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Day 1: Depart Mumbai by train/Air.

Options are: Mode Rajdhani express - 12431 August Kranti express 12953 Jammu Tavi express Mumbai Rajdhani - 12951 BDTS DEE Special (only Wednesday) - 09045 DEE Garibrath - 12216 Garib Rath Mumbai Delhi AIR Mumbai Jammu AIR Mumbai Srinagar AIR Day Departure 18.10 17.40 Arrival 12.40 10.55 3A 2A 1A Route

2 2

16.40 12.25

8.30 14.25

1495 1134

2185 1790 -

BCT Surat Vadodara Ratlam Kota New Delhi Bandra Borivali Surat Baroda- Ahmedabad Abu Gurgaon - Delhi

12.55 16.55

12.20 9.45

Day 2: Arrive early morning at Delhi and sight seen at Delhi Board overnight train from Delhi to Srinagar Day 3: Arrive early morning at Srinagar
Location: Achabal Daksum Kokernag Mansbal Sonmarg Yousmarg ARU Gulmarg Kud Pahalgam Srinagar Banihal Jammu Mammer Patnitop Tangmarg Batote Katra Mansar Sanasar verinag

SRINAGAR
The Mughal Gardens: With terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box-bright flowerbeds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them - the three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal Emperors' concept of paradise and are today very popular places for picnics and excursions. The beauty of these gardens is at their best during spring but the Mughal structure of these gardens lends them a unique sense of beauty even when the flowers are not blossoming. They consist of mainly the following three gardens:

Chashmashahi is the smallest of the three Mughal gardens of Kashmir. Meaning Royal Spring, this garden measures 108 m by 38 m and is above the Nehru Memorial Park. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan set up the Kashmir Chashma Shahi Mughal Gardens in 1632 AD. The garden is quite famous for spring of energizing digestive mineral water inside it. Chasma Shahi Garden of Kashmir, India, offers a striking view of the scenic Dal Lake and the neighboring mountains. The garden has a number of terraces, with several fountains built right through its center.

Nishat garden is the largest one of the Mughal gardens in Kashmir. It is situated on the banks of the picturesque Dal Lake. Also known as "the garden of bliss", the Nishat gardens have the Zabarwan Mountains forming its backdrop. Asaf Khan, the brother of Nur Jahan, designed the Kashmir Nishat Bagh in 1633 AD. Within the garden are ruins of some of the buildings dating back to the Mughal period. One of them is a double story pavilion enclosed on two sides with latticed windows. There is also a small spring behind the garden, known as Gopi Tirth. It is a source of supply of crystal clear water to the garden.

Emperor Jehangir got the Shalimar Garden built for his wife Nur Jahan in 1616. A second garden Faiz Baksh, (The Bountiful) was added to it later during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658). Covering an area of approximately 539 m by 182 m, the Shalimar garden offers an amazing view over the other gardens, lakes and shallow terraces. Also known as the "garden of love", the Shalimar Mughal Gardens has four terraces, rising one above the other. The fourth terrace of the garden was, at one point of time, reserved for royal ladies. There is also a canal lined with polished stones running through the center of the Shalimar Bagh. The canal is responsible for supplying water to the garden from Harwan.

Dal Lake: The Dal Lake is unique for its beauty that lies in its pulsating surroundings, since it sustains a life on waters not found anywhere else in the world. The houseboat and Shikara communities have survived on the Dal for centuries and every thing is found on and nearby the houseboats including doctors, tailors and bakers in tiny wooden shops on the lake. Hari Parbat :Crowned to greatness by the ruins of a fort, the Hari Parbat hill, according to legends, grew out of pebble stones dropped by Parvati the Hindu Goddess while trying to defeat a demon. Though today it is no more than rubble, the thick massive wall around the fort is an imposing evidence of a historic past. Over the centuries, the vicinity of the hill has seen several temples being erected in the name of its past glory.Hari Parbat is located on the boundary of Srinagar city. This is an ancient and one of the most religious places in the state of Kashmir. This place is considered to be the abode of Mahashakti (the Divine Mother Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati). This goddess is also called as Rajrajeshwari or Maha Tripursundhari. Locally, people refer to this goddess by the name hari. Pari Mahal : (Palace of Fairies), Pari Mahal was initially a garden founded by Dara Shiko, Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan's eldest son for his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah. Once dotted with numerous springs, which have dried up now, the Pari Mahal gardens are now the treasure possession of the state. Pari Mahal is bedazzling with radiant lights at night, and though located on the spur of a hill, can he seen from most places in Srinagar. Pari Mahal, once a Buddhist monastery, was converted into a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh.Once punctuated wth several springs that have since dried up, the Pari Mahal gardens are now the pride of the state. Pari Mahal is illuminated at night, and can he seen, located on the spur of a hill, from most places in Srinagar. Shankaracharya Mandir. is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop. It can be reached by a car or taxi. For security reasons, no cameras or cellphones are allowed within the temple and you are supposed to leave them in the vehicle before

entering the temple premises. Cigarrates, liquor are to be deposited with the police personnel before the ascent of the hill as these items are against Hindu religion. The Hazratlbal Shirne:Situated on the left bank of the famous Dal Lake, the shrine has unmatched reverence for the Prophet Mohammad. Nagin Lake:It has some of the most luxurious deluxe houseboats. This area is preferred by people looking for calm and quiet environment. For this reason, foreigners find it more interesting to stay at Nagin Lake. The Lake is approachable by road through the old city and fore-shore Road alongside the Dal Lake. Shikara ride in this placid lake is a memorable experience.

Adventure Sports
Water skiing in Srinagar Lake In Srinagar water skiing is a favorite sport among tourists during summer. Motor launches with ski boards are available on hire. During the winter season, migratory birds float in the lake making it a magnificent scene. Srinagar lake offers splendid colours and moods with every change in the weather that mesmerizes the visitors and locals too. Dal is a photographers delight.

Shopping
There are nice leather products, or jewellery.Cashmere (Pashmina) shawls have been manufactured in Kashmir for thousands of years. Pashmina Shawls are very popular items for sale in the ValleyThere are also embroidered felt mats called Namdahs but the colours of the wool may be a bit too bright in most shops.There are also chainstitch rugs in two styles - English design or Kilim design Carpets and Paper Machie products are also quite unique to Kashmir with colourful motifs and design on them. They are seen everywhere and resemble pottery in shape and design.

What to eat
We have a number of restaurants and cafes in Srinagar, Nun Kun at Nehru Park, Wazwan at Kashmir Residency (TRC), Zaiqa Rstaurant Hotel Heemal, Zaiqa Restaurant inside Nehru Park, Zaiqa Floating Restaurant at Char Chinari, Zaiqa Restaurant at Cheshma Shai, Zaiqa Restaurant inside Mughal Garden Nishat. Most of these are located on Boulevard Road along the banks of the Dal Lake. Most of our restaurants will serve Kashmiri, Indian, Mughlai and 'Indianized' Chinese dishes and pure vegetarian dishes. Make sure you try dishes like Rogan-gosht (meat cooked in red gravy), Gushtaba (soft meat balls cooked in natural yoghurt), Tabakmaaz(deep fried ribs of a lamb) and Kanti (small chunks of meat cooked with a lot of onions). Another popular local delicacy is called seekh-tuji. It consists of marinated meat pieces which are freshly barbecued and eaten with chutney available at some of our restaurants, Enjoy the grilled mutton available in Srinagar.

Accommodation
We have more than 1200 Rooms Capacity only in Srinagar. 1.Beautiful Huts (Cottages) at Cheshmashai which commands a magnificent view of the Dal Lake below and its surrounding Zabarwan Mountain range. 2.Hotel heemal situated on the bank of Dal Lake enjoys the reputation of being one of the best hotels in Srinagar. 3.Hotel Kongposh double bed deluxe rooms from where the city centre and Dal lake is at a walking distance. 4.Kashmir Residency (TRC) is right in the heart of Srinagar City.

How to reach
How to reach Srinagar is not difficult, as the city has good air, rail and road connections. Airport : The domestic airport of Srinagar has regular flights of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways connecting to Delhi and Mumbai. Railway : Jammu, at a distance of 290 km, is the closest railhead from Srinagar. There are regular express trains to Jammu from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Road : By road, Srinagar is very well connected to places like Chandigarh (630 km), Delhi (876 km), Jammu (290 km), Leh (434 km), Gulmarg (48 km), Sonamarg (88 km) and Pahalgam (96 km).

