Day 01Â :Â Â Â Srinagar â€“pahalgamÂ 96kms/3hrs
You will be met by representative at the airport andÂ transferred to pahalgamÂ Â en-route visit Saffron fields of Pampora, see the beautiful countryside, lots of rice fields . Also visit Awantipura Ruins (1100 years Old Temple) – Built in 09th century AD by King Avantivarman and dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Situated 29 kms from Srinagar, the temple ruins at Awantipura represent some of the finest examples of architecture of this region. Later continue your drive to Pahalgam through the pine forest, the confluence of the streams flowing from the river Lidder & Sheshnag Lake which are famous for their scenic beauty.
After rest ,visit Aru,Â a small village, 11 kms upstream the Lidder River, is a beautiful locality. The route is picturesque with ample campsites. This village is the starting point for treks to the Kolahoi glacier. OvernightÂ at Hotel .
Day 02Â :Â Â Â In Pahalgam : Trip to Martand Temple and achabal.
After breakfast, Visit Martand Sun Temple (37 Kms, one hour). Martand is another Sanaskrit name for Hindu Sun â€“ god. The Martand Sun Temple was built by King of Karkota Dynasty – Lalitaditya Muktapida in 8th century AD. It is said to have been built during 725-756 AD. The foundation of the temple is said to have been around 370-500 AD., and also some attributed the construction of the temple began with Ranaditya. The temple was completely destroyed by Sikandar Butshikan in early 15th century. It took one year for Sikander Butshikan to fully damage and destroy it.
Continue driving towards Achabal (9 kms, 30 mins from Martand Temple) Achabal Garden, once the pleasure retreat of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan is a beautifully created garden in Kashmir with its own special allure and character. Its` picturesque beauty makes it one of the best Mughal gardens of the Indian subcontinent. The upper portion of the garden is popularly known as `Bag-e-Begum Abad` and was developed by Malika Noor Jehan Begum in 1620 A.D. Chinar trees. Stepped terraces, ornamental shrubs and conventional elegance, are the added attraction, which not only mesmerizes one but also attracts thousands of tourists from all over the globe every year. Return back to Pahalgam. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03 :-Â Â Â Pahalgam â€“ Gulmarg (145 kms / 4hrs )
After check out from hotel drive toÂ Gulmarg (Meadow of flowers) â€“ It was discovered as a tourist destination by the British in the 19th century. Prior to that, Mughal emperors vacationed in the Gulmarg valley which is about 03 kms long and up-to 01 km wide. It is exquisitely situated in a pine surrounded basin of the Pir Panjal range at an altitude of 2,730 meters above sea level and one of the most famous tourist destinations of Kashmir. It also has one of the worldâ€™s highest green golf courses with 18 holes, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right.Â Overnight at Hotel.
DayÂ 04 :Gulmarg â€“ Srinagar :56kms /2hrs
After Breakfast,go for Gondola (Cable car) ride which is the highest in Asia and has two phases , first phase goes upto Kongdoori (2,600 m (8,530 ft) and 2nd phase goes upto Affarwat (4,200 m (13,780 ft). Later proceed towards Srinagar (Lake City) â€“ It is at once a collection of images: It tells the story of love of the Mughal Emperors for this paradise like vale with deep green rice fields, rivers, gardens in bloom and lakes rimmed by houseboats, where lush wild gardens of lotus and water-lily grow amidst bustling lanes, EveningÂ go forÂ shikara ride. The Dal is famous not only for its beauty, but for its vibrance, because it sustains within its periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world. The houseboat and shikara communities have lived for centuries on the Dal, and so complete is their infrastructure on the lake, that they never have to step on land! Doctors, tailors, and bakers – you’ll see them all in tiny wooden shops on the lake,Â Overnight atÂ Â Hotel
Day 05:- Full Day trip to Ushkar stupa Baramula and Parishaspura
60 kms,2 hrs ) is a place of archeological importance located in Baramulla District. Ushkar stupa and its surrounding Â Â Â Â wall are found at some distance away to the west of the village. This stupa is similar to that at Parihasapura and is believed to have been constructed by Lalitaditya in the middle of the 8th century. The remains of the terracotta heads reveal that the stupa belonged to the Kushan times. All these artifacts are now preserved in the Pratap Singh Museum at Srinagar.
Also visit Parihaspora , situated on the karewa land 24 kms away from Srinagar on right side of Srinagar-Baramulla road. During first period of Dogra rule it used to be called pargana â€œParaspurâ€. The ruins of Parihaspur Budhist site are presently spread over three karewa , namely: kane shahs ( main stone structure), Govrardhan & Budh karewa. This areas was developed and inhabited by famous King Lalitadita (695-731 AD) and later made it capital of Kashmir. Parihapora is presently known are kane shahr ( city of stones). The ancient ruins are seen at four places namely: Dewar Yekhmanpur, Govardhan karewa (Wudur), Teirgam & Budh karewa. It is observed by the archaeologists that this karewa land carries religious structures and palaces mainly. At the time when Parishapur would bloom as city, River Jhelum ( Vitasta) and River Sindh would meet at Naid Khai area and beyond Nigli Nallah would join to flow down in the Wular Lake ( the largest lake of Asia). Within the limits of this ancient city , the prominent structures which the King raised include: Govardhan, Mukta Keshav, Parhas Keshav, Mahavrah, Raj Vihar etc. The King has also constructed a Fort of iron brick in the city ; however, the remains of this Fort are not seen. In this city Turkish Minister of the King named Chuknan had constructed a Stupa, remains of which are still available. Overnight in Srinagar.
