From Time Immemorial: A Land OF Beauty, History and Culture
This tour is a wonderful journey of discovery visiting some of the highlights of breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir. It’s no wonder the Mughal Emperors fell in love with the land: snow clad mountains reflect their majesty in tranquil lakes, sparkling rivers meander through the fertile plains bejewelled with lush green meadows. The lower slopes of the surrounding hillsides are, in spring, a blaze of Alpine colour. Higher up scented pine trees fill the air with their heavenly fragrance. On this journey stay aboard a delightful Houseboat on the Dal or Nagin Lakes, originally built by the British, who like their illustrious Mughal predecessors preferred to escape the sweltering heat wave of the Indian plains. They built boats, not houses to live in! Explore the ochre city of Srinagar with its ancient Mosques, Shrines and Bridges. Visit the lovely Mughal Gardens, relax on the shores of Manasbal Lake, before ‘The Meadow of Flowers’ high up in the pure air of the mountains.
Day 1: To Delhi Overnight from London to Delhi by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic or Jet Airways.
Day 2: To Srinagar
Arrive Delhi and connect a domestic flight to Srinagar. Upon arrival transfer to deluxe Houseboat. After lunch a relaxing ride on a traditional ‘Shikara’ – the famous local boat of the Lakes. Four nights stay at Houseboat.
Day 3: Exploration of the Pari Mahal, Nishat and Shalimar Bagh
Morning at leisure to soak up the beauty of the lake and the mountains from the sundeck of your Houseboat. After lunch leave the Houseboat by Shikara for the Pari Mahal Ghat. Visits include the Pari Mahal, Nishat and Shalimar Mughal Gardens. The Pari Mahal was originally a Buddhist monastery and later converted to an Astrological School by Dara Shikoh – eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. The Nishat – or The Garden of Bliss – with its glorious views of the snow-capped mountains, was created by Asif Khan on the banks of Dal Lake. The lovely Shalimar Bagh – The Abode of Love – was the inspiration of Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jehan.
Day 4: Srinagar Walking Tour of Discovery
After breakfast a walking tour discovering the heritage and culture of the city. See the ancient Shrines and Mosques, wander the streets lined with soft hued burnt brick buildings and see some of the famous Srinagar bridges… End the tour at the Nagar Nagar Interpretation centre in Old city to witness some of the facts of the fascinating Afghan and Mughal City within the Hari Parbat Fort while you enjoy a cup of Kahwa – the traditional Kashmiri Tea. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 5: Full day Excursion to Manasbal Lake Area
Delightful day’s outing to see the beautiful Manasbal Lake; it’s considered the gem of Kashmiri lakes. For lunch take a leisurely picnic at ‘Daroga Bagh’ now generally known as Jharokha Garden. The views over the Lake are superb. Later visit a Silk Worm ‘farm’ and see how these fascinating worms (the actual pupa part of their lifecycle) weave their magical ‘thread’.
Day 6: To Gulmarg with Optional Srinagar Vegetable Market visit
Early morning optional visit to the bustling vegetable market and then an hour and a half journey will transport you to ‘The Meadow of Flowers’. You may wish to take a brief stop at Kanihma – a little village enroute to see the dying art of Kani Shawl weaving. Then start the climb to Gulmarg through fir-covered hillsides. Two nights stay at Hotel Nedous or stay at Luxury Khyber Resort and Spa at a supplement.
Day 7: Cable Car Ride or Optional Guided Walk or perhaps a Round of Golf
Gulmarg means valley of flowers, daisies grow here in abundance and luppins can attain a height of upto 5 feet. You can either choose to go for a walk with a local guide or take a ride upto the top of Apharwat Hill by a cable car. Walk through the lovely Gulmarg Valley countryside breathing the pure clear air whilst enjoying magnificent vistas, or play a round of golf on the excellent course.
Day 8: To Delhi via Srinagar Overnight Taj Ambassador
Return back down to Srinagar airport and fly to Delhi, transfer to the airport for flight to London – or transfer to Taj Ambassador Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 9: Transfer to London with same day arrival or Add an Extension. For details of holiday extensions please enquire. These can be tailored to be taken before or after the Kashmir tour.