Katra to Sonmarg -or- Katra to Srinagar ... which is better? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

Katra to Sonmarg -or- Katra to Srinagar ... which is better?

#1 Apr 2nd, 2015, 21:54
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#1
Hi fellow IMrs,

We are 3 families (with kids) on a trip to J&K from May 5 to May 16.
(The detailed itinerary is mentioned at the end of this post)

There are 6 adults & 6 kids (Ages: 6mnth; 4, 6, 7, 11 & 12 yrs) in all.

The questions are:
  1. Should we break the journey at Srinagar instead of continuing to Sonmarg?
  2. Should we add a day to Sonmarg for relaxation (fun in snow at high altitudes can be tiring) and decrease a day at Pahalgam?
  3. Is the JKTDC 2BHK hut nearer to the glacier? Do they have gas/milk arrangement (considering we will be reaching late)?
  4. Are my travel time estimations correct?
  5. Is this a good itinerary?
  6. Any contacts for booking a Tempo Traveller? (may 9 to may 15)
  7. Family friendly hotel suggestions for Pahalgam (Talking to Hotel Woodstock and they've quoted 7700 for Kashmiri room - 1800 extra for kids w/bed ... it's a CP plan)


Our Itinerary
-------------------
May 5: Mum - Delhi (Air). Delhi - Katra (overnight train)
May 6: Reach Katra. Relax in Katra.
May 7: Start very early in the morning. Reach the Bhavan by noon so that we can come back to hotel same day/night! [Not to worry ... except the youngest 2, these kids have trekked on foot to the bhavan 5 yrs back].
May 8: Rest & Recuperate
May 9: Head early for Sonmarg. [14-15 hr journey]
May 10: Head early to glacier point. Enjoy the snow!
May 11: Checkout & head to Srinagar (2-3 hrs). Have fun and then head to Pahalgam. [5 hr journey]
May 12: Sightseeing in Pahalgam (Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Chandanwari).
May 13: Cover Baisaran (mini switzerland). Relax.
May 14: Head to Jammu - Start early in the morning! Cover Verinag if it was missed on the way to Sonmarg. [12 hr journey]
May 15: Shopping in 1st half. Catch evening train to Delhi (overnight train).
May 16: We reach New Delhi Rly Station (NDLS) @ 5:00AM.
Rush straight to the airport to catch the 8:30AM flight.

The itinerary has been planned based on lots of posts & discussions which i've been reading through for a fortnight now.

But nothing works like validation / advise from someone with practical ground
knowledge!

Waiting for some quick replies.

Thanks in advance to my dear fellow IMers.

Avrinder
#2 Apr 2nd, 2015, 22:00
Learning... from others' experiences!
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Location:
India
Posts:
13,461
  • Prakaant is offline
#2
Others may answer rest of queries.

My take: Srinagar is on the way, so you may have a night stay there and proceed to Sonmarg after one or day.
#3 Apr 2nd, 2015, 22:20
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#3
Thanks for your reply Prakaant.

The question really is whether it is advisable to continue to Sonmarg ... a few people (offline) have told me that the road from Srinagar to Sonmarg is narrow and risky since it would be night by the time we arrive at Srinagar.

If there's no risk and its doable, then i'd rather continue to Sonmarg and avoid the very early wake up we will have to do to reach sonmarg.

What would you suggest? And how much time does it take to reach Sonmarg (from Srinagar)?
#4 Apr 2nd, 2015, 22:57
Join Date:
Apr 2011
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
323
  • harish2012 is offline
#4
Wow, the plan sounds great, will wait to see pictures.
#5 Apr 3rd, 2015, 03:56
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#5
Some change in itinerary. The revised itinerary is as follows (changes in italics) :

Revised Itinerary
-------------------
May 5: Mum - Delhi (Air). Delhi - Katra (overnight train)
May 6: Reach Katra. Relax in Katra.
May 7: Start very early in the morning. Reach the Bhavan by noon so that we can come back to hotel same day/night! [Not to worry ... except the youngest 2, these kids have trekked on foot to the bhavan 5 yrs back].
May 8: Rest & Recuperate
May 9: Head early for Srinagar. [appx. 12 hr journey]
May 10: Srinagar local sightseeing - Shikara ride, various gardens (Mughal, Nishat, Tulip). Anything else?
May 11: Head early to Sonmarg ... leave by 7AM (2-3 hrs). Checkin to JKTDC huts and then head to Glacier. Snow fun!
May 12: Leave early for Pahalgam. Mattan Suntemple , Achabol garden enroute. Checkin and then local sightseeing in Pahalgam (Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Chandanwari). Can all this be done?

