While planning your Srinagar to Gurez itinerary, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. You must know what exactly Gurez is all about and what are you going to see there. Hopefully, the information in the post below will be of help.
Gurez Valley is divided into two districts or tehsils. While traveling from Srinagar to Gurez, you will first reach the town of Bandipore, then climb up the Razdan Pass and enter Gurez on its other side.
Dawar is the central township of the valley. This is where all the hotels and basic amenities are and that is where you will be staying. The area between Razdan Pass and Dawar falls under the Dawar district.
Journey So Far:
- Srinagar to Gulmarg – Day 10
- Gulmarg to Bota Pathri – Day 10
- Gulmarg to Srinagar – Day 11
- Srinagar to Yusmarg – Day 12
- Yusmarg to Doodhpathri – Day 13
- Doodhpathri to Srinagar – Day 14
- Srinagar to Dawar in Gurez Valley – Day 15
- Dawar to Chakwali – Day 16
But the road does not end here. It extends for another 65 kilometers to Chakwali which is the last village on the Indian side of the border. The area between Dawar and Chakwali is known as Tilel District.
Srinagar to Gurez Itinerary
The road from Srinagar to Dawar is a mix of good, bad, and average. It is good for the most part of it and the bad stretch is only for a few kilometers between Razdan Pass and Dawar.
But when you drive towards Chakwali, there is absolutely no Tarr on the road. The last time I was there, there was no road work happening so it is safe to assume that it will stay that way in the coming years as well.
This entire 65-kilometer-long road is a non-stop series of potholes. It is badly broken and is a narrow dirt road for its entire length.
The first time I was on this road was on a rented Enfield and at the end of the journey, there was a noticeable crack in its rear shock absorber. That is how bad the road is.
Why am I telling you this? So that you can decide whether you want to go to Chakwali or not. Most of the cab drivers will refuse to go towards Chakwali and the ones who agree will charge you an additional Rs. 7000 for it.
Sightseeing in Gurez Valley
Now let us talk about sightseeing in Gurez Valley. There has been a significant increase in tourism in the valley and more people have started to include it in their itineraries.
The majority of the tourists will only go as far as Dawar and return from there. Why? Because that is where all the tourist attractions are.
Places like Habba Khatoon peak and waterfall, Khandiyal top, Chorwan village, Kishanganga river, and dam lake – it is all located in and around Dawar.
For more details on this topic, please take a look at Places to Visit in Gurez Valley & Things to Do.
How to Plan your Srinagar to Gurez Itinerary
So how should you plan your Srinagar to Gurez itinerary and how many days do you need for it? My recommendation will be that you keep at least 2 or 3 days.
Secondly, you will need to find a cab driver that has a Tata Sumo, Scorpio, or some other SUV with higher ground clearance.
Drivers who have cars like Innova for cabs will refuse to go to Chakwali due to low GC and may even charge you a bit more for Gurez.
A 2 days trip to Gurez from Srinagar will cost you about Rs. 1000 to Rs. 14000. If you want to go to Chakwali, add another Rs. 7000 for it.
My recommendation will be that you do not hire a cab from Srinagar for Chakwali. Rather, reach Gurez valley and ask your hotel owner to arrange a cab for you for Tilel. That way, you will be able to save around Rs. 2000 – 3000 and get a cab for 5000 approximately.
I will recommend staying in Hotel Kaka Palace in Dawar. Its owner has a lot of contacts in the valley and will be able to get you a cab at lower rates.
If you did not want to spend all that money, you can rent a bike in Srinagar for Gurez Valley. Take a look at Srinagar Bike Rental Rates for more details.
By Your Own Car
If you were traveling by your own car, then the rule about the high ground clearance still applies. Make sure you have a high GC SUV and you do not attempt this stretch in a Sedan.
Talking about Chakwali, you should also know that it is just the views over there, nothing else. I agree that the scenery is beautiful but that is just about it. It is just a drive of 130 kilometers in a day and nothing more.
Secondly, be prepared for a lot of dust and a very bumpy ride which can get very unpleasant for some people. The sun in this region gets very harsh during the day. It will be so hot outside that you would avoid getting out of your car.
Now keeping all of the above, below is how you can plan your Srinagar to Gurez itinerary.
Srinagar to Gurez Itinerary for 3 Days
Srinagar to Dawar on Day 1. See Razdan Pass, Kishangana River Dam, and Lake on the way. Check into Hotel Kaka Palace. Go for a drive to Habba Khatoon Peak, visit the Army Cafe, and spend some time by the Kishanganga river.
Go for a drive to Chakwali on Day 2. If you started by 9 am from your hotel, you will return in the evening by 4 or 5 pm. Go to the other side of Dawar where there is a lot of flooding by the Kishanganga river. It is a good place to see the sunset and have fun with your friends.
Go to Khandiyal Top in the morning on Day 3 and see the sunrise from there. Start from your hotel by 9 or 10 am and reach Srinagar by 3 or 4 pm.
Srinagar to Gurez Itinerary for 2 Days
If you only have 2 days in hand, then skip the day visit to Chakwali. Your itinerary will then look like this.
Srinagar to Dawar on Day 1. See Razdan Pass, Kishangana River Dam, and Lake on the way. Check into Hotel Kaka Palace. Go for a drive to Habba Khatoon Peak, visit the Army Cafe, and spend some time by the Kishanganga river near the flooding area.
Go to Khandiyal Top in the morning on Day 2 and see the sunrise from there. Start from your hotel by 9 or 10 am and reach Srinagar by 3 or 4 pm.
You will need at least 2 days for Gurez Valley and a 1-day trip is not possible.
Dawar to Srinagar
That is how we planned our trip and after being to Gurez twice, this is how I will recommend you to plan as well. To read about our journey to all these places, you can follow the links that I provided above detailing our trip to Gurez.
After spending two days in Gurez Valley, we woke up early on Day 3. It was a Monday and a working day for us. We had to be back in Srinagar where there was stable wifi available and log in to our office laptops by the evening.
Jio provides 4G data in Gurez Valley but it was not really strong and stable enough to allow us to work. Hene, we had little choice but to return to Srinagar.
Not much happened on this day. We checked out of Hotel Kaka Palace at around 7 am and went to Khandiyal Top first. After spending some time there, we started our return journey.
We stopped for a break at the Kishanganga Dam Lake. It looked awesome at the time of sunrise.
The next break came at the top of Razdan Pass.
The road between Srinagar and Gurez valley passes through some narrow towns and villages. It is a two-lane road with no divider and sees a lot of traffic during the day.
Due to this, even though the distance between the two places is only about 130 kilometers, the travel time can be as much as 7 hours.
Luckily for us, a government official was traveling with a few police cars escorting him at the same time that we were. They were right ahead of us and I noticed that the traffic was being cleared or stopped for them.
So all we had to do was to make sure that we follow them right behind and that is what we did.
After a non-stop journey of following the police cars, we reached Srinagar in just about 4 hours. This was the fastest I had ever traveled between Gurez and Srinagar.
- Journey Ahead: Srinagar to Aharbal Waterfall
We came back to our hotel and were working by the evening. The next 5 days, until Friday, were spent in Srinagar City. On the next weekend, we ended up traveling to Aharbal Waterfall. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.
I hope the travelogue, pictures, and information on planning your Srinagar to Gurez itinerary 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.