A name when softly murmured stirs memories of bygone Golden Ages. The whisper evokes a portrait of beauty: stunning snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, flower strewn valleys dazzling the eye with all the colours of the rainbow. Pine forests fill the air with their sent, rivers teeming with plump fish and lakes, with delightful floating gardens… This is Kashmir!
Delhi – Srinagar – Gulmarg – Delhi
|CELESTIAL KASHMIR||The whisper evokes a portrait of beauty: stunning snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, flower strewn valleys dazzling the eye with all the colours of the rainbow. Pine forests fill the air with their sent, rivers teeming with plump fish and lakes, with delightful floating gardens… This is Kashmir!|
Day 1. To Delhi
Departure from your home country to Delhi.
Day 2. To Srinagar
Arrive Delhi and connect to domestic flight to Srinagar. Then transfer to the Houseboat. After lunch a relaxing ride on a traditional ‘Shikara’ – the famous local boat of the Lakes. Four nights stay at Houseboat.
Day 3. Srinagar
Morning at leisure to soak up the beauty of the lake and the mountains from the sundeck of your Houseboat. After lunch leave the Houseboat by Shikara for the Pari Mahal Ghat. Visits include the Pari Mahal, Nishat and Shalimar Mughal Gardens. The Pari Mahal was originally a Buddhist Monastery and later converted to an Astrological School by Dara Shikoh – eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. The Nishat – or The Garden of Bliss – with its glorious views of the snowcapped mountains, was created by Asif Khan on the banks of Dal Lake. The lovely Shalimar Bagh -The Abode of Love – was the inspiration of Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jehan.
Day 4. Srinagar
After breakfast a walking tour discovering the heritage and culture of the city. See the ancient Shrines and Mosques, wander the streets lined with soft hued burnt brick buildings and see some of the famous Srinagar bridges. End the tour at the Nagar Nagar Interpretation Centre in the Old City to learn about the fascinating Afghan and Mughal City within the Hari Parbat Fort. Partake in a delicious cup of Kahwa – the traditional Kashmiri Tea. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 5. Srinagar
Delightful day’s outing to see the beautiful Manasbal Lake: it’s considered the gem of Kashmiri lakes, especially when the waters lilies are in bloom. For lunch take a leisurely picnic at ‘Daroga Bagh’ now generally known as Jharokha Garden, and again built by Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan. The views over the Lake are superb. Later visit a Silk Worm ‘farm’ and see how these fascinating worms (actual the pupa part of their lifecycle) weave their magical ‘thread’.
Day 6. To Gulmarg
Early morning optional visit to the bustling vegetable market and then an hour and a half journey will transport you to ‘The Meadow of Flowers’. Stop at Kanihma – a little village en route – to see the dying art of Kani Shawl weaving. Then start the climb to Gulmarg through fir-covered hillsides. Two nights stay at Hotel Highlands Park.
Day 7. Gulmarg
Take a breath-taking Gondola ride for a spectacular view of the lovely scenery of the Valley of Gulmarg or enjoy a walking tour to the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve.
Day 8. To Delhi
Morning drive to Srinagar. Fly to Delhi in the afternoon. Overnight at Shangri-La Eros Hotel.
Day 9. To your home country
Fly back to your home country.
Suggested Extension: The Little Tibet – Ladakh
Day 8. To Kargil
Morning drive to Kargil. The route is rugged with outstanding scenery and ascends to the spectacular Zoji la Pass at 11575 feet. Overnight Zojila Residency.
Day 9. To Nurla
Leave Kargil and visit Mulbekh Status, then up to the Nami Kala pass at 11000 feet, climbing ever higher to the Fatula Pass at 14000 feet. Visit Lamayuru Monastery and continue to Nurla. Overnight stay at The Apricot Tree.
Day 10. To Leh
Wonderful drive today again through stunning scenery passing ancient shrines and occasional habitation. Four nights at Grand Dragon Hotel.
Day 11. Leh
Morning to relax and then wander the Leh market – look out for local handicrafts. Later visit the Shankar Gompa home to countless pure gold statues.
Day 12. Leh
Visit the 12 storeys high Thikesy Monastery and Stok Palace Museum. A 15m high seated Maitreya Buddha dominates the Monastery’s main prayer hall. At the Museum see the extensive collections of weaponry, art and jewellery.
Day 13. Leh
Day to explore the sights and sounds of Leh. Or optional drive to the Khardung – La Pass on the highest motorable road in the world.
Day 14. To Delhi
Transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi. Overnight at Shangri-La Eros Hotel.
Day 15. To your home country
Fly back to your home country.
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