May 13: Cover Baisaran (mini switzerland). Relax. Is it possible to cover Aru, Betaab, Chandanwari & Baisaran in one day?
May 14: Head to Jammu - Start early in the morning! Cover Verinag if it was missed on the way to Srinagar. [12 hr journey]
May 15: Shopping in 1st half. Catch evening train to Delhi (overnight train).
May 16: We reach New Delhi Rly Station (NDLS) @ 5:00AM.
Rush straight to the airport to catch the 8:30AM flight.

The Questions are:
  • Is the JKTDC 2BHK hut nearer to the glacier? Do they have gas/milk arrangement (considering we will be reaching late)?
  • Are my travel time estimations correct?
  • Is this a good itinerary?
  • Any contacts for booking a Tempo Traveller? (may 9 to may 15)
  • Family friendly hotel suggestions for Srinagar and Pahalgam
    (Need something within walking distance of Dal Lake)
    (Talking to Hotel Woodstock and they've quoted 7700 for Kashmiri room - 1800 extra for kids w/bed ... it's a CP plan)
  • Any good food joints at Dal Lake offering tasty & hygienically prepared food - Both veg & Non-veg


p.s. - Thanks harish2012, but as you can see the plan is still unfolding
#6 Apr 3rd, 2015, 10:46
Learning... from others' experiences!
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Location:
India
Posts:
13,461
  • Prakaant is offline
#6
Quote:
Is this a good itinerary?
No! It's not!

Your itinerary seems to be too tight to me.

If purpose of your tour is to enjoy the trip, then you should either add at least four to five days in your itinerary or reduce the stations.

You should start your trek to Bhawan on May 6 itself.
#7 Apr 3rd, 2015, 17:47
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#7
Hi Prakaant,

Can't increase the no. of days since the flights + trains are already booked.

But know what you are saying ... But really confused on what to drop - Sonmarg or Pahalgam.

The other families want to enjoy snow ... which I don't think we'll get at Pahalgam in May.
But then Pahalgam is too beautiful to be given the miss.

So essentially it is a choice between Sonmarg v/s Pahalgam.

How would you vote on this?
#8 Apr 3rd, 2015, 17:52
Join Date:
Jun 2013
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
131
  • aviramkar is offline
#8
Always Pahelgam.

It is the real Heaven.

Kindly note, For Pahelgam Sight seen, you have to book Local Car.
#9 Apr 3rd, 2015, 18:24
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by aviramkar View Post Always Pahelgam.
It is the real Heaven.
Thanks aviramkar & prakaant for helping me decide

What do you think of revised itinerary now? And plz help with the resulting questions.

Itinerary revision 2.0:
-----------------------
May 5: Mum - Delhi (Air). Delhi - Katra (overnight train)
May 6: Reach Katra. Try to book accommodation at Bhavan for the night. Check-bags to the Hotel and then start for the Bhavan.
May 7: Reach the Bhavan by evening/night. O/N at Bhavan.
May 8: Early morning Darshan. Head to Bhairon. Then head down back to Katra.
May 9: Head for Pahalgam. O/N at Pahalgam
[How much time does this take?]
May 10: Local sightseeing in Pahalgam (Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Chandanwari). O/N at Pahalgam.
We should get snow at Chandanwari in May as well, right?
May 11: Cover Baisaran (mini switzerland). If possible then Mattan Suntemple , Achabol garden - which are further south from Pahalgam. O/N at Pahalgam
[Hope this is correct?!! Or is better to club Mattan, Achabol, Verinag all together while enroute to Patnitop the next day?]
May 12: Head to Patnitop. Cover Verinag on the way. O/N at Patnitop.
[What would be the journey time]
May 13: Visit Nathatop (maybe snow there?). Head to Jammu. O/N at Jammu.
May 14: Shopping. Local sightseeing. O/N at Jammu
May 15: Relax. Pack. Catch evening train to Delhi (overnight train).
May 16: We reach New Delhi Rly Station (NDLS) @ 5:00AM. Rush straight to the airport to catch the 8:30AM flight.
#10 Apr 3rd, 2015, 18:34
Learning... from others' experiences!
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Location:
India
Posts:
13,461
  • Prakaant is offline
#10
<<x-posted>>

Without taking permission, I have tried to do a little bit touch up in your itinerary.

Please go through it and opine :

May 5: Mum - Delhi (Air). Delhi - Katra (overnight train)
May 6: Reach Katra. Freshening up and Leave for Bhawan latest by noon. Reach Bhawan by late evening.
May 7: Start for Katra very early in the morning. Night stay at Katra or Jammu (My preferred night stay would be at Jammu, if a vehicle has not been booked in advance)
May 8: Leave early for Pahelgam. Night stay at Pahelgam
May 9: Local sightseeing at Pahelgam.
May 10: Local sightseeing at Pahelgam.
May 11: Leave for Srinagar in morning so that reach Srinagar by noon (enroute see the places). Check in and local sightseeing
May 12: Head early to Sonmarg ... leave by 7AM (2-3 hrs). Checkin to JKTDC huts and then head to Glacier.
May 13: Leave for Srinagar by noon. Local sightseeing at Srinagar
May 14: Head to Jammu - Start early in the morning! Cover Verinag if it was missed on the way to Srinagar. [12 hr journey]
May 15: Shopping in 1st half. Catch evening train to Delhi (overnight train).
May 16: Reach New Delhi Rly Station (NDLS) @ 5:00AM.

