Top Things to Do in Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh

Kashmir since time immemorial has been the traveler’s delight. Nature lovers, passionate vacationers, tourists of every kind made their way to Kashmir to get a sense of what could be the true ‘heaven on earth’. To enjoy this slice of paradise at its best, you could consider doing the following things during your visit to Jammu and Kashmir-
Dal Lake Shikara Ride.

Dal Lake Shikara Ride

Dal Lake Shikara Ride
Taking a Shikara ride on Dal Lake is indeed a lifetime experience for anyone. The pellucid calm Dal Lake occupies the heart of Srinagar and imparts Kashmir with a unique character of its own. While riding the Shikara, one can enjoy panoramic views of sunrises or sunsets, picturesque views of rolling mountain ranges, views of the colorful Lotus Gardens and many other such scenes of immortal natural beauty. In fact a Shikara ride on Dal Lake can even let one have sightseeing of the entire Srinagar.

House Boat Stay

srinagar houseboat stay
Staying at one of those palatial house boats with ornate Persian interiors is an experience you should never miss. Whether the royal interior charms you or the royal treatment you get, a House boat stay no doubt is out-an-out romantic and unique in itself. While you stand gazing at the murmuring ripples of water from the lobby of your houseboat or feel the boat rock delicately as you lay with your back for a night’s sleep, at once you would realize the uniqueness of the stay. Tour planners arranging budget trip to Kashmir also arrange budget houseboat stay on special request.

Visit to Stock and Thiksey Monasteries

Thiksey Monasteries
Thiksey monastery, the largest of Ladakh monasteries is located at a distance of 20 kms from Leh. This monastery is home to some of the major Buddha statues and is dotted with numerous other calm and serene places. On your visit to Thiksey monastery, you could even visit the nearby Stock monastery, another holy site where spirituality and calmness rule supreme.

Gondola Ride at Gulmarg

Gondola Ride at Gulmarg

The Gulmarg Gondola or cable car ride is quite famous in the tourist circuit. The ride falls into two segments and each segment is about 2.5 kms in terms of distance. The first section ride begins from an elevation of 8000 ft going up to 10500 ft to reach Kongdori, the first stop. The second ride segment begins when the cable car starts ascending to reach 13500 ft from the extreme highest point of the Apharwat mountains.

Visit to the Spell-Bounding Mughal Gardens

mughal gardens kashmir

The famous Mughal gardens of Srinagar namely the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Chashme Shahi present you with a spell-bounding riot of colors. The colorful and bountiful floral species decoratively arranged in these lavish gardens makes you feel it is a garden of heaven that you have arrived into. Keep your camera busy and enjoy the awe-inspiring medley of floral colors to your heart’s content.

Don’t Forget to Pick Kashmiri Souvenirs

kashmiri pashmina shawls
For a tourist, a trip seems incomplete without shopping souvenirs. Kashmir in this respect is truly a shopper’s paradise. From heavily ornate wooden crafts to Pashmina Shawls to Woolens to the famed cricket bats made out of Kashmiri Willow, everything you will get here at affordable prices provided you know the art of bargaining. Also dry fruits like Almonds, Walnut, saffron (Kesar) too can be shopped at Kashmir at highly discounted prices. So, one should not miss that opportunity.

Sampling Kashmiri Cuisine is a Must

kashmiri cuisine

When you are at Kashmir, don’t forget to sample some of the typical Kashmiri cuisines. Rajma Chawal brushed with ghee, Kashmiri Haakh, Gushtaba, Rista, Kulcha, Zarda, Sevaiyaan are some of the most popular dishes that will definitely offer you the most unforgettable palate pampering experience. Also, don’t miss Kahwa, the typical aromatic Kashmiri tea which would truly rejuvenate your senses.


Tips for Chardham Yatra by Helicopter

Chardham yatra is that holy journey for which every pious heart yearns. A visit to the four dhams of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath purifies your soul and broadens your heart. However, the journey is difficult and time consuming. One has to trek across steep and perilous mountainous terrains to reach the ‘Chardhams’. To ease the difficulties and hazards of travel, helicopter Chardham Yatra services has been initiated in the recent times. However, you need to opt for the Best Chardham Helicopter Tour Operator for a seamless, smooth-sailing journey. Also, you need to abide by certain ‘Do’s and ‘Don’ts’ during the Helicopter Yatra. Here are some vital tips for you-

Tips for Chardham Yatra by Helicopter

No Overloading!

Helicopter travel across the Himalayas puts a check on the weight you are carrying. The maximum permissible weight that a flying helicopter can bear is 300 kgs including passengers and their baggages. So, make sure to keep your baggage light; carry only the necessary items. Overloading may cause technical issues with the helicopter which may prove threatening to the life of the passengers

No Traveling in Large Groups!

Don’t expect that the helicopter will accommodate your entire travel group. Only four persons can travel at a time in a helicopter. If you have a large pilgrimage group, you may have to travel in clusters of four. More than four passengers traveling in a helicopter could again lead to the issue of overloading

Early Bookings Needed

For Chardham Helicopter Yatra, early booking is a must. The helicopter services are available between the months May and October and since there’s a huge rush of devotees during the Yatra season, you might not get a seat if you delay with the booking. You may avail the online book mode for fast and easy booking

Watch Out the Way You Breathe!

Helicopter takes you up to a very high altitude and flies over lofty snow-capped peaks and in such a situation you may turn breathless and fall a prey to Helicopter sickness. The reason for this sickness is that there is very low oxygen content in the air at such a high altitude. Thus you need to start practicing some effective breathing exercises to strengthen your heart and lungs prior to Chardham Helicopter yatra

Relevant Documents Needed

Make sure you carry your updated passport while setting out for the Chardham Helicopter. You’ll be asked to present your passport as an ID Proof before the Helicopter takes off. The passport you present should have a validity term for a minimum of 6 months.

Don’t Overeat

You are advised to eat light before the take off. Overloading of your stomach may lead to issues like bloating, vertigo and even bouts of puking.

Booking Norms to be Followed

During booking, pilgrims have to pay an advance of 50% of the total helicopter tour cost and the balance amount needs to be cleared at least 15 days prior to the travel date.

Cancellation Norms to be Followed

If any pilgrim wishes to cancel his helicopter Yatra booking he will be liable to observe the cancellation policies of the tour company. If the pilgrim cancels the booking a week before the scheduled journey date, he will have to pay a cancellation charge amounting to 20 percent of the total travel fare. If he cancels 2 days prior to the journey date, the cancellation charge will amount to 50 percent of the total travel fare. If the cancellation is done at a time which is less than 2 days from the journey date, the charges will amount to 75 percent of the net travel fare. If he cancels the ticket only 24hrs/a day before the journey date, he gets no refund at all.