Memorable Kashmir Trip - April, 2014 – Its God’s Blessings

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#1 Apr 19th, 2014, 14:28
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#1
My Itinerary for 13 days Amritsar-Jammu-Kashmir Trip:
Day-1 (01.04.2014): 3.10 pm Spice Jet Flight from Kolkata to Amritsar via Delhi. Reached at Hotel Grace around 9 pm.
Day-2 (02.04.2014): Visit Golden Temple & Wagha Border. Marketing in Woollen Market, Amritsar.
Day-3 (03.04.2014): From Amritsar starts at morning 6am for Jammu and arrive Jammu at 10pm by Car. From Jammu starts at around 10.30am for Patnitop. Visit Sanasar & Nathatop. Night holt at JKTDC hotel Maple in Patnitop.
Day-4(04.04.2014): Morning 7.30am proceed to Pahalgam and reach arround 3pm. On the way visited Childern’s Park at Patnitop, Titanik View point & Matharn Temple. Verinag was on our tour plan but, due heavy rain we have to skip that one. Night holt at Beach Resort, Pahalgam.
Day-5(05.04.2014): Morning 9am proceed to Baisaran valley & return to Pahalgam market around 1pm. Take lunch at Dana Pani and relaxed besides river Lidder in front of our hotel Beach Resort.
Day-6 (06.04.2014): Morning 9am proceed to Chandanwari, Betab valley and Aru valley in 2nd half by local cab. Due to snow road was closed and could not reach up to Chandanwari.
Day-7 (07.04.2014): Morning 7.30am proceed to Kokernag and its raining heavily. Could not proceed to Sinthan Top and not enter Achabal Garden as it’s raining heavy. Night holt at JKTDC hotel Alpine (deluxe) in Kokernag.
Day-8 (08.04.2014): Morning 8am proceed to Srinagar and enjoy Shikara ride in the evening. On the way visited Abantipura temple & Sankarachariya Temple. Night holt at Houseboat New Golden Flower in Nageen Lake.
Day-9 (09.04.2014): Morning 9.30am proceed to Salimar Bag, Nishatbag, Parimahal, Chashmashahi, Botanical Garden and Tiulip Garden. Half. Night holt at Hotel Blooming dale, Srinagar.
Day-10 (10.04.2014): Morning 8am proceed to Sonmarg but, not able reach as road was closed.
Day-11 (11.04.2014): Morning 8am proceed to Gulmarg. Enjoy Gondola ride.
Day-12 (12.04.2014): Our plan was to visit Yusmarg. But due to local Bandh changed the plan and visited Kheer Bhabani templr, Manasbal lake & Batdam Varri garden in old Srinagar city. Done Marketing in the 2nd half. Dal lake trip in the evening.
Day-13(13.04.2014): Flight rescheduled. Start 4.30 pm from Srinagar & reached Kolkata (Home) around 12 O’clock at midnight.

Tour Report:

You might think why I have emphasise the words it’s God Blessings? Because we feel something is there always with us. I had planned for this trip 6 months back and purchased air tickets for 2nd April from Kolkata to Amritsar. We have hardly ¾ th day for Amritsar for Golden Temple & Marketing. My mother & wife were not satisfied with this short stay in Amritsar. Also I personally have dissatisfaction as Nathatop & Sanasar was not in my Itinerary. Before 10 days of our trip I got a message from Spicejet that our flight has been rescheduled and for that if we start on 2nd April we will get only half day in Amritsar. As flight has been rescheduled for more than 4hour and I got an option from Spicejet to change the date and I simply grabbed the opportunity. Now we have to start on 1st April. Oh...everyone was happy as now we got one full day at Amritsar (Wagha Border also included) and moreover Nathatop & Sanasar is included in our itinerary. We all are very much excited on the starting day of our trip – get early in the morning, completed the pending work & ready on time to depart.
#2 Apr 21st, 2014, 17:18
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#2
Good start

Hope you are ready to post (next part) on time too
aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#3 Apr 24th, 2014, 17:42
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#3
Rajibji eagerly waiting for the next part.
#4 Apr 25th, 2014, 15:51
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Our Spicejet flight was landed on Amritsar at 8.10pm and we found our car was waiting for us at the outside. We had our booking at hotel Grace which is situated just in front of Golden Temple. The fare from airport to hotel was Rs 500 on Swift Dezire. In busy hour outside car not allowed to the golden temple road and our hotel in the same lane. From main road to hotel we hire a auto which cost us Rs.60. Reached the hotel around 9pm and took dinner from a nearby hotel.
Next morning started around 8.30am for Golden Temple visit. This place will take you to a different spiritual level and the holiness, the feeling, the faith & devotion just need to witness by yourself. It’s amazing!! No words to describe the awesome place. I've visited a lot of temples, but so far I have not had such a wonderful feeling of Bliss as we have felt during our visit at the Temple. Foods have been served throughout the day starting from early morning to midnight and thousands of devotees come here every day. And it’s absolutely free! We also eat once here and it’s really good. There is different coloured fish in the water which my 3 year old son liked very much. Golden Temple is the most recommended place to visit in day as well as night time also. You will never forget the experience.
We spend in Golden Temple around 3 hours and then went to the woollen market. My mother & wife purchased a huge quantity woollen items for ourselves as well as for relatives & friends and we came back hotel at 2.45 pm. We have started for Wagha Border at 3pm and the charge was Rs. 120 / person on Maruti Omni. It was around 34 kM from Golden Temple and at 4pm we reached the place. Full of crowd!!!! We had to stand on queue and walk around 1km to reach the main happening area. Ambience was good. But I personally don’t liked the place and not recommended to the future travellers. Returned around 7.30pm and took our dinner at Brother’s Dhaba which was a good restaurant. On the way back to the hotel we visited the Golden temple again. It was beautiful on lights.....stay there for 15 minutes and return back to hotel. Tomorrow we have to start at 6am for Patnitop.
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#5 Apr 25th, 2014, 15:59
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#5
Nice Golden temple photo. Nice going on ....

