The day had finally arrived when I was going to Ladakh. When I told some of my friends that I am going to Ladakh, most of them were like “Yaar tu Ladkah jaa raha h, mere ko bhi jaana hai yaar”, “Yaar Leh Ladakh bahut sahi jagah h ghumne k liye” etc etc. And here I was on a fine Friday morning, with my bags packed, boarding my Indigo flight 6E-521 to Srinagar from Delhi Airport sharp at 7 am. Yes, we choose to go to Ladakh via Srinagar. Some people say that going to Ladakh via Manali involves more adventure and more scenic beauty, but I kept it for the next time.

We were six friends and a few of them were boarding the flight for the first time in their life and they were somewhat excited about that. Getting an emergency seat increased their thrill.

Indigo flight from Delhi to Srinagar
A view from our flight
Emergency Seat in Indigo Flight
Emergency Seat in Indigo Flight

We reached Srinagar after almost 2 hours. For obvious reasons they have a tight security everywhere and you are not allowed to click pics at the airport. A cab was waiting for us outside and we were transferred to a meeting point near Dal Lake.


Dal Lake, the second largest lake of the state with shopping markets, houseboats, sellers, floating vegetable market is a must visit destination in Kashmir. Your trip is incomplete without a ride in Shikara in Dal Lake. On our journey from airport to Dal Lake, army men could be seen at every corner of the street. Looking at the scenery on the way, no doubt Kashmir is aptly called Paradise on Earth. 


The scenery was altogether different from any hill station you have ever visited in your life. 


Shikara at Dal Lake
Shikara at Dal Lake
Shikara Sellers
Shikara Sellers



We decided to stay in houseboat for that day. We were transferred to our house boat along with our luggage in Shikara. (Shikara is a unique boat which is used to transfer people and goods across the lakes). We took 2 shikaras. For one Shikara only 4 people can sit at one time with boatman rowing from the upper bow.  It was a cloud 9 experience to roam around the Dal Lake in a Shikara away from all the work and busy life in Delhi. 

Please take of your mobile phones and wallets while seating in Shikara. They easily tend to get slipped out of your pockets.




Shikara Ride
Shikara Ride
Boatman at Dal Lake
Boatman at Dal Lake

Light drizzle had started by now which was like a welcome by Srinagar. While roaming around Dal Lake we decided that we will go to Gulmarg - Meadow of Flowers today. It’s a 2 hour journey from Srinagar to Gulmarg

Riding in Gulmarg Gandolasecond highest cable car in the world is the best experience we had in Gulmarg. You can see rich flora and fauna from a height of about 3000 metres. The cable car occasionally stops in between and oscillates up and down. We went till reach Level 2 and trekked our way to have fun in snow. People can do sledging there in a nominal amount. You are not allowed to trek very far as LOC (India and Pakistan Line of Control) is nearby and there are army men standing there to stop you from going farther. 

Things you must take with yourself – 1 water bottle per person, snacks, sports shoes, woollen clothes and a camera to capture the magnificent view from the hill at a height of 4000 metres. 


A view inside Gandola ride
A view inside Gandola ride
A view from Gulmarg Level-1
A view from Gulmarg Level-1

After 2-3 hours of fun at Gulmarg, everyone was tired and we just sat in cable car and were transferred like parcels. We had Maggi and ice cream at the shops in Gulmarg, which were like energy banks for our tired body.

 You can see shops which sell pashmina like shawls, I will advise you not to buy from there if you don’t have a good knowledge of the same. You can easily buy shawls from markets opposite to Dal Lake. And don’t forget to bargain hard! The great view of all the valleys in the Gulmarg can be seen in pictures below.


First level of Gulmarg Level-2
First level of Gulmarg Level-2
Group Pic
Group Pic
Gulmarg Level-2
Gulmarg Level-2
Chilling at Gulmarg
Chilling at Gulmarg

When we came back to Dal Lake, it was already dark here. We roam around for some time in the market looking for an appropriate restaurant for dinner. We got our dinner packed from Karims. The markets are also closed by 9 pm .The shikara riders usually have to leave by 9:30 and. Its better you reach your houseboat maximum by 10 pm. We had our dinner in a lavish way in the houseboat.

Someone has rightly said "If memories were to become effervescent bubbles, Srinagar’s would sparkle the brightest."

Valley at Gulmarg
Valley at Gulmarg
Local Shawl Shops
Local Shawl Shops


We had decided that we will leave for Leh the next morning via Innova. We will cover more of Srinagar in our last part of the journey after coming back from Leh Ladakh.


Paneer Tikka
Paneer Tikka
House Boats on Dal Lake
House Boats on Dal Lake



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