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Kashmir

Lidder Valley and Kolahoi Glacier Trek

One of the best short treks in Kashmir is the Lidder Valley trek to Kolahoi Glacier. My wife Ann and I made this trek in July of 2014 and here is little bit about the experience. This is a great first trek in Kashmir although if you have a little more time the Great Lakes Trek is perhaps the better option. Having spent a few days in Srinigar exploring the old town we decided it was time to get out of the relative heat of Srinigar and hit the mountains. The snows were particularly heavy this year so the Great Lake Trek was still in snow despite it being early July so we decided to make the journey to Kolahoi Glacier. We left Srinagar around 8am and headed by private vehicle to Pahalgam where many locals were preparing for the Amarnath Yatra. This is an amazing pilgrimage taken by more than 100,000 pilgrims every year. It is itself a spectacular 5 day trek to a holy ice cave where an ice stalagmite thought to represent the Linga of Shiva forms every year. Legend says this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and the universe to his […]


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Is Trekking in Kashmir Safe ?

The terms “Heaven on Earth” or “Paradise” are often used to describe Kashmir and it’s easy to forget any security concerns while trekking among tall pine trees, wildflower laden meadows and distant snow capped peaks under deep blue skies. The stunning beauty of the region has long attracted visitors from afar and the tourism industry has long been a mainstay of the local economy. A peaceful political situation made the region a popular destination for international visitors in the 1970’s and 1980’s but all this came to a halt with political unrest in the 1990’s. The kidnapping of 6 foreign tourists by militants near Pahalgam in 1995 led to various governments including the US state department to impose strict travel restrictions on the region and the number of visiting tourists declined to almost zero due to safety concerns. The situation is improving albeit slowly. In 2011 the German government along with several other European countries recognizing the improved security situation lifted travel restrictions in the area and the number of domestic tourists visiting has seen a substantial increase. Despite this recognition of an improving situation the US State Department ordered travel restrictions imposed for at least another year in 2014 […]


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How to Get from Srinagar to Leh

Travelling between Srinagar and Leh can be an adventure in itself. Of course the easiest option is to book a direct flight between the two cities which if booked in advance can be managed for less than $100. However, if booking a flight one misses out on what might be one of the world’s most amazing mountain drives. Keep in mind when planning a trip that highway generally remains closed for about 6 months starting from November to May due to heavy snowfall (Check current conditions before making any plans). Its a 434 km journey from Srinagar to Leh on National Highway 1D (Leh Highway) which generally takes about 14 hours in total to drive. The highway follows the Sindh drainage on Kashmir side and then the Indus River on the Ladakh side as it crosses three high mountain passes; Zoji La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs) and Fotu La (4108 Mtrs). The route is of prime strategic importance to the Indian army which is obvious by the many check points and numerous guard posts and military convoy trucks. Tourist only have to check in at two points and it’s a quick and painless procedure where only the details […]


Categories: Kashmir, Ladakh

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