PAHALGAM

Arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, the town of Pahalgam (Village of Shepherds) offers breathtaking views. One can just relax in one of the many hotels in Pahalgam, or trek on some of the many mountains. One can trek to Lidderwat, Kolohoi Glacier or to Sonmarg. Snow skiing is an attraction during the winter months (from December to late February). Shepherds village, Pahalgam is visited by tourists and locals in huge number for its gradual lowering of temperature and river Lidder flowing at an approachable distance. Traveling through meandering roads, Pahalgam opens up with a fresh coo1 breeze of the river. The Lidder river rises from the Kolohoi glaciers, Tarsar lake and Sheeshnag to join as tributary of Jhelum. Pahalgam has an astounding 9 hole golf course open for tourists now being extended into an 18 hole. The golf championships are organised by state government and private hoteliers in summer. Here, tourists and locals putt together in the shades of Pine trees surrounding the golf course Pahalgam, a world famous hill station is 45 Kms. from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the country. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley.

Geography
Pahalgam is located at 34.01N 75.19E. It has an average elevation of 2740 metres (8989 feet).

Tourist Attraction

Baisaran 3 km from pahalgam is an exciting place where a stream flows through the meadows and pine trees.Visitors can enjoy a horse ride available at the market place near the bus stand.

Amarnath ji Yatra Pahalgam(Nunwan) is a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra. Which starts from June to August every year. Enrote to Anarnath Cave is Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 kms from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the. The road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 kms from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 kms away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 kms away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural shivling in the Amarnath cave, which waxes and wanes with the moon. The Holy Cave of Amarnathji is 46.7 km from Pahalgam at a altitude of 3952 meters, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The ice lingam formed by water droplets, symbolises Lord Shiva. Nearby are ice lingams of Mata Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Kartikeya also. People visit the Holy Cave during the scheduled Yatra period.Yatris can hire a pony or Dandy from (Nunwan) Pohalgam. According to Bringesha Samhita ,a book in sanskrit , Rishi Bringesha once instructed his disciples to have darshan of sacred lingam at the holy cave , The pilgrims were harassed by demons on the way, Lord Shiva gifted rishis a scepter for their safeguard. Charri Mubarak today is a symbol of this protected caravan. This Hindu pilgrimage is believed to be the discovery of a Muslim shepherd named Butta Malik whos descendants still receive a percentage of the donations made by pilgrims. The State government organizes Yatra generally during June to August depending upon the Hindu calendar (Sawan Purnima). The yatra registration is must for all yatries, which is made available at J&K bank branches at selected cities of India. All stopovers have facilities from tents to medical camps and langars. The trek is covered in 2 to 3 days.

Shikargha

Pahalgam's famous picnic spot is a wild life reserve, reached on foot or by pony from main market.

Betab Valley At a walkable distance is a tourist spot amidst pine trees in pahalgam is famous for many film shootings.

Tulian Lake Most captivating lake at an altitude of 4000m, surrounded by the snow capped mountains. It is a full day long trek from Pahalgam. Assistance of a local guide is highly recommended for conducting trekking to this high altitude lake.

Mamal Temple Mamalika one of the ancient temple in Pahalgam built in 11th century by King Jayasimha, is situated on the right bank of the Lidder. The temple has a pedestal and a Shivalinga. A pure water spring rises at the site covered by a basin.

Aru is a resort village 11km from Pahalgam with a motorable road. From here, famous trek via Lidderwat leads to the Kolohoi Glaciers (36km) at an altitude of 3400mtrs. Here, you can have a glimpse of Kolohoi Peak, 5370 mtrs. Another trek from Lidderwat leads to the most desired twin Lakes, Tarsar 3794mtrs & Marsar 3788 mtrs (2-3 days trek).

Aishmuqam Shrine of a Sufi saint Baba Zaina-ud-din Wali on a hillock at Ashmuqam is 86 km from Srinagar on route Pahalgam. Commonly known as Zaino Shah Sahib, the Sufi was a follower of Alamdar e Kashmir Shiekh Noor ud Din. The main sanctorum is situated inside a deep and narrow cave, several relics associated to Bab are kept in a room inside the cave. One of the relics is The Rod of Staff of Prophet Moses PBUH, which is believed to have been gifted by Shah Hamdan to Shiekh Noor-Ud-Din Noorani who further handed over the relic to his disciple. In about 15th century, Baba Zaina-ud-Din Wali belonged to Hindu family fron Kishtawar(Doda),His name was Zia Singh.He suffered from a desease that could not be cured by any doctor of the time. When he approached the famous saint Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, his desease cured . There after Zia Singh became Shiekhs disciple and he accepted Islam. One week long Zool festival is celebrated in the month of April in respect of the Shiekh Zaina-ud-din Wali in a peculiar way of holding torchlights leshi in a procession, which start in the shrine are displayed to the public for seeking blessings.

Sun Temple 64 km from Srinagar and just 7 km from Anantnag is Sun Temple of Martand that belongs to the era of Pandvas . These are the most impressive ancient ruins of Sun temple built by King Lalitaditya Mukhtapida 699-739 AD situated a top a plateau. According to a legend, Surya, the sun god was the l3th child born from a life less egg called Martand to Aditi wife of saint Kashyap. The foundation of the temple is said to have been between 370-500AD.Whereas some record the construction of temple by Ranaditya.

Avantipur Temples Oil the to Pahalgam,30 km Srinagar, exist the massive and most impressive ruins of stone temples built during the rein of King Awantiwarman (855-883 AD). Awantipur once the capital of Kashmir is on the right bank of river Jehlum. A short stopover enroute Pahalgam will certainly be liked by the visitors interested in the history of the vale.

What

to

do

in

Pahalgam

Horse Riding, Golf, Fishing, White water Rafting, Trekking, Shopping Fishing Trout fishing in Lidder River is quite popular sport in Pahalgam. Brown and Rainbow trouts in the soft & hard levels of the river challenges an angler to throw a line at different beats. Kashmir is said to be the cheapest trout fishing destination in the world. The department of fisheries supervises the angling to maintain the ecological balance of the species through scientific measures. Anglers can buy or hire the fishing equipments like a rod, reel, flies ,net basket or long boots from the shops at Polo view lane, near the Bund Srinagar. The Ghilees can also be arranged from fisheries dept or the anglers shops. Permits have to be collected well in advance from J&K fisheries department.Best season for fishing is April to September. The Tourist Office near bus stand provides assistance and information to the visitors.

Accommodation

in

Pahalgam

JKTDC Huts and Tourist Bungalow are most popular amoung Indian and International tourists. Our Hutments and a Tourist Bungalow on the meadow facing the Lidder river makes a stay here pleasurable one. All the huts have well stocked kitchen .

Where

to

Eat

in

Pahalgam

Most of the hotels in Pahalgam have their inhouse restaurants where one can order for all types of continental and Indian food.There are good number of restaurant in the main market where the tourist can get the fast food as well as the mughlai delicacies.From early morning to late night dinners can be relished at these food joints. During Amarnath yatra pure vegetarian food is provided at most of the restaurants and hotel.The bhojnalyas in the main market also provide the Indian food.The free Langars are available for the Yatris on the entire route upto the Holy cave.(Day Yatra)

How

to

Reach

Pahalgam

Pahalgam is in Anantnag District and is about 96 Kms from Srinagar. The nearest Airport is in Srinagar International Airport. The nearest Rail Head is at Udhampur and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with

India. From Srinagar Pahalgam can be reached via Khanabal as well as Bijbehara villages. Every type of Transport suit every budget from Buses to MUV Cabs are available from Srinagar as well as from Kahnabal (KMD bus terminal Anantnag). Daily sightseeing coach of SRTC during summers is available fron tourist reception centre.The local bus service from Pantha chowk bus stand can also be availed right upto Pahalgam main market.It is recommended to hire ataxi fron taxi satmdor through travel agent for this 3 hrs journey from Srinagar. From Jammu Pahalgam can be accessed via Khanabal Anantnag which lies on National Highway 1 A. During Amarnath Yatra the transport service is restricted on the Pahalgam route.Yatris holding valid permits should commute in a special yatra coaches from Jamu and Srinagar that move as per fixed schedule.The private taxis and coaches can also be hired.

