineous road whichcrosses some beautiful spots andthe famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India. Bus service is available from Srinagar which leave at fixed time from the Srinagar Bus stand. Taxis and other sort of transport can be hired from Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. Assistance isavailable at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar.
For all those adventure loving people who wish to enjoy camping at a hill station, Sonmarg is the ideal destination. Tourists flock to this small hill resort in heavy numbers to see the enchanting natural beauty and snow clad peaks.

Known as the 'Meadow of Gold', Sonmarg is set amidst a valley of flowers and lakes. The word "Sona" literally means "Gold" in Hindi, and this golden beauty covered with white snow is most attractive in the spring. The exotic flora of the region is nurtured by the Sindh river. Sonmarg is the gateway to Ladakh.

The dense forests of Sonmarg 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.

Major Attractions

Enveloped by alpine trees, Sonmarg is a base camp for the holy Amarnath yatra. The yatra is organized during the month of July-August every year, and thousands of tourists are drawn towards Sonmarg.

While visiting Sonmarg, make sure you include a trip to Nilagrad, the confluence of mountain rivers with the Indus river. The most amazing aspect of this place is that the river water is pure red in colour, and is believed to have curative powers for skin ailments. People often take a bath in this water.

Krishnasar Lake, one of the most mesmerizing lakes in the chain of many Himalayan lakes, is a good spot for picnics. The place is surrounded by dense alpines and provides a cool and peaceful atmosphere at a height of 3801 m above sea level. People enjoy trout fishing and other water activities here. Vishansar is another popular lake.

Walk along the exotic grasslands of Baltal to explore the untouched beauty of Sonmarg. Situated at the foot of Zoji-la-pass (gateway to the Ladakh plateau, 3540 m from the sea level), Baltal is close to the Amarnath cave. Baltal grasslands witness a number of pilgrims during the Amarnath yatra.

Climate

The weather is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild, one can get by with thick cottons. But the place receives heavy snowfall in December-February. The best time to visit Sonamarg is during the summers.

Accommodation

You can find a number of Hotels and lodges of various types and budgets in Sonmarg. Most of these are operated in summers only. If you visit Sonmarg in winters, you can hire cottages or guest rooms. Sonamarg has a number of Hotels and lodges of various types which are open only during summer months. Accommodation needs to be booked well in advance from Srinagar. Sonamarg offers lots of recreational activities:Sonamarg mainly offers trekking adventure.Trekking can be undertaken to Thajiwas Glacier which is very beautiful. Sledging at the frozen Glaciers is also offered by locals.Angling ( a license is required)You can take long walks in the jungles and explore rich lora and fauna. Sonamarg is also the base camp to Amarnath Cave for the route of Bal Tal. Alpine Skiing is also available at high altitudes.A Popular trek from Sonamarg to Pahalgam can also be undertaken. Some probability of white water rafting is also available downstream from sonamarg.
Sonamarg is a wonderful destination for an intrepid traveler, who is looking for 'meadows of gold' (this is what Sonamarg means) and exciting places for adventure sports. Perched at an altitude of about 2,740 metres above sea level Sonamarg is a scenic tourist attraction located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sonamarg is at a distance of about 80 kilometres from Srinagar.

Tourist places in and around Sonamarg

At a time when mercury rises in the plains of India, it is soothing cool in the upper reaches. Sonamarg is a perfect tourist destination for summer. The lush meadows and snow capped peaks in the backdrop offer magnificent views. Sonamarg is a complete scenic destination in itself. There are a number of places that one can visit when in Sonamarg. There are a number of waterfalls in and around Sonamarg that you can visit. Gadsar Lake and Satsar Lake are two beautiful lakes that you can visit. The lakes are surrounded by tress and flowers. Nilgrad and Nichnai Pass are other two beautiful places that you can visit. Some of the places around Sonamarg that you can visit are Thajiwas, Baltal, Zoji-la pass and Yushmarg.

Things to do

Sonamarg is not only about scenic beauty but the place also offers some wonderful treks and hiking opportunity. Sonamarg offers some of the finest treks in the area that take you to many beautiful spots. You can trek to Vishansar, Krishansar and Gangabal lakes from Sonamarg.Sonamarg also offers wonderful opportunity for fishing. The Sind River provides a wonderful opportunity for trout and mahseer fishing.

Getting there and accommodation

One can reach Sonamarg by road through the Srinagar-Leh Highway. Srinagar is the nearest airport and the nearest railhead is Jammu.
Tourist lodges run by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation are ideal places to stay in Sonamarg. You may also stay at tourist bungalows and hotels in Sonamarg. Things to keep in mind Woolen clothes are a must on your tour to Sonamarg. It is essential to gather information about the nearby areas and climate of the region. If you plan to travel to interior areas of Sonamarg, it is necessary to take permission from the authorities.

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