I recently was on a trip to Yusmarg and stayed at the JKTDC Yusmarg resort for a night. The post below is a brief overview of my experience at this resort and whether or not I will recommend this to anyone.
When I say JKTDC Yusmarg resort, I am talking about both Hotel Kongposh Yusmarg and the JKTDC cottages. Actually, both of these are maintained by JK tourism only and I am not sure why they name these differently.
For any other details on visiting Yusmarg, like how to reach, public transport, the best time to visit, and what to see, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Yusmarg.
JKTDC Yusmarg Resort
Yusmarg is one of the lesser-known destinations in Kashmir. The majority of the tourists visit places like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg. Rarely anyone ever goes to places like Yusmarg. The ones that do mostly make it a day trip.
The effect of this is seen pretty much everywhere in Yusmarg. Authorities tried to develop the place as a tourist destination but failed at it miserably.
All the developments that were done to promote tourism are now in shambles. They made the right arrangements but the place never got the attention that it deserves.
Right from the path through the meadow to the gazebos and the JKTDC cottages, everything is in total disarray. The gazebos have long been vandalized. The path is broken and mostly remains covered in horse dung.
The same is the case with the JKTDC cottages. While the location and setting of the resort are amazing, the story inside the cottages is an entirely different story.
What I Liked
The location is probably the only thing that I liked. Both times I was in Yusmarg, we were the only tourists around. It is a place that you can truly call offbeat Kashmir.
The surrounding meadow, small lake, and forest around really look like a place straight out of a painting.
The cottages I am sure would once have been very beautiful. They are large and spacious and are built like a proper bungalows. You get two bedrooms, a large dining hall, a porch, and a kitchen.
Right outside the cottage is a view that you will never forget for the rest of your life, like in the picture above. Sadly enough, the list of the good things pretty much ends here.
What I did not Like
Since there is no tourism at all, the cottages remain empty for most of the year. Neither the authorities nor the caretakers pay any attention to the maintenance of these cottages.
If I am to put it in simple words, it is probably the worst-maintained government property that I had ever seen. I have stayed in HPPWD as well as GMVN guest houses as well and those are always kept in great shape.
The moment we stepped into the cottage, I felt like we have moved into a property that was built by the Britishers before they left in 1947. The paint was all gone. The wood was creaking every time we walked.
The flush in one of the toilets was not working. The English seat in the other toilet was so bad that you would never want to sit on it. The bathrooms, in general, were very dirty.
I made sure that I smelled all the sheets, blankets, and pillows to make sure that they were not stinking. Why? Because they all seemed that they have not been washed in ages.
There was a TV in the cottage but I think it must have been bought sometime in the 90s. It was not working of course. There was no intercom and we had to walk all the way to the reception area whenever we wanted to order tea or something to eat.
See the building at the far end right before the mosque in the picture below? That is where we had to go even when we wanted to get some drinking water or tea.
Now, these cottages are spread over a large area and the reception area was a good 5 minutes walk away. The food tasted horrible and tea was nothing more than boiled water with a bit of sugar in it.
The price I paid for a double bedroom cottage was Rs. 3300. This was only for accommodation and meals weren’t included. Since I had already made the payment online, all that I could do after seeing the cottage was regret it.
There are some well-maintained and nicer cottages as well, like in the picture below. But they do not rent these out and keep them reserved for JKTDC officials.
JKTDC Yusmarg Resort – Conclusion
In short, Yusmarg is definitely a place worth staying but the JKTDC Yusmarg resort is not. If you want to stay here for the night, I will recommend bringing your camping gear along and camping for the night.
The cottages are in really bad shape and the money you pay for them is not worth it at all. The best thing to do would be to just make it a day trip from Srinagar to Yusmarg and return by evening.
I hope the pictures and information above on JKTDC Yusmarg resort were of help. If you have any questions, you can contact me on Instagram and I will be happy to answer. You can also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking a question there.