How much does it cost for a Kashmir trip?
I will provide all the necessary details to travel happily in Kashmir at a low cost
This is not a travelogue. Here is some useful information for those who want to travel to Kashmir at a low cost. It includes what I learned from our trip(me and my wife), and information about the places we visited. Not to mention all the tourist spots in Kashmir.
1. What is the best time to visit Kashmir? (Best season / months to go)
Like other Himalayan states, Jammu and Kashmir have two main beautiful tourist seasons. One is the cold snow season and the other is the perfect season to enjoy the landscape of Kashmir. We chose the month of April after the extreme cold. In our opinion April, May and June are the best months to visit Kashmir as all the major gardens of Kashmir including the Tulip Garden are open and all tourist attractions are easily accessible. Isn’t there anything better than going to Kashmir to enjoy the cold from the scorching sun of our place?
April month has a specialty, that is when apple trees bloom. Those who are interested in seeing red apples hanging on both sides of the road should plan their trip after June. Those who want to see Kashmir bathed in snow can choose the months of January and February
2. How to reach to Kashmir / Is it safe to travel now to Kashmir?
According to our experience, it was absolutely safe.People were well-behaved. This union territory’s public transport system and facilities are very poor. From Kerala, you can reach Jammu directly by train and from there you can reach Kashmir Tourism headquarters in Srinagar by shared taxi/bus. (Check if the Kerala-Jammu train service is available)
Or you can reach Delhi from Kerala and reach Srinagar by train/flight/bus
The second way is by flight. Srinagar can be reached by direct flight from Kerala. If you plan your trip in advance, you can get a reduced ticket charge. Or even if you take a flight ticket from Bangalore and Chennai to Srinagar, you will get a reduced charge. Some discounts are also available if you use apps like goibibo for booking flight tickets.
We traveled from Kozhikode to Delhi by sleeper coach and he took a flight to Srinagar.
A ticket from Kozhikode to Srinagar costs around Rs 4000 per person and from Srinagar to Bangalore around Rs 5100.
3. Major sights in Kashmir.
Dal Lake, Shikara Safari, House Boats, Hazrat Bal Masjid, Tulip Garden, Mughal Garden, Jamia Masjid, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Dut Pathiri, Aharbal, Wular Lake, Manasbal, Dras Valley etc.
Kashmir is generally famous for its non-veg dishes. Chicken, mutton, beef kebabs, tandoori items, Kashmiri roti, Namakeen chai, various sweet treats, mutton balls, etc. are available in Kashmir. There are also many eateries in Srinagar that serve only vegetable dishes.
If you reach Srinagar by various means, stay there and see the sights near Srinagar town. Houseboats in Dal Lake are the most suitable for accommodation. There are hundreds of houseboats in Dal Lake charging between Rs 200 to Rs 20,000 for a day. Good houseboats that can accommodate up to three people are available for Rs 600-1200.
After settling in the houseboat, you can proceed sightseeing in Srinagar. Mughal Garden, Tulip Garden, Hazrat Bal Masjid, Jamia Masjid, Hari Parbat Fort, Zero Bridge, etc. are major attractions in Srinagar. Bus, share taxis and autos can be used to see the places. It is better to use the bus itself in all the places where the local bus plies. It is fun to travel in the Kutti bus which can seat 15-20 people. Bullets/bikes can be rented for those who want a bit more excitement. 1000-1500 will be charged for a day.
After seeing the places at night, you can go to Khayam Chowk near Dal Gate to enjoy the night views and eat delicious food. Khayam Chowk is rich in a variety of non-veg dishes. Imran Cafe’s chicken, fish tikka, and tandoori items will give you a great taste experience.
The houseboat we stayed on
Shagoo palace houseboat – 800 for one day
Bike rental shop.
Kashmir adventure riders
The Shikara Yatra through the Dal Lake is an unmissable part of your Kashmir trip. The houseboats where we stay will make the Shikara Safari set. The charge ranges from Rs.300-600. But, in our experience, the floating vegetable market is the must-see in Dal Lake. This floating market is only available from 6 am to 7.30 am. A beautiful sight of farmers from different parts arriving in canoes with vegetables and trading with each other. This floating market house is a little far from where the boats stand, so it is possible to reach there by starting the journey at least at 5 am. If we make a shikara set the night before, they will come and pick us up at five in the morning. The charge for this Shikara Safari is between INR 600 and INR 1200 for a two to three-hour Shikara Safari that takes in different parts of the Dal Lake. If five or six people go together, it is enough to share the charge. If the Shikara ends during the safari, you can proceed to Sonamarg on the same day.
Sonamarg is about 80 km from Srinagar. A beautiful hill station covered in snow. Riding a bike is fun as there is good snow on both sides of the road. Or share taxi/bus can be used. Those who have to stay at Sonamarg that day can return to Srinagar from there the next day. Or you can return to Srinagar on the same day and stay in the same houseboat where you stayed the day before. A little further on the Sonamarg highway, one can reach the town of Leh via Drass and Kargil. This road will be closed during winter. At the time of our visit, the house had not been crossed from Sonamarg.
From Srinagar, you can go to Doot Pathiri and back to Pahalgam. If you go to both places, you will have to stay at Pahalgam that night. If you want to come back to Srinagar, you can skip Duto Pathiri and go straight to Pahalgam and come back. Share taxi/bike/bus can be used for travel. Both sides of the highway leading to Pahalgam are lined with beautiful flowers. Pahalgam is a very beautiful hill village. You can visit Pahalgam and return to Srinagar on the same day, or stay at Pahalgam and come to Srinagar the next day.
Gulmarg is about 50 km from Srinagar. You can reach Gulmarg by shared taxi/bike. After reaching Gulmarg, you have to go up to Gondola Top anyway. Tourists will be taken by cable car to the top of the snow-covered mountain. Gondola up to stage 1 charges Rs 740 per person. There are many activities once you reach the gondola top.
If you have time to go by gondola, you can go to Baba Rishi, a Muslim pilgrimage center, and the nearby Tangmarg and return to Srinagar.
It is the last day in Srinagar. If we have missed any places to go, this is the day to go there and do some essential shopping. A cool train route starts from Srinagar that can make the day even more worthwhile. Srinagar to Baramulla local train journey. Enjoying the beauty of the Kashmiri countryside, this train journey will be a different experience. Since it is a place that can be visited in one day, the last day can also be reserved for this. This train ride was not on our itinerary. I came to know about such a train service from the descriptions of my friend who traveled in it
Local prepaid SIM will not work in Kashmir. So it will be better if you go with jio/bsnl postpaid sim.
Knee-high shoes, gloves, and a hat are a must when playing in the snow. It is better to rent them (boots) instead of taking them to the country. These are available in all tourist centers for 100 rupees.
If you can avoid the services of guides as much as possible, you can get a lot of money to some extent.
In Gulmarg, the guide fee is around 1000 rupees to take the gondola and bring it back. That’s something we can do on our own.
If taking the services of guides, confirm the amount in advance.
Use local buses as much as possible to get around Srinagar town. A ride in the Kutti Bus is a different kind of experience as it seats less than 20 people.
How can a tourist go to Kashmir?
From Kerala, this is Our travel route
Kozhikode – Delhi : Train
Delhi – Srinagar – Flight
Srinagar – Gulmarg – Share Taxi
Srinagar – Pahalgam, Sonamarg – bike
Srinagar – Bangalore : Flight
Bangalore – Kuttyadi : ksrtc
It was close to Rs 30000 for the two of us including all expenses. If you put aside some of the stupid mistakes and overspending on your first trip, you can travel to Kashmir for much less.