With summer right around the corner, everybody’s busy booking tickets to escape the heat. For all those who want to make the best of their vacations, the finest option out there would be the wonderful Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir. Why go looking for Pricey Vacays in Other Countries when there are so many Delightful Destinations to enjoy right on our own! Jammu and Kashmir is showered with all the beauty and the Best Atmosphere by the Mother Nature. It is at the northern tip of India. It is said to be the paradise in India with the Tremendous Scenery.
The dense forests of J & K prove to an absolute delight to the Adventure lovers. Jammu and Kashmir have highest altitude tourism places in India and is one of the most beautiful places in India. The State is home to some of the highest pilgrimages in India like Amarnath Cave Temple and Vaishno Devi Temple.
Seeing the magnanimity of Jammu and Kashmir’s hilly terrain, the difficulty of precipitating it to a few good places is understandable. Well, worry no more! Here’s a cool list of Jammu and Kashmir’s Best Hill Stations along with destinations in them that are ideal additions to your itinerary.
- Leh – The Cold Desert of India
Also, See – Best Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh
Once the capital of Kingdom of Ladakh, now the second largest district in the country, Leh is known as Cold Desert of India. The Tranquil atmosphere all around the year is a wonderful reprieve from the heat of summer to its visitors. A beautiful place- rich in religious heritage and historically significant, Leh is also an Ideal Holiday Destination for people who enjoy discovering new cultures.
What makes it the first on a list of popular Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir, is the fact that it was an important point in the Historic Silk Route through which traders traveled to and from India. It also encompasses significant pieces of architecture like the Leh Palace, which once used to house the royal family of Ladakh. The Panoramic view of the region is often described as out-of-the-world experience with breathtaking hills, valleys, rivers, snow-clad peaks and much more.
For Trekking and Camping Lovers, Leh offers an ample of opportunities as the region hosts some of the best Trekking Trails in India. Some of the popular Treks in and around Leh are Chadar(Frozen River Trek), Stok Kangri Trek, Markha Valley Trek and the Great Lakes Trek.
Leh is also religiously diverse as its population is a varied mix of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. No matter whether you are a Nature Lover, an Adventure Enthusiast, a Romantic Couple or on a Family Holiday, Leh has all in it to mesmerize you with its stunning beauty and traditional culture.
Best Places to Visit in and Around Leh – Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, Shanti Stupa, Pangong Tso Lake, Khardungla Pass, Magnetic Hill, Spituk Gompa, Namgyal Monastery, Hall of Fame, Shey Monastery, Hemis National Park, Basgo Monastery, Indian Astronomical Observatory.
Top Things to do in Leh – Trekking, Camping, Cycling, Shopping, Nature Photography, Observe Local Culture, Taste Local Cuisine, Wildlife Sanctuary Visit and much much more…
- Patnitop – Nature and Adventure Together
An ideal tourist location, Patnitop is one of those places where you can completely forget all your worries and sink knee-deep into a nice long break. A lovely meadow decorated with lush greenery and scenic delight, it is the ideal place for long walks and unplanned picnics. At Patnitop, one can often lose himself to the simplicity of nature and all it has to offer.
Though not as well-known as the others, it earns its place on the list of hill stations because of its peaceful atmosphere and the various activities like trekking, hill-climbing, mountaineering, skiing and nature walk. Also, according to many of its admirers, food is the best part of Patnitop-a typical Dogri cuisine made from freshly picked herbs and vegetables.
Best Places to Visit in Patnitop – Naag Mandir, Sansar Lake, Nathatop, Baglihar Dam, Shivagarh, Mantalai
Things to Do in Patnitop – Skiing, Hill-Climbing, Trekking, Mountaineering, Nature Sightseeing
- Srinagar – Lakes, Gardens and More…
Sandwiched by the Himalayas, Srinagar is known for the large number of tourist attractions it has to offer. Be it Srinagar’s Sparkling Fresh Water Lakes Or Colorfully Aesthetic Gardens, one can never tire of its beauty. One of the most visited Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir, this summer capital of the State is often referred to as the Venice of the East.
