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Places To Visit In Kashmir In Winter

1. Srinagar

2. Gulmarg

3. Pahalgam

4. Jammu

5. Dachigam National Park

6. Sonamarg

Things To Do In Winter In Kashmir

1. Snowball Fights In Gulmarg

2. Gondola Ride

3. Winter Treks

4. Relish Wazwan Cuisine

5. Stay In A Houseboat

6. Chill At The Frozen Waterfalls

7. Celebrate The Festivals

8. Shop For Pashmina Shawls

9. Attend Local Sufi Performance

10. Relish Some Noon Chai

Events And Festivals To Attend In Winter In Kashmir

1. Shikara Festival

2. Herath (Maha Shivratri)

3. Gaddi Festival

4. Eid-E-Milad

5. Baisakhi

6. Urs Festival

7. Christmas And New Year

Essential Items To Carry To Kashmir In Winter

1. Kashmiri Pheran

2. Socks

3. Earmuffs

4. Snow Boots

5. Sweaters

6. Sunglasses

7. Chapstick and Moisturizer

8. An Expandable Bag

Do’s and Don’ts While Travelling To Kashmir In Winter

The Do’s 

The Don’ts 

Weather Of Kashmir In September

How To Reach Kashmir In Winter

Final Say

Frequently Asked Questions About Winter In Kashmir
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The Complete Guide To Winter In Kashmir In 2024 For A Memorable Visit

The best part of beauty is that no picture can express it, and this rings true for Winter in Kashmir. Ah! The beauty of winter in Kashmir is something that no picture or person can justify; this is why a lot of Kashmir tour packages focus on making travellers experience its beauty, especially in the winter season. 

One of the most essential and fun Kashmir travel tips to consider is that stepping into Jammu and Kashmir in winter is like stepping into a frosted fairy tale, which is different from other hill stations in India. 

There are a plethora of places to visit in Kashmir during the winter, and each of them offers something unique. Snow-draped mountains create the perfect backdrop for ancient shrines, frozen lakes beckon adventurers for a chilly walk, and the bare Chinar trees stand as silent sentinels of the changing seasons. Every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir in winter holds a story waiting to be discovered.

While the views alone can leave one spellbound, there’s no shortage of things to do in Kashmir during the colder months. From thrilling snow sports to savouring traditional Kashmiri winter dishes, there’s something for every traveler’s taste.

Well, with all this being said, it’s now time to dive deep into the magic of Winter in Kashmir. So scroll through and check it all out. 

Places To Visit In Kashmir In Winter

1. Srinagar

Srinagar, Kashmir’s crown jewel, changes into a winter wonderland throughout the colder months. Its stunning gardens, tranquil lakes, and bustling bazaars steal everyone’s heart making winter in Kashmir even more remarkable.

What Makes It Special? 

Srinagar is home to the world-famous Dal Lake.

The place offers a mesmerising view of the snow-capped mountains. 

The houseboats in Kashmir offer a unique stay. 

Home to unique and luxurious hotels in Srinagar, that make it even more special. 

Places To Visit

Nishat Bagh

Jama Masjid

Shankaracharya Temple

Mughal Gardens

Things To Do

Ice Skating

Shikara Ride

Sledging

Shopping in Kashmir

2. Gulmarg

Gulmarg which literally translates to “flower meadow” is a skier’s dream come true. Gulmarg is a must-see during winter in Kashmir thanks to its ski resorts and the world’s second-highest working cable car.

What Makes It Special? 

Unparalleled Skiing opportunities.

A popular destination for honeymoon in Kashmir.

Luxurious hotels in Gulmarg ensure a comfortable stay. 

Snow-capped mountains provide ample opportunities for photographers.

Places To Visit

Mahakali Temple

Gulmarg Golf Course

St. Mary’s Church

Apharwat Peak

Things To Do

Gondola Ride

Skiing

Tobogganing 

Snowboarding

3. Pahalgam

A charming town nestled in the Himalayas, Pahalgam. With its clear rivers and towering meadows, it is a picture of unspoiled beauty. The peace of Pahalgam personifies winter in Kashmir. 

What Makes It Special? 

Amazing winter trekking opportunities.

Place of religious importance.

Offers breathtaking views of valleys in Kashmir.

Central hub for winter activities.

