Tours of Kashmir, Srinagar, and Ladakh

Tours

 

An Experiential Journey to the Himalayas!

Allow us to open the magical doors to the Ancient, Peaceful and Joyful Himalayan Regions and Reveal the Sacred Secrets of the way of life. We will bring you face-to-face with the Himalayan landscape,cultural landscape its Townships people and their Ancient living cultures. Experience the Spiritual Philosophy of real Kashmiri and Ladkhi culture history and Traditions,turn a simple tour into the journey of a lifetime... 

 

River Songs Tours Kashmir, Guided Multi Day, Day and Half Day Tours has years of experience looking after our Esteemed guests Visiting Kashmir, We offer great insight into the culture and people of this exotic valley and its gorgeous surroundings.Whether you are looking for a knowledgeable guide to show you the old city and historic sites, or to help you wind your way through the Canals in the Back waters of lake dal and alpine valleys we know all the spots and enjoy sharing our expertise and making your visit exceptional. Our Aim is to unveil the mystery and magic that Kashmir valley  is., ​blend of learning & Leisure has always been a very attractive destination for the international globetrotter at both ends of spectrum of the luxury traveler as well as the back packer,rich cultural heritage with over 5k years of history & diverse influences has made it a wonderful confluence of heritage and natural beauty..............

through our customised services, River Songs Tours Kashmir will welcome you to a kingdom of extraordinary sights, sounds and Experiences.​,

The following are some of the many Services we offer Lovingly to our Esteemed Guests / Clients,   

  • Kashmir Tour Packages

  • Walking Tours

  • Private Tours

  • Cultural & Heritage Tour Packages

  • Craft Tours

  • Museum Tours

  • Historical & Heritage Tours

  • Heritage & Cultural Walks

  • Sightseeing Tour Packages

  • Alpine & Mountain Trekking /Hiking Tour Packages

  • Skiing,Snowboarding & Winter Sports Tour Packages 

  • Luxury Tour Packages 

  • Recreation Weekend Tour Packages 

  • Adventure / Semi Adventure Tour Packages 

  • Exquisite Kashmir Holiday Tour Packages

  • Boutique Tour Packages 

  • High End Leisure Holiday Tour Packages

  • Art & Photography Tour Packages

  • Economy & Budget Tour Packages  

  • Food, Art & Craft Tour Packages

  • Golf Tour Packages

  • Tailor Made Tour Packages

  • FIT's & Group Tour Packages

  • Off The Beaten Path Tour Packages

  • Mountain,Nature & Alpine Walks

  • Airport Transfers

  • Pickups,Drops,Transfers,

  • Airport to Airport Tour Packages,

  • A wide range of Tours be it Cultural visits to historical quarters, palaces,Museums,Mughal Gardens,

  • Tours of the fabled,Srinagar,Gulmag, Pahalgam,Yousmarg, Sonamarg, 

  • Shakara Boat Cruises,Snowboarding,Alpine,Powder & Heli Skiing,Hiking,Trout Angling / Fishing ,Trekking,Alpine / Mountain Camping,   

  • Multi Day, Day and Half Day Guided Tours / Excursions to the must visit gorgeous surroundings.of entire Kashmir valley, 

 

  • Help arrange Transport,pick the best Accommodations and Restaurants and handle all Reservations you may need..

 

  • Provide Esteemed Clients/ Guests with the necessary tips and advice about the Valley and its surroundings,..

  • in all we Provide Comprehensive Tourism Services "LOVINGLY" to our most valued guests / Clients visiting Kashmir valley and its surroundings,so on and so forth.  


  •                            *************TOURS**********

01 Day walking Tour;- our Benchmark is the walking Heritage and cultural tour of the old town Srinagar,the town which is historic and cultural landscape of Kashmir valley,and is photographers delight,during this full day heritage walking tour we take you in the Labyrinths Alleyways Back Streets and hidden corners of the heritage Cultural old town of Srinagar which was founded by Ashoka the great in 200 BC on the either banks of the Himalayan River Jehlum and it is sprawling and is spread over the area of 144 square kilometres with the population of around 1.5 million. With its almost medieval charm, the old city of Srinagar has various sights to enchant the most jaded traveller. Its roads and bustling bazaars are a photographer's delight. Traditionally dressed men and women on their way to the city's many mosques and shrines, buildings with their rich warm colour - these are some of the old city's moods which linger in the corners of a traveller's mind, long after one leaves Kashmir. Lending the area its vitality is the presence of the river Jhelum that flows through it.

