🗺 Why Should You Visit Jammu & Kashmir?

5 hidden places to solve the puzzle

Hey explorer,

I bet, watching the mesmerizing Instagram reel at some point, you might have said, "Oh, wow! This place is beautiful. Someday, I will go there." I know how it feels. So, how about we go on an imaginary journey to one of the most beautiful places in the world?

Close your eyes and imagine yourself travelling to the Himalayan areas. You are sitting on the window seat in one of the local buses with locals all around. People are using some language you do not understand. 

The fresh air hits your face, making you feel refreshed, while the whole surroundings are lush green, and the Himalayan mountains at a distance aren't enough to put down your enthusiasm. 

Feels amazing, right? Let's look into places from Jammu and Kashmir that can give you the real-time feeling of what you just imagined. 

Hey Hey!

How about we learn something each time we discover a new place or break down the history of a place you might have heard once at least?

The correct answer to the last question is "Orange City Literature Festival (OCLF)". Let's see how many of you can get it correct today. 

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1. Tarsar and Marsar Lakes

Tarsar and Marsar Lakes rank today's recommendations as mesmerizing destinations due to their untouched beauty and serene surroundings. Nestled in the heart of the Aru Valley, these alpine lakes offer a remote and untouched escape from the bustling tourist spots in Kashmir.

This hidden gem allows you to enjoy the raw beauty of the Himalayas compared to other popular Himalayan destinations. The trek to reach these lakes adds an adventurous element, making it a perfect destination for those seeking natural beauty and an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Top 3 Things to Do

- Trekking: The trek to enjoy lakes involves lovely views of the Himalayan lands, offering a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts.
- Camping: Camping here is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy starry nights. Lie down, star-gaze, and slide into a sound sleep. 
- Photography: Capture these unique landscapes, mountains in the clear lakes, and the hues of the lands, bringing your photography skills out. 

How to Get There?

The Jammu Tawi Railway Station (285 km from Pahalgam) is the nearest railway point, while Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport) is the closest airport (95 km from Pahalgam). 

The base for the trek to Tarsar and Marsar Lakes is often Aru Valley. Srinagar is the nearest major city. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Srinagar to Pahalgam and then proceed to Aru Valley.

Government Restrictions

Check the current security situation and any travel advisories from the official sites before planning your visit. Additionally, obtaining a trekking permit from the local forest department authorities might be required.

2. Doodhpathri

Doodhpathri, known as the "Valley of Milk," gets its reputation as a hidden paradise due to its green lands, dense forests, and insignificance, unlike more frequented destinations in and around the region. With beautiful landscapes and scenic nature, Doodhpathri lures tourists. 

The meadows, surrounded by thick pine and fir forests, create a peaceful atmosphere perfect enough to give you the peace you longed for. The fresh Sheshnag River that flows through the valley gives you a whole new experience, letting you wonder how beautiful nature's creation is. 

Top 3 Things to Do

- Picnicking: Enjoy a relaxing evening with your dearest ones amidst nature by having a picnic in the green lands of Doodhpathri.
- Horse Riding: Horse riding is a popular activity in Doodhpathri. It allows you to cover more ground while enjoying the scenic beauty.
- Nature Walks: Take leisurely walks alone through the lands and nearby forests to reflect on yourself and spot various flora and fauna.

How to Get There?

Budgam Railway Station is the nearest railway station (around 42 km away), and Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport) is the closest airport (42 km away). 

Doodhpathri is around 42 km from Srinagar. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Srinagar to reach this picturesque destination.

Government Restrictions

To protect Doodhpathri's beauty, the Doothpathri Development Authority has outlined a few things - Register at the tourist centre, camp only in designated areas, and avoid littering. Respect local culture, skip open fires, loud music, and alcohol. 

3. Yusmarg

The picturesque lands, dense forests, and peaceful atmosphere all around give Yusmarg the title of charming and less-visited destination in Jammu and Kashmir. What makes it even more unique are the towering pine and fir trees surrounding the mainland that create scenic views. 

For a moment, you feel like you are in a hollow space trapped by the wall of pine and fir. The local hospitality, traditional wooden houses, and the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals contribute to the overall charm of Yusmarg, making it a go-to place to connect deeply with nature. 

Top 3 Things to Do

- Sheshnag River Visit: Explore the Sheshnag River that flows through Yusmarg, offering scenic views and a peaceful atmosphere.
- Nature Photography: Capture the beauty of Yusmarg, including its meadows, dense forests, and surrounding landscapes.
- Local Cuisine: Try local Kashmiri cuisine in the small eateries around Yusmarg to experience the regional flavours.

