“Agar firdaus ba ruay zami ast, ami asto, ami asto, ami asto”
Getting there: Buses from Anantnag Bus Stand which takes about one hour to reach Verunag. It’s recommended to hire a taxi from Srinagar. One can also board the train up to Anantnag from Srinagar then onwards local buses and taxis are readily available.
Where to Eat: Kehwa Kahan of Verinag Development Authority and other good local food joints in the main market serve the traditional cuisines.
Where to Stay: Hotel Alpine and other type accommodations are available.
2. KOKERNAG: Kokernag is at the height of 200 mt above the sea level. It is famous for gardens, largest freshwater springs and for its trout streams. Kokernag has been mentioned in Ain Akbari, wherein it has been mentioned that the water of Kokernag spring satisfies both hunger and thirst and it is also a remedy for indigestion.
Getting there: Bus service is available from Anantnag General Bus Stand which takes about one hour to reach Kokernag. Taxi from Srinagar is also available. One can board the train up to Anantnag from Srinagar then onwards local buses and taxis are available.
Where to Eat: JKTDC runs a scenic restaurant adjacent to the garden which offers all types of continental and Indian food. There are good numbers of local food joints in the main market.
Where to Stay: KSTDC Huts or Private Guest Houses.
3. AHARBAL: Aharbal lies in the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. The waterfall is on the Veshu River, a tributary of the Jhelum river, in an alpine valley covered in pine and fir trees with the Pir Panjal mountains, 18 km South of the town of Shopian and 28 km West of Kulgam. It lies at an altitude of 2266 meters above the sea level.
Getting there: Aharbal is easily accessible from Srinagar, only 8 km from the Mughal Road that connects Srinagar and Poonch. The 75 km drive from Srinagar takes less than 3 hours by car or bus via Pukwama and Shopian. An alternate route leads to Aharbal via Kulgam. The nearest railway station is Awantipura.
Where to Eat: There are good numbers of local food joints in the main market.
Where to Stay: Hutment type accommodation is available.
4. SINDHA TOP: Sindha Top is a spot 12000ft above sea level in Kashmir which is midway on the newly opened Anantnag-Kishwar road. It is 132 km from Srinagar. The journey itself an experience and once you reach the top it is the 360-degree view, and snow everywhere. You can get down from the car and walk on snow.
Getting there: Hire a taxi from Srinagar or board the train up to Anantnag.
Where to Eat: You have to carry food along with you.
Where to Stay: Camping is the best option.
5. DODHPATHRI: 50 km from Srinagar, one of the most beautiful hill resort with lush green meadows. Best picnic spot on the bank of the stream surrounded by thick forest, it is a quiet, charming and refreshing spot. It is also the base camp for many treks.
Getting there: There is no direct bus service, a taxi can be hired from Srinagar.
Where to Eat: A cup of tea with a snack at tea stalls run by local people during the season at the main meadows could become your most pleasurable drink. A full day tour to Dodhpather with some packed lunch will definitely be a bonus to your visit.
6. NARANG: The Narang temple ruins in the main attractions for the tourists. It is one of the important archeological sited of the country. The site consists of a cluster of temples facing each other at a distance of about 200 meters. The village is a base camp for trekkers to the Mount Haramukh and the famous seven lake trek.
Getting there: Bus service is available from Srinagar up to nearby town Kangan, taxis can also be hired
Where to Eat: Local Restaurants and Dhabas.
Where to Stay: Huts and camping.
7. YOUSMARG: Yousmarg (a meadow), mesmerizes tourists with its scenic beauty and mountains comparable to European Alps. Situated amidst Sang Safed valley, Yousmarg is reputed for having some unique spring flowers. It also has some of the highest peaks in Pir Panjal range like Tatakoti 4725 meters and Sunset Peak 4746 meters. The might river Doodh Ganga makes this destination more thrilling. The natural slopes of Yousmarg offer skiing opportunities to experts.
Getting there: Local buses ply only up to Charar-e-Sharif, tourists are advised to hire a taxi from Srinagar or take the assistance of a travel agent.
Where to Eat: JKTDC Restaurant near the cottages offers all types of continental and Indian food for the visitors at an economical price. Couple of local dhabas provides snacks and quick meals during the daytime.
Where to Stay: JKTDC Hotel, Tourists Bungalow, and Hutments.
8. MANASBAL: Manasbal Lake is located about 30 km north of Srinagar. It has predominantly rural surroundings with three villages, Kondabal, Jorakbal and Gratbal overlooking the lake. Manasbal is considering as the ‘supreme gem of all Kashmir lakes’ with lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) nowhere more abundant or beautiful than on the margins of this lake during July and August. It is the deepest lake of the Kashmir Valley.
Getting there: Buses are available, a taxi can also be hired.
Where to Eat: JKTDC restaurant.
Where to Stay: JKTDC Huts.