Winter in Jammu and Kashmir starts in the month of December and it is extremely cold then. Even though the trees have a bare look and the beauty of the hued gardens no longer catches the eye, there is an altogether different charm in the surroundings. The snow covered landscape is a visual treat as well.
Here is how you will spend your time
Day 1: Arrival At Srinagar
On your arrival at Srinagar Airport, you will be taken for a 35 minutes drive through the heart of New Srinagar city, passing the Abdullah bridge which connects the banks of the Jehlum river.
Arrive and check-in at the hotel/houseboat.
Late afternoon proceed for an hour of boat ride to explore the Dal lake, Waterways, Canals, Floating Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, Water lilies, Floating handicraft centres & inherited lifestyle inside the lake since decades in the Dal lake.
By evening proceed for sightseeing of Mughal gardens visiting Nishat Bagh (Abode of pleasure), built by Asif Khan brother-in-law of Jehangir in 1632 AD, Shalimar Bagh (Abode of Love) built by Jehangir for his wife Empress Noor Jehan. These gardens are situated on the banks of Dal lake. Nishat Bagh is the larger of these gardens and has an impressive plantation of Chinar trees on its highest terrace. These gardens are built on a symmetrical plan of central waterways with fountains dividing a series of gardened terraces.
En-route visit handloom centres famous for Pashmina/Shahtoos shawls & world over reckoned carpets.
By evening return back to Houseboat/hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, you embark on a full day excursion to the picturesque 'meadow of gold’ Sonmarg 90 kms from Srinagar in the north-east of city at an altitude of 3000 mts above sea level. The place offers incredible scenic beauty of dense forests & gigantic mountains. The place itself is a popular resort for mountaineers, rock climbers, besides an important halt on way to Kargil (Ladakh) & provides the ideal base for various trekking routes, high mountain lakes, glaciers & Shri Amarnath ji holy cave. The fast flowing Sindh River makes it popular for trout and mahseer fishing in summer.
You can opt for a pony ride to one of the glaciers for some fun in snow and ice (on own).
Return to the Hotel/houseboat in Srinagar in the evening for overnight stay.
Day 3: Srinagar To Gulmarg (50 Kms/approx 1.5 Hrs)
After breakfast, check out from hotel & proceed to Gulmarg (on an altitude of 2730 mts above sea level) driving past willow trees, fast flowing streams and lush green meadows. Gulmarg - the meadow of flowers is an apt term for this idyllic flower-laden meadow offering a spectacular view of towering snow-capped peaks covered with dense forests of tall conifers and gigantic fir and pine trees.
Stroll leisurely or take pony rides (on own) across the green meadow to one of the world's highest Golf Course.
A must is a fun-filled ride in the newly introduced Gondola lift (on own).
Overnight stay at Hotel.
Travel from Srinagar to Gulmarg
Day 4: Gulmarg To Pahalgam (152 Kms/approx 5 Hrs)
After breakfast, check out from hotel & proceed to Pahalgam, a lovely tourist spot in Kashmir, situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river was once a humble shepherd's village with breathtaking views of high mountains, dense forests & high mountain lakes.
Drive via Pampore, Avantipura and the village of Bijbehara which remains famous as the bread basket of Kashmir, switching from the national highway 1A at Khanabal and drive through the second largest city of Anantnag. From here the road turns scenic as the drive is parallel on the Lidder river flowing from the opposite direction.
On the way visit Saffron fields and Avantipur ruins which is eleven hundred years old temple.
Pahalgam also offers a 18-hole Golf Course, which is of exceptional beauty and quite unique. Pahalgam is also famous for its alpine treks, nature walk and is also the central point of Amaranth Yatra.
Check-in at the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Travel from Gulmarg to Pahalgam
Day 5: Pahalgam
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing on own.
Pahalgam has many places of interest, and the most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. “Betaab Valley”, on the way to Chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has been the location of several movie scenes.
Aru, 12 kms from Pahalgam is a picturesque meadow and base point for trekking to Kolhai glacier, Katar Nag, Lidder Watt and Trasar & Marsar Lakes.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6: Departure
After breakfast, check out from hotel & transfer to Srinagar airport for departure, back to home with beautiful memories of a life time trip.