Rush straight to the airport to catch the 8:30AM flight.

Few points to note:

You will have to book accommodation online in advance. You may not get accommodation after reaching Katra.
#11 Apr 3rd, 2015, 19:06
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#11
Hi Prakaant,

Thanks for taking the effort to clean up the itinerary.

I think your suggestion for heading to Pahalgam first is good ... not sure why we need to head back to Jammu? We can take NH1 from Katra via Tikhri (adjacent to Udhampur), right?

What I feel with regards to the suggestions specifically for Srinagar>Sonmarg>Srinagar>Jamm u:
  • Checking in to Srinagar on 11th & then again on 13th seems tedious ... we'll have to pack/unpack as many times.

I'm thinking to then do away with the O/N at Sonmarg on 12th ... although everyone in the group (including kids) were sort of looking forward to O/N in snow clad land.

Also, any idea on what would be total travel time from Srinagar to Jammu?
I understand that it takes close to 12 hrs from Phalagam to Jammu itself. Kids tend to become cranky on extremely long road journeys.

Really appreciate your advise and guidance. Thanks!
#12 Apr 3rd, 2015, 19:11
Learning... from others' experiences!
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Location:
India
Posts:
13,461
  • Prakaant is offline
#12
Please note the sentence: My preferred night stay would be at Jammu, if a vehicle has not been booked in advance.

If you have a vehicle booked in advance, you may proceed straight to Pahelgam.

We also prefer to visit Sonmarg as a day trip.
#13 Apr 3rd, 2015, 19:34
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
kolkata
Posts:
3,180
  • iamsomnath is offline
#13
I would go by Prakaant's itinerary. Regarding your preference of snow , Gulmarg Gandola 2nd phase will let you have that in plentiful.

cheers
Somnath
#14 Apr 3rd, 2015, 20:13
Join Date:
Mar 2012
Location:
Navi Mumbai
Posts:
19
  • Avrinder is offline
#14
Thanks once again Prakaant. And iamsomnath.

Here's what the final itinerary looks like (what do you think?):

May 5: Mum - Delhi (Air). Delhi - Katra (overnight train)
May 6: Reach Katra. Freshening up and Leave for Bhawan latest by noon. Reach Bhawan by late evening.
May 7: Start for Katra very early in the morning. Night stay at Katra.
May 8: Leave early for Pahelgam. Visit Verinag enroute. Night stay at Pahelgam
May 9: Local sightseeing at Pahelgam.
May 10: Local sightseeing at Pahelgam.
May 11: Leave for Srinagar in morning so that reach Srinagar by noon (slight detour for Mattan temple, achabol garden). Check in and if possible local sightseeing.
May 12: Head early to Sonmarg ... leave by 7AM (2-3 hrs). Back to Srinagar in evening. Night stay at Srinagar.
May 13: Local sightseeing at Srinagar.
May 14: Head to Jammu - Start early in the morning! [appx 15 hr journey]
May 15: Shopping in 1st half. Catch evening train to Delhi (overnight train).
May 16: Reach New Delhi Rly Station. Rush straight to the airport to catch the flight.

Any contacts for renting a good Tempo Traveller?

Sonmarg & Gulmarg are both snow points ...
Have already seen Gulmarg ... hence not visiting ... also think it's much more commercial as compared to Sonmarg.
#15 Apr 3rd, 2015, 20:34
Learning... from others' experiences!
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Location:
India
Posts:
13,461
  • Prakaant is offline
#15
The itinerary seems to be okay to me.

You may discuss with Tempo Traveller driver on May 7 at Katra. You may find one.

On May 14 if you start by 7 AM Srinagar to Jammu will be maximum 10 hours journey.

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Total time to reach from Katra to Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Srinagar then Katra May 17th, 2016 18:56 39 58836 Jammu & Kashmir
Trip Report - 20th to 29th September covering Srinagar, Katra, Srinagar, Yusmarg etc Apr 30th, 2014 14:39 15 6744 Jammu & Kashmir
My Experience with makemytrip.com for Katra-Kashmir-Katra Feb 7th, 2014 12:24 23 10014 Jammu & Kashmir
katra to Srinagar Sep 14th, 2012 11:08 6 4955 Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar to Katra Jun 11th, 2009 11:29 2 11598 Jammu & Kashmir


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success