GULMARG
The Meadow Of Flowers A huge cup shaped meadow, lush and green with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cowbells, Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a film and not surprisingly have been the venue of several films. Initially, Gulmarg of Kashmir used to known by the name of "Gaurimarg", by the shepherds pasturing their herds. However, the present name of this hill resort dates back to the 16th century. Sultan Yusuf Shah, impressed with the stunning spectacle of the grassy hills adorned with colorful flowers, gave the name of "Gulmarg" to this beautiful hill station. Gulmarg hill station also served as the preferred rendezvous of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. It is said that the emperor once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here.

Today's Weather
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Tourist Attractions
Khilanmarg This smaller valley is about a 6-km walk from the Gulmarg bus stop and car park. The meadow, carpeted with flowers in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg's winter ski runs and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and over the Kashmir Valley. It's a 600-metre ascent from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg and during the early spring, as the snow melts, it can be a very muddy hour's climb up the hill. The effort is rewarded, if it's clear, with a sweeping view of the great Himalayas from Nanga Parbat to the twin 7,100-metre peaks of Nun and Kun to the southeast.

Alpather Lake Beyond Khilanmarg, 13-km from Gulmarg at the foot of the twin 4, 511 metre Apharwat peaks, this lake is frozen until mid-June and even later in the year one can see lumps of ice floating in its cold waters. The walk from Gulmarg follows a well-graded Pony track over the 3, 810 metre Apharwat ridge, separating it from Khilanmarg, and then up the valley to the

lake at 3,843 metres. The more adventurous trekkers can climb straight up the boulder-strewn slope of the ridge and descend the other side to the path. For horse riding aficionados, Alpather Lake makes an exciting day's excursion, starting early morning and returning late evening. Reservation Desk The Ningli Nallah Flowing from the melting snow and ice on Apharwat and the Alpather Lake, this pretty mountain stream is 8-km from Gulmarg. The stream continues down into the valley below and joins the Jhelum River near Sopur. This long, grassy valley is a popular picnic spot and the walking path carries on, crossing the Ningli (also spelt as Ningle) Nallah by a bridge and continues on to the Khilenmarg, another grassy meadow and a good spot for camping. In early summer one will probably share the campsites with Gujars moving their herds up to the high meadows. Ferozpore Nallah Reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the Outer Circular Walk, this mountain stream meets the Bahan River at a popular picnic spot known as 'waters meet'. The stream is reputed to be particularly good for trout fishing; it's about five km down the valley from Gulmarg but quite close to Tangmarg. The river can be reached by walking 3-km down the path from the gap near Tangmarg and then heading south through the forest, down a slope towards the stream. Near here there is a bridge which leas to the small waters meet picnic spot on the right bank. Looking south from Tangmarg the river can be traced up to its source close to the rugged peak known as Ferozpore or Shinmahinyu. On the right bank the stream branches, the left path leading to Tosa Maidan, while the right bends away towards the Gogaldara road at a second bridge, about 32-km upstream, and then leads away to the Ferozpore pass, Poonch and Kantar Nag. One can continue on from here to Tosa Maidan, a three day, 50-km walk to one of Kashmir's most beautiful Marg's, crossing the Basmai Gali pass at about 4,000 metres. The track here is very close to the ceasefire line with Pakistan and on the right one will pass the Jamainwali Gali, the pass at 4,000 metres is one of the easiest and safest routes into the Punjab. Shrine Of Baba Reshi / Ziarat Of Baba Reshi This Muslim shrine is on the slopes below Gulmarg and can be reached from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, or tomb, is of a well-known Muslim saint who died here in 1480. Before renouncing worldly ways he was a courtier of the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin. Every year thousands of devotees visit this shrine regardless of the faith they believe in. Golf Courses Gulmarg also has one of the world's highest green golf courses, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right. For the would-be golfer, there are golf sets on hire, pros to instruct one in the game, and temporary memberships. Naturally, these facilities are available to players as well, except that serious golfers usually carry their sets along. Gondola Lift For a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg's newly constructed Gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine clad slopes, is exhilarating. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve:

For witnessing the glorious fauna of the great Himalayan range, such as the Himalayan Musk Deer, Red Fox, Brown and Black Bear along with numerous resident and migratory birds, visit the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve. Located at a height of 2,400m above sea level and with a coverage area of 180-sq-kms, this reserve is at a distance of 48-km from Srinagar. The best time to watch the wildlife is September to March.

Adventure Sports
Skiing In winter, Gulmarg acquires a new persona - that of the country's premier skiing resorts. Skiing, to many who watch it on TV, seems like a very elitist sport, requiring a high level of training and expensive equipment. They are surprised, when they visit Gulmarg for a day's expedition to "see the snow", that others with the same level of physical fitness and training are skiing down slopes. Gulmarg is the ultimate beginner's skiing resort. One doesn't requite a heavy woolen wardrobe slacks or a Salwar Kameez will do fine. In Gulmarg one will also be able to drift to one of the many Ski shops and hire skis, sticks and goggles. Just find yourself a ski instructor and set off down a slope. Neither does one need to exert oneself climbing up slopes. The gentlest slope of 200m is linked with a ski lift, which helps one to go up. When one graduates to intermediate level - which will happen after the first few days of practice, there are other slopes, longer and steeper, which are connected by chair lift. The longest ski run in Gulmarg is provided by the Gondola cable car, which allows a ski run of 2,213m.

What to eat
Gulmarg offers a variety of delicious dishes catering to both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian palate. Traditional food in Gulmarg is primarily rice-based and a typical serving consists of rice with non-vegetarian specialties like mutton, chicken or fish cooked with vegetables. Local specialties also include vegetarian dishes like Dum-aloo (potato soaked in gravy) and Chaman (fried Paneer in thick sauce). Rogan Josh (meat balls in gravy) is a well-known regional delicacy. For beverage, rich Kashmiri green tea with generous sprinklings of almond and spices is available. Our restaurant at club building serves every thing given above plus north and south Indian cuisines.

Where to Stay
We have a building at Gulmarg is a historical one and a landmark of its own. The Hutments sparsely built on the lush green meadows within the pine vegetation, offers a breathtaking view of entire Gulmarg. We have recently started 4 bedroom Royal Huts just across Gulmarg Golf Course.

How to reach
By Air The closest airport to Gulmarg is at Srinagar. Srinagar receives a flight from Delhi everyday. Srinagar is well connected to all the major airports in India. From airport, you will have ample of option to come to Gulmarg. By Road

State road transport corporation of Jammu and Kashmir operates both luxury and normal coaches to and from Srinagar to Gulmarg. Local Transport Public transport is the main player in local transportation apart from taxis. To go to mountainous region of the town, you can hire a horse or take a ride scenic ride in a cable car.

SONMARG
Best Time To Visit: Sonmarg is synonymous with quiet meadows and flower-carpeted fields surrounded by amazing glaciers, miniature plateaus, snowfields, pines and islets. The entire region, 80 km from Srinagar, has some of the highest mountain ranges of the world. These snow clad peaks when reflect the golden rays of the sun, give a sparkling effect to the entire valley. This is the reason why the hill station is named Sonmarg or Sonamarg. The word Sonamarg literally means 'the Meadow of Gold'. The glaciers, waterfalls and placid lakes add some more beauty to this tranquil valley. Situated at an altitude of 2740 m above sea level, at the foot of the Zojila pass, Sonmarg is the gateway to Ladakh. It is a perfect place for the excursionists. {weather sonamarg} May To September, November To February

Today's Weather

Tourist Attractions
Sonmarg in itself is a beautiful place full of natural grace and gifts. This charming little town of Sonmarg has some stunning blue water lakes and rich in color grasslands. From Sonmarg, you can also look at the towering snow clad mountains of the Ladakh region that are a real treat to eyes. Nilagrad Nilagrad is the place where confluence of a mountain river and Indus river takes place. The amazing thing about this place is that the water here in the river is of pure red color, which makes for a colorful sight. The locales here believe that the water has curative powers and can cure any skin ailments. In this belief, they take a bath in the river once every week. The largest crowd turns up on Sundays, as it is an off day. Krishnasar Lake Situated at a height of 3801 m above sea level, Krishnasar Lake is one of the most mesmerizing lakes in the chain of many Himalayan lakes. There will see travelers from all over the state coming here and enjoying themselves. Most of them will be engaged in Trout fishing which has made this lake a famous excursion spot. Baltal Baltal is extremely stunning grassland which is situated right at the foot of Zoji la pass, adjacent to Ladakh territory. Baltal

is more famous for its closeness to Amarnath cave. There is a walk to the cave which is approximately 5 km away from here. During the Amarnath yatra, many pilgrims set up camps here to rest.

