I went there in April 2016 with the BFF and trust me when I say, I was surprised. Pleasantly so!
Yet to go on another international trip with her. Hopefully the big-30 in Cebu, as planned.
So the flight was AirAsia. Round trip from KLIA2 to Delhi and it cost me about RM799, it was definitely on promotion. Delhi – Kashmir was GoAir and it cost us about RM200.
GoAir flies from the domestic terminal (1 – if not wrong) and AA arrives at terminal 3. There’s a connecting bus service at the arrival level near towards the passenger service counter.
Our flight reach at midnight and the next one was at 5.50 am. There are police and soldiers guarding everywhere and they will not let you in the terminal unless its time for your flight. First round of check for our boarding pass is at the gate itself. Be safe! print it all.
Anyways, to pass time we took the airport lounge at the domestic terminal for 3 hours.
That’s the super-excited face at 4 am! Even Doreamon was excited!
As its the first time to India and with everything that was in the media, we played it safe by buying a full board package for Kashmir – 4 days / 3 nights. We bought this trip from Matta Fair and it cost us about RM3000.
The stay was at the lovely house boat at Nigeen Lake.
Nigeen Lake is the opposite of Dal Lake. Its peaceful with the same beautiful view. Not so many disturbance from the local sellers. This will be perfect if you are like us who always prefers peace.
What an experience it was!
This is our deluxe houseboat ..
This view with Safron Tea. The best!
After hours in flight and airport, our first stop actually made us fall in love with Kashmir.
Look at this combo:
with this view!
and you just fall in love! hahahahaha.
Maybe to cheesssyyyy.. But honestly me and my bff was in that “aawwwww” mode and the whole tiredness from the journey was forgotten.
So, the first stop was Sonamarg. Straight from the airport.
Remember Bhajrangi Bhaijaan, remember Sonamarg.
Anyways once there, the locals tried to charge us almost triple for the horse ride. But lucky me, my BFF was there. Bargaining is our her specialty. She actually threaten that we would walk the whole journey as we had the whole day.
We won! I was beyond relieved. Honestly.
It was spectacular. I think you will agree.
Just remember, you will have to walk towards the opposite direction of where the crowd is.
As per our guide, take the road not taken, it will not disappoint you.
So we did. Just the 3 of us.
And, this is the view that we got!
Here, tourist were minimal and the snow is as white as it could be. It has snowed a day earlier, so the view was pretty much untouched.
My first experience with snow and I fell in love again!
That’s the end of day 1.
Day 2 and we were on our way to Gulmarg. Thru out the journey, you will be able to see Gulmarg. Its like its around the corner.
This was from the stop where we rented our snow -boots. You can even rent their tradiotional snow-robe here. Yes, exactly like worn by Salman Khan in Bhajrangi Bhaijaan.
We need to take the cable car towards the highest point. There’s 2 stop and you can choose to alight at both.
This place is special. You can even see the Himalaya from here.
That is Himalaya. But nope, the peak seen is not Everest. Its the 3rd or 4th highest peak.
Mesmerizing. We just sat and enjoyed the whole view.
That’s Gulmarg highest peak.
Technically, Gulmarg means the valley of flower. If it were spring, you could see flowers everywhere in the valley while you are in the cable car. That’s the info from the guide.
Here’s a picture, it was a must since its linked to the name.
On the way back to we made a few pit stops. Reason being – I was so impressed even with the forest! It was so well kept, Look at the grass. Look at it! If the guide was right, during winter this whole valley is covered with snow.
saw the grass?
and here’s Gulmarg from this pit-stop
We went for a Shikara ride during sunset at Nigeen Lake. If you saw Jab Jab Phool Khile, this will be so relate able.
There was no Shashi Kapoor for me thou. Hahaha!
Well that’s the end of day 2.
Day 3 and it was Pahalgam!
The journey itself was so beautiful. All this was taken even before we reach Pahalgam.
We had enough of horse riding.
So we walk. Eating ice-creams. Snapping pictures!
And that was the end of day 3.
On day 4, we did some shopping and sightseeing at Sri Nagar. The pashminas, if you are interested are worth it! Of course the dry fruits too.
We visited the royal gardens and Dal Lake.
Here is the picture of the royal garden.
And the perfect lunch before we went to the airport :
That’s the end of our trip to Kashmir.
We continued our journey to Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Delhi. But that’s a story for the next time.
Something to note for this trip:
a. There’s no prepaid card nor is there any roaming service. The lines are controlled by the government. You can apply for a line but it will take a long processing time.
b. WiFi is a must. Its the only connection you will have.
c. The airport is an army airport. Strictly no photo taking. You will see soldiers everywhere. There are 2 rounds of check even before you step in the airport for your return flight. At the first stop, you will have to bring down everything that you carry for scanning. Spare more time for this.
d. The second round of check, they will throw away anything loose that is not inside your bag or that is not pack properly. Like our dry fruits.
e. For the return trip, all the bags must be checked in. No hand carry allowances.
f. While the place is safe, we were advise not to do any night activities. Not even a walk to the market.
g. Lastly, you will have a good time looking at all the handsome faces! All Kashmir-ian are so good looking. I know I had excellent time looking at them.
h. The majority people here are Islam. Halal food is easily found everywhere.