I have traveled to Kashmir more than 19 times during my solo women trips organized by Divas Sojourn and it’s beauty never gets tired in luring me to come next time. Well, today I am going to tell you about off beat places of Kashmir.
Verinag is the first tourist spot which you get to see while traveling from Jammu to Srinagar by road. It is 26 km away from Anantnag and 78 km from South-East Srinagar. This spot became famous because of a spring which is named as verinag. In local language both Ver and Nag means spring. The spring comes right after you cross Jawahar Tunnel which is also known as ‘Gateway of Kashmir” . The spring is surrounded by Octagonal stone arcade which was made by Emperor Jehangir. Later his son made a garden near the spring. This spring’s water never dries or overflow. It is the main source of water for river Jhelum. Divas Sojourn plans metriculous trips to kashmir
Doodhpatri means valley of milk. This valley is bigger than Aru or Betab valley and very beautiful. Many shepherds graze their cattle here and it is said if any cattle grazes here it gives lot of milk. Once a saint Sheikh Ul Aalalm sheikh Noor din Noorani had prayed her in search of water. He touched the land with a stick and milk came out. He prayed again that the milk should convert into water for the people to quench their thirst. From that day it is known as doodhpatri. There is no evidence to this story. Some says because the water flow switfly and look like milk that’s why this place is known as Doodhpatri. Whatever is the fact but this place is worth visiting. In the absence of hotels people refrain themselves from coming here. There are no restaurants even and road condition is also bad. Despite of all this you must visit this place.
Yousmarg is another beautiful off beat place which you must visit in Kashmir. Yousmarg literally means meadow of Jesus. It is believed that Lord Jesus had come here and stayed for sometime. It is in West side of Kashmir and from Srinagar it is 47 km south of Srinagar city. This alpine valley is covered by green meadows, pine and fur trees. This is a paradise for trek lovers too. There are two main treks. One is 4 km away to a small lake and other is 10 km downhill to a frozen lake. You can experience these during your solo women trips. If you want to play with snow you can hire ponies and go to tatta kutti. Yousmarg is a small poor village. Villagers are mainly dependent on tourism. There are no hotels or restaurants. You can carry your food with you. You are advised to leave srinagar in morning and come back by evening. There is a famous 600 year old shrine too named as Charar-e-sharief. That place is famous among Hindu and Muslims both.
Kokernag is a beautiful offbeat place in Kashmir. It is the golden crown of Kashmir. There are many mythological stories built around its name. One is a saint had come here with a bucket. He slept there only. A woman came in search of water. She did not get water so thought of taking it from Saint’s bucket but when she went closer a serpent( nag) came out and crept in bushes and instead a chicken ( Koker) came out and started scratching the ground with his claw and water came out. What ever the story behind is but it is a must to visit place. It is in Anantnag disctrict and at a distance of 78 Km from Srinagar. A very famous spot here is trout fish hatchery. Other famous place is a botanical garden. Many a time during our solo women trips we too take them to Kokernag.
Gurez is situated in Bandipora district around 125 Km from Srinagar. Roads conditions are not very good. Tourists are not encoraged much to visit because of its proximity to LOC. In 1947 during partition of Kashmir Gurez barely falls into indian territory so it is very near to Pakistan border. In 1895 a British author Sir Walter Lawrence predicted Gurez to be the most sought after destination in coming years of Kashmir. But because of 1947 partition when Gurez barely fall into Indian region it could never happen. For many years it was closed for tourist. In 2009 only it was opened to tourists. River Kishen Ganga flows here which merge to river Jhelum in Pakistan. Inhabitants are mostly Shiya muslims. They speak shina language. River Kishen Ganga is famous of its trout fishing. There is a beautiful pyramid shape peak named as Habba Khatoon which was named after a beautiful poet, Zoon. Zoon means moon in local language. Zoon’s father got her married to an illiterate farmer named as Habba. He along with his mother torchered Zoon a lot as she was a poet. she changed her name to Habba Khatton. Kashmir emperor Yosuf shan Chak fall in love with her and helped her in getting divorce from her husband. Yosuf’s rival Akbar imprisoned him. After her husband’s death Zoon used to wander near Habba Khatoon peak which took her name, in the search of her lover. 20 years after the death of husband she too died by drowning into Jhelum river. Dawar is the largest town of Gurez. Solo women trip can be planned there.
Places to see in Gurez
- Razdan pass
- kishen ganga river
- Wular lake
- Chowrwan Gurez which is a small beautiful village
- Chakwali Gurez which is the last village of India