Places To Visit

Lidder River

Aru Valley

Mamleshwar Temple

Betaab Valley

Things To Do

Trekking

Golfing

Sightseeing

Horse Riding

4. Jammu

Though not as chilly as the rest of Kashmir during winter, Jammu has its own charm. The city offers a blend of historical monuments, temples, and forts that make winter in Kashmir culturally enriching.

What Makes It Special? 

Essential hub for shopping in Kashmir.

Rich tapestry of architecture. 

Known for Kashmiri food

Starting point for Vaishno Devi.

Places To Visit

Raghunath Temple

Bahu Fort

Mubarak Mandi Palace

Ranbireshwar Temple

Things To Do

Dining

Exploring

Pilgrimage

Shopping

5. Dachigam National Park

A mere 22 km from Srinagar, Dachigam is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The name of this wildlife sanctuary in Kashmir translates to ‘Ten Villages’ symbolizing the ten villages that were relocated for its formation. Winter in Kashmir here means spotting the endangered Hangul deer against the backdrop of snow.

What Makes It Special? 

Alternative to the touristy places.

Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Unparalleled trekking opportunities.

Home to the Hangul deer.

Places To Visit

Upper Dachigam

Lower Dachigam

Shikargarh

Marsar Lake

Things To Do

Trekking

Photography 

Wildlife Spotting

Birdwatching

6. Sonamarg

Sonamarg or ‘Golden Meadow’ stands out for its enchanting beauty. The Sindh River meandering through the valley abounds with trout and mahseer, making it a picture of idyllic beauty during winter in Kashmir.

What Makes It Special? 

Essential halt for Amarnath Yatra.

Home to several ancient temples.

Known for its Glacier Treks.

Abode to some of the highest lakes in Kashmir

Places To Visit

Baltal

Vishansar River

Nilagrad River

Thajiwas Glacier

Things To Do

Camping

Fishing 

Trekking

Horse Riding

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Things To Do In Winter In Kashmir

1. Snowball Fights In Gulmarg

Fifteen or fifty, no matter the age, nobody can resist the charm of a good old snowball fight! Winter in Kashmir takes this fun to another level, especially in Gulmarg. The thick, fluffy blankets of snow offer the perfect battleground for an epic snow war. 

Where To Do It: Gulmarg

2. Gondola Ride

Close your eyes and just imagine floating above the winter wonderland with pristine snow below and a clear blue sky above. The Gulmarg Gondola ride is one of the highest in the world and the experience is one of its kind in the winter months.

Where To Do It: Gulmarg

3. Winter Treks

Trekking in the winter might sound a bit scary, but the lure of walking on a frozen lake is something else! Winter in Kashmir is the time when the daredevils trek to see frozen lakes each more magnificent than the next. 

Where To Do It: Tarsar And Marsar Lakes

4. Relish Wazwan Cuisine

The cold weather outdoors calls for some warm and hearty meals indoors. Wazwan is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of flavours and culinary art. A multi-course meal, it’s something that every traveler must relish.

Where To Do It: Srinagar, near the Dal Lake

5. Stay In A Houseboat

This is the kind of stuff that dreams are made of. Sleeping in a wooden houseboat, gently floating on the still waters of Dal Lake with a view of snow-covered peaks, is absolutely heavenly.

Where To Do It: Dal Lake, Srinagar

6. Chill At The Frozen Waterfalls

Heard the quote, ‘ the one where the time stands still’? Well, the waterfalls in Kashmir are magical, but have you ever seen one that’s frozen in action? Winter in Kashmir gives you this rare sight where cascading waters turn into icy artwork.

Where To Do It: Sonamarg

7. Celebrate The Festivals

Winter in Kashmir is not just about cold and snow; it’s also the season of festivities. Festivals in Kashmir light up with their traditional festivals. Whether it’s a local fair, a religious ceremony, or a cultural festival, the spirit is contagious.

Where To Do It: Srinagar and Pahalgam

8. Shop For Pashmina Shawls

No Kashmir trip is complete without shopping for the world’s finest Pashmina. And while you’re at it, grab some exquisite handicrafts as souvenirs. It’s shopping with a cultural twist!

Where To Do It: Srinagar and Handwara

9. Attend Local Sufi Performance

The soulful tunes of Sufi music combined with the serenity of a winter night in Kashmir create an ethereal experience. Let the music transport you to a different realm.