Milan= (your) brother ? Or it was a 'Brother's Dhaba' ?
#6 Apr 25th, 2014, 16:08
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Nice clicks.

At Suchetgarh border the BSF jawans told us that Hussainiwala border ( Ferozpur) retreat ceremony is much better to watch as compare to Wagah as their you are much close to border / army personnel and also area is less crowded as it is not as popular as Wagah.
#7 Apr 25th, 2014, 16:21
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#7
Nice going.. Waiting to read the next part of the trip report..
#8 Apr 25th, 2014, 17:27
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Duronto Jajabar,

'Brother's Dhaba' is a popular restaurant at Amritsar. ‘Milan Vaishno dhaba’ is a restaurant on the Amritsar Jammu road near Madhopur, Punjab. It will appear in next part of my TR. Actually I am too much busy with office work and not able to proceed with TR. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
#9 Apr 25th, 2014, 22:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajib_das View Post ...Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
No inconvenience caused

'll cause if we've to wait much Continue ............
#10 Apr 28th, 2014, 13:31
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Before I proceed I want to say a few words about Hotel Grace. I have stayed 2 nights in this hotel with family and I have selected this hotel only for its location. It is situated only one minutes walking distance from Golden Temple’s main gate. Hotel staffs are very helpful & friendly. Rooms are very average one and toilets are of very small size. For hot water we had to call the reception as they turn the boiler on request basis. Overall it is a very average stay in Amritsar. But, surely I recommend for the visitors who want to stay in the vicinity of Golden temple. Standard double bedded room rate is around Rs 800.

03.04.2014 -

Morning 6am we started from Amritsar for Jammu by the same Swift Dezire car which I had booked through Rana Tour & Travel whose owner name is Saran Sharma (Mobile – 9888754914) and cost for Jammu drop was Rs. 3200. It was a very pleasant journey and the Driver Lovepreet (Mobile – 9815040590) is a nice guy who shares his own experience above Kashmir with us. We stopped in a place called ‘Milan Vaishno Dhaba’ near Madhupur, Punjab for breakfast. We all decided for Mixed Alu Paratha with curd and believe me I never have Alu Paratha better than what we get in this Dhaba. (Mixed alu paratha – Rs. 25 & Curd – Rs. 30). Every one of us was appreciated the taste and very much happy. I will recommend to the entire Indiamike member to try once, if you get a chance in future.

After heavy breakfast we proceed for Jammu and from there we had a booking of Travera car through M. P. Travel, Srinagar whose owner name is Muzaffar Ahmad (Mobile- 9906686068 / 9419728489. I was booked the car well in advance and 10days before our tour I called Muzaffar Ahmad to give a reminder. Again after reaching Amritsar I talked to this person and he was told us his car will reach Jammu on time. In the morning when we started from Amritsar again I talked to person and he told us his car is on the way and will reach slightly late. After this call I had some doubts as from the last few days I had repeatedly asked him to send me the Driver mobile number & car number. But he has not sent me any SMS. When we were about to reach Jammu, I made a call and now he replies “my car has been broke down on the way and I am not able to provide you a car and arrange it from Jammu by yourself”! I was very much annoyed with him but keep my cool and told him to send his car after made the repairing & we will wait in Jammu. Then he replied “no I cannot send you car” and I realised that he simply telling lies. Actually he never arranged a car for our trip. At the time of booking I personally asked him about the advance amount and he told me “I will take money from you at Srinagar only after completion of your trip”. But he simply breaches the contract. It was the only bitter experience of our 13 days Kashmir trip. From Jammu I booked a travera for 6 days by myself and it costs Rs 2400 per day.

