Located in the heart of the Kashmir Valley, which is called 'Paradise on Earth', Srinagar’s landscape is interspersed with greenery, lakes and hillocks. The city is spread out along the banks of the Jhelum River and is famous for its surrounding natural beauty and postcard tourist spots. The two parts of the city are connected by nine bridges. The Hari Parbat and the Shankar Acharya hills lie on either side of the city.
Gulmarg is surrounded by forested hills and meadows, snow-capped peaks, deep ravines and valleys. The most visited spot of the region is Khilanmarg. Another popular spot is Alpather Lake. The most popular activity here is skiing, as well as the cable car ride, the Gulmarg Godola, which is one of the highest cable car facilities in the world. People desiring a more natural atmosphere can visit the Nanga Parbat, Haramukh and many other regions of the Kashmir Valley. One can also visit the shrine of Baba Reshi, a Muslim mystic saint.
The name Sonamarg means ‘Meadow of Gold’. This name was given to the place as it is completely covered with a sheet of flowers during spring that appear gold in colour. The place has alpine weather conditions with pleasant summers and heavy snowfall in winter. Around the city, there are many places to visit like the trek to Gadsar Lake featuring snowtrout, Satsar and alpine flowers, along with a trip to frozen Satsar Lake or Baltal. Other significant places in the city of Sonamarg include the Nilagrad, The Krishnasar Lake, Thajiwas.
Pahalgam is a situated at the junction of Aru and Sheshnag Rivers. Aru flows into the Kolahoi Glacier beyond Lidderwat and Sheshnag from glaciers along the great Himalayas. The culture of the town can be witnessed in its food habits, clothes and religious beliefs. Pahalgam is the base camp for the pilgrimage to Amarnath.
Katra is the gateway to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi. Nestled in the lap of the Trikuta Mountains. Katra is also the place where travellers have to register before commencing their journey to the shrine at the top of the mountains. The town, situated at a height of approximately 750 metres.
The hills of Vaishno Devi are home to the famous Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, and the nearest town is Katra. The Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi which is a narrow hilly cave is in a part of the lower Himalayas called Tirkuta Hills.
ARU AND BETAAB VALLEY
Aru Valley is a small yet self-sufficient scenic village. The location of the village among the grasslands, make this place a tourist delight. The village also serves as the start point for trekking to Kolahoi glacier. Betaab Valley is surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks and dense pine and deodar forests, this valley is the mouth of River Sheshnag. There is a beautiful garden in the valley, with a bridge to cross the river.