Adventure

Sports

If this is not enough, Sonamarg has ample opportunities for adventure enthusiasts also. On one hand the Krishnasar Lake and Sind River are frequented for trout fishing and mahseer fishing respectively while on the other, all the frozen glaciers are perfect for sledging. Those who love to go for trekking, can try out the routes to the lakes of Vishansar, Krishansar and Gangabal. Nichnai Pass is the place that offers breathtaking views of the entire valley.

Where to Stay and Eat


We have Beautiful Huts and Hotel for the various types and budgets in Sonmarg, including Zaika Restaurant serving all kinds to cuisines.

How
By Air

to

reach

The nearest airport is at Srinagar which is around 81 km away from Sonmarg. It takes around 3 hrs to cover the distance by road. By Rail The closest railhead is Jammu Tawi in Jammu. The distance of approximately 400 km between Sonmarg and Jammu is covered in almost 10 hrs. By Road Road connection to all parts of J & K is good. Buses from all districts come to Sonmarg. You can even hire pre paid taxis from Srinagar. Local Transport To move around in the town, buses are the best option as they have good frequency inside the city. But if you want to explore the city at your leisure, choose a ride in a tanga (horse carriage).

YUSMARG
Famous For: River, Nilnag Lake and numerous peaks for trekking, etc Yusmarg is approximately 47 km from the Srinagar and lies in the Badgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. The two-hour drive to the place is an enjoyment in itself. Grassy pastures stretching to acres of land, the dense forests full of pine trees, with the backdrop of splendid snow capped

Today's

mountains leave you almost speechless. Within commutable distance from Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, Yusmarg is the perfect place to go for a picnic. It is possible that after reaching this place, you may want to even stay for a few days. Specially, for the lovers of long walks in picturesque locales, Yusmarg is the place to be.

Weather
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Tourist Attractions
A short trek of 4km to Nilnag a small lake amidst pine trees, near a hamlet gives an ultimate pleasure to visitors. A full day trek from Yousmarg to frozen lake in Sang e safed valley 10 km from Yousmarg is quite fascinating one. Most of the portion of the lake is covered under ice throughout the year. Trekkers are advised to carry tents along during the trip as the weather at high altitude changes frequently which can make further journey quite hard. Assistance of a guide is advisable. Tsrar-e-Sharief From political, social and economical upheavals, the Rishis or saints emerged with a sacred thoughts which gave comfort and mitigated the miseries of the people of valley. Nund Reshi was the patron of the Sufism in Kashmir who showed disinterest in worldly matters from childhood and renounced the world at an early age of 12 in search of divinity of God . He was an illiterate Shiekh Noor-ud-Din Noorani RA popular as Nund Reshi or Alamdar-e- Kashmir was born in 1378 AD at Kaimuh a village in Anantnag district. When the people of valley were suffering and yet spontaneously uttered concise and rhythmic verses called Shruks which are considered of high value in Kashmiri literature.

Adventure Sports
Trekking in Yousmarg A major trekking route from Yousmarg eads to a famous spot called Tosa Maidan, a large meadow used for cattle grasing by nomads. This area is connected through rough routes to places like Gulmarg and Poonch. The region is full of springs , the one at Khag is most famous for the curative properties. The natural slopes of Yousmarg offer skiing opportunities to experts. School camps and adventure lovers make a week to fortnights stay at Yousmarg for the thrilling trekking routes around.Day treks are mostly commenced by the visitors. Stay in personal tents is recommended for the visitors intending to stay for longer duration. The expeditions to the various peaks in the range can be organized through the reputed Travel Agents in Srinagar. Horse riding in Yousmarg Horse riding in the valley can be great fun, the ponywallas in Yousmarg have quite reasonable charges for a ride compared to other destinations. A visit in summer to a place like Yousmarg will positively be cherished by every one in a group. Yousmarg is suitable for young couples, as it is quietest place out of all tourist destinations. Last few years of large tourist inflow into Kashmir valley has seen the diversification of tourism to this wonderful destination. Most of the travel agents include Yousmarg as one day trip in their packages.

Where to Eat
JKTDC Restaurant near the Cottages offers all type of continental and Indian food for the visitors at economical price. Couple of local dhabas provide snacks ond quick meals during the daytime. It is advisable to carry your own packed food to visit the spot.

Where to Stay
Since Yousmarg is not so crowded like other tourist destinations, accommodation here is available only at JKTDC Tourist Bungalows & Hutments. The trekkers are advised to carry tents and other necessary food items for the stay. Travel Agents assistance for organized all inclusive tours is recommended.

How to reach
Local buses ply only upto Chrair e sharief, tourists are advised to hire a taxi from Srinagar or take the assistance of a travel agent. The road from Tsar e sharief to Yousmarg remains closed during the winters.

TANGMARG
Tangmarg is one among the 8 taluks of Baramulla District of Jammu and Kashmir. Located at the foot of the Pir Panjal range, Tangmarg is gifted with natural beauty which attracts tourists from all over the world. {weather tangmarg} The tourist spots like Ferozpore Nallah, Waters Meet and Ziarat of Baba Reshi are in the vicinity. The place is famous for handicraft works. To Gulmarg, there are two routes from Tangmarg. One is a steep footpath while the other is a winding sealed road. Majestic pines line on the way. Riding enthusiasts can take ponies from Tangmarg.

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How

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Buses from Srinagar (about 45 km) to Gulmarg (about 8 km) pass via Tangmarg. Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station, connected by trains to all parts of the country. Accommodation facilities are available at the tourist bungalows, tourist huts and hotels in Tangmarg.

KOKERNAG
Kukernag is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Koker means 'fowl' and nag means 'serpent'. The spring gushes out of the base of a thickly wooded hill from where it divides into channels, which resembles to the claw-foot of a hen, hence its name. Kokernag is at the height of(approx.)2000 mts from sea level. Place is famous for gardens, largest fresh water springs in Kashmir and for its trout streams. Towns and village situated around Kokernag are Wangam, Hangalgund, Sagam, Zalergam, Dacksum, etc. Kokernag has been mentioned in Ain Akbari, where in it

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has been mentioned that the water of Kokernag satisfies both hunger and thirst and its is also a remedy for indigestion.

Tourist Attractions
Perhaps the most important tourist attraction of a tour to Kokernag is the Papashudan Nad, the magical and curative spring which draws thousands of tourists to the valley each year. Home to the largest fresh water spring in Kashmir, Kokernag is known for its collection of springs, which in totality produce an image of the claws of a "Koker" or a cock, a trait to which the vale owes its name. Blessed with rich a soil which promotes the growth of several varieties of plants and flowers, a tour to Kokernag is made even more perfect by the presence of a number of accommodation options in the region.

How to reach
The easiest way of reaching Kokernag is by air. The nearest airport is at the Badgam District around 70 kms away from the village of Kokernag. The nearest railhead to Kokernag is at Jammu from where it takes an approximate time of around 2 hours to reach Kokernag. Kokernag is well-connected to a number of other regions of Jammu and Kashmir. There are a number of well maintained roads which lead to Kokernag

JAMMU
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India. Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu City is also known as "City of Temples" as it has many temples and shrines, with glittering shikhars soaring into the sky, which dot the citys skyline, creating the ambiance of a holy and peaceful Hindu city. {weather jammu}

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Jammu is the only region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that has a Hindu majority population - 65% of Jammu's population practices Hinduism, 30% practices Islam and most of the remainder are Sikhs. Most of Jammu's Hindus are Dogras, Kashmiri Pandits, migrants from Kotli and Mirpur and Punjabi Hindus. Many Sikhs are migrants from Pakistani Controlled Kashmir (from areas like Muzaffarabad and Punch sector areas occupied by Pakistan during 1947). People of Jammu mostly speak Dogri, Poonchi, Gojri, Kotli, Mirpuri, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu. If Bahu Mata is the presiding deity of Jammu, the dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah is the other shrine that protects Jammuites. The other major religious places are: Aap Shambhu Temple Sathrian-is a temple situated at Sathrian in Roopnagar area of Jammu city. The stone temple has self-made stone Lingam. According to a legend, in the times immemorial this entire place was an uninhabited jungle, the

milky cows and buffaloes used to come to the Lingam after grazing and shed entire milk on the Lingam. Chichi Mata-It is situated near Samba and is popularly known as Pehla Darshan of Vaishno Devi pilgrims. Gadhadharji Temple-Maharaja Gulab Singh also constructed a Gadhadhargi temple near his palace (Mubarak Mandi) soon after becoming the ruler of the State. The temple has two life size statues of Narayana and Lakshmi. Mahamaya Temple and City Forest - On the bypass Road, behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Mahamaya temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden surrounded by acres of woods provides the best view of the city.