Srinagar has for long been Kashmir's most important commercial town. Boats have always been a primary means of conveyance in Kashmir, it is not difficult to see why. In time, the city has formed around the banks of the river. Today, the presence of the river Jhelum has become an integral part of the old city, despite the fact that boats are no longer so extensively used as a means of conveyance.

The view from any of the old city's bridges is wholly and unmistakably Kashmiri. Old brick buildings line the banks. The distinctive pagoda-like roof of a mosque or a shrine enlivens the horizon, and in the muddy water of the River Jhelum, a straggling row of doongas flanks the edges. These boats, with their shingled
roofs, are the forerunners of Srinagar's houseboat. A particular community lives in them. Formerly this community was associated with ferrying people, livestock and food grains along the river. The past still lingers in their lifestyles even if their occupation has changed. Occasionally one may catch sight of a doonga making its stately progress down the river as the owner shifts residence. Doongas are sparsely furnished - virtually no furniture is seen except for the kitchen, which gleams with copper utensils of every description that line the shelves from floor to ceiling. Roads in the old city tend to be narrow, winding and chaotic. Some are too narrow to admit vehicular traffic. Each road connects to lanes and they in turn to bye-lanes, all appearing to the uninitiated and terribly confusing. There are arterial roads, however, and major market squares where it is difficult to get lost. In a lane off Nowhatta Chowk, there are several copper shops, overflowing with an amazing profusion of copper ware. As a matter of fact, such shops are situated all over the old city because every Kashmiri uses copper for tableware - even huqqa bases are made from copper. Some articles are un-patterned, others worked in bas-relief, engraving or pierced open-work. Exotic as they are, they make attractive ornaments about the house, or can be used as serving dishes.

image right

Nine bridges span the River Jhelum, and many tiny ones intersect the network of waterways that flow through the old city. These nine bridges are Zero Bridge, Amira Kadal, Budshah Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Aali Kadal, Nawa Kadal and Safa Kadal, 'Kadal' being the Kashmiri word for bridge. Of these Budshah Bridge and Zero Bridge are the newest; the former having been constructed by the British in this century. Presently, the oldest bridge is Fateh Kadal, too dilapidated for actual use. However, many of the old bridges have been replaced with new concrete bridges and a few new ones have also been added in view of the increasing traffic. The most prominent among these is the Abdullah Bridge, 

image right

The old city also boasts of Kashmir's many ancient Shrines Temples and Mosques among which the shrine of Shah-i-Hamdan, situated between Fateh Kadal and Zaina Kadal is probably the most important. Shah-i-Hamdan, who came from Persia in the 13th century, was responsible for the spread of Islam in Kashmir. Khanqah-i-Mualla, on the banks of the Jhelum, was the very spot where Shah-i-Hamdan used to offer prayers. Upon his death, a shrine, ornately decorated with papier-mache on the walls and ceiling, was built in his memory. Makhdoom Sahib, Patthar Masjid, Jama Masjid and Pir Dastagir are the major mosques and shrines in the old city. Tourists are welcome to visit the mosques temples and shrines in the old city There are a few points to be kept in mind in accordance with the sanctity of these places. . Shoes must be taken off at the entrance. Visitors are expected to conform to certain regulations in the matter of dress - no skimpy tops, shorts or short skirts are allowed.

image right

One of the many moods of the old city is the constant reminder about its tradition of handicrafts. the humble families of craftsmen who create tapestries and shawls. From top floor windows one catches sight of gaily embroidered fabric hanging out to dry. Occasionally a wizened old man cycles down the road, bearing a carpet, its lustrous colours glowing in the sunlight. Kashmiri colours are not the fiery colours of the desert that sear the eyelids. They are subdued, almost purposely it would seem, to counterpoint nature's magnificence. Earthy tones of brick, the rich hue of copper, even the vermilion of Kashmiri chillies drying on window sills in autumn appear monochromatic when set off against the splendour of the Valley's backdrop. The only craft where Kashmiris revel in colour is in their carpets. Here too, the colours are never loud, never disharmonious, but always subtle and soft. At Habba Kadal, shop sells skeins of wool,mainly to carpet weavers.

