10 Hidden Destinations in Kashmir Even Google Maps Won’t Tell You About
An irony of life: things that we achieve easily doesn’t add to our happiness and can be achieved by everyone! And to justify this statement, no other example can be better that than of a diamond. Yes…if diamonds were to be found everywhere, it would never have had the same value or appeal!
Likewise, for a traveller at heart, destinations or places that cannot be traced by others or unknown to others, are the destinations that make their hearts sink with wonderment and true romance of the nature! Kashmir, as we all know, is the jewel in the crown of India and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in India. However, only a handful of travellers know the fact that this paradise on earth is also the home to some of the hidden gems that are yet to be discovered!
Well, though sounds unbelievable, but it is true that Kashmir has some of the mystical places that are still untouched by the tourists and truly deserves a visit. To satisfy the traveller in you, here are some of hidden places that you must visit on your next Jammu & Kashmir tour:
At 12,500 ft. above the sea level, Sinthen or Sinthan Top in the Breng Valley is one of the most gorgeous hill stations in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. Around 130km from the state capital Srinagar, this remarkable tourist destination is jotted with fascinating peaks and lacks human habitation!
Well, owing to the fact, there are no intervention from the outer world, Sinthen Top displays the perfect and most untouched form of Mother Nature! A gorgeous offering of Jammu and Kashmir tourism, it remains clad with snow throughout the year and has all the potential to be the next best adventure spot in the state.
Daksum to Kashmir is similar to an oasis in the desert! Though J&K itself is known for its mesmeric hills and mountains, scenic valleys and plains, this hidden destination is known for its pictorial grasslands that are canopied by evergreen forests. Seated at a similar elevation to that of Sinthan Top, it is located at around 85km from Srinagar on the route that heads toward Kishtwar.
Naturally blessed with striking streams, lush coniferous forests and the picturesque Bringhi River, Daksum is truly among the many wonders of Jammu and Kashmir tourism. Secluded from most of the bustling tourist spots in the state, this gorgeous spot is the ideal place to enjoy the tranquillity of nature and revel in its magical beauty. Over the recent times, Daksum is gaining popularity among the adventure junkies; especially the trout fishing enthusiasts.
If Kashmir has to be called a ‘paradise on earth’, Warran Valley must be called as the most enchanting among all the paradises! The beauty and appeal of this valley is such; no matter, how much you try to describe it, you will always miss on something!
One of the least explored; or entirely unexplored, places in Kashmir, Warwan Valley is tucked away between Kashmir and Ladakh, and is with enchanting waterfalls, opulent greeneries and all the other marvels of Mother Nature. Though this lowland of Himalayan Range lacks electricity and other basic essentials of life, its magical beauty and alluring charm makes up for all! In addition to a visit to this beautiful valley, an overnight stay is specially recommended! During this part of the day, the entire valley gets illuminated by the shimmering light of the moon gets reflected against the snow-clad peaks and casts a magical spell on the spectators!
Around 1 hour drive from Srinagar, and you will reach one of the least explored valleys in Kashmir. Called as Doodhpathri or the ‘Valley of Milk’, this hidden gem is yet another secluded places to visit within the Kashmir tour packages.
Attaining a height of 2,730m above the sea level, this kaleidoscopic valley is jotted with several peaks, pictorial meadows and evergreen thickets. The rivers and rivulets in this region flows very fast, and in their course, as the waves crushes against the rocks, it creates a milky white appearance; thus the name ‘Doodhpathri’.
Though it is one of the hidden destinations of Kashmir tourism, it is now gaining popularity among the tourists. Make sure, you visit this untouched valley before it gets commercial like other destinations in the list of Kashmir tourism!
Though the Lolab Valley is well connected with Srinagar and other major tourist destinations, it still remains as one of the crowd-free spots of Kashmir tourism! Surreal and serene, this oval shaped valley stretches for around 24km and displays all the colours of nature in their most enticing form.
Your holiday in this picturesque valley will be adorned by its verdant cherry, peach, apple, walnut and apricot orchards. More on the list, there are several ancient springs, lush forest areas and the gurgling Lahwal River. While its pictorial beauty makes it a befitting camping destination, the Kalaroos Caves here makes it a scenic caving destination within the state. A visit to this pristine valley might not be available with all the Jammu and Kashmir tour packages; however, you can always customise your tour and visit the gorgeous Lolab Valley.
Gurias; popularly known as the ‘Gurez Valley’, is one of the highest regions in Jammu and Kashmir. Standing at around 8,000ft above the sea level, this stunning valley is not only a least crowded spot, but also flourishing home to several exotic wildlife species. With the Snow Leopard and Himalayan Brown Bear as the most commonly found, the entire valley is guarded by captivating peaks that remains blanketed by a pearl-white layer of snow throughout the year.
Tucked away between the Indo-Pakistan borders, its beauty is further enhanced by the alluring Kishanganga River that flows through the valley. On your visit to Gurez, in addition to its untouched and pristine beauty, you can also enjoy trout fishing at large!
Stunning, gorgeous, wonderful or colourful; even the best of the words cannot describe the beauty of the Bangus Valley in Kashmir! Around 72km from Srinagar and at 10,000ft above the sea level, this picturesque valley is the perfect example of a biosphere that is blanketed with evergreen grasslands, several mountain peaks, fresh water marsh lands and lot more.
It is believed that Bangus Valley was once a popular summer destination; mostly during the British era, but is now counted among the few hidden spots of Kashmir. Owing to its pristine beauty, there are the Chowkibal, Qazinag and Shamsbery mountains guarding this pictorial valley. If you are an ardent trekker, a visit to this least explored destination during the summer is a must for you; alongside trekking, you can also enjoy caving in the Kala Roos Caves and have a glimpse of the stone age paintings.
Away from the hands of commercialisation, Achabal Valley also showcases all the marvels of nature in their best forms. Soaked with history and natural splendours, this pristine valley was a retreat for the royal family during the reign of Jahangir. The Achabal Gardens in the valley served as a retreat to the emperor’s wife Noor Jahan Begum, who in turn also contributed much to the development of the garden.
A true treasure trove for the peace and serenity lovers, a visit to Achabal Valley will not only introduce them to the opulent beauty of nature, but also to the rich history of the valley. Though this gorgeous valley is a year-round destination, autumn is said to be the ideal time.
This quaint town in the Anantnag district of Kashmir is yet another least explored destination in the list of places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir tourism. Seated at 2,000m above the sea level, it showcases the perfect display of nature in the form of natural springs, colourful gardens, snow-clad peaks and never-ending meadows.
Whether a nature lover, a pleasure seeker or an adventure freak, you will surely enjoy your visit to this scenic town! Its bucolic beauty and laidback ambience is the perfect way to spend leisure moments along with family and friends. On the other hand, the fresh water springs here are known for their significant trout fish population and can satiate all your desires for trout fishing.
Dachigham National Park:
The Zabarwan Range that forms the backdrop of Srinagar also serves as a home to the Dachigam National Park or one of the least explored national parks in the entire country. An abode of several rare and endangered wildlife species, this protected area was originally built to provide drinking water to Srinagar, but was later declared as a national park.
Starting from 5,500ft, the park extends to 14,000ft within the Zabbarwan Range and serves as an ideal dwelling for a range of flora and fauna. The Marsar Lake and Dagwan River flowing through the park also adds much to its wildlife population. On a visit to Dachigam National Park, you can easily spot Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Hill Fox, Otter and several others. Among the birds, the park has a significant population of Cinnamon Sparrow, Black Bulbul, Minivet, Pigmy Owlet, Babbler and other exotic avifauna species.