Top 18 Things to Do in Kashmir

Beyond our conception lies heaven. Come on, let's explore Kashmir.

Blog Home | Mujtaba Hussain | 19-02-2023

Numerous highlights in the Kashmir Valley make it a premier tourist destination. The stunning mountain scenery and lush greenery combined with the unique culture, delicious cuisine, and cool temperate climate make this region the best place for travellers to visit Kashmir. The best time for a Kashmir tour begins with the onset of spring. One can look up Kashmir Online and find many budget-friendly Kashmir tour packages and pay an early visit. Let us now explore all the exciting and adventurous things you can do during your visit to Kashmir;

1. Visit Kashmir Lakes

               The scenic view of Dal Lake with houseboats tourists riding a Shikara. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Kashmir is home to some of India’s most stunningly beautiful lakes. The three most popular lakes in Kashmir are Dal Lake, Wular Lake, and Nagin Lake. Take a relaxing shikara ride and explore the stunningly beautiful Dal and Nagin lakes in Srinagar. These amazing lakes are surrounded by elegant houseboats, temples, lush gardens, lotus flowers, vibrant floating markets, and mesmerizing sunsets. Dal Lake is one of the most popular leisure spots for locals as well as tourists to spend time amidst nature’s tranquillity. The adjoining area offers one of the best places to stay in Kashmir. 

2. Embrace Adventure Sports

            Tourists enjoy skiing, the most famous adventure sport in Gulmarg.  Picture Source: Shutterstock

Popular adventures in Kashmir include skiing, trekking, paragliding, camping, fishing, and Paragliding. If you are into adventure sports the best time to visit Kashmir is in winter. Skiing is one of the most popular adventures for winter visitors who flock to the Himalayan slopes for exhilarating snow runs. Paragliding gives you an amazing bird’s eye view of the majestic beauty of Kashmir valley.

3. Visit Gulmarg Ski Resort

Gondola, the famous skyline (cable car) running above the skiing enthusiasts. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Home to one of Asia’s longest cable cars and some of India’s best ski runs, Gulmarg is a must-visit destination for skiing enthusiasts. Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location, and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of India’s premier hill resorts and the best place to stay in Kashmir. These snow-clad peaks offer a world-class skiing experience for ski lovers. The skiing season starts from the first week of December till the last week of March every year.

4. Shop in Kashmir

Kashmiri artisan’s shop with different pottery items on sale.  Picture Source: Shutterstock

Kashmir valley is a paradise for shopaholics and offers a wide variety of goods like traditional handicrafts, shawls, carpets, and ornaments. Popular items in Kashmir art include papier-mache boxes and bowls, exquisite Kashmiri jewellery, famous embroidery works like Namda & Crewal, traditional outfits like Pherans, Kashmiri carpets, rugs, etc.

5. Trekking

A trekker enjoying the incredible view of lush greenery and snow-clad mountains of Sonmarg. Picture Source: Shutterstock

trekking in Kashmir can be an unforgettable experience. Kashmir is known for its incredible mountain scenery and adventurous trekking routes. For those eager to trek in Kashmir, the remote area of Zanskar has some of the best scenery in the region, with deep gorges and snow-capped peaks to explore. One of the Valley’s most popular trekking routes, Aru valley in Pahalgam has earned its name due to its wild flowers which bloom all summer long transforming it into an avalanche carpet blanketed with lush greenery and snow-capped mountains. 

6. Stay in a Houseboat

Luxury houseboats on the Dal Lake, provide a great view with the Hari Parbat fort in the background. Picture Source: Shutterstock

There are over 700 houseboats in Kashmir, providing unique accommodation with an unforgettable experience. Houseboats range from basic to luxurious and are lined along the Dal Lake in Srinagar as well as in many other areas with wooden Kashmir art inscribed on them. A luxurious five-star boat is equipped with air conditioning and full-service kitchens. One can enjoy unparalleled levels of comfort with complete meals, and plenty of entertainment options like movies, Kashmiri music, unlimited tea/coffee refills, etc.

7. Explore Amarnath Cave Temple

A trail of devotees travelling along the foothills on a journey to the Amarnath Cave. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Embark on an incredible pilgrimage journey that takes over 48 km from Pahalgam Town to the holy Amarnath Cave Temple considered being one of Lord Shiva’s abodes.  Amarnath Yatra is one of the most popular and revered Hindu pilgrimages in India and around the world. It is one of the toughest religious journeys due to its difficult terrain and weather conditions. However, thousands of devotees come to each year and trek in Kashmir to pay their tributes to their deity and witness his manifestation as a stalagmite shaped like an ice lingam.

8. Try Delicious Cuisine

Traditional Kashmiri rice plate with Gushtaba and Yakhni on the plate. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Kashmiri cuisine is known for its rich flavour, complexity, and aromatic spices. Traditional Kashmiri food is divided into two main categories: Wazwan—the royal feast and the Hakh, or everyday fare. Popular Wazwan dishes are offered in budget Kashmir tour packages. These include Rogan Josh, Yakhni, Goshataba, Hareesa, Aab Gosht, and Tabak Maaz. Everyday Haakh consists of light meals such as Gogji Ras, Gaad Mujh, and Biryani. Vegetarian delicacies like Dum Olav––potatoes add traditional zest to Kashmir’s exquisite cuisine.

