Bucket List - Jammu and Kashmir

article by
mahesh

(Photo from: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/boat-dal-lake-snow/)

Bucket lists are all the rage these days. Everyone is making a list of places to visit, mountains to climb, forests to explore and new cultures and customs to absorb. Here to help you refine the list, we offer some of the best that the states of India have to offer.

Today we look at the best that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has to offer.

 

Adventure:

(Photo from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63953821@N00/favorites/)

Trek through the alpine high altitude fresh water glacier lakes of Vishnasar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Yamsar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, Nandkol and Gangabal Lake. The trek stretches from an elevation of 2,723 meters, in Sonamarg, which is often dubbed as the "meadows of gold", to an elevation of 4,300 meters, in Lul Gul pass.

Ski along the rolling ski slopes of Gulmarg, one of the best skiing destinations in the world. The sights of rolling ski slopes covered under heavy snoalw and freezing temperature is really breath-taking. Similarly, Pahalgam, the small town of Anantnag district transforms itself into a captivating snow beauty during winter season.

The winding road cutting through the meadows that slowly turns to a narrow tricky and rocky path and bump into a notch is a perfect swing for a mountain biking tour in Kashmir. The hot spots for mountain biking in Kashmir stretches from Srinagar to Gulmarg, Gulmarg to Pahalgam, Pahalgam to Srinagar, Srinagar to Sonmarg, Sonmarg to Wular or Manasbal lake and back to Srinagar.

Paragliding at Sanasar, snowboarding at Gulmarg, water skiing on Manasbal Lake and ice-skating in Gulmarg and Pahalgam are some of the other activities that are a must try when one visits this state.

 

Wild Life

(Photo from: http://beartrails.weebly.com/himalayan-black-bear.html)

Catch a glimpse of the Hangul (Kashmir Stag) in Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary.

Hope for a chance to see the musk deer at Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve.

Pray for a contact with the snow leopard in these reserves.

Welcome the Brahminy duck, Tufted duck, Garganey, Greylag goose, Mallard, Common merganser, Gadwall, Northern Pintail and other winged visitors to Hokarsar Lake.

Spend an evening with Golden oriole, Peregrine falcon, Koklas, Black bulbul, Kestrel, Golden eagle, Grey heron, Paradise flycatcher, Griffon vulture, Monal and other feathered friends at Dachigam wildlife sanctuary.

Enjoy a bout of Fishing and Angling in the Lidder River near Pahalgam.

 

Leisure

(Photo from: http://tripdekho.com/experience-heaven-shikara-srinagar/)

Shikara rides along Dal and Nagin Lakes.

Horse riding in Sonmarg and Gulmarg.

A round of Golf in Gulmarg.

 

Food - Dishes to Savour

(Photo from: http://indianfoodfreak.com/dsc02911/)

Rogan Josh - Chunks of lamb cooked in aromatic flavours of shallots, garlic and Kashmiri red chillies.

Tabak Maaz - Ribs are marinated in spiced yogurt standard bubbled and pan-singed.

Rista - Small lamb dumplings in an onion, chilli and saffron gravy

Tomul Chhot - Rice Flour Rotis

Sheer Chai - Made of special tea leaves, along with pistachios, almonds, and a pinch of baking soda. All of this in a drink that is the brightest pink you will ever see. Being a salty beverage, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Nadur Churma with mint chutney - Kashmir's French fries. These lotus-stem crispies are a common thing among Kashmiris, as this used to be an easy catch in the valley.

Kahwah - A delight to the senses, Kahwah is made using special tea leaves, topped with almonds, cinnamon, and saffron strands.

 

Spiritual

(Photo from: http://www.networkedindia.com/2015/07/09/bsnl-provides-satellite-phones-to-amarnath-pilgrims/)

Amarnath Cave

Buddha Amarnath

Charar-e-sharif

Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara

Hazratbal Shrine

Peer Baba

Raghunath Temple

Shankaracharya Temple

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine

 

Shopping

(Photo from: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/177258935303606207/)

Kashmir offers a wide range of things to buy from shawls, carpets and wood carvings (wood from Walnut tress) to fine quality silk, copper and silverware.

Chocolate Burfi and Sund Panjeere from Amritsarian Di Hatti at Raghunath Bazaar and Pahalwan Di Hatti at Gole Market Gandhi Nagar are a must try.

Remember to check out Pherans, the traditional Kashmiri garment worn in winters to get some warmth from frigid weather.