Where To Do It: Srinagar

10. Relish Some Noon Chai

Kashmiri tea is a whole new world. Noon Chai, a salty pink tea is the perfect beverage to warm you up during the cold. Paired with some local bread, it’s an evening well spent.

Where To Do It: Throughout The Valley

Events And Festivals To Attend In Winter In Kashmir

1. Shikara Festival

Imagine a celebration of vibrantly decorated boats gliding smoothly on a frozen lake. That’s the Shikara Festival for you! Traditionally, Shikaras are wooden boats seen adorning the lakes of Kashmir. 

In winter, with the thick layer of ice and snow, they get a festive makeover, becoming a spectacle of colors and celebrations.

Places To Celebrate: Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake

2. Herath (Maha Shivratri)

Herath, also known as Maha Shivaratri outside Kashmir is a significant festival for Kashmiri Pandits. Celebrated over three days, it marks Lord Shiva’s marriage to Parvati. Houses are lit with earthen lamps and the air is fragrant with a mixture of walnuts being soaked in water, which is a unique Kashmiri tradition.

Places To Celebrate: Shankaracharya Temple, Srinagar and Mamleshwar Temple, Pahalgam

3. Gaddi Festival

If you’re thinking about how to find warmth in the cold Kashmiri winter, the Gaddi Festival is your answer. Celebrated by the Dard Shin community, the festival heralds the winter solstice. 

They believe a change in season brings in the supernatural. So, dances, songs, and unique rituals light up the darkest night, ensuring a quirky and warming experience.

Places To Celebrate: Dras Valley and Gurez Valley

4. Eid-E-Milad

Eid-e-Milad celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Sufi chants, night-long prayers, and religious processions characterize this festival. Streets are adorned with flags and lights and people exchange sweets, making it a beautiful blend of devotion and festivity.

Places To Celebrate: Hazratbal Shrine and Jama Masjid, Srinagar

5. Baisakhi

Not exclusive to just winter, Baisakhi in late March heralds the harvest season and is the dawn of warmer days. The festivities are vibrant, marked by traditional dances, music, and feasts. The Sikh community in Kashmir celebrates it with gusto and everyone’s invited!

Places To Celebrate: Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara, Srinagar; Pahalgam, and Anantnag

6. Urs Festival

Urs Festival celebrates the death anniversaries of saints and prophets. Sounds a bit somber, right? But to be fair, it’s a festival of love, celebrating saintly souls. Devotees throng to shrines, Sufi music resonates, and nightly prayers create an ethereal atmosphere.

Places To Celebrate: Charar-e-Sharif, Budgam and Aishmuqam Shrine, Pahalgam

7. Christmas And New Year

Kashmir mainly consists of a Muslim population, but Christmas and New Year are celebrated with a unique charm. Imagine ringing in the festive spirit surrounded by snow clad mountains, pine trees, and a warmth that defies the chill. It sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it?

Places To Celebrate: Srinagar and Gulmarg

Essential Items To Carry To Kashmir In Winter

1. Kashmiri Pheran

The Kashmiri pheran is not just about staying warm; it’s about blending in with style. This traditional long woolen gown worn by locals isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s the winter armor you didn’t know you needed. Don it, and not only will you be warm, but you’ll also get approving nods from locals.

2. Socks

Remember that one sock that went missing in the dryer? Yeah, don’t count on that one returning for this trip. Instead, stock up on thick woolen socks. Your toes will thank you every single time you step out into the frosty embrace of Kashmir.

3. Earmuffs

We’re not talking about your average earmuffs, but the fluffiest, most ridiculous pair you can find. Why? Apart from the obvious warmth they provide, they’ll be the conversation starter you never knew you needed.

4. Snow Boots

Winter in Kashmir can be slippery and slushy. So, while your high heels might be a brave choice, we recommend sturdy snow boots. Make sure they’re waterproof. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than wet socks on a snowy day, trust us!

5. Sweaters

Remember those hand-knit sweaters that you used to wear? Yep, this is its time to shine. Not only will it keep you snuggling in the cold, but you’ll also be spreading some good holiday cheer wherever you go.

6. Sunglasses

Believe it or not, snow reflects a lot of sunlight. So while you might be in a winter wonderland, the glare can be pretty intense. A cool pair of sunglasses will not only protect your eyes but will also add that touch of ‘winter glamour’ to your ensemble.

