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Tourist Attractions

Sonamarg located on the Srinagar-Ladakh Highway, around 2 half hours drive northeast of Srinagar and scenic Sonamarg is famous for its Thajiwas Glacier. What’s remarkable about this glacier is how accessible it is. From the highway, you can hike up to the glacier and back in around 5 hours. It is costly though. Pony owners will charge at least 600 rupees per person for a return trip. Do bargain hard. Scenes of many Bollywood movies have been filmed in the area. There are a number of options for eating and staying at Sonamarg.

Gulmarg India’s version of a ski resort, is situated less than 2 hours drive east of Srinagar. The season runs from mid December to mid March. If you’re not into skiing, you may still want to let the gondola whisk you more than 13,000 feet up Mount Apharwat for outstanding views. Apparently, It’s the world’s highest cable car. It’s also very popular Ubiquitous pony rides are also available in Gulmarg, and their owners are particularly aggressive in pestering tourists for business.

Pahalgam, the Valley of Shepherds is around 3 hours drive from Srinagar and is near the departure point for pilgrims going on the Amarnath Yatra (avoid visiting during July). Visitors commonly head to Pahalgam’s Betaab Valley (The Bollywood movie Betaab was shot there), with its fresh flowing Lidder River and surrounding snow-capped hills. Entrance to the Valley is regulated and costs 10 rupees. Other possible activities around Pahalgam include golfing, trout fishing, and river rafting. It’s a popular destination for adventure tourism.

Charar-i-Sharief and Yousmarg
Yousmarg, a sprawling meadow around 2 hours drive southwest of Srinagar, is refreshingly underdeveloped. The highlight is the Doodh Ganga River, which is reached by a picturesque 30 minute walk along a forested trail down a hill. Alternatively, it’s possible to take a pony. The pony owners will insist you do so and they are quite annoying. On the way to Yousmarg you’ll pass numerous apple trees (if you spot anyone selling apples on the roadside, get some as they’re delicious!) as well the town of Charar-i-Sharief. It’s worth stopping there as it’s home to one of the most holy Sufi Muslim shrines in India and some of the biggest halwa parathas you’ll ever see!

Sinthan Top
Sinthan Top is becoming a sought after alternative to the other, often crowded tourist places in Kashmir. Interest in it has grown since construction of the Kokernag-Sinthan Top-Kishtwar Road, connecting Kashmir with Jammu, began. It’s yet to be developed though, so there’s an absence of facilities for tourists. Hence, it’s a good idea to stop in Daksum on the way. The drive from Srinagar to Sinthan Top takes around 2half hours. It’s possible to stay in Daksum, or Kokernag where there are more options. These are excellent places to go trekking and exploring the great outdoors.