Part of Srinagar’s glory lies in its name- according to Hindu culture, it translates literally to ‘the City of Wealth’ or ‘City of the Sun’. Famous for indigenous handicrafts and hand-woven silk shawls, Srinagar’s architectural wonders often render visitors speechless- be it the auspicious Sri Sankaracharya temple or the historic Shalimar Bagh. Without Any Doubt, Srinagar is one of the Best Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Srinagar also credits itself with having one of the longest freshwater lakes in Asia- the Wular lake. Other famous water bodies include Dal Lake, Jhelum River, and Nagin Lake. Don’t be surprised to find long, decorative boats riding on one of these lakes- they’re one of Srinagar’s specialties called Shikaras.
Best Places to Visit in Srinagar – Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden, Shalimar Bag, Mughal Gardens, Jama Masjid Mosque, Yousmarg
Things to Do in Srinagar – Shikara Ride, Garden Visit, Temple Visit, House Boat Tour, Nature Walk and Photography
- Sonmarg – Nature at its Best
Sonmarg is an Alpine Valley situated along the banks of Nallah Sindh, the biggest tributary of the Jhelum River. A destination for people who enjoy solitude and snow, Sonmarg is nestled in the Himalayas and provides some of the most scenic views in our country. Its historic significance stems from the fact that this was one of the paths of entry of the famous Silk Route into India.
Apart from this, another reason for adding it to the list of Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir is the fact that it is the base for those who undertake the holy Amarnath yatra. The main attraction of Sonmarg is Thajiwas Glacier, which can usually be reached by traveling in the best way possible- by pony.
Top Tourist Attractions in Sonmarg – Thajiwas Glacier, Zoji-La Pass, Vishansar Lake, Baltal Valley, Gadsar Lake
Things to Do in Sonmarg – White Water Rafting, Trekking, Glacier Visit, Lake Sightseeing
- Pahalgam – The Valley of Shepherds
Among the above-mentioned Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir, Pahalgam is a well-known tourist spot, full of joy, snow and scenic beauty. It is the starting point of the AmarnathYatra, with the Amarnath caves being situated here. Like Srinagar, Pahalgam also has its fair share of lakes- Tulian, Marsar and Sheshnag Lakes– and boating is a commonly enjoyed practice here. A beeline of trekkers can often be spotted, making their way Baisaran Hills Or Kolahoi Glacier.
Pahalgam, also known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’ is famous for its Pine Forests and Snow Festival which includes various Outdoor Sports like Sledding, Trekking, Skiing etc. enjoyed in one of the spectacular Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Best Places to Visit in Pahalgam – Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Kolahoi Glacier, Lidder River, Tulian Lake, Panchtarni, Nine Hole Golf Course
Top Things to Do in Pahalgam – White Water River Rafting, Trekking, Camping, Amarnath Yatra, Skiing, Golfing
- Gulmarg – Best Place for Skiing in India
Gulmarg means “Meadow Of Flowers”. It is an eye-catching place best for enjoying long walks with your camera and clicking snaps. One can walk through Dense Woods and Green Hills in the valley. It is situated in the western Himalayan range of Baramula district. It is Asia’s Seventh Best Skiing Place and an ideal destination for Adventure Seekers.
The winter sports are carried out on the Apharwat Peak which is a beautiful hill that remains covered with snow throughout the year. Gulmarg can be seen in some our favorite Bollywood movies like Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani, Highway, Bobby, Jab Tak hai Jaan. Many movie shootings take place in Gulmarg in the time of winter. During Your Visit, Do not miss the Cable Car Ride in Gulmarg Gondola, which is Second Highest Cable Car in the World and offers Mesmerizing Views of The Valley. On the list of visiting Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is the perfect Destination you should not miss at any cost.