 Half Day Walking Tour,Hari Parbat Fort

Hari Parbat as seen from Badam Weer (Almond Garden), Srinagar.

Coordinates34°6′19″N 74°48′58″EHari ParbatArabised into Koh-e-Maran by Muslims, is a hill overlooking Srinagar,the largest city and summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the site of the Durrani Fort and has a notable religious dimension for the HindusMuslim and Sikhs alike, hosting a famous Hindu temple, two shrines of locally venerated Muslim saints and a Sikh gurudwara 

Durrani Fort

The first fortifications on the site were constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1590 who built an outer wall for the fort as part of his plans for a new capital called Nager Nagor.The project, however,was never completed.The present fort was built in 1808 under the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani.

The first fortifications on the site were constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1590 who built an outer wall for the fort as part of his plans for a new capital called Nager Nagor.The project, however, was never completed. The present fort was built in 1808 under the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani.

Sharika temple

Sharika Mata Temple.

The hill is considered sacred by the Kashmiri Pandits and hosts a temple of Shakti, or Goddess, which is located in the middle part of the western slope of the hill. Shakti is worshipped there under the name Jagadamba Sharika Bhagawati (or simply Sharika) and depicted as having 18 arms and sitting in Shri Chakra, an emblem of cosmic energy pervading the universe.

The hill is also called Pradyumna PeetOn the day celebrated as Sharika's birthday, devotees make a sacrificial offering of taher-charvan to the goddess (taher - rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil and salt; charvan - cooked goat liver). This day is also called Har Navum.

Muslim shrines

Makhdoom Sahib, Srinagar.

The southern side of Hari Parbat features Makhdoom Sahib, the shrine of Hamza Makhdoom, a 16th-century Kashmiri Sufi saint locally known as Hazrat Sultan and Sultan ul-Arifeen

Another shrine on the hill's southern slope is dedicated to Shah Badakhshi, a 17th-century Sufi saint.

Gurudwara Chatti Patshahi                   

Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi, Rainawari, Srinagar

Gurudwara Chatti Patshahi at Kathi Darwaja, Rainwari, Srinagar is one of the most important Sikh gurudwaras in Kashmir. It is believed that Guru Har Gobind, the sixth Sikh guru, travelled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally and stayed there for few days.

Legends

Legend has it that Kashmir was a big lake called "Satisar" inhabited by a cannibalistic demon called Jalodbhava ("Water Demon") who tortured and devoured Nagas (The local inhabitants) The inhabitants approached Nilaga for help who approached his father ,Kashyap ,a great sage and grandson of Brahma He did a long penance to rescue people from tyranny of cannibal . He was blessed and was able to cut the mountain Near Baramulla.The lake was drained and the demon was killed by divinely cast pebble which today stands as "HARI PARBAT"

Another version of the myth says that two demons, Chand and Mund, lived in the Kashmir Valley. Chand hid in the water near the present location of Hari Parbat and Mund somewhere above the present Dal Gate, and both terrorized the people of the Valley. The gods invoked Shakti who assumed the form of a hari (myna) and flew to Sumer, picked up a pebble in her beak and threw it on Chand. The pebble grew into a mountain, crushed the demon and was later named Hari Parbat ("the Myna Mountain")

01 Day Waking TourSrinagar-The City Of Seven Bridges

In Kashmir, a bridge is called Kadal. In Tamil, the word Kadal means love. And when in Srinagar, its impossible not to feel kadal for these Kadals.
srinagar city seven bridges jhelum flood sunset sunrise
Zein kadal - one of the few surviving wooden bridges in the city

Jhelum passes through Srinagar and there are a total of eight bridges which connect the two banks of the river. So why is the Srinagar known as the city of seven bridges? Well...the last (or the first) bridge is called as Zero bridge and hence is not counted. There is an interesting story around the Zero bridge and I will come to that in a while...
History of Srinagar bridges
In the past only side of Jhelum was populated but as the city prospered there was need for more space and hence both the sides were populated and bridges were built to connect the two sides. The bridges were all built with wood, which was not a common material for bridges in most parts of the world. The huge wood logs were transported by the river itself and then used to build these beautiful structures. Unfortunately now these original structures do not survive, except some bits here and there. Zaina kadal (image above) has some surviving heritage still.

