Whenever we think of Kashmir valley, we usually visualize the volley of bullet firing and indefinite curfew due to menace of terrorism but just close your eyes and attempt to imagine heaven and once you visit Kashmir, I bet that it will come out to be several times more beautiful than your figment of imagination about paradise. The splendid valley showcases different landscapes and all definitions of beauty from different perspectives can be truly viewed and experienced. Despite the fact that majority of population of the valley is of Muslims, the valley truly exhibits pluralistic pattern which you will discover during the trip to Kashmir.
There are myriad destinations which may be included in the tour to the valley of Kashmir. When in Kashmir, you cannot miss out relaxing in the splendid and luxury laden houseboats in Dal Lake which is considered to be the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir. The adjoining magnificent Mughal-styled gardens i.e. Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh add beauty to this most splendid lake and the stay on its crystal clear surface. Moreover, the regal ride in shikaras and passing by the floating gardens known as Rad in Kashmiri tongue is an experience ever-memorable. This beautiful lake is situated in summer capital of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar. If we talk of gardens in the valley, there are umpteen and some of which shall must be visited during the trip are Chashme Shahi, another Mughal garden overlooking Dal Lake and Pari Mahal which is seven terraced garden that offers a spectacular view soothing to the eyes and the soul.
As I mentioned about religious tolerance, the valley has some holy Hindu temples and several Buddhist monasteries majority of which fall into the region of Leh and Ladakh, the places best known for their exceptional landscapes and beauty showered by Mother Nature with free hands. Shankaracharya Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hari Parbat and Amarnath temple may be visited when in the region and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, holy shrine of Sikh community shall also be included in the visit. If we mention the monasteries, you may visit the sacred structures such as Rangdum monastery, Sankar monastery, Thikse monastery, Chemrey monastery, Shanti Stupa, Phyang monastery, Stok monastery, Alchi Gompa, Diskit monastery, Phugtal, Hanle Gompa, Kursha Gompa to name a few.
Well, there is a great deal more to be travelled in this exquisite valley. You may visit Gulmarg which is an incredible hill station which is known for Gulmarg Gondola, Alpather Lake and once you cover distance of around six kilometres, you will reach Khilanmarg which is a flower embedded meadow offering the view of imposing Nanga Parbat which is nothing less than spectacular. Both the destinations are quite popular for winter skiing and enthusiasts from all parts of the globe participate in the skiing events. Further, you may travel to Betab Valley, Hazratbal Shrine, Sher Garhi Palace which was haven for kings of Dogra dynasty, Leh Palace, Magnetic Hill and Nubra Valley.
If you are fond of water bodies, besides Dal Lake you may also grab the beauty in form of Lidder river, Sheshnag Lake, Tulian Lake and Wular Lake respectively. Every inch and corner of the valley seems to be painted by Him in the free time in most carefree fashion.
Plan your visit to Kashmir and the definition of beauty in your glossary would change for certain.