Raghunath Temple - Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is outstanding and unique in northern India. Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the principality of Jammu and Kashmir, began the construction of the Raghunath Mandir Complex in the crowded downtown Bazaar named after it, in 1835 AD and was completed by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh, in 1860 AD. It consists of a cluster of temples and is the largest temple complex in northern India. Its inner sanctums contain gigantic statues of deities and numerous lingams. It contains representatives of almost the entire Hindu pantheon, , though the emphasis falls on the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, which make it a rare site to behold. The complex houses a rich collection of ancient texts and manuscripts. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with innumerable 'saligrams'. The surrounding temples are dedicated to various Hindu deities from the epic Ramayana. Ranbireshwar Temple - Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 AD, this historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central 'lingam' measuring seven-and-a-half ft in height, twelve Shiva 'lingams' of crystal measuring from 15" to 38" and galleries with thousands of others carved on stone slabs. Peer Khoh - Peer Khoh is a cave shrine located on the Circular Road, 3.5 kms from the heart of the town. There is a naturally formed Shiva lingam in the cave which is quite mysterious as neither its antiquity nor its cause are known. Legend has it that the cave leads underground to many other cave shrines and even out of the country. Peer Baba - Behind the Civil Airport is the famous durgah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees who visit this shrine, vastly outnumber the Muslim devotees.

Sightseeing

Amar Mahal Palace-Amar Mahal, located in Jammu, is a palace depicting grandeur of an erstwhile era. It was constructed by a French architect for Raja Amar Singh, belonging to the Dogra dynasty. The architecture of this marvelous palace resembles the grand Chateaus of France. The beautiful palace of Amar Mahal is made of red sand stone which is a real visual treat. The scenic background of the place enhances the beauty of this palace manifolds. The stunning sight of River Tawi flowing below and the Shivaliks in the north will surely make your heart skip a beat or two. Dr. Karan Singh donated this palace to the charitable trust of Hari-Tara. At present, this trust is responsible for the maintenance of this palace. In fact, Amar Mahal Palace at present has been transformed into a museum. It also plays host to a well stocked library. To reach Amar Mahal Palace, you can take auto rickshaws from anywhere in Jammu. These auto rickshaws will bring you to this place at a nominal cost. Minibuses also ply on this route. However, as they can not enter the palace premises, you will need to walk up to the palace. Amar Mahals Art Galleries play patron to Indian art and artists. Showcasing an ethnic environment along with a gentle touch of modern art setting, the galleries display a wide range of paintings created in different styles. On one hand, the Indian miniature paintings of Kangra style will fascinate you. On the other, the current art-collection including works of celebrated artists like M.F. Hussain, G. R. Santosh, J. Swaminathan, Bikash Battacharjee, Laxman Pai and Ram Kumar will also give you a glimpse of the contemporary culture of India. The exhibits also consist of family sketches of the monarchs of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to some gorgeous Pahari paintings.

Bahu Fort-Situated along the banks of river Tawi, the grand structure of Bahu Fort is possibly the oldest construction in Jammu. The magnificent waterfalls, green terraced gardens and blooming flowers inside this fort make it one of the most serene forts that you would have ever witnessed. Originally built by Raja Bahulochan about 3,000 years ago, this fort was later renovated and extended by Dogra rulers. 5 kms away from the central part of the city, Bahu Fort is positioned on the left bank of river Tawi. The Bahu fort is quite renowned for Maha Kali temple, famous by the name of Bawey Wali Mata, positioned inside its premises. Bawey Wali Mata is the presiding Goddess of Jammu. The temple of Bawey Wali Mata was constructed in 1822, just after Maharaja Gulab Singh was coronated. It is often called the temple of Mahakali and the deity of this temple is regarded second only to Goddess Vaishno Devi if mystical power is taken into account. Every Sunday and Tuesday, a huge number of pilgrims come to this temple and take part in "Tawi flowing worship". In fact, this temple is one of the most esteemed temples of Goddess Kali in India.

Bagh e Bahu-Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, having river Tawi for company, Jammu is truly a haven for international as well as domestic tourists. According to legend, King Jamboo Lochan founded the city. It is believed that one day while hunting, the king witnessed an unusual sight after crossing Tawi river. He noticed a goat and a tiger drinking water side by side from the same pond. Impressed by this amazing incident, he chose to construct a city at that particular location. His vision was to make such a city where strong and weak people would live together peacefully sans any hostility towards each other. Apart from many tourist attractions in and around the city, Jammu has also grown to become a significant centre of culture and art, especially the magnificent paintings of Pahari school. Amongst the many famous tourist spots, a must see in your itinerary should be the beautiful terraced garden of Bahu Fort, famous by the name of Bagh-e-Bahu. To reach Bagh-e-Bahu in Jammu, people traveling via air may use the Jammu Airport which is 6 kms. away from the central part of the city. Indian Airlines runs daily flights from Srinagar and Delhi to Jammu. The air services provide by some private airlines in this route may also be used. Tourists coming to Jammu by rail would do well to use the rail station of Jammu Tawi. Once you get inside the beautiful Bagh-e-Bahu, soak the natural beauty of the place. You may also get a feeling of being transported to the lost era of forts and kings. Dont resist it. Instead enjoy this once in a lifetime experience to the utmost.

Dogra Art Gallery - Dogra Art Gallery lures each and every visitor with its unique collection of paintings. Located in the Pink Hall of the Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex, this art museum is a rich repository that displays rare paintings possessing immense artistic value. More than 800 paintings belonging to different schools of art have found their place in this exquisite collection at the Dogra Art Gallery. The various schools whose paintings have found a proud place in this treasure trove are Basohli, Jammu and Kangra. These charming miniature paintings are indeed priceless. They are not merely a treat to the eye but also provide valuable insight into the way of living of the people. A lot is revealed about them. It would be no exaggeration to say that each picture has a story to narrate for the insightful observer. Other than paintings, there are various other objects in the Dogra Art Gallery as well. These exhibited artifacts are also very interesting and appealing. They include exquisite sculptures, terracotta figures and heads of terracotta figures that date back to the 16th century.

Mubarak Mandi Palace-Jammu, a beautiful city in the foothill of the Himalayas has its fair share of admirers. It is visited by many tourists throughout the year. Even though temples are its greatest draws, a sight seeing trip of the place includes several other historical sites like the Bahu Fort and the Mubarak Mandi Palace. It would indeed be more precise to refer to this tourist destination as Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex for there are several buildings in this compound all surrounding a single courtyard. Formerly the residence of the erstwhile rulers of Jammu, a visit to the Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex is like talking a walk back in time. You suddenly get a taste of the kind of life led by the royals of yesteryears. The oldest building of the Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex dates back to 1824. However the construction of all the buildings was rounded up about 150 years ago. One is sure to be impressed by the architectural skills that have been displayed by the artisans while constructing the buildings. A unique blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and Baroque European styles, they are to be marveled at. Particularly striking is the Sheesh Mahal. It can be undisputedly rated as the most spectacular of all the structures within the Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex. The setting is also quite admirable. The palace commands great views of the Tawi River and the city of Jammu. Presently housing government offices and courts, the halls and galleries of the Mubarak Mandi Palace were once the venue of official functions hosted by Dogra rulers. The greatest attraction of the Mubarak Mandi Palace however remains the Pink Hall. It houses the Dogra Art Gallery. The gallery has an amazing collection of sculptures and paintings that are sure to leave any visitor startled.