How to Get There?

Srinagar Railway Station is the nearest railway station (47 km away from Yusmarg), and Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport) is the closest airport (approximately 47 km from Yusmarg).

Srinagar, being the nearest city away at 47 km, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach this scenic beauty. 

Government Restrictions

Although specific policies for tourists in Yusmarg are unavailable, the guidelines for Kashmir tourism apply - respecting the environment and local customs and following restrictions on littering, open fires, vehicles, alcohol, and noise. Check with the local tourism department for the latest information before your visit.

4. Pulwama District

The other side of Pulwama is just as beautiful as those places shown in the anime series, although the whole of India remembers Pulwama for "Pulwama Attack." The mixed appeal, combining saffron fields, Mughal gardens, and quiet nature, marks its place in many travel plans today. 

The saffron fields of Pampore, often called the "Saffron Town," and the Mughal gardens, such as Shalimar Bagh, clearly show the culture and traditions of Kashmiri. A trip to Pulwama is not just about connecting with nature and enjoying peace but more about having an educational trip. 

Top 3 Things to Do

- Visit Shalimar Bagh: Check out the Shalimar Bagh, a Mughal garden known for its stunning architecture, fountains, and well-maintained lawns.
- Aru Valley Excursion: Take a day trip to Aru Valley. Not far from Pulwama, enjoy the picturesque landscapes and local Kashmiri culture.
- Saffron Fields Tour: Visit the saffron fields in Pampore, near Pulwama, during the saffron harvesting season for a unique experience.

How to Get There?

Pampore Railway Station is the nearest railway station (about 11 km from Pulwama), and Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport) is the closest airport (about 29 km away). 

Srinagar is 29 km from Pulwama and is the nearest city to this unexplored beauty. So, you can take a bus or hire a taxi from Srinagar to Pulwama. 

Government Restrictions

While most of these rules do not apply to every place in Pulwama, follow these yet to stay on the safe side - register at tourist centres, respect the environment, and dress modestly. Expect restrictions on littering, open fires, vehicles, alcohol, and noise. 

Contact the local tourism department for the latest information before visiting, and keep an eye out for any political disturbances. 

5. Drang Village

Drang Village is well-known as a hidden gem due to its ability to give you a genuine peek into the traditional rural life of Kashmir. Tucked away from the more frequented tourist spots, Drang Village offers an authentic and immersive experience of the region's culture and heritage.

The true beauty of Drang Village lies in the warmth of its locals. Engaging with the villagers lets you gain insights into traditional practices, rich cultures, and agriculture. The village is more or less like a living museum, showing the strength and cultural richness of Kashmiri's rural life.

Top 3 Things to Do

- Interact with Locals: Engage with the friendly locals to learn about their traditional lifestyle, agricultural practices, and cultural heritage.
- Village Walks: Take leisurely walks to admire the traditional architecture, local handicrafts, and scenic village surroundings. 
- Cultural Events: If there are any local festivals or events during your visit, participate to experience the vibrant local region's culture.

How to Get There?

Awantipora Railway Station is the nearest railway station (about 12 km from Drang Village), while Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport) is the closest airport (40 km away).

Drang Village is usually accessible by road. You can hire a taxi or take public transportation from nearby towns like Aru Valley, Pulwama, Pahalgam, and more. 

Government Restrictions

While there are no strict rules and regulations from the government for tourists here, following the Kashmiri tourism rules and policies (respecting the environment and locals and their culture. And taking care of noise, fire, and more) is still mandatory here to enjoy your trip smoothly. 

Safety Tips

Here are a few things you should look after when exploring most parts of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the places mentioned above.

- The terrain can be challenging. So, be prepared for it.
- Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
- Carry essential trekking gear, sufficient water, and snacks.
- Respect the privacy and customs of the local community.
- Follow any safety guidelines provided by local authorities.
- Carry a local map and inform someone about your plans.
- Seek permission before photographing individuals or their homes.
- Follow the guidelines provided by local authorities for safe trekking.
- Respect local flora and fauna, and avoid littering in gathering spaces.


Jammu and Kashmir, a magnetic state in India, is more than just its famed spot, Leh Ladakh. Beyond the usual tourist sites, there are hidden places you can explore without any disturbances. Pause for a moment, choose any of the lesser-known destinations mentioned above, and I guarantee you will come back home with a heart full of joy and memories that will last forever.

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