Kashmir is such a place, whose name comes to our mind as soon as we hear its heavenly beauty, high mountains, valleys wrapped in the sheet of snow, and the people of Kashmir who are famous for their liveliness and hospitality. The beauty of Kashmir valley is discussed all over the world. Kashmir, which is called the heaven on earth, has always been a favorite destination for tourists.
The flower-filled valleys, the lakes of Sonamarg, the desolate valley of Pahalgam, the apple orchards of Pulwama will mesmerize you. But do you know what things should be kept in mind before and while visiting here? If you do not know, then let us know through this article, what things you have to keep in mind to visit such beautiful places.
Post Paid SIM
First and formost, If you have a cell phone with a prepaid connection your SIM card is not going to work in Kashmir as roaming is blocked due to what India claims as security reasons . However, post-paid connections will work fine. If you’re a foreigner, your hotel owner might provide you with a local sim or you can easily purchase a local sim card from mobile telecom operators.
Carry Identity Proof ( Original, No photocopies)
Kashmir, as well all know is a conflict zone, so there are a lot of security checks that you’ll have to face. You need to make sure that you always carry a valid and original identity proof along because you’d never want yourself to get stranded in a cue of suspects. It’s always great to be extra safe during your holidays so that you never miss any fun.
Carry sufficient cash
You need to know that Kashmir is a very small city and away from modernisation. It’s not like your big cities, so, finding ATMs nearby is a big deal. Make sure that you carry sufficient cash with yourself so that you never miss out anything. Also, there are very few chances that you might find a hotel with automated debit machines, so as a precaution keep enough money to pay at the hotels.
Not booking heating room in Kashmir
As you know it is very cold in Kashmir, so if you are not looking for a room without heating and booking your hotel with a normal room, you might regret it later. It would be good, before booking, you should take information about whether the hotel has the facility of heating room or not.
Traveling in public transport
We have told you this point because many passengers do not book in advance and often travel in public or sharing transport. Not only this, we do not advise you to travel in public transport because you can get lost here. If you still want to go, then definitely take the help of GPS in the phone.
Kashmir is as beautiful as it is, there are some restrictions for tourists, like how far you can go and where you cannot go. In terms of security, it is not advisable to travel at night at any place, but in Kashmir, do not go out alone at night and if you are going, then go where you see more tourists. This will make you feel a little safe.
Pick super deluxe house boats even if you are on economy package
This one is especially for those travelling to Kashmir. Everyone knows that the house boat stay makes one of the best memories on Kashmir tour. It certainly is, provided you take care of this small tip. In Kashmir, you have plenty of house boats to choose from different price ranges. But you need to understand that the house boats are made stand in the lake that is surrounded by mountains from all sides. That means, house boats will be colder than the hotels. But let it not refrain yourself from experiencing that. Instead, choose a house boat that is Super Deluxe category which facilitates central heating. All that will be available at reasonable prices.
This one is quite basic but with a catch. When you are travelling to the destinations like Kashmir, you’ll have an impression that winter clothes will be better and cheaper. Well, not always true! Remember you are going to buy from a tourist place and the tourist rates will apply. Second, nothing can be better than getting your own branded shoes and jackets. Do not rent them unless you want to make a hole in your pocket or have a charitable heart.
Eat what locals prefer eating in winters. For example, take Kashmiri Kehva instead of other tea. This will keep you warmer and also is a nice remedy for cold and cough. Eat nuts. It is recommended to buy good quality walnuts from the market. Avoid cool drinks or too many fruits.
Carry basic medicines along
To prevent the risk of buying duplicate medicines, it is advised that you carry basic or your regular medicines along. Stay healthy to create better memories of your tour.
No Ola and Uber in Kashmir, no Swiggy and Zomato.
You will have to depend on local taxis to travel between destinations like Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg. as app based taxis are not available in Kashmir. Better keep stock of some handy food items with you as you wont find food available in late hours as delivery service is very less and not after dark.
On departure, reach Srinagar Airport two hours prior and remember you have to identify your luggage as well
Unlike other airports in the world, Kashmir airport will give you a very tiresome time. You need to remember that there are almost 4-5 security checks before you receive your boarding pass. So, as these checks are going to take a lot of time, make sure you reach at least 2 hours prior to your departure. Also, before you board the plane, make sure you get your luggage identified because if you fail to do so, you won’t be able to receive your luggage later.
On 26th Jan and 15th August, spend your day in Gulmarg, Pahalgam or Sonamarg avoid Srinagar
Being in a conflict zone, Srinagar city has a very tight security during these Indian national days. If you are planning you trip around these dates be aware that you won’t be able to roam around anywhere during these two days in Srinagar and also,there are very few chances that you will have a mobile network that time. It’s better to slog around hill stations like Gulmarg, Pahlagam and Sonmaarg on the days as these places are very far from the city and are compratevily peacful and safe.
If you are coming by car carry original papers with you
In Kashmir, police catch hold of non- J&K number cars and give them challan for small mistakes as well. It is better to carry the original RC and insurance paper with you. Also it is better the person on whose name car is registered should be on trip aswell or should be in your first relationship else police will make this an issue.
Carry cold cream and lip guard in winter & sunscreen in summer
The climate of Kashmir is varied, very cold in winter and blazing sunny in summer. A moisturiser and a lip guard is must to keep your skin and lips hydrated throughout your trip during the winter months as the temperature can be as low as -10 C. The sunshine of the Kashmir valley particularly high altitudes like Gulmarg can be very harsh to your skin and you might easily get sun burn so don’t forget to apply a thick coat of sunscreen before you go out during summers.
Bargain as much as you can, start from half price.
In Kashmir what ever the sellers quote, start bargaining from 1/2 of its price and if you are a foreign tourist start bargaining starting from 1/3 of prices quoted. Dont worry if you couldnt buy something from some shop you will find it at some other shop at lower price.