Last post you saw how we planned the whole trip with each day going to a new place. If you are reading this first, I would suggest you read our Hands-on Guide: Trip to Srinagar Part 1 to get a clear idea. It was our first day, and we were too excited about Dal Lake. So we chose to stay back, and experience the beautiful lake in Shikara. In this post, I am sharing Dal Lake and Sonmarg guide in our trip to Srinagar
Dal Lake and Sonmarg -Trip to Srinagar Part 2
1] Dal Lake, Srinagar
If you are seeing it for the first time, this is one fabulous place which you had always heard in books or people who had been there. Though Dal lake is pretty big, the path made around it which stretches around the road is like 2 km easily. It makes it a beautiful place to have an evening walk. According to the local guide, the lake freezes completely in the winter.
The other side of Dal Lake is full of Houseboats which we were talking about in the last post. They are lined up with different shapes and sizes and speaking their own story. One of the houseboats is also famous for being featured in Hindi Movie, Mission Kashmir.
If you are already past 2-3 PM, I would suggest you straight away take a Shikara. It is a small but decorated boat perfect for couples. You might have to bargain a little, but it would cost you around Rs 200 to 900 approx. This Shikara will take you around the Dal Lake and show you the following spots:
- Floating Garden
- Water skiing
- Floating restaurant, farms, and market
- And also would show you the houseboats.
1] The floating restaurant is one of the major attraction. You can order and enjoy your food on the Shikara. It looks even better at night. Couple of Shikaras get around the floating restaurant, and people enjoy the food.
2] Floating Farms are like a piece of land on which crops are grown, but they are tied all together as they float on water. It’s a unique style of farming around Dal lake. Infact a story says that somebody stole the whole farm by towing it away using a boat and took it away to a different part of the lake.
This would take all your evening, and if you had reached by afternoon, it is the right time to book the car for the next day and have some sleep. The next three days you will be on your toes.
The beautiful Sonmarg
The second day, we started sharp at 9 in the morning to avoid traffic. It will be tough, but any delay after 9 AM means you will waste your time in the traffic. Sonmarg is 2 hours of travel by car from Srinagar.
The word Sonmarg means meadow of gold. It gets its name from snowy mountains against the clear blue sky. It’s one place which trackers would love to go and the second place where you can get snow even in July. However its not the snow you can play with.
As you enter Sonmarg, you would see the military all around especially if its the time of Amarnath yatra you would also get a chance to see the camps.
Once you reach Sonmarg, ask the driver to arrange for the horses. Since they have a tie-up with people there, you would get it quickly. These horses will take you to the Thajiwas glacier where you can find ice and its pretty close to China border and also called as Gateway to Ladakh. Also, you can see the Amarnath mountains from here, which is very close to this area.
You would also love the sidewalk while travelling to the valley of Sonmarg, which is full of fresh water. Horses will walk around it and even cross sometimes, which would be an adventure. Also, if you get a chance, catch the horses drinking water, it would be fun.
What you see above is cave made up of Frozen Snow, which is a part of layers of ice which gets deposited in Winter. It is a bit hard to get at this place as it is located further up the hill. But if you are adventurous, then its going to be fun.
We got a chance to run on the sledge, though, and it was fun. It costs around 50 rs for three rounds at that time in 2007.
You will enjoy the Sonmarg. Right from horse riding on steep hills to snow-laden mountains with greenery around you. I would suggest you stay for a little longer and see what is around and have a fresh breath. Yeah and If you wish to have some coffee here, you might end up paying 50 RS for each. Yup Too costly to drink at this height right!!