Also, Read – Best Destinations for Skiing in India
Top Tourist Attractions in Gulmarg – Gulmarg Gondola, Khilanmarg, Maharani Temple, Alpathar Lake, Nigli Nalah, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Tangmarg, Kanchenjunga Museum
Best Things to Do in Gulmarg – Skiing, Cable Car Ride, Trekking, Camping, Nature Sightseeing, Photography, Local Shopping
- Nubra Valley – Experience a Completely Different Culture
Nubra valley is a must visit place when on a trip to Leh. Nubra is in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir and offers mesmerizing views of Snow-Clad Himalayan Mountains. It is 3048 feet above from the sea level. The majority of the locals living in Nubra are Buddhists. There are Monasteries, White Sand Dunes, and Green Oasis Villages, Nubra gives a whole new experience to the visitors. The valley has one of the few villages in India where one can witness Balti Culture. You can also visit a Small lake after a small hike of 20 minutes from the Road – The Yarab Tso Lake.
Talking about the monasteries, Nubra has the oldest and largest monastery built in the 14th century called Diskit Monastery. There is also a monastery which was founded 140 years back in Silmur village. Baigdandu Village is another attraction in the valley, which is known for the goats that give us the famous Pashmina shawls. If you are an Adventure Enthusiast, Nubra Valley is an Ideal Destination for Trekking, Camping, and Hiking. Do experience a Camel Ride amid Spectacular Sand Dunes of Valley, these Camels are not usual like you must have seen in other places.
Top Attractions in Nubra Valley – Panamik Village, Diskit Monastery, Lachung Temple, Maitreya Buddha, Samstanling Monastery, Yarab Tso Lake
Things to Do in Nubra Valley – Explore The Unique Local Culture, Monastery Visit, Camping, Hiking, Trekking
- Yusmarg – Redefining Natural Beauty
It is quite and Picturesque Hill Station surrounded by green grassy pastures stretching over the valleys of the Himalayas, thick forests of tall pine trees which sum up into a magnificent view. The landscapes of Yusmarg are so beautiful that it will leave your eyes open and make you speechless with a voice inside you telling to never leave this place ever.
One of the popular Attraction in Yusmarg is Dudh Ganga River, where it seems like Milk(Dudh) is flowing in the River. People who visited there say that Yusmarg gives them a feeling of visiting the European Alps. Yusmarg is also known as the paradise forTrekking Lovers. The trekkers can travel along with their tents from Yusmarg to the Frozen Lake in Sang e Safed.
Top Attractions in Yusmarg – Pakherpora Shrine, Charar e Sharief, Dudh Ganga, Nilnag Lake
Things to Do in Yusmarg – Trekking, Hiking, Camping, Sightseeing, Nature Photography
- Katra – Nature and Pilgrimage Together
Also, See – Most Popular Temples in India
Katra is one the most visited pilgrimage places in India as the most popular Vaishno Mata Temple is located there. It is a town which offers amenities for the pilgrims with accommodation, guest houses, and restaurants. The trek from this best of Places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir to Vaishno Mata is 14 km and from there to Bhairon Temple is 1.5 km. The holy track is a longer route so an alternate track was constructed keeping in mind the increased influx of pilgrims and the inconvenience and to make an easier journey.
The trek of Vaishno Devi is the one that one should not miss. You can see the beauty of the valley from the height of 2474 feet is mesmerizing. There are many services that the localities provide for pleasant and comfortable pilgrimage trek of the mountain to reach the temple.
Places to Visit in Katra – Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, Bhairon Temple, Sanjhichhat, Adhkunwari, Charanpaduka, Himkoti, Banganga River
10. Pangong Tso Lake – Mesmerizing Blue Waters
Pangong Tso Lake, being one of the best Places to Visit in Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the Most Scenic Lakes in India. Pangong Lake is a high altitude lake spreads in an area of 134 km and at a height of 4250 m above sea level. The tourists walking around the Crystal Clear Blue waters of Pangong Lake are blown away by the breathtaking view of Surrounding Snow Capped Himalayan Mountains. It is a perfect spot for Nature Lovers and Adventure Enthusiasts with picturesque sceneries.
The Marshy Area of the Lake is habitat for many species of Himalayan Birds as well as many Migratory Birds. If you are a Camping Lover and want to spend a peaceful night under the Glittering Stars, there is no better place for camping than Pangong Lake.
Things to Do at Pangong Lake – Camping, Nature Sightseeing, Birdwatching, Nature Photography.