Winter Wonderland in Srinagar

Srinagar is the largest capital city in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India.

Srinagar is a city that will leave you mesmerized. It is surrounded by the Himalayan range and blessed with many lakes, swamps, the different type of trees, and flowers.

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Here are some of the things you could do when visiting  Srinagar in winter.

1. Stay on a houseboat – Dal Lake has an array of colorful houseboats in various sizes, intricate designs, and selections of luxury. I stayed in Yellow Submarine. I couldn’t ask for a better place to stay. They catered to all my needs and ensured comfort. The family that runs the houseboat is extremely kind.

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2. Have an evening shikara ride – Who would have thought, I’d be paddled around a lake surrounded by the skyscraping mountains while crisp snow falls.

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3. Visit the floating vegetable market – The ride took about 45 minutes, it is best to get there even before sunrise so you could see the early lights and watch the slow sunrise.

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4. Visit Sonmarg – The kids in Srinagar does all kinds of snow activities in an unconventional way! They use different kinds of daily items to ski, snowboard, and sled! They do it extremely well! Much better than me in a full ski gear.

Here they used a cutout plastic and wooden stick to ski!

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Enjoy a horse ride around the snow-capped Himalayas that will leave you in awe.

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The sound of rushing water through the river with a backdrop of snow-covered trees is a treat to the eyes and ears.

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5. Stay with a local – I stayed with a very kind family that dressed me up in  Kashmiri attire and made sure I was comfortable and warm at all times. Nothing beats staying with a local to observe and learn a different culture and way of life.

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They provided hot packs and layers of thick blankets to keep me warm through the night.

6. Buy some real pashminas – I am talking about the real deal, not the fake ones sold in the market for cheap. Pashminas feels like butter on your skin and they are quite expensive but worth every penny!

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Precautions:

Srinagar is within the state of Jammu & Kashmir where there is tension and controlled strictly by militants.

There isn’t any network coverage from the prepaid Indian telecom provider. If you need to make calls or get connected online, ask a local to provide hotspot connection.

The airport is also one of the tightest one in Asia, make sure to get to the airport 3 hours before your flight as you will have to pass through multiple security checkpoints. They didn’t allow any cabin baggage and you must identify your checked in baggage personally before it goes on the plane.

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It’s unfortunate that citizens of some countries are warned of visiting Jammu & Kashmir due to its political tension. I have witnessed protests and militants protecting the city but I did not find myself in a threatening situation.

Nevertheless, if you ever plan on visiting India, I highly recommend visiting Jammu & Kashmir.

 

A Yemeni/Indonesian who knew nothing outside Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; now craving to explore other cultures, traditions, and way of life.

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