Back From J & K
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Back From J & K

Hi ...

We just got back from a 3 week stay in J & K..drove from Srinagar to Leh..just blissful..if any one has questions please feel free to PM me...

Ciao for now..

6 Replies

| Senior Member
Hello Jaybel,would love to read your info.Did you manage to get to Phalgam and Gulmarg.I hope it had cooled down from when we were there in late June.It is always amazing how once you reach home and settle back into life how nice it is to hear from someone who has also been to the same spots,it transports you back instantly.Glad you are back safely.Please share you story,kindest cheers,Carol.
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Yes jaybel; would appreciate your posting your experiences in J&K, particularly as there's very little first hand information available on these parts and I'm sure many potential visitors would be interested in knowing the current scenario.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
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Most interested in knowing the security aspect of it. Is it good or bad? how are the locals? do they appreciate toursit business? threat of fighting etc..
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Back frm J & K

Originally posted by: jpvsMost interested in knowing the security aspect of it. Is it good or bad? how are the locals? do they appreciate toursit business? threat of fighting etc..

Hi All..

The first 6 days we spent in Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Dras & Kargil. I would like to specifically stress that at no time did we feel we were at risk ! nor felt threatened in any way ! The J & K police dont see eye to eye with the army..but we dont get the brunt of it at all. I guess this situation is not unusual! power play :)

People were very very friendly and helpful. I am a hindu and not once did I feel I was at risk! I went to the market to buy fruits ..snacks problem at all..also visited the mosque and friendly welcome everywhere!

Yes, there is a lot of army presence, starting from the airstrip in Srinagar right up to Kargil, after which it dwindles down. This came as a surprise as one is not used to seeing such huge army presence in the rest of India ( at least to my knowledge)
The army was more involved in guiding the Amarnath Yatris ! than in stopping us and checking..!and we did not feel uneasy by their presence ...
The above mentioned places are just blissful ! one does notice that due to the slack in tourisim over the past 10 / 13 years hotels have suffered! The locals are very keen for the tourists to return and get the economy going..most of the locals who were involved in tourisim have moved out and and are keen to get back.. All those who I spoke to were muslim Kashmiris.
Pahalgam was full of Amarnath Yatris ! looked like a typical busy touristy town but there are a few off the beaten track trails one can explore.
If one wants to stay in a house boat in Srinagar, Nagin Lake is quieter than Dal Lake and hence would be a better choice .. The old part of Srinagar is in a bad shape..burnt down houses..a real pity..loss of heritage! They have a market every Fridays near the mosque..worth a visit!

Roads are in good shape, constant maintance work is done. Of course there are some patches which are rough, but not bad, drivers are rather cautious.

In Sonamarg I wld not recommend the Sonamarg Glacier Hotel at all. There is a new one couple of mts away called Woodland..much better, and so are the J & K tourist cottages.
Dont miss the walk to the glacier..spectacular.

Traffic from Sonamarg to Leh via the Zoji la pass is open only after 12:00 midday. They allow private cars first and then heavy traffic. So try to be there by 11:45 a.m ...The drive is just heavenly and spectacular..

The Zanskar Valley is beautiful too..!! Dras is a small town with a main street and shops on both sides..very pretty!
Kargil is a busy bustling town. Cross the Suru River bridge and walk up the hill towards the military camps..views are stunning :)

As there aren't any dhabas frm Sonamarg to Dras one wld want to carry some munchies. Dras has a couple of eating places which serve good simple food.

Nubra Valley is known to many IMers and so is the Ladakh region I won't bore you with the same info :)
Dont miss Sumur in Nubra Valley..can highly recommend Silk Route cottages!

NB If anyone going to stay at Hotel Samba La in Leh, think of another is good, but very poor and indifferent service and the food is nothing exciting at all!

Any questions dont hesitate to ask..and dont miss a chance of taking this route to it is not frequented there is not much traffic...

Btw none of us suffer from AMS :)

another tip..if you are driving by Tourist Taxi and stopped by the army..dont do the talking let the driver do it..only answer when asked ! it is easier that way..
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Very good, you made me very happy. I had hoped to make it into Kasnmir by motorcycle in late Oct in the hope of shipping a silk carpet back to the states. Many people were telling me that it was too dangerous but I was going anyway, now I'm not worried as much
Sex is dirty only if it's done right .... Live and Let Live .... Rules are Boring and I Don't Like Them
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Thanks jaybel, for your valuable inputs.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !

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