What to eat
At the very outset let be known that the local cuisine of Jammu has more similarity with Punjabi cuisine than with Kashmiri cuisine. The similarity with Punjabi food comes in the form of daal thadka, daal makhani, pronthah (parotha - as pronounced by locals), aloo-nan, tandoori-kulcha, kardi-pakorda, malai kofta, matar-paneer, aloo-ghobi. These items can be found in almost all the hotels, restaurant and dhabas. Chhole-bature, chhole-purdi, aloo-tikki, dhai-bhala, paneer pakorda account for the major snacks! Chat lovers can also enjoy gol-gappe, kachaloo, kimb et al. Besides all this, the local specialties include khatta meat, yakhni, chaamp, tava chicken, murgei da aachar, andei da aachar, seekh-tikka, tandoori murga, rajma (rajma of Bhadrwah), khoye wala kardam, mitha madra, ma da madra, talei-ma, tandoori rutti, kyeuur, khamira, aambal, shardai besides others. The locals also love their cookies called khatai. Some of the other bakery related products include bakerkhani (this is different from Kashmiri bakery's bakerkhani), kachori (not to be mixed with Rajasthani kachordi, this one is oven baked), puff (a sugar coated bakerkhani), patties (stufffed bakerkhani and not like the patties used in a burger or what one finds in Maharashtra as ragrda-patties), cream rolls, pastries, stuffed kulcha (oven baked), mittha baand (sweet bun), baand (salted

bun), double roti (bread). Popular after-meal deserts are rasmalai, malaibaraf and kheer (rice cooked in milk with added sugar, some milk solids i.e. khoya and lots of dry fruits) in it. Another desert is karda (suji ka halwa). Even kaddu-halwa is one of the traditional deserts, but seen less often these days. Karda is an important part of all major worships and ceremonies. It is offered to gods/goddesses. Karda is liked more, if cooked in desi-ghee. Karda is mostly a part of a festive breakfast. Maal-purda, baalushahi, sakarware, kahajoor (not dates), jalebi, burfi, boondi ladoo, boondi, badana, khurmei etc. are other traditional Dogri sweets. Matthi is a deep fried thick maida roti, available at sweet shops. It is mostly salted. But at a few times it is sugar coated also. Ladoo and matthi have a great significance in festivals and marriages. Katlama and feni are two other salted snacks, specially prepared on Karva-chouth. Rajma and basmati rice of Jammu are vary famous and are vegetarians delight and is almost a must have for Sunday lunch. There are a few eating joints famous exclusively for their rajma-chawal with loads of desi ghee. Gushi/Guchhi - a kind of wild morel - is very popular in the region. This morel is not cultivated and raw Gushi can cost upto Rs. 5000 per Kg. Kaladi has its origin from Udhampur District of Jammu region and is a sour cheese. It is mostly fried (doesn't need any oil/ghee for frying as is full of fats).

How to reach
Jammu and Kashmir by Air: The state has three airports, namely: Srinagar, Jammu and Leh. Major airlines like: Indian Airlines, Jet Airways operate regular flights to these airports. How to reach Jammu and Kashmir by Road: The state has good road network connecting important neighbourhood cities Delhi, Amritsar Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Shimla and Manali. How to reach Jammu and Kashmir by Rail: The most important railways station is Jammu Tawi, which is served many important trains and is so well connected with the rest of the country.

KATRA
Katra Town, lying in the foot of Trikuta Mountains, 48 kms. from Jammu, serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, which is approachable on foot along a 13 kms long well laid footpath. Every year, more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their way to the holy shrine. The cave shrine of Mata Vasihnodeviji or Trikuta Bhagwati (alt: 5,200 ft.) has been a beacon of faith and fulfilment to millions of devotees from all over the world. The pilgrimage to the Shrine holds great significance for the pilgrims. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------{weather katra}

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From Katra to Vaishno Devi Ji

1. Yatra Parchi Once a pilgrim reaches Katra he has to obtain a yatra permit from the permit counter of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. The Permit counter is located adjacent to the Bus stand and the Taxi stand. The permit is known in local parlance as "Yatra Parchi" and the permit counter is known as "Yatra Parchi Counter". The counter remains open every day from 6AM to 10PM. About 18000 pilgrims are permitted to proceed every day on rush days from Katra to Vaishno Devi Ji. A third counter is operated at the erstwhile Mulberry Nursery for the convenience of the pilgrims coming by chartered buses. It caters exclusively to such groups of pilgrims only. YATRA PARCHIS ARE GIVEN TO THE PILGRIMS FREE OF COST ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS. In case the number of pilgrims coming for Darshan on a particular day exceeds 18000, the remaining pilgrims are issued "Yatra Waiting Slips" from the same counters. Pilgrims carrying these slips are issued regular yatra parchis the next day. A maximum number of nine persons can be registered against one yatra parchi by the staff on duty. Each parchi contains the name of the leader of the party. His/her place of residence and the number of males, females and children in the group of nine. Children below five years of age are not entered in the Yatra Parchi.

The Yatra
A) From Yatra Parchi Counter to Darshani Darwaza Once a pilgrim is in possession of a yatra parchi he/she is eligible to proceed for the Yatra. The distance from the yatra parchi counter to DARSHANI DARWAZA (it is so named because it is the point from where the yatra is really deemed to commence and thus becomes the doorway or Darwaza for Darshan) is one kilometer. Pilgrims cover this stretch either on foot, or on auto rickshaws or by the bus service which is operated by the Shrine Board free of charge for the pilgrim. B) From Darshani Darwaza to Banganga The motorable road terminated at Darshani Darwaza. From there the pilgrim has to go forward either on foot or on a pony or on a PALKI or DANDI (Palanquin). The holy Shrines is located at a distance of twelve kilometers from Darshani Darwaza. The entire track from Darshani Darwaza to Vaishno Devi Ji is laid with cement tiles which are very comfortable to walk on. The track is also lit with sodium lights at night. Drinking water points, toilets, rain and sun shelters, refreshment units and vatikas have been provided at frequent intervals for the convenience of the pilgrims. The first station beyond Darshani Darwaza is Banganga. Ponies and Palkis are available for hire at Banganga on rates fixed by the State Government. The Shrine Board has an office at Banganga which remains open round the clock for attending to an resolving the difficulties of the pilgrims. The Shrine Board also runs a First Aid Centre at Banganga. The Police Department has set up a Police Post at Banganga. A large number of shops selling eatables and consumer items have come up at Banganga. They remain open round the clock. The yatra parchi is checked and stamped at the Banganga Check Post. This is done to prevent people who do not possess a yatra parchi from proceeding for the yatra. A PILGRIM MUST CROSS BANGANGA CHECK POST WITHIN SIX HOURS OF OBTAINING THE YATRA PARCHI. Banganga is only one and a half kilometre from the yatra parchi counter. The Banganga Check Post remains open round the clock. C) Banganga To Charan Paduka Two and a half kilometers from Darshani Darwaza at a height of 3200 feet above sea level is the place known as Charan Paduka. There is an impression of Mata's feet on a rock at Charan Paduka. A small temple has been constructed over this rock at Charan Paduka. A number of shops selling snacks and cold drinks have come up at this place. The State Government runs a First Aid Centre here. The Shrine Board has set up a MAHILA MANDAL here. D) Charan Paduka to Adhkawari

