Rightly called the 'meadow of flowers', Gulmarg 51
km south west of Srinagar and 2,653 meters above
sea level, is famed for its 18 hole golf course:
the highest in the world. A beautiful
saucer-shaped valley girdled with poplars, trails
lead out of here in several directions and are
popular with those enjoying pony-rides.
The enchanting panorama of Gulmarg.
Other places of
interest in the valley are Alpather
lake with its deep turquoise waters; Ningal
Nullah, a charming picnic spot by the
side of a stream, l0 km from Gulmarg; Lienmarg,
a lovely camping site in a natural clearing;
Ferozepur Nullah, another picnic
spot; and Baba Reshi, the shrine of a
saint that is a popular pilgrimage.
Pahalgam is the perfect retreat for here, in
a sleepy village surrounded by meadows and
fields, there is a tranquil timelessness
that calls for no activity. This queit
resort is only disturbed with the annual
descent of the thousands of pilgrims in
July-August en route to the holy shrine of Amarnath,
a three-day trek from here. Pahalgam skirts Lidder
river, replete with trout. A numher of treks
in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as
the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods
to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier.
Playing golf at Pahalgam.
Lidder valley, Pahalgam, Kashmir
km from Srinagar, enroute to Ladakh,
3,000 metres above sea level, Sonamarg is
dramatic in its breathtaking beauty.
Surrounded hy mountains, with a hill spur
running the length of the settlement,
Sonamarg has many excellent sites for
camping, and is the base to exciting
mountaineenng expeditions to the high
altitude lakes of Vishansar, Kishansar,
Gadsar, Rehmansar, Gangabal, Nund Kol
The steep Sonamarg
slope is covered in a dense forestation of
fir and birch. Across the opposite slope is
a natural garden of wild flowers, and close
at hand, the Thajiwas glacier.
The quiet environs of Aharbal.
The township, 18 km from Srinagar, was
founded by Avantivarman who reigned from 855
to 883 AD. The site has two temples. The
larger one, Siva-Avantisvara, is
marked by massive walls some half a mile
beneath the town on the outskirts of village
Jaubror. The subsidiary shrines are to the
rear corner of the courtyard. But the
complex has, over the years, lost its
grandeur and has been reduced to ruins,
though it is still visited by the devout.
Half a mile up is Avantisvami-Vishnu,
a better preserved temple.
6 km east of
Achhabal is Kokernag, a stream said
to contain digestive waters. Across the wall
that encloses the spring are five temples.
And Verinag, 78 km from the capital
city, is believed to be the source of the
river Jhelum. Gardens surround
Verinag, and the water source (with waters
so clear you can see the fish swimming) is
enclosed in an octagonal basin ordered, in
1620, by Jehangir.
ranges run through the state of Jammu and
Kashmir - among them Pir Panjal, Great
Himalayas, Zanskar, Ladakh, Karakoram.
Off Sonamarg are the lesser peaks - Kolahoi
(5,425 m) and Harmukh (5,148 m).
Preparing to run rapids in Zanskar.
Tourist Huts, Pahalgam, Kashmir
Tented accomodation, Pahalgam, Kashmir
Golf Club and beyond, Gulmarg, Kashmir