Shikara rides in the shimmering lakes cradled in the majestically snow-clad Zabarwan Mountains makes Kashmir a dream destination to every voyager. The paradise has lot more to explore - the meadows of flowers, the Valley of Lidder River and the magnificent ranges of Nanga Parbhat.
Soak in the bliss of this paradise on earth with 50+ Voyagers Travel and Adventure Club, on a specially designed tour as per the pace and comfort level of 50+ aged and Senior Citizens.
With its almost medieval charm, the city of Srinagar has sights, smells and sounds to enchant the most jaded traveler. We will arrive at Srinagar Airport by flight by morning/noon. On the way from airport to Dal Lake, admire chinner trees on side walk, Kashmiri men and women traditionally dressed in 'Koshure' or 'Pheran'. In a while, river Jhelum will welcome and accompany you to the land of lakes and gardens. You will get first sight of panoramic Nagin and Dal lakes glittering in the afternoon sun.
Upon reaching the Dal Lake, take a short boat ride to a beautifully decorated House Boat - a floating wooden palace. Freshen up with a welcome drink and light snacks. A shikara ride is waiting for you to take you to Naheru park, floating market and lotus garden. Watch the glowing tint of setting sun on the mountains and capture some memorable moments in Kashmiri attire and ornaments. Return to the houseboat and enjoy your dinner in a dining room with intrinsic carving of deadar woods in the table, wall, door and windows all over. Take good rest to get ready for the next day.
Get up early to embrace a beautiful morning on Dal lake - the lagoons covered with water lilly, the floating hamlets and the colony of houseboats. Look out for vivid color of kingfishers, greylag geese and purple moorhens.
Proceed to Sonamarg - meadow of Gold. Admire the snow-capped mountains set against a spectacular blue sky, it is as close to heaven as it can get. The Sindh River flows through the valley. In the afternoon, visit Chasma Shahi, the royal spring, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, at the left bank of the Dal Lake, with Zabarwan Mountains at the backdrop. Spend time at Shalimar Bagh, the most famous Mughal Garden in Srinagar, for its leafy chinar trees of dim vista, shallow terraces, smooth sheets of falling water, and wide canals linked to Dal Lake. We will conclude our day by visiting old town of Srinagar, a photographer's delight with its labyrinthine roads, bustling bazaars and many ancient shrines and mosques. On our way we will see Hazratbal Shrine, Jama Masjid and Hari Parvat.
After breakfast we will check out of houseboat to visit Gulmarg, The Meadows of flower. Gulmarg was earlier known as Gaurimarg, on the name of Goddess Parvati- the wife of Lord Shiva.
On our way we will pass through beautiful valleys and picturesque villages to reach Tangmarg from where the ascent to Gulmarg begins. We will stop over at some view points for a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance. You may buy cherries and strawberries from locals. The very first view of Gulmarg is the famous Shiv temple on a green or white mound in the centre surrounded by high snowy mountains against a cerulean sky.
We will go for Gondola (Cable car or ropeway) ride to reach the high Apharwat Mountain - Kondori Valley at 8500 ft. From here you will get a mesmerizing view of Gulmarg. Here you may enjoy a delightful meal or light snacks for lunch (at your own cost).
Post breakfast we will leave for Pahalgam. On the way we will visit ruins of Vishnu temple at Avantipur and saffron shop at Pampore town, known for high quality saffron. Soon the foam flecked green stream of river Lidder will join us and take us through orchards of apples and oranges to Pahalgam, the Valley of Shepherds.
We will check in to the hotel overlooking Lidder river and snow capped dhawladhar mountain range. After some rest, we will go for a leisure walk to Pahalgam Bazaar and parks on the bank of river Lidder. Upon returning to hotel, enjoy your evening with camp fire followed by dinner.
Look out for a misty morning in Pahalgam from the window of your room. See how the white foggy curtain draped over the valley slowly disappears, giving way to astonishing range of snow clad and ever green mountains. Go for a morning walk on the bank of river Lidder and enjoy your breakfast in the serene atmosphere. Today we will go for sightseeing to Aru Valley and Betab Valley - mesmerizing lash green valleys surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We will also cover Candanwari, the base camp of Amarnath Yatra and Pine forests of Baisaran.
After lunch and some rest, you may go for an afternoon stroll to Swiss Valley, a dense evergreen forest of Deadar, Pine and Safedi trees. Several mountain streams and waterfalls will greet us on the way. We will have our dinner at hotel.
Post breakfast, we will check out from hotel at Pahalgam and proceed to Srinagar. We shall have a Kashmiri Wazwan lunch and then go for a darshan of Shankaracharya Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and situated on a hill overlooking the Dal Lake and Srinagar town. This ancient temple was built in 200BC and was visited by Adi Shankaracharya. During Amarnath yatra, Chhari-Mubarak is brought to Shankaracharya temple for puja before it proceeds for Amarnath cave and marks the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra every year. An effort to climb the hill is worth once you see the dazzling Dal Lake and Srinagar City from the top. Capture it with your eyes and store it for life time.
We will get some time at Srinagar market for shopping. You may buy apples and dry fruits for your family and friends.
After breakfast, we will drive down to Srinagar airport for your return flight. At airport bid goodbye to your friends and take home wonderful memories of Paradise on Earth - Kashmir.
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