Six kilometers from Darshani Darwaza at a height of 4200 feet above sea level is the place known as Adhkawari. The Shrine Board has constructed a large complex at Adhkawari. Free Dharmshalas, rooms on rent, a post office, a medical dispensary, a chemist shop, a bank, a pony stand and a large number of shops are available at Adhkawari. The Shrine Board also runs a Bhojanalya at Adhkawari which is open round the clock every day. Hygienically cooked food at subsidized rates is available for the pilgrims from this Bhojanalya. Blankets are also available free of cost for the pilgrims at Adhkawari. A refundable security amount blanket has, however to be deposited. The security is refunded to the pilgrim after he returns the blankets. The State Government has also set up a Police Post at Adhkawari. The Shrine Board's office at Adhkawari is open round the clock. An Announcement cum Information Counter also functions round the clock in a room adjacent to the office. Regular Announcements are made from the Announcement Counter for the information of the pilgrims. Pilgrims first go to the temple at Adhkawari and then enter the narrow cave known as Garbh Joon. At most places the cave is not more than two feet wide. Inspite of this people of all sixes are able to crawl though it. E) Adhkawari to Sanji Chhat Nine and a half kilometers from Darshani Darwaza lies Sanji Chhat at an altitude of 5870 feet above sea level. It is a delightful little plateau which affords a panoramic view of the Pir Panjal Range and the Chenab river wending its way majestically to Pakistan. At its feet, as it were, lies sprawled the town of Katra, the base camp of the yatra. Dharmshalas providing free accommodation, a shopping complex and a Bhojanalya of the Shrine Board are available here for the convenience of the pilgrims. Sanji Chhat also has a First Aid Centre. A very large hospital has also constructed for the shrine Board by the Sagar Suri Trust at Sanji Chhat. Two helipads have also been constructed at Sanji Chhat. F) Sanji Chhat to Bhawan Twelve kilometers from Darshani Darwaza and two and a half kilometers from Sanji Chhat lies the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi JI. It is located at an altitude of 5200 feet above seal level. The climb up the mountain ceases at Sanji Chhat. The track levels out and the pilgrims have to trek over a flat stretch for almost tow kilometers before they begin to descend. The descent carries on for almost half a kilometre till one reaches the area of the holy Shrine - the destination of all the pilgrims who throng to Katra in thousands every day. There are a large number of Dharmshalas at Vaishno Devi Ji which provide free accommodation to the pilgrims. Blankets are also available for the pilgrims free of cost. Security has, however, to be deposited for taking the blankets. This security is refunded as soon as the blankets are returned to the blanket store. These blankets are regularly washed in the automatic laundry plant that has been installed by the Shrine Board at Vaishno Devi JI. The Shrine Board also provides a few rooms on rent to the pilgrims at Vaishno Devi Ji. A large number of privately run shops serve food and snacks to the pilgrims. In addition, the Shrine Board runs a Bhojanalaya at Vaishno Devi Ji which is open rounded the clock. A medical dispensary, a chemist shop, a post office, a telephone exchange, two banks and a Police station also function at Vaishno Devi Ji. The Shrine is open for Darshan round the clock every day except for two hours in the morning (from 6AM to 8AM) and for two hours in the evening (from 6PM to 8 PM) when the AARTI is performed.

What to wear
The holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is located at an altitude of 5200 feet above sea level. Enroute one has to cross Sanji Chhat which lies at an altitude of 5870 feet above sea level. If a pilgrim decides to return to Katra via Bhairo Temple he has to climb to 6500 feet above sea level. All the three stations experience heavy snowfall during the months of December, January and February. Consequently, it can become extremely cold during winters Pilgrims are advised to carry heavy woolen clothing with them if they wish to perform the yatra during winters. In fact,Heavy woolen clothings should be carried by pilgrims from October to March. April is an unpredictable month. The weather can turn quite cold if it rains. So it is advisable to carry light woolens during this month. May to September are very pleasant months. One can get by

with cotton clothes. Since the journey has to be performed primarily on foot it is advisable to wear canvas shoes or rubber soled shoes as they are comfortable to walk in. It is also useful to carry torches, raincoats and walking sticks. Canvas Shoes, Torches, Raincoats And Walking Sticks Can Be Hired from a large number of shops at Katra. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clothing
Light woollens are required at night even during summer. During the remaining parts of the year heavy woollens are require.

How to reach
Jammu, 48 kms from Katra, is the nearest airport, railhead and inter-state bus terminus. Buses leave for Katra at 10 minute intervals between 5:30 a.m and 8:30 p.m. During peak season, additional buses are pressed into service. Taxis are available both at Jammu and Katra for the journey. In Jammu city, these can be hired from the Jammu airport, Jammu railway station and the Tourist Reception Centre. A number of travel agencies conduct tours to Katra regularly from Delhi and other major cities of India. There are also daily scheduled services to Katra from a number of cities and towns of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

PATNITOP
Relatively unknown, compared to the other tourist spots in the state Patnitop is no less beautiful or serene. If one is aiming to get away from it all for some time, this place is hard to beat. With all its beauty at a hill station, it is a charming plateau at 2, 024m. The meadow is surrounded by dense woods and lush greenery of Pines. Tracks lead to pockets where time stands still and calm prevails. {weather patnitop}

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112 kms from Jammu. This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 metres across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. Enveloped by thickly wooded forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the mountainscape of the Chenab basin. In winter, the resort is generally covered with a thick mantle of snow thus providing opportunities for various snow games including skiing. It is the best developed tourist spot of Jammu and is second to none in its natural charm, climate, pine forests and lush green cover. The occupancy of the huts and Dak Banglow is full in summer months. There is ambitious plan of Patnitop Development Authority to develop Patnitop, Kud, Sud-Mahadev, Mantalai circuit. The costruction work of Mall Road at Kud is also proposed to be taken up. Trekking route from Kud to Patnitop-Sanasar has already been completed. The complete tourist circuit covers JammuKatra-VaishnoDeviji, Kud-Sanasar, Patnitop-Gourikund, Sudmahadev, Mantali, extending upto Latti-Dhuna. Kashmir Hub offers you a unique opportunity for exploring the beauty of Patnitop, which lies at a distance of 112 kilometers from Jammu. Patnitop is one of the commonly frequented hill stations and tourist destinations of Jammu and Kashmir. Patnitop lies on a plateau at a height of 2024 meters above the sea level. During winters Patnitop is completed snow covered. There are several picnic spots in Patnitop, as pine forests on all sides surround it. This area is perfect for nature walks. Tours and travel to Patnitop usually involves a lot of picnicking.

There are three fresh water springs at Patnitop and it is believed that the waters here are medicinal. There are facilities for those interested in pony rides and camping activities. Most tour packages to Patnitop include packages that offer trips to these medicinal springs. Patnitop is an ideal region that serves as a base for tourist who trek to the nearby mountains. Tours and travels to Patnitop include a visit to Sudh Mahadev. It is one of the sacred Hindu pilgrimages. The walk to Shiva Garh is also an exciting activity.

Major Activities
Trekking A range of trekking options is available here. Summer is the season when all trekking routes are open while some are open in winter too. There are excellent camping sites also enroute.The Sundarani- Jungal Gali-Jasarkote-Sanasar route in Jangal Gali area lets you choose any of three exciting treks. For more details check the Jangal Gali trek route in trekking brochure available from JKTDC(Free). There are Trekking equipment hire shops of tourism Deptt. at Jammu and Kud. They stock imported and local gear. These rae available for fixed prices. Equipment available 1. Tents : i) 4 man tent (Indian) ii) 2 man tent (imported) 2. Carry mat (Indian and Imported) 3. Sleeping bags (Imported) 4. Jackets (Indian and Imported) 5. Windcheaters (Indian) 6. Rucksacks, Boots(Indian and imported). The equipment is issued against cash receipt or on Guarantee letter from Dy.Dir Tourism/Dy.Secy of State or central govt. For a foreign tourist Passport is held as security deposit. Some travel agencies in Jammu city also organize Trekking in the area. Skiing Skiing courses are conducted at Patnitop in the months of January and Feburary. During winter mionths there are introductory courses for tourists/beginners at gentle gradient slopes of Patnitop. At Madhatop (5/6 Kms from Patni top on Sanasar Road) excellent possibilities for all kind of skiing exist. A ski-lift in the area is also proposed. As for facilities 40 sets of equipment is available at Patnitop and Sanasar. Also available are wooden sledges locally. For beginners Instructors are also available. Restarurants and Dhabas serve tourists round the year. Aero sports Paragliding has been introduced at Sanasar and Jammu. Equipment is available on Hire from tourist office in Jammu city. May-June and Septemer October are best suited for paragliding. Other aero sports like Parasailing and Hotair ballooning are also becoming operational shortly.

Accommodation
There are quite a few hotels and tourist huts managed by the state government that provide amenities to visiting tourists. Thus travel to Patnitop can be a beautiful experience that one will never forget and Kashmir Hub attempts to make this experience a memorable one by providing you relevant details related to tours in Patnitop, in Jammu and Kashmir, India.

How to Reach
Road: Buses and taxis are available from Jammu/Katra/Udhampur. By a taxi it takes about 3 and a half hours to reach Patnitop and bus takes about 5 hours.

KUD
Kud, a place of extraordinary scenic beauty is situated 103 Kms away from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. This popular resort is situated on the Jammu-Srinagar highway at an altitude of 1738 metres. This place is an ideal picnic spot as it has a bracing climate to uplift your life and give it a new meaning. This serene locale is a perfect place to unwind with your near and dear ones. Location It is located on the Udhampur Srinagar Highway.110 k.m from Jammu and 32 k.m from Udhampur city, it is just short of the tourist spot of Patni Top while driving to Patni top from Udhampur. After Patnitop is the adjoining town of Batote. Kud is located at 33.08N 75.28E. It has an average elevation of 1855 metres (6085 feet).It is a part of the Lower Himalayan Range. the river Chenab flows in close proximity.

