After a long time in the comfort of my home, my family and I wanted to get away to the mountains. We had never been to Kashmir before; we chose the place as our next destination. After an epidemic that was spreading, we were all slightly hesitant to travel away from the comfort of our home. However, the Thrillophilia Mamma reviews of this particular package eased our concerns which is why we went on the trip. This Family Tour to the 3 Jewels of Kashmir was as enjoyable as it sounds.
The tour lasted for six days and five nights; the trip covered some of Kashmir’s most picturesque destinations such as Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and, of course, Srinagar, the city that is its capital. Srinagar. There were many options that you could choose from, based on the type of hotel selected. We chose The Deluxe Package. The trip was completed as was originally designed. Our journey began at Srinagar and ended with an overnight stay at Dal Lake.
When we arrived on the runway, we were taken to our tour guide, and he gave us a short overview of the plan to be followed for the entire day. He took us to the stunning Dal Lake, set against the backdrop of the Himalayas in the white snow. The splendour of the Lake is as impressive as the hype. We were four guests and received the houseboat for ourselves, where we would stay the night. The first day was free to enjoy leisure, and we took our time in the markets of Dal.
The other group comprised two different families, and we took the time to get to know one another. The following day, the tour took us to the city of Gulmarg. The town is situated in the heart of the Pir Panjal Ranges, the snow-covered town of Gulmarg is a treat for the eyes. We did take our Gondola Journey up to Mary’s Shoulder.
As the highest point within Asia and the second-highest globally, The Gulmarg Gondola offers the most spectacular perspectives of the Kashmir Valleys. It was fortunate that I had my camera and was able to take pictures of the views riding. After our day’s activities, we retreated to Srinagar and set up in a tent at the hotel. The third day on the trip included a visit to Sonmarg or the “Meadows of Gold”. The time spent at Sonamarg was delightful.
My friend and I attempted fishing on the Sindh, but we could not put our hooks in the famous Golden Mahseer that the river is known to conceal so well. We also rode an excursion with a pony up to Thajiwas Glacier. Sledging and snow sports are common on Thajiwas; however, we returned without trying anything to avoid being late. Our next stop on our travel itinerary is Pahalgam which we visited the following day. After having checked into a hotel in Pahalgam and then left for a lengthy tour of nearby villages.
We visited places like Aru Valley, Betaab Valley and Chandanwari. All of them were equally satisfying in their natural splendour. We also stopped to eat a meal in Aru Valley and were offered to steam hot momos amid the frigid winter of Kashmir. After a busy day in Pahalgam, we made our journey towards Srinagar on the final day of our tour. On the fifth and final day, we visited Srinagar’s Mughal Gardens by Dal Lake.
The Mughal Gardens was always a top priority on my bucket list! From the six gardens, we went to the Shalimar Bagh as well as Nishat Bagh. They were built in the Mughal rule; these gorgeous gardens were a pleasure to walk through. A visit to the Gardens was followed by a stop at the Hazratbal Shrine and the Shankaracharya Temple. After dinner, we took the evening shopping in Lal Chowk and chose the best souvenirs for back home. Overall it was delightful for all of us.
Safety was the top priority during the tour. All the hotels and the houseboat we stayed in were cleaned, with personnel taking all the COVID safety precautions. The car that was assigned to us was cleaned regularly. Driver, who also served as our guide, was always willing to assist us in any way. Our first experience on the road proved to be excellent and accurate to the Facebook reviews from Thrillophilia, which had promised us this.