A glorious 5 nights/6 days friends trip to Kashmir was Rituporna’s way of enjoying the unparalleled natural beauty of the Himalayan mountains. Along with her friends, she visited places like Sonmarg, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam- that left her completely speechless.
Initially, my friends and I were planning a trip to Ladakh. But unfortunately, the trip was going out of budget for us. Therefore, I chalked out an alternative and planned a friends trip to Kashmir. We compared package prices from all the major travel companies on the internet and found out that the price quoted by TravelTriangle was the cheapest and had the most amount of activities.
Details of our friends trip to Kashmir
Trip Cost: INR 30,000
Trip Duration: 5 nights 6 days
Agent Name: Travel Home
Month of Travel: October 2017
Inclusions: Transfers, accommodation, breakfast, dinner, sightseeing, Shikara ride, and taxes
Exclusions: Flights, lunch, and entry fee charges
Although the plans of our trip started with Ladakh, ending up with a budget-friendly friends trip to Kashmir was a great deal nevertheless. I had heard a lot about Kashmir and its timeless beauty from people. I guess it was time to pack my bags, travel, and experience the same first hand!
Day 1: Gardens of Srinagar
Our friends trip to Kashmir began with an afternoon flight from Delhi to Srinagar. We arrived at the airport at 4 pm and proceeded for a check-in at Hotel The Pride Inn. We dropped our bags quickly and went for sightseeing in Srinagar to places like Dal Lake, Chashme Shahi, and Pari Mahal.
By the time we got done with sightseeing, it was already 7 pm. Later on, we returned to the hotel to have dinner and back to our rooms for an overnight stay.
Day 2: A day trip to scenic Sonmarg
We started the second day with breakfast and then proceeded for our day trip to Sonmarg. After three hours, we arrived in spectacular valley views in Sonmarg. We went for sightseeing at places like Zero Point, Thajiwas Glacier, and Sind River. Afterwards, we returned to Srinagar in the evening for our overnight stay at the hotel.
One striking difference I found between Kashmir and other hill stations was that the mountains in Kashmir felt very lofty, towering, and humongous as compared to the hills in West, South, and North-East India.
Day 3: For the love of food and adventure
Post breakfast, we checked out from Srinagar and proceeded for Gulmarg. At noon, we arrived at the Alpine Ridge Hotel for our check-in.
We quickly kept our stuff and went outside for sightseeing. Since it wasn’t completely covered with snow, we decided to go for ATV riding from the Gondola Phase 1 to Phase 2. Later on, we played golf for an hour at Gulmarg Golf Course- the world’s highest golf course. It felt pretty regal to play a luxurious sport like golf in a place like Gulmarg.
During our stay in Gulmarg, we tried plenty of delicious local food like Kashmiri Pulao, Dum Aloo, Rogan Josh, and Rista (lamb). I must say, my friends took a real good liking to the preparation and spices of Kashmiri food. After dinner, we returned to our hotel for a well deserved night’s sleep.
Day 4: Apple of my eye!
The next day, we had breakfast and checked out of Gulmarg. Onwards we went to the next destination of our friends trip to Kashmir. On our way to Pahalgam, we stopped at a dry fruit emporium, apple orchards, cricket bat factory in Avantipur where the famous Kashmir willow bats are designed and manufactured. Have to admit that the apples in that orchard were probably the most delicious apples we ever had.
We finally reached Pahalgam at 2 pm. Upon arriving, we checked into the Green Heights Hotel. The hotel in Pahalgam was very luxurious and our rooms were very comfortable.
In the afternoon, we went for local sightseeing on a horse. The horse-owner took us to mini Switzerland in Pahalgam. Next up, we also the places in Betaab Valley where all the famous Bollywood movies were shot. By the time our sightseeing got over, it was already 6 pm. We returned to our hotel for dinner and then relaxed in our rooms for the night.
Day 5: Heavenly Dal Lake
The next morning, we checked out from Pahalgam and started our journey to Srinagar. En route we stopped at the Lidder River and visited the apple orchards again (the apples were so tasty that we couldn’t resist stopping! ).
We arrived in Srinagar at 1 pm, after which we had lunch at the Lalit Hotel. We definitely weren’t leaving any stones unturned in our quest for luxury in Kashmir. Post lunch, we checked into our Shikara in Dal Lake. After we dumped our stuff in the boat, we went for a three-hour Shikara ride. Later on, as it grew dark, the boat driver maneuvered our boat to a safe corner where we would have an overnight stay in the houseboat.
Day 6: Farewell Kashmir
The final day of our friends trip to Kashmir began with a realization that we woke up in a houseboat on such a serene lake. Post breakfast, we checked out from the houseboat and transferred to the airport for our return flight to Delhi at 1 pm.
Not that I wasn’t a believer in the beauty of Kashmir, but after this trip, I totally understood why they call Kashmir as the Switzerland of India. Places like Pahalgam, Sonmarg, and Gulmarg take the traveling experience to a whole new level. I felt really lucky that I explored such beautiful places on a friends trip to Kashmir. A special mention of thanks to TravelTriangle for providing us with utmost luxury and comfort at an economical price.
- Sonmarg- The place was beautiful beyond words. With a carpet of snow, Sonmarg actually looks like heaven.
- Pahalgam hotel was the finest hotel of our friends trip to Kashmir.
- Boating in Dal Lake was an unforgettable moment.
Tips for travelers:
- Don’t pay attention to the all negative press given to Kashmir. The people are very warm, hospitable, and welcoming.
- Kashmir is safe for solo female travelers. Over there I met quite a few solo female travelers.
Witness the beautiful landscape and warm hospitality of Kashmir. Book your Kashmir tour package and go on a vacation unlike any other before!
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