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Major Attractions
A wide range of trekking options is available in Kud. There are excellent camping sites in the adjoining areas in the wilderness. The tourism Department has Trekking equipment Hire shop. These Shops stock local and imported trekking gear. Equipments are available against a security deposit. If you are a foreign national then your passport will be kept as a deposit. Some travel agencies also organise trekking around this area.

Clothing
Heavy woolens are required in winters while light/medium clothing is required in summers. It is a very well developed hill station in Udhampur District. It also experiences heavy rainfall in the rainy season.

Speciality
Kud is famous for its sweet shop that makes hot and fresh patisa that is very popular with the tourists.

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Regular transport is available from Jammu. Buses are available from General Bus stand Jammu. Taxis can also be hired from scores of Tour/Travel operators from across the city of Jammu , Jammu and Kashmir, India. Similar services towards Kud are available from Railway Station. Fares are pre determined by the Govt. and are subject to change.

BATOTE
Batote is one of the popular tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir. The tourist resort is situated at a distance of 125 kilometers from the city of Jammu. Batote is a tourist paradise with the Chenab gorge and the mountain ranges lying in the close proximity of the region. Location Batote is located at 33.10N 75.32E. It has an average elevation of 2,006 metres (6,584 feet). It is located on the National Highway from Udhampur to Srinagar. while driving from Udhampur it comes after the tourist spot of Patni Top, which is also its boundary with Udhampur District. After Patni top it is a sharp descent to Batote. Just before Patni top is the town of Kud. Batote has some agricultural land and is near the Chenab river.

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Major Attractions
Close to the resort lies the Chenab Gorge and the Patnitop Mountain Range. The region is covered with coniferous forests. Trekking is possible to the mountains of Patnitop and Sanasar. The tourists may also traverse through the coniferous forest. The resort has all amenities and facilities for the foreign and the Indian tourists. The eco-friendly huts of the resort have well furnished dining and drawing rooms. The huts also have attached kitchens provided with all the equipments required by the tourist. The resort also serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The chef's kitchen produces a banquet of delicacies for the tourists.

Speciality
The region is famous for its high quality kidney beans or Rajma.

How to Reach
This place is one the National highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar and is well connected thus. Buses plying to all Destinations viz. Srinagar,Doda Bhaderwah,Kishtwar etc. pass through this resort. The buses are available from General Bus Stand Jammu. One can also hire taxis from Jammu which ply on predetermined rates. Ideally

one can visit this resort while visiting Patnitop. This place is approx 15 Kms beyond Patnitop on the National Highway.

SANASAR
Location: 119 km from Jammu and only 17 km from Patnitop.

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Named after small local lakes, 'Sana' & 'Sar' are located 20 km west of Patnitop, on the national highway 1A, in the Jammu province of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. At an altitude of 2050 mts it is the hub for adventure sport activities in Jammu region. At 11 km from Patnitop, Natha Top offers scenic views of the mighty western(Kishtwar) Himalayas and the lower Shivalik range. The Bramha Massif, with its prominent peaks of Brahma 1 and 2 & Flat Top, is clearly visible. Eight kilometres down the road, from Natha Top, is Sanasar, with Matha top falling en route. As you approach Sanasar, the range on the right is Shanta Ridge,with the ShankPal Nag temple situated at its highest point of 2800 mts. Best Time To Visit: May-June and September-October.

Sanasar, the mini Gulmarg and one of the remotest region of India, is a wonderful hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is built in a cup-shaped meadow surrounded by gigantic conifers. Recently, it has been developed as a golf course for its tourists. While visiting Sanasar, you are provided opportunities for paragliding, parasailing and horse riding also. All these adventure sports activities are controlled by J&K government authorities. The place is a paradise for those who want to explore their latent sporting spirits and sportsmanship. It is particularly famous for the wide range of sporting activities.

Major Attractions
Sanasar is a wonderful destination for Eco-Adventure activities. Tandem Paragliding Joyrides:-Introduced by "Extreme Hmalayan Adventures" Sanasar offers Tandem (pilot+passenger) paragliding joyrides. The low flying ride, take off area, is near the parking lot, with a flight path over the lake of Sansar, to landing in the meadow, below. The 'over a minute' short flight attaining an altitude of 150-200 feet, makes it one of the safest, enjoyable paragliding experience, in India. Sanasar is the second site, after Solang Nallah-Manali, in north India, to offer such tandem rides. The high flying site is at Natha Top and offers an 8- to 10- minute, depending on the wind condition, 1500-2000 feet high, tandem paragliding experience. The take off area is near the road, but one has to walk up, from the landing site, below. Safety is of paramount importance, and it is never compromised. Wilderness Adventure Camps-Sanasar (WAC-Sanasar):- WAC-Sanasar, started 4 years ago by "Extreme Himalayan Adventures" is dedicated in promoting and providing wilderness adventure camping and adventure sports in general. The camp can accommodate about 100 participants, including boarding and loading. It is run by "Extreme Himalayan Adventures" in collaboration with the Dept of Tourism, Jammu. Rock climbing WAC basic pitch offers a taste of the sport. Situated among the high conifers, the rock offers the natural feel of climbing. Abseiling The WAC Basic Rock offers a 25 feet, over the edge feel of descending the rock face with the help of a rope. It is a 'trust' exercise.

Trekking trails
Shank Pal Temple is located on the Shank Pal ridge at an altitude of 2800 mts and is a 5 hr moderate trek. The 400 yr old temple, is dedicated to Nag Shank Pal. No mortar has been used, to join the stones of the temple. Ladoo Ladi (meaning a boy and a girl, in local dialect) is a soft nature walk of 4 km, starting from Madha Top. Shanta Gala is a pass on the Shanta ridge and offers the view of the Panchari valley on the other side of the ridge. The pass leads to the Lander area. Surni Kund is a small pond on the high Shank Pal ridge.2 K\km from the Shank Pal Nag temple, it is a 7 hr demanding trek from Sanasar.

Food Cuisine
There is a unique experience in gourmet eating at Sanasar. It offers a variety in traditional and decent Indian cuisine. There is a lot of variety in meats, herbs, spices and homemade dairy products with exotic flavours. The local people love tandoori, bread and rice items.

Shopping
Primarily a place for adventure, there are very few shopping facilities.

Climate
There is a requirement of cottons in summers, but thick and warm woolens in winters as the temperature goes down to 0 degrees. There is a requirement of woolens in rainy season too.

Accommodation
Sanasar, being a remote area, offers only J&KTDC's tourists bungalows and self contained huts. Both type of accommodation units are well equipped with basic modern amenities.

How To Reach
The most convenient way to access Sanasar is to travel in your own vehicle. The other option would be hiring a taxi from Jammu (119 km). Jammu Tawi is the main railhead at Jammu and is well-connected with all other major cities of the country. Taxis are available from Jammu at reasonable rates.

MANSAR
Mansar is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar.Mansar lake, with its length more than a mile and width half-a-mile, is a very attractive lake in

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the midst of lusting greeneries surrounded by forest-covered hills. It is considered as a very holy site known from mythological periods sharing the sanctity and legacy of Mansa Sarovar. It is a very popular base of tourists.

A temple for a snake god, Sheshnag, is located on the banks of lake. It is believed that it is auspicious for newly wed couples to seek blessings of Sheshnag by performing three parikarma around the lake. Holy dip in the Mansar Lake is assumed to be purifying the sins.

A temple of Durga and two other ancient temples Narasimha and Parvathi Shiva (Umapati Mahadev) are located in the close proximity of the Mansar Lake. Mansar Lake is an ideal spot for boating, amidst the lusting greeneries of Jammu. There is a wildlife sanctuary nearby.

How to reach
This Mansar lake road joins to another important road that directly links Pathankot (Punjab) to Udhampur (Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu Province. Udhampur is a Town of strategic importance, again on National Highway No. 1A. The shortcut road from Mansar or Samba to Udhampur by-pass the Jammu town. Surinsar Lake, a smaller lake that is linked to Mansar, is 24 km from Jammu. (via bye-pass road)
Winter: October April

Summer: May July Monsoon: July- September High Season: April July