THE SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.
There is no holiday destination to compare the sheer bliss and variety of activities like Kashmir. Welcome to the old world charm of shikaras and houseboats where the majestic Dal Lake in Srinagar gives you a ride you will never forget. With its wooden walnut architecture, the houseboats give you the time of your life you would love to relive every other day. Many –hued flowers, carpets of grass and colourful fountains are a treat not only for the eyes, but for the soul too. The market place is another experience altogether-from pashmina chawls to finely crafted woodwork to glittering copperware,you will become an expert in the art of value buying! Comfortable driving distances away are other places of interest like Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam. Enjoy the many delicacies of extraordinary Mughlai cuisines where some families have generations of secret cuisines; no wonder the taste at different places are so unique and mouthwatering.
For the adventurous lot, there is the para sailing through the mountains, not to mention the winter sports at Gulmarg which has been rated as one the best skiing destinations in the world. The mountain ranges are another sight to see; getting simply awestruck by them as you are transported 12,000 ft in the Gandola cable cars. Gulmarg has become the highest lift-served ski resort in the world providing a downhill ski run of 5.2 km from a height of 14,000 ft in the Apharwat range. It is also the longest gondola served ski-lift in Asia. Another popular sport is heli-skiing.
Sonmarg, located at an altitude of 2,740 m above sea level, literally means 'Meadow of Gold'. Surrounded by breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes, Sonmarg in the Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass and thus has become the base camp for many trekking expeditions Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd's village with breathtaking views where the maximum temperature does not exceed 25 degrees C. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and the most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine thus making it the most popular destination for many a Bollywood movies.
But above all that, what makes a holiday to Kashmir really endearing are the number of activities you can engage in—para sailing to golf, shikara ride to mountain climbing, nature and wild life to skiing, horse riding to fishing-you name it and you will enjoy the sheer pleasure of doing things which you have never been able to do so far.