Kashmir is the best thing that ever happened to India! For all the enchantress that this piece is paradise is, one must plan an extensive excursion of the Himalayan beauty. There are times when Kashmir flourishes with maple in the fall, green pasture in the summer but winter in Kashmir is really special. Nothing in the world looks prettier than the way top tourist places in Kashmir like Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar appear; all cast in the snow.
In fact winter in Kashmir is challenging. Kashmir thrives in a dreamy surrounding. The entire valley is covered with a blanket of snow. Life comes to a halt during winters as one can’t find too many people around. Stunning escapades loom largely bejeweled with imposing mountain peaks in the backdrop, and partially frozen pine trees cut the picture of a mesmerizing sight around.
Weather In Kashmir In Winter
December to February is the best time to visit Kashmir in winter. While maximum temperature occasionally touches 10 degrees Celsius the minimum temperature comes down to -8 degrees Celsius. The period of 40 days from December 21 to January 31st, also known as Chilai Kalan, is considered as the most crucial when if it snows the condition gets even worse. The weather in Kashmir during winters is pleasant and surroundings become duskier and the bone-chilling cold can make you numb.
Things To Do In Winter In Kashmir
Here is the list of the most enticing things to do in winter in Kashmir for your next vacation. Keep scrolling down and read along to know more about the most enticing things that you can do in winters!
- Go For A Shikara Ride On Dal Lake Or Nigeen Lake
- Harissa – Try The Winter Delicacy Of Kashmir
- Skiing And Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg
- Walking The Chadar in Zanskar River
- Beholding The Best Of Snow Mountain Valley in Sonamarg
- A Pony Ride And Rafting In Pahalgam
- An Adventurous Outing – Snow Camping And Trekking
- Wazwan a multi-course meal in Kashmiri Cuisine
Go For A Shikara Ride On Dal Lake Or Nigeen Lake
For sure you can stroll around the markets in Kashmir buying those intricately woven Pashmina shawls, and carpets but don’t forget to go for a boat ride. The joy of taking a romantic boat ride in the beautiful lakes of Kashmir or staying in the best houseboats in Kashmir is incomparable. A boat ride in Kashmir is the mother of all the romantic experiences when you are on a Kashmir holiday. As the mercury experiences a remarkable dip even the lakes become partially frozen. Plan a Shikara ride and nothing is more enchanting than it. Trying a shikara ride is one of the best things to do in Kashmir in Winter.
Harissa – Try The Winter Delicacy Of Kashmir
There is a lot of things to do when you are looking to spend few days of winter in Kashmir. And Kashmiri food is certainly worth a mention. Kashmiri Pulav, Kehwa, dum aloo, Yakhni, and Kebabs are some of the most popular and lip smacking delicacies to try but it’s the Harissa that hogs the limelight. Harissa is the local Kashmiri food that everyone must try. The non-vegetarian delicacy that takes almost 12 hours to prepare is a staple diet of Kashmiris in winter. Lamb and rice are the primary ingredients of Harissa.
Skiing And Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg
Of all the adventure activities that you can take during winter in Kashmir, Skiing is the most popular. Gulmarg and Sonamarg are the most popular places to visit in Kashmir in winter for adventure enthusiasts who brave the sub-zero temperature to make the winter a memorable one. There are quite a few local operators in Gulmarg who make arrangements for adventure sports.
Riding a cable car in Gulmarg is truly an incredible experience. Hot air ballooning, skating, and heli-skiing is some other popular activities to take up while planning a trip to Kashmir in Winter.
Walking The Chadar in Zanskar River
There are times when you don’t find adventure but the adventure finds you. As you step into the world that looks nothing less than the ice age, there are daunting trails awaiting you into the deep embrace of nature. Zanskar river, flowing to the south of Leh across the Hemis National Park, is the perfect place to explore in winter. The river turns into a thick sheet of ice in winter thus forming a perfect platform for the Chadar Trek – one of the most thrilling treks in the world. Chadar Trek is a popular attraction of Kashmir in winter.
Beholding The Best Of Snow Mountain Valley in Sonamarg
An hour drive from Srinagar takes you to Sonamarg (80 km from Srinagar). It is often said that Sonamarg remains inaccessible in winter because of the heavy snowfall and avalanche but with the able help of locals, one can maneuver the tricky trail well. Sonamarg is one place in Kashmir that will take your breath away. The beauty of Sonamarg is unparalleled with golden beauty turning into a sea of white.
Thajiwas Glacier and Zero Point are the most beautiful of all thus making for popular places to see in Sonamarg. Embrace the beauty the land of golden meadows has its own charm in the fudgy winter. Guarded by the great Himalayan mountains, Sonamarg, one of the most popular places to visit in India in summer, is a must-visit.
A Pony Ride And Rafting In Pahalgam
Winter would never be easier in Kashmir without ponies. When the unknown trails become difficult to walk, it is the ponies who guide you through the valley carrying you on their backs. The fact that winter in Kashmir is considered an offseason for tourism makes the travelers prone to make the higher payment. Negotiate is the word. To experience the glaciers in Kashmir at its best a horse/pony ride is a must. Stay cautious, even animals fumble sometimes.
An Adventurous Outing – Snow Camping And Trekking
Kashmir is the aptest place to place to plan a winter camping. With not too many people around, camping always makes for a peaceful retreat amidst nature. And when you think of camping in Kashmir there is nothing like this one incredible experience. Mount Nun Kun Camping, Mount Harmukh Camping, and the Trek to Sankaracharya are the most popular of them all.
Wazwan a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine
Last but not the least, Kashmiri Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, usually served in a Trammi or traem. Mostly served during weddings, the very name is enough to bring aroma of your home town when you are outside the valley. Just say the word “Wazwan” in any Kashmiri home and there is not a single person who would not say “Aab ounthe mei, bathe taraem wathiha”
With dark grey and gloomy conditions around, and weather presenting bone-chilling conditions, camping is one of its kind experience in Kashmir. Living in a tent on a bed of snow is an experience that would invigorate the adventures in you.