5 Best Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir also known as ‘The Switzerland of India’ is truly a paradise on Earth. The state is popular for its natural beauty and is cradled in the mighty Himalayas. The place is also renowned for its beautiful landscapes, temples and shrines. The main districts here are Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. Ladakh is known for its Buddhist culture in the form of beautiful monasteries. Some of the best hill stations of the state are Srinagar, Leh, Patnitop, Pahalgam and Gulmarg.

 

Srinagar: 

 

Srinagar

 

Srinagar is the capital city of the state and is also the most beautiful hill station of India. The hill station is situated in the heart of the Kashmir valley. This wonderful hill station is located at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level. The river Jhelum passes through Srinagar city.

 

The main tourist attractions here are the sparkling Dal Lake, Anchar Lake and Nagin Lakes and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them enhance the picturesque beauty of the city. The beautiful gardens, adventure aquatic sports activities such as kayaking, canoeing, water surfing and angling, perfect handcrafted souvenirs makes the hill sation a perfect holiday destination.

 

Dal Lake is the largest and famous lake of the State having the maximum number of houseboats of all categories, from deluxe to the D class. These houseboats are of all categories, from deluxe to the D class. These houseboats are accessible by smaller boats called shikaras. Here by staying in a houseboat you can even shop from the tiny wooded shops on shikaras that carry vegetables and fruits, flowers, etc. You can even find here tailors, doctors, bakers, etc on these shikaras.

 

The lush greenery surrounding the hill station such as the woods of fir and chinar, pastures of flowers, mustard and saffron, fruit orchards, gardens and parks, and ancient monuments add to the charm and magnificence of the place.

 

The other must visit places here are the Mughal Gardens of Shalimar, Nishat Bagh and Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal, Shankaracharya temple, Hari Parbat, Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara, Kheer Bhavani and Sharika Devi Temple.

 

The best time to visit is from the months of April and October. Srinagar is well connected to all major cities of the country via rail, road and air transport.

 

Leh: 

 

Leh

 

Leh is the capital of the historic Kingdom of Ladakh. The region is known for its distinctive ancient Tibetan-Muslim culture.The hill station of Leh is located at an average elevation of 3,500 m above sea level.The place is also referred as a high elevation desert due to its lack of vegetation. This is an important stopover for most adventure enthusiasts due to its close proximity to the high mountain passes of the Himalayas. This is also a heaven for bikers who like to travel the high altitude mountain passes.

 

Leh is located in the Indus Valley, right between the confluence of the ancient trade routes from Tibet, Kashgar and Kashmir. The place is known for its high mountains and mountain passes. This is a small town can be easily covered on foot. There are several historically and culturally important places here. This is also a heaven for adventure seekers due to the possibility of trekking, rafting, camping and hiking.

 

The main tourist attractions here are Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Hemis Monastery, Hemis National Park, Chamba Temple, Stok Palace, Zorawar Fort, Pangong Lake, Sand Dunes Nubra, Tsomoriri Lake, Khardongla, Siachin Glacier and Sankar Gompa etc.

 

The best time to visit the hill station is during the summer months between March and mid-October.

 

Patnitop:

 

Patnitop

 

Patnitop is a hill station in the Udhampur district of the State. This is a picturesque tourist spot located at a high altitude of 2,024 m above sea level. Travellers can enjoy pleasant natural walks here. This is also the best starting point for many short and longer treks into the nearby mountains. The mainly visited place here is the Shiva Garh at an attractive one-day walk, just 11 kms from the hill station. Shiva Garh is located at an altitude of about 3,500 m.

 

This beautiful hill station is situated on a flat top in the Shivalik belt of the Himalayas. There are three, gushing, ice-cold freshwater springs in the area, which are believed to have medicinal properties. The complete tourist circuit covers Jammu-Katra-Vaishno Deviji, Kud-Sanasar, Patnitop-Gourikund, Sudmahadev, Mantali, extending upto Latti-Dhuna.

 

The main festivals celebrated here are Naag Panchami festival and Lohri. The best season times to visit the place are from May to June, September to October and for snowboard joys, December to March is the best. There is bus and private taxi services from Jammu, Katra and Udhampur to the hill station. The nearest airport to the hill station is Jammu.

 

Pahalgam:

 

Pahalgam

 

Pahalgam is an amazingly beautiful hill station situated in the Anantnag district of the State. The hill station is located at an elevation of 2, 740 m above sea level. The main tourist attractions here are Chandanwari, Mamaleshwara, Tulian Lake, and Aru. The place is most famous as the point from where Amarnath yatra begins. The town is located by the side of river Lidder and is covered with thick pine and cedar forests.

 

Pahalgam also has a great golf course, which also helps in beckoning tourist. Even adventurers have a lot to cheer about because of the numerous trek routes and skiing option that Pahalgam has to offer. The Pahalgam club has facilities for many indoor as well as outdoor sports that can be availed just by taking a temporary membership.

 

The major tourist activities here are Trout Fishing, White Water Rafting, Golf, Horse Riding, Camping, Trekking, and Mountaineering. The best time to visit the place is from March to November. The nearest airport is at Srinagar and the nearest railway station is at Jammu Tawi.

 

Gulmarg:

 

Gulmarg

 

Gulmarg is a hill station popular for skiing destination in Baramula district of the state. This town is situated in the Pirpanjal range in the western Himalayas. The hill station is located at an altitude of about 2,650 m above sea level. The place is located 60 Kms away from Srinagar. The main tourist attraction here is the Gulmarg Gondola, the Highest Cable Car in the world. The 1st phase of the Gondola takes tourists to the height of 8,530 ft to Kongdori Station and the second stage of the Gondola goes up to the height of 12,293 ft. Tourists can also enjoy horse riding and can go riding to the magnificent Strawberry Valley, Leopards Valley and ride up to Kongdori to see the frozen lake of Al- Pathar.

 

The best time to visit here is winter season when the hill station gets fully covered in a white blanket of Snow and turn into a skier’s paradise. Otherthan winter season, during all the other seasons the place is beautifully laden with flowers. The hill station is also home to a golf course gaining the title for being located at the highest altitude round the globe.

 

Travellers should also taste the famous Kashmiri cuisines known for the traditional taste. There are number of budget holiday homes as well as Shikara boats/homestays in the state which render the visitors with perfect services and friendly hospitality.

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Holiday Homes in Jammu and Kashmir

Himalayan View Resort, Leh

Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

5+ bedrooms, Resort

rupee

4000

/ night
River Lidder Resort, Pahalgam

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir

5 bedrooms, Resort

rupee

3500

/ night
Hill View Home, Srinagar

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

5+ bedrooms, Resort

rupee

2500

/ night
Kohisar Houseboat, Srinagar

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

2 bedrooms, House Boats

rupee

1750

/ night
Colonel's Retreat, Jammu

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

5+ bedrooms, Homestay

rupee

2000

/ night