Day 06:- Day trip to Burzahama and Naranag.
After breakfast drive towards, burzaham (16 kms, 30 mins) is a very important archeological site which provides evidence of people living in the valley during 2500 BC in underground caves dug into Karewa Soil. It is believed that about 140 BC, the pit dwelling changed into structures built on the ground. Continue driving towards NaranagÂ which is the base camp for trekking to the Mount Haramukh 16,870 ft (5,142 metres) and Gangabal Lake.. It is one of the important archaeological sites of the country The site consists of a cluster of temples facing each other at a distance of about 200 meters Historians say that the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva by the 8th century ruler Lalithdatiya muktadiya. It is believed that the king Awantivarman paid a visit and donated a pedestal for bathing at Bhutsher. Its architecture reveals the artÂ of the 8th century. Overnight in Srinagar.
Day 07:- Srinagar Local sightseeing:-
After breakfast visit Shankaracharya Temple :which standsÂ a topÂ takhtei sulamaan (1100 ft) ,itÂ is believed that king solamanÂ in 3000 B.C store the treasure of 300 goldenÂ and silver statues . other thought describes that the temple was originally built by Jaluka ,Ashokaâ€s son around 200 B.C , also visit Mughal Gardens
Cheshmashahi is the first Mughal Garden you will pass after Nehru Park. Built at a height above the city , its views are as stupendous as its layout. The smallest of Srinagar’s Mughal gardens, Cheshmashahi has only three terraces in addition to a natural spring of water enclosed in a stone pavilion.
Nishat : Nishat Bagh, meaning the ‘The garden of joy’ located on the eastern side of the Dal Lake is a marvelous garden designed by Asaf Khan, Nur Jahan’s brother. Laid out in 1633 it is among the largest of theMughalGardens.Â The garden with rare species of flowering plants and long avenues of chinar & cypress trees, has 12 terraces out of which the second terrace is considered the most impressive with 23 niches provided in its arched recess, just behind the cascade.
Shalimar: It is here that Emperor Jahangir built his celebrated Shalimar Bagh, his dream project to please his queen He enlarged the ancient garden in 1619 into a royal garden and called it ‘Farah Baksh’ (‘the delightful’). He built it for his wife Nur Jahan (‘light of the world’). In 1630, under Emperor Shah Jahanâ€™s orders, Zafar Khan the governor of Kashmir got it extended. He named it â€˜Faiz Bakshâ€™ (‘the bountiful’). It then became a pleasure place for the Pathan and Sikh governors who followed Zafar Khan.
During the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the marble pavilion was the guest house for European visitors. Electrification of the premises was done during Maharaja Hari Singhâ€™s rule. Thus, over the years, the garden was extended and improved by many rulers and called by different names, but the most popular name â€˜Shalimar Baghâ€™ continues to this day..
During the Mughal period in particular, Emperor Jahangir and his wife Nur Jahan were so enamoured of Kashmir that during summer they moved to Srinagar with their full court entourage from Delhi, at least 13 times. Shalimar Bagh was their imperial summer residence and the Royal Court. They crossed the arduous snowy passes of the Pir Panjal mountain range on elephants to reach Srinagar
Pari Mahal, Initially a garden built by Dara Shikoh for his sufi teacher, Mulla Shah, and decorated with several springs that have dried up, the Pari Mahal gardens are now proudly maintained by the state government. Built around a small spring, they house exotic flowering plants laid out in terraces surmounted by the ruined arches of a once beautiful building. Pari Mahal is illuminated at night, and can be seen, located on the on the spur of a hill, most places in Srinagar.
Harvan BuddhistÂ Â Monastery.
Harwan Buddhist Ruins date back to 300 AD ,as recorded in the chronicles, and is situated in North-West of Kashmir from eastern side of Shalimar MughalÂ Garden. The ruins are famous for Kushan period civilization. These ruins were discovered after excavation in the first quarter of 20th Century, i.e. between 1919-1929 AD, by the Archaeological Department. The position of the excavated site reveals that the settlement structures in steps. Henrich, an European writer, has stated that Nag Arjun the Budhist was born in the era of Kanshik who had stationed at Harwan and was all powerful.
The ancient name of Harwan was Shadarahadwan meaning woods of six saints. On the tiles discovered from the site the remnants of early civilization are evident. OvernightÂ Â in Srinagar
DAY Â Â Â 08Â Â Â DEPART SRINAGAR(BY SURFACE: 12 KMS â€“ 45 MIN)
After BreakfastÂ , transferred to Srinagar airport in time to board flight to back home.