Another peculiarity was in the manner in which the houses were built along the banks. This was a time when Srinagar was already well known for its crafts and it was also the main source of income and revenue. The houses on the banks were all three storied. The lowermost section was the showroom where products were displayed and transaction made. The merchants used to come in their boats on the Jhelum and get off on a ghat, visit a showroom and make purchases. The middle section was the living space and the top section was the workshop for making these products.

Coming back to the bridges, the seven bridges in the city are:

  1. Amira Kadal
  2.  
  3. Haba Kadal
  4.  
  5. Fateh Kadal
  6.  
  7. Zein Kadal
  8.  
  9. Ail Kadal
  10.  
  11. Nawa Kadal
  12.  
  13. Safa Kadal (the oldest in the list


  14.  

  15. ,

  16.  And finally the last bridge is called Zero bridge. The legend goes like this - the bridge was built by a deaf contractor so was called Zorr Kadal
    . With time the name changed and it became Zero bridge..
        Some tips

      Be respectful of the culture of the city though I would suggest do not walk in shorts, or clothes which make you stand out too much from the people there.You do not have to wear what everyone else wears there, just be respectful of their traditions.So make sure that if you travel to Srinagar,plan to spend a few hours ( a few days would be even better) in the old city and explore these lovely bridges and the life around them. Its an experience you will not regret! My promise.

      Half Day Tour, To  SPS Museum Srinagar which was established in 1898 AD in the Maharajah's Summer guest house largely based on collections transferred from State Toshkhana. Approximately 79,595 artefacts and objects covering various subjects like Archaeology, Numismatics, Decorative Art, Arms and Armory, Paintings, Textiles etc are housed in the Museum.

No. of Sculptures1992
No. of Paintings680
No. of Manuscripts2399
No. of Weapons356
No. of Textile items333
Anthropology/Enthrographical items60
Natural History items620
No. of Decorative Art items1096
No. of Numismatic items71131
No. of Geology & Mineral items900
No. of Jewellery items28
Total:-79595

 

01 Day Tour; 63 km from Srinagar in south kashmir, 8TH CENTURY MARTAND SUN TEMPLE BUILT BY LALITADITYA MUKTAPIDA.......The Martand Sun Temple was built by King of Karkota Dynasty - Lalitaditya Muktapida in 8th Centry AD. It is said to have been built during 725-756 AD. The temple was built on top of a plateau from where one can view whole of Kashmir Valley. From the ruins and archaeological findings, one can say it was an excellent specimen of Kashmir style of architecture, which had blended the Gandharan, Gupta, Chinese, Roman, Syrian-Byzantine and Greek forms of architecture.This beautiful Martand temple has a colonnaded courtyard, with the shrine in its centre, which is 220 feet long and 142 feet broad. It was surrounded by 84 small shrines.

 

Half Day Tour,  Kheer Bhawani is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kheer Bhawani(originally just Bhawani) constructed over a sacred spring. The worship of Kheer Bhawani is universal among the Hindus of Kashmir. The temple is situated at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar near the village of Tul Mul. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring to propitiate the Goddess, which became part of the name of the temple. As is the custom with Hindu deities, she has many names: Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Ragnya Bhagwati, and so on,.It is the most important temple for the followers of Historical Vedic Religion in Kashmir, known as the Kashmiri Pandits. Around the temple is an area covered with smooth and beautiful stones. In it are large, old-growth chinar trees beneath which the pilgrims sit or sleep on mats of grass. While most of the colours do not have any particular significance, the colour of the spring water changes occasionally. When black or darkish, it is believed to be an indication of inauspicious times for Kashmir. In 1886, Walter Lawrence, the-then British settlement commissioner for land, during his visit to the spring, reported the water of the spring to have a violet tinge.