We started from Jammu around 10.30am and it was a beautiful journey through hilly roads. Within 30minutes we saw first glimpse of snow Peak Mountains. We all were very much excited as our dreams for Jammu & Kashmir is now a reality. On the way we had gone through small villages like Domel, Udhampur & Kud. From Jammu distance of Kud is 106kM and at a height of 5000 feet. It is a very beautiful place. We decided to go directly to Sanasar & Nathatop. Sanasar is 19km away from Patnitop and after around 13km there is point from where if you go on the left side you will reach Nathatop and the other way down on the hill Sanasar is situated. The scenic beauty of the journey was wonderful and snow was everywhere!!! Snow near Patnitop in the month of April!!!! What is waiting for us in other parts of Kashmir? We all excited. Around 4.30 pm we retuned back to Patnitop and checked in the JKTDC’s hotel “Maple pine view” which I had booked online. Neat, clean & specious room with electric blanket and washroom also found in very good condition. It cost us Rs. 1000 per room. Very quickly we are ready to visit the garden and roaming there up to 7.30pm and enjoyed very much within the Mother Nature. It’s a very beautiful garden with attractive cottages and the ambience was excellent. We all were very tired and decided to take dinner at the JKTDC’s restaurant in Hotel Alpine. You can also take the dinner in your room if you wish and your attendant will bring the food for you. Food served was tasty and all the staff members of JKTDC were helpful. In night it chilled out there and we went to the bed early.
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#11 Apr 28th, 2014, 13:48
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04.04.2014 –

It was a cloudy morning and we started at 7.45 am. First visited children’s park near Patnitop and proceed for Verinag. We had our breakfast in Ramban which is around 32km from Patnitop. Truly speaking, food quality was not up to the mark. From here rain started and when we reach Banihal tunnel. We were crossed Banihal tunnel smoothly as there was no traffic jam and stooped at Titanic View Point. Rain continues and due to heavy fog not able to saw beyond 10 feet! Stay there for a while and decided not to proceed for Verinag as due to bad weather condition we had not any chance to witness the scenic beauty of Verinag. Perhaps next time we will visit Verinag. At Kagigund we took our lunch and proceed for Pahalgam. Lidder River flowing on the left side of the road throughout the journey and we all enjoyed the surroundings which was magnificent. On the way we visited Martand (Mattan) Sun Temple. We had reached hotel “Beach Resort” which is situated on the bank of Lidder River. First reaction of my 3year old son was “bahh…….” (Superb). Very neat & clean rooms and most importantly by sitting on the bed we were able to see Lidder River! What a place! Every one of us was very much excited and my father told ‘this place is such that you can simply spend 3-4 days here by sitting idle on the small garden between the river & our rooms. Rate of this hotel is Rs.1500 for river facing rooms & Rs.1200 for other side rooms. In the meanwhile rain already stops and rest of the day we spends our time relaxing on the riverside.
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#12 Apr 28th, 2014, 13:55
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05.04.2014 –

Today is a sunny day and we will visit Baisaran Valley today. My mother (age 56) not very much confident about pony riding and I also had some doubt whether she can do it or not as the road condition will be terrible. Finally she agreed and we hire pony @ Rs 600 per pony for Baisaran, Dabian & Kashmir vally. At hotel ‘Dana Pani’ we took our breakfast and started the journey. Before finalizing the pony trip I had get the confirmation from the pony person that we will go through longer route (motor able road up to a certain point). There is also a shorter route which is through hills from the very beginning of the journey and takes lesser time. Everything was going alright and we had started to explore the nature. It was unforgettable experience and we feels that we are going to the HEVEN! My mother was also doing well and after around 65 minutes we reached at the point called ‘Kashmir Valley’. On the way after another 10 minutes we reached a point called ‘Dabian’ and from here terrible road started. The road was inclined 30 to 40 degree angle and finally we reached Baisaran Valley which is also known as ‘Mini Switzerland’. From ‘Dabian’ it was 15 minutes ride up to Baisaran. Valley was covered with full of snow and my son started throwing snow at all of us. We all enjoyed very much and after spending around an hour we decided to return back. It was more difficult journey than climbing. I saw from the back that my mother not able to keep her balance and I requested the pony person to take care of her. I am praying to the god for her and after around 15 minutes of horrible road we had reached comparatively manageable situation. Nightmare over! Every one of us including my mother was at ease and was enjoying the beauty of surrounding nature. At the end of our ride pony person given the instruction to ponies and our (my wife & my) pony started to running at a faster speed and we enjoyed that very much. From Baisaran valley to Pahalgam market was around 1hour 15minutes journey during returning. We had a lunch in Restaurant ‘Dana Pani’. Returned to the ‘beach resort’ and relaxing on the bank of river Lidder.
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#13 Apr 28th, 2014, 14:43
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Nice photos, nice description. Beautiful Patnitop, Verinag, awesome lidder river, your 'mini Switzerland' ... making of snowman for your loving son (both are cute )...... very nice.
#14 Apr 30th, 2014, 11:47
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06.04.2014 –
Today we have a plan to go Chandanbari, Betab valley & Aru Valley. Hire a Maruti Ecco car (Rs. 1400) and first proceed for Chandabari (as far as we can as road was still not open due to snow). Went up to the place where excavators were clearing the snow. When we were entering Vetab valley rain started. The total valley was covered with snow and we were roaming there for an hour.
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#15 Apr 30th, 2014, 11:53
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After Betab Valley, we were proceeding for Aru. We were mesmerized by scenic beauty of Aru valley. It was like picture post card! Enjoy there for a while and take tea from a nearby shop. A few shop persons were clearing the snow and my son insists to contribute! I requested one of them and they give my son the permission to do the work for them!!!!!! When we are returning from Aru, heavy rain started.
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