How to plan a trip to Kashmir – A COMPLETE Travel Guide

by Vargis.Khan

How to plan a trip to Kashmir? This really is a question that can never be answered in brief. There are a lot of factors that you will have to consider like how to reach, where to stay, what to see, things to do, what to pack, how much will it cost, itinerary planning, etc.

All of these questions cannot be answered in a single post if you truly want it to be detailed. Not just Kashmir but when visiting any place anywhere, you will have to carefully research each and every part of the journey, to ensure that your trip remains hassle-free

I have visited Kashmir a few times and have written several detailed articles that can be of help to everyone planning a trip. This information is scattered in several posts and getting the details that you need can be a little time-consuming.

For the sake of convenience and ease of navigation, I am cataloging these articles in the post below. Follow the links, take a look at the articles and every question that you have about visiting Kashmir will surely get answered.

Best Time to Visit Kashmir

When is the best time to visit Kashmir? There is actually no straight answer to this question because it will depend on what kind of a trip you were looking forward to.

If you wanted to see snow, January and February are ideal times. If you wanted to see lush green views, September will be the best time. For a honeymoon trip, I will recommend April and September.

If you wanted to see flowers and Tulip Garden, you should plan in April. If you wanted to see Apple orchards, August and September is the best time to go.

For photography, a trip in the post-monsoon season will be best. For budget travelers, August and November are good times to go.

This however is just a brief overview. For a more detailed and month-by-month breakdown of this information, please take a look at When is the Best Time to Visit Kashmir.

Public Transport in Kashmir

The best way to travel to Kashmir is either by your self-owned vehicle or a private taxi. But if you are a budget traveler, you can also opt for public transport which is available in the form of buses and shared taxis. The problem however is that it is not frequent.

It will be hard to find a JKSRTC bus anywhere in Kashmir. You will have to rely on mini-buses and shared cabs operated by the locals. They do not have a set schedule or timetable but are available throughout the day.

For more details on this topic, please take a look at How to Travel in Kashmir by Buses & Shared Cabs. In this post, I have provided complete details on how you can commute from Srinagar to other places by public transport.

Mobile Network and Data Connectivity

BSNL has the widest network in Kashmir but Airtel is better in terms of the quality of the network. Jio works decently well but the services of Vodafone and Idea are not that great.

The important thing that you should know is that only postpaid connections work in the valley. Irrespective of which network you were on, your phone will be dead as soon as you enter Kashmir if it was a prepaid connection.

But if it was a postpaid phone, you will have good reception and data connectivity in tourist destinations like Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. If you went a little offbeat, your phone may or may not work depending on the service provider.

I have covered this topic in great detail in another article Mobile Network and Data Connectivity in Kashmir that you can take a look at. I have given a region-wise breakdown of the network reception in this post.

Itinerary Planning

Your final itinerary for Kashmir will entirely depend on the number of days you have in hand, your budget, and your preferences. But I will recommend taking a look at How to Plan your Itinerary for Kashmir.

In this post, I have shared different examples of itineraries based on the time at hand. You can pick any one of the suggested itineraries and either follow it completely or modify it as per your convenience.

Taxi Rates

If you were planning on renting a taxi for your trip, the posts below can help you get a cost estimate. An important thing that you should remember is that places like Pahalgam and Gulmarg have their own taxi rates.

What it means is that if you rented a taxi for Pahalgam from Srinagar, it can only drop you in Pahalgam. To visit local places like Betaab Valley, Chandanwari, and Aru Valley, you will have to rent a local cab in Pahalgam.

The same rule applies to Gulmarg. If you wanted to go for a drive to Bota Pathri, you will have to rent another cab in Gulmarg for that.

Similarly, this rule is also applicable if you intended to move on to Kargil, Zanskar Valley, or Ladakh after exploring Kashmir.

Renting a Bike

Renting a bike in Srinagar is a great way to explore for people who reached Kashmir by flight. There are a few bike rentals in the city that you can get the bikes from.

Please take a look at How to Rent a Bike in Srinagar and Srinagar Bike Rental Rates. From both of these posts, you can get to know the procedure and the cost involved.

Hotels

In the posts below, I have reviewed some of the hotels that I have stayed at during my trips to Kashmir. You can take a look at the information and pictures that I provided and decide if you wish to stay at any of these.

Travelogues

Below are the links of detailed travelogues that I was able to pen down of some of my Kashmir trips. If you would like to, you can take a look at these logs to gain further information and see pictures of the places.

I have tried to be as detailed as possible in these logs, providing several necessary details for anyone wanting to plan a similar journey.

By Car

This one was my longest trip to Kashmir and covered most of the tourist destinations.

Bike Trip

The trip above was entirely in my Thar. Take a look at this second travelogue. This was a complete bike trip done in a different manner.

Winter Trip

The travelogues above were both from the summer season. If you were planning to visit Kashmir during the winter season, the travelogue below can be of help.

Other Travelogues

These travelogues were written by other authors detailing their journeys. Take a look and I am sure you can get a lot of helpful details from their travel stories.

If you would like your travel story to be published on my blog, you can send it to me with the relevant pictures at [email protected] I can give a final touch to the log, put it up on the log and add the links here.

Photos

If you would like to take a look at some of my images of places in Kashmir, you can take a  look at the posts below. This can help you decide whether or not you want to visit that particular place or not.

Doodhpathri Photos

Shalimar Bagh Photos

Alpather Lake Photos

Aharbal Waterfall Photos

Dal Lake Photos

Gulmarg Pictures

 

If there was a specific question that you were not able to find an answer to, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.

 

Astanmarg

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