 

Babareshi, 01 Day Tour, about 52 km fron sringar Situated at an altitude of about 7,000 feet (2,133 meters),near Tangamarg the Ziyarat Baba Reshi shrine is a three-storey monument. It is located near Ramboh village in Baramulla District. Built in 1480, in Mughal and Persian style, the tomb is named after Baba Payam Uddin.The shrine and its surrounding garden is a tourist attraction as well as a destination for pilgrims visiting the shrine. Roza Sharief Baba Payam Uddin Baba Payam Uddin was a courtier of 15th century Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin, and he is said to have given up all his belongings in order to serve the common people. He lived and meditated at this location, which became the site of his tomb and a shrine for his disciples

This shrine has a big minaret and inside the shrine is the Noor Khwan where the Grave of the Sofi Shrine Lies. It is covered with cloth with Quran embroideries. The Noor Khwan is made of glass and wood carvings.

 

Heritage Tour, over Kehwa/Brunch at Gulab Bhavan Maharaja palace Srinagar,

Gulab bhavan maharaja palace is situated on Gupkar road and houses the treasure of artefacts from the period of dogra Raj from  AD 1846 Through AD 1947 ,in the heritage garden of this palace there is the grand old historic Chinar tree under it's cool shade Gandhi ji had met Mahraja Hiri Singh In June 1947 . 

 

Half Day Tour;-   Mughal Gardens in Srinagar 

                 Situated on the banks of Dal Lake all the gardens are wonder architecture and picturesque

lay out

CHESHMA SHAHI -means The Royal Spring.....has three terraces and the spring water is great with the real mineral properties.After visiting Cheshma Shahi One can drive/walk up further to visit PARI MAHAL....(meaning the fairy palace)that once used to be a budhist monastery,and than converted into a school of astrology by one of the Mughal Kings(Dhara Shaku)....commands a magnificiant view of the lake......a wonderful place to watch sunset.

NISHAT GARDEN - Is just another garden on the bank of dal lake......NISHAT GARDEN , meanig the garden of pleasure has many terraces with a back drop of ZABARVAN hills.This garden was built by Asif Khan, brother of empress Noor Jehan...this is the largest Mughal garden...with a water course in the middle.

SHALIMAR  GARDEN - drive further there is this another garden............planted by King Jehangir..and gifted to his wife Noor Jehan......has magnificiant Chinar trees and some beautiful stone pavalions.  

 Half Day Tour;-29 km from Srinagar in south Kashmir,Trip to Awantipora,Awantipora has a number of ancient Hindu temples built by King Awanti Varman (AD 855- 883) when he chose the site as his capital Avantishwarman temple located at Jawbrarin, Awantipora the centre of a courtyard surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle is dedicated to Siva on the banks of the River Jhelum (Vitasta). Less than a kilometre away is Avantiswamin temple dedicated to Vishnu. The Vaikunta Vishnu illustrated as frontispiece is said to be found in this temple.The two temples are quite similar structurally. The walls of the entrance are ornamented with sculptured reliefs both internally and externally..  

3 NIGHTS / 4 DAYS

Day 1: Arrive Srinagar Arrive Srinagar, pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir famous for its lakes dotted with Shikaras and the Mughal Gardens. Transfer to Hotel/ Houseboat.day at leisure, shikara ride to Nehru Park in the evening, Overnight in the Hotel.
Day 2: Srinagar Excursion to the Mughal gardens built by Emperor Jehangir. Also visit to the Shalimar bagh & Nishat bagh other beautiful gardens located on the eastern side of the Dal lake.in the evening back to the Hotel.
Day 3: Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar This morning you will proceed for a full day excursion to Gulmarg, Meadow of Flowers (56 kms /2 hrs) situated at an altitude of 2730 meters, full day at leisure to take the leisurely walks on the lush green meadows of flowers with a backdrop of the snow capped mountains. Enjoy pony ride or Gondola ride (rope way) to Khillanmarg Return to Srinagar, stay in the Hotel.
Day 4: Depart Srinagar After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight back home.

