There is a reason Kashmir has been described as heaven not merely by this poet but by every person who travels to these breathtakingly beautiful and pristine part of India. Srinagar, the capital, is the heart of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the most vibrant and lively place to be and is home to many popular attractions such as the Dal Lake. The raw and unsullied vistas of Kashmir, the stunning views of majestic Himalayan peaks, the flower filled valleys, the rivers and glaciers, however, cannot be appreciated from the hotels in Srinagar. To revel in this natural bounty, it is important that you strap on your trekking boots and set off on some of these trails in and around Srinagar.
Gulmarg, one of the most picturesque towns and a very popular skiing destination is at a distance of about 51 kilometres from Srinagar. Gulmarg is the starting point of many popular trekking routes. One of the best loved routes from Gulmarg takes us to Alphather Lake, at the base of the snow covered Apharwat Peak. This is a fascinating excursion and the beauty of the lake and its surrounding area is the prize at the end of a wonderful adventure.
Pahalgam – There is nothing more fascinating that climbing up a mountainous region and stumbling upon one of the most pristine lakes, the Tulian Lake, sandwiched between the two majestic mountain ranges of Zanskar and Pir Panjal. This is the fascinating trek that waits for you when you get going from Pahalgam, at a distance of about 89 kilometres from Srinagar. Pahalgam is, in fact, a favourite with trekkers and travellers who wish to get up, close, and personal with the beauty of Kashmir.
Sonmarg – The journey from Srinagar to Sonmarg, a distance of about 80 kilometres is often referred to as the most scenic. Sonmarg is also a popular destination for those who set out to trek from Pahalgam. The Pahalgam to Sonmarg through Aru Valley and Lidderwat is one of the most wonderful experiences. Another popular route goes from Sonmarg through Nichinni, Veshnusar, Gadsar, Megondob, Gangabal, and Naranag, heading back to Srinagar. This is a rather long trek that is covered over 5-6 days.
Gangbal Trek – The Gangbal Lake, located at the foothills of Mount Haramukh, is at a distance of about 45 kilometres from Srinagar. This trek from Srinagar to the mesmerising river in the Ganderbal district is one that will leave you in awe of the rugged beauty of the Himalayas and the warmth of the people of Kashmir. The last 15 kilometres of this stretch is an uphill climb that is not too strenuous but is very enjoyable.
Mohanmarg – If short treks are your thing here is an astoundingly beautiful village right atop the Sind Valley in Ganderbal. This trek to Mohanmarg Meadow can be made by driving to Anderwan and trekking the remaining distance. This will ensure that you have an adventure filled day and get back to the warmth of the luxury resorts in Srinagar before nightfall.