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Unexplored Destinations

Kashmir is much more than the familiar places most often visited by tourists. For enroute to the more popular centers, or close to major resorts, are lesser known places where the magic of kashmir is as bewitching. Come, discover Kashmir's lesser known destinations.

Daksum

Past Mughals gardens of Achabal with their tinkling fountains , thorugh the breathtaking splendour of the springs at Kokernag, lies Daksum. Quite away from it all , tucked away in a densely forested gorge, Daksum would be completely silent but for the Bringhi river which gushes though it.

Daksum is a walker's paradise. Up the hills which are swathed in coniferous trees, past gurgling brooks, the simple, haunting notes of a flute will waft down to you from where an unseen shepherd tends his flock. For in the hills surrounding Daksum, suddenly you will find yourself in grassy meadows where sheep are taken to pasture.

Daksum is a reviving experience - the bracing mountain air, the soltitude , the densely clad hills, and beyond them , snow covered mountains all contribute to Daksum's mystique , making it the perfect retreat

Daksum
View of Daksum
Daksum
Another View of Daksum

Yusmarg

A two hour drive from Srinagar ( 47 kms ) will take you to acres upon acres of grassy meadow ringed by forests of pine, and towering beyond them, awesome and majestic snow clad mountains. This is Yusmarg - close enough to Srinagar for a picnic, idyllic enough to make you want to stay for a few days. Here are walks of every sort - a leisurely amble along flower-strewn meadows or away to where a mighty river froths and crashes its way over rocks, its mild white foam earning it the name of Dudh Ganga. Further down, a captivating lake, Nilnag, is cradled by hills. Nearby are several peaks-Tatta Kutti and Sang Safed to name a couple of them. About 13 kms from Yusmarg, a short detour away from the Srinagar road, is Charari- Sharief, the Shrine of Kashmir’s patron saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din or Nund Reshi.

Yusmarg
View of Yusmarg
Yusmarg
Another View Yusmarg

Kokernag

Situated the lower of Bringhi valley, Kokernag (2,020 m, 70 kms from Srinagar), is set amidst sprawling gardens fragrant with the bloom of thousands of flowers. The Kokernag spring bubbles at seven places at the foot of the forested mountain. The water of the spring is famous for its medicinal and digestive properties.

Kokernag
View of Kokernag
Kokernag
Another View Kokernag

Aharbal

Gradually, the distant rumble becomes a roar as one approach the waterfall of Aharbal, which crashes down a narrow gorge. Aharbal is more than just a waterfall. There are several places to picnic in the surrounding areas, as well as delightful walks of varying lengths all over the hillsides. Interesting treks-one of them to the high altitude lake of Kounsernag at 13,500 ft above sea level-takes off from Aharbal. waterfall.

Aharbal
View of Aharbal
Aharbal
Another View Aharbal

Watlab

Gradually , the panoply of the 'real Kashmir' miles away from well-traversed areas , will unfold before you, and you will reach Watlab. Here , high on a hilltop is the shrine of a Muslim mystic, Baba Shukurdin. From here, the Wular stretches away as far as the eye can see , edged by picturesque villages, and terraced breeze-rippled fields of paddy in a riotous burst of colour. At Watlab is a Forest Rest House amidst sprwaling apple orchards. Permission has to be sought from the Forest Department Office at Sopore district headquarters.

Watlab
View of Watlab
Watlab
Another View Watlab

Verinag

Located 80 kms from Srinagar at an altitude of 1,876 m, the spring of Verinag is believed to be the chief source of the river Jhelum. Construction of the octagonal base of the spring and the arcade around it was undertaken by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and completed during the reign of Shah Jahan. Down the stream to the east lie the remains of a Mughal pavilion and baths. Verinag can be approached through the link road, which turns off, from the national highway at Lower Munda.

Verinag
View of Verinag
Verinag
Another View Verinag

Lolab Valley

A three hour drive through the famed apple orchards of Sopore, through Kupwara district will bring you to this enchantingly lovely valley, visited by so few. But it is this very quality that makes Lolab so special- virtually flat lands planted with fields of paddy , verdant in summer, pure gold in autumn are offset to perfection for the gently rolling hills that encircle the valley , clad in the deepest green that is the colour of pines. Trees of walnut and apple whose colours reflect the changing of the seasons from nature's bounty here. And in the tiny hamlets that sprinkle the valley , you will see a life that is distinctly and uniquely Kashmiri. Timbered houses with sloping thatched roofs; the brillant vermillion of chillies drying from windows; women carrying samvovars of tea into the fields where every member of the family is engaged . In short Kashmiri village life as it has been led for centuries.

Lolab Valley
View of Lolab Valley
Lolab Valley
Another View Lolab Valley