9. Explore Sonamarg Meadows

   The flock of sheep grazing in the lush green meadows of Sonmarg. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Get ready for an enthralling day out amidst thronging glaciers high up in Sonamarg meadows where grandiose snow peaks crown lush bedding valleys below. Unwind amidst vibrant alpine wildflowers & pristine streams as you make your way through some memorable experiences here. The area serves as a major tourist destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers, camping, and for pilgrims on their way to the Amarnath Cave Temple. Watered by melting glaciers and cascading rivers, Sonmarg is sought for providing an unforgettable adventure in Kashmir valley. 

 10. Visit Kheer Bhawani Temple

Milk pouring ceremony at Kheer Bhawani Kashmir Temple. Picture Source: Free Press

Revered as one of Hinduism’s holy shrines dedicated to Goddess Ragnya Devi. Kheer Bhawani, also known as Kali Jawal or Tulmul, is a Kashmir temple located in Ganderbal, Jammu, and Kashmir. To visit the temple, visitors first need to make their way to Srinagar and from there travel by road for about 20 km to reach the temple premises. It is one of the most important Hindu shrines in India and an important place of pilgrimage for thousands of worshippers each year. 

11. Experience Yousmarg Valley

Alpine meadow valley, Yousmarg, with dense pine forests. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Yousmarg Valley is an alpine meadow known for its habitats of exotic flora and fauna species. This beautiful valley is surrounded by dense pine forests, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. The Pathiar and Bandipore streams flow through this lush green paradise that offers breathtaking views to its visitors. The best places in the Kashmir valley are nearby places to Yousmarg, like Gulmarg Valley, Aharbal Falls, and Mar Musa Cave while visiting Yousmarg.

12. Go Camping at Thajiwas Glacier

Experience the majestic beauty of the snow-clad Thajiwas glacier, Sonmarg. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Have once-in-a-lifetime experience camping amidst Thajiwas glacier front marvellous trail that rambles approximately 4 Km climb giving spectacular visuals of majestic Zojila pass & snow peaked Himalayan ranges. Camping in the Thajiwas glacier is a great way to explore and experience the beauty of nature. The Thajiwas glacier is located at the feet of the mighty Himalayas, making it one of the most beautiful camping sites in India. With an altitude of 3,000 m above sea level and snow-clad mountains all around you, camping here is nothing short of an ultimate adventure in Kashmir.

13. Explore Kashmiri Art

Papier-Mache products on display, depicting the shikhara heritage of Kashmiris. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Originated in the 17th century and is still being practised today by artisans from Kashmir. The traditional materials used in Kashmir art are paper, wood, and cloth. Kashmiri handicrafts carry rich cultural history and are among some of the most popular items purchased here. These include paper mache figures such as box-shaped chess sets and decorated doors and windows, wooden puzzles, shawls with intricate embroidery work, crewel pillows and wall hangings with traditional motifs, and carving on papier mache trays.

14. Kashmiri Traditional Music

Kashmiri musicians perform Sufi songs with traditional Kashmiri musical instruments. Picture Source: Religion unplugged.

Kashmir has a rich cultural history characterized by its unique musical heritage. Kashmiri music can be divided into two main styles: folk music and classical music. Both genres are highly regarded and valued. Folk music has been passed down orally within the family lines for generations through stories, songs, poetry, and dance. It incorporates elements of Sufi and Islamic influences while remaining distinctly Kashmiri. The traditional Kashmiri musical instruments include Harmoniums, Rabab, Santoor, Sitar, Dholak, and a tabla. 

15. Visit Wildlife Hotspots

Sunset view at Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. Picture Source: Shutterstock

Wildlife in Kashmir is found at the designated tiger reserves, such as the Kishtwar National Park, Kargil National Park, Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary, and Hemis National Park. Wildlife of Jammu and Kashmir, including rare and endangered species. Common wildlife found in Kashmir’s national parks includes the hangul (or Kashmir stag), Asiatic Black bear, Himalayan fox, and leopard.

16. Visit Historical Sites

Experience the region’s rich natural and cultural legacy by taking a heritage walk. Picture Source: tourmyindia

A heritage walk offers the chance to experience the area’s rich natural and cultural legacy fully. In Srinagar, go on a heritage tour to explore the sites such as Kathi Drawaza, Hari Parbat, Pari Mahal, Jamia Masjid and centuries-old nooks and corners of the capital city. A stroll through the narrow streets of historic Srinagar will allow you to explore the local market and buy authentic spices, dry fruits, and traditional fabrics. 

17. Paragliding

Fly high in the air while taking in Kashmir’s unrivalled splendour. Picture Source: peakpx

Take a unique glimpse of Astanmarg’s natural beauty while soaring high in the air. All levels of paragliding lovers will have a memorable experience thanks to the skilled pilots who guarantee a safe and exhilarating flight. Paragliding at Astanmarg is a must-try sport for people seeking an aerial adventure because it provides the perfect balance of thrill, panoramic beauty, and an adrenaline rush.

18. Golfing

A game is entertaining to watch. It is entertainment if you play at it. Golf is achievable with effort. Picture Source: visitgaylong

Putting one’s skills to the test while taking in Kashmir’s natural beauty is possible by playing golf. It’s a must-do activity for everyone seeking adventure and relaxation amid nature, whether playing a leisurely round or striving to beat one’s personal best. With its cold and moderate temperature, Kashmir is a favourite destination for golfers who want to test their swinging prowess.


Author Profile

Mujtaba Hussain is a poet, writer and analyst. He loves to research different things. Travelling is his passion, and he is in quest of learning something about everything.