7. Chapstick and Moisturizer

Your skin and lips are going to have a love hate relationship with the dry cold of Kashmir. Show them some love. Keep them hydrated with a good chapstick and moisturizer. 

8. An Expandable Bag

Let’s be honest, you’re not just going to experience the beauty of Kashmir. You’ll want to take a piece of it back home with all those souvenirs available. Whether it’s intricate handicrafts, spices, or that extra Pheran you just had to buy – you’ll need the space!

Do’s and Don’ts While Travelling To Kashmir In Winter

The Do’s 

Do Dress In Layers: When exploring winter in Kashmir, one tip that will always be helpful is to be an onion. Confused right? Well, we’re talking about dressing in layers, you can add them or remove them according to the weather. 

Do Keep Extra Batteries: Cold temperatures are infamous for draining battery life faster. Whether it’s your camera or smartphone, pack some backup to keep capturing those magical snowy moments.

Do Book In Advance: Kashmir in winter attracts hundreds and thousands of travellers, which can result in hotels and activities getting sold out. This is why it is always suggested to book your trip in advance. 

Do Keep Sufficient Cash: ATMs can be scarce in Kashmir, especially in remote areas. Ensure you’re not caught in a “no cash, no Kahwa” situation by carrying some extra notes.

Do Become Friends With The Locals: Kashmiris are warm, hospitable, and full of intriguing tales. Sharing a Kahwa and a chat with a local might just be the highlight of your trip!

The Don’ts 

Don’t Take The Cold Lightly: While you might feel all cool and breezy during the summers, Kashmir in winter is no joke, so pack your clothes accordingly and be prepared for the cold. 

Don’t Forget To Moisturize: Cold air can be super drying. Keep your skin hydrated and happy with a good moisturizer. Moreover, those chapped lips could use some lip balm love too!

Don’t Overdo The Adventures: Obviously, snowboarding down a pristine slope or taking a walk on a frozen lake might sound thrilling, but always ensure your safety first. Check with local experts, and remember, there’s no harm in skipping an activity if conditions aren’t favorable.

Don’t Rely Just On Digital Maps: Connectivity can be a bit dicey. Having a physical map or directions noted down ensures you won’t be left wandering in the cold looking for a place that your digital map says ‘ is right here’.

Don’t Stray Off The Paths: While a snow-covered trail might look alluring and inviting, there could be slippery spots or areas with thin ice. Stick to known paths, or better yet, follow your local guide.

Weather Of Kashmir In September

The temperatures in winter in Kashmir usually range between -2°C to 10°C, but they can drop even lower in the peak months of December and January.

The snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and frosted trees paint a picture-perfect scene. The snowfall starts around late November and can last until February. 

During this time, the region is blanketed in a thick layer of snow, sometimes even reaching several feet high. Such conditions make Kashmir a popular spot for winter sports like skiing especially in places like Gulmarg.

However, while the snow adds to the beauty, it also brings challenges. Roads can get blocked and it’s essential to be prepared for chilly weather.

In conclusion, winter in Kashmir is cold with temperatures often dipping below freezing but it’s this very chill that transforms the region into a mesmerizing snowy spectacle. If you love snow and chilly weather, Kashmir in winter is the place to be.

How To Reach Kashmir In Winter

By Air: Thinking of the fastest way to reach Kashmir? Well, its by air. A plethora of airlines like IndiGo, Air India, and Spice Jet have daily flights operating to Srinagar. The main airport of Kashmir is the Srinagar Airport. 

By Road: Planning on taking some adventure? Well, then driving to Kashmir is the way to do it. The Jammu- Srinagar is the main route, but keep in mind that during the winter, the roads can get covered under thick sheets of snow, making it difficult to commute. 

By Train: Kashmir does not have its own railway station, but the nearest railway station to it is Jammu Tawi, from there you can drive, take a taxi or a bus to Srinagar which is 6-7 hours away from it. 

Final Say

To sum it up, Kashmir in winter is a mesmerizing wonderland cloaked in a blanket of snow. Whether you’re seeking serene landscapes or thrilling winter activities, this paradise offers an unforgettable experience. Pack your warmest clothes and embark on a journey to witness nature’s grand spectacle. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q:1. What is the winter season like in Kashmir?

Q:2. What are the popular winter activities to enjoy in Kashmir?

Q:3. How should I dress for winter in Kashmir?

Q:4. Are there any precautions I should take while travelling to Kashmir in the winter?

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