4 NIGHTS / 5 DAYS

Day 1 Arrive Srinagar Arrive Srinagar, pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir famous for its lakes dotted with Shikaras and the Mughal Gardens. Transfer to Hotel.day at leisure, shikara ride to Nehru Park in the evening, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 2 Srinagar Excursion to the Mughal gardens built by Emperor Jehangir. Also visit to the Shalimar bagh & Nishat bagh other beautiful gardens located on the eastern side of the Dal lake. Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 3 Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar This morning you will proceed for a full day excursion to Gulmarg, Meadow of Flowers (56 kms /2 hrs) situated at an altitude of 2730 meters, full day at leisure to take the leisurely walks on the lush green meadows of flowers with a backdrop of the snow capped mountains. Enjoy pony ride or Gondola ride (rope way) to Khillanmarg ,Return to Srinagar, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 4 Srinagar - Pahalgam - Srinagar Today you will be transferred by road to Pahalgam (94 kms/2.5 hrs) Valley of Shepherds. Enroute you will have an rare opportunity to visit the Saffron fields. Also visit Avantipura Ruins & Anantnag Sulpher Springs enroute, Enjoy the bounty of Nature at Pahalgam, located on the bank of beautyful Lidder River, Return to Srinagar, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 5 Depart Srinagar After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight back home

5 NIGHTS / 6 DAYS

Day 1 Arrive Srinagar Arrive Srinagar, pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir famous for its lakes dotted with Shikaras and the Mughal Gardens. Transfer to Hotel/ Houseboat.day at leisure, shikara ride to Nehru Park in the evening, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 2 Srinagar Excursion to the Mughal gardens built by Emperor Jehangir. Also visit to the Shalimar bagh & Nishat bagh other beautiful gardens located on the eastern side of the Dal lake. Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 3 Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar This morning you will proceed for a full day excursion to Gulmarg, Meadow of Flowers (56 kms /2 hrs) situated at an altitude of 2730 meters, full day at leisure to take the leisurely walks on the lush green meadows of flowers with a backdrop of the snow capped mountains. Enjoy pony ride or Gondola ride (rope way) to Khillanmarg,Return to Srinagar, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 4 Srinagar - Pahalgam - Srinagar After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Pahalgam (94 kms/2.5 hrs) Valley of Shepherds. Enroute you will have an rare opportunity to visit the Saffron fields. Also visit Avantipura Ruins & Anantnag Sulpher Springs enroute.in the evening back to srinagar,stay at hotel. 
Day 5 Srinagar—Sonmarg-Srinagar After breakfast you will be transferred to sonmarg,full day stay there than in the evening back to srinagar,stay at hotel. 
Day 6 Srinagar—Departure;- After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight back home

6 NIGHTS / 7 DAYS

Day 1 Arrive Srinagar Arrive Srinagar, pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir famous for its lakes dotted with Shikaras and the Mughal Gardens. Transfer to Hotel/ Houseboat.day at leisure, shikara ride to Nehru Park in the evening, Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 2 Srinagar Excursion to the Mughal gardens built by Emperor Jehangir. Also visit to the Shalimar bagh & Nishat bagh other beautiful gardens located on the eastern side of the Dal lake. Overnight in the Hotel. 
Day 3 Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar his morning you will be transferred to Gulmarg, Meadow of Flowers (Â 56 kms /2 hrs) situated at an altitude of 2730 meters, full day at leisure to take the leisurely walks on the lush green meadows of flowers with a backdrop of the snow capped mountains. Enjoy pony ride or Gondola ride (rope way) to Khillanmarg, in the evening back to the Hotel. 
Day 4 Srinagar - Pahalgam - Srinagar After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Pahalgam (95 kms/2.5 hrs) Valley of Shepherds. Enroute you will have an rare opportunity to visit the Saffron fields. Also visit Avantipura Ruins & Anantnag Sulpher Springs enroute, in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 5 Srinagar—Sonmarg-Srinagar After Breakfast you will be transferred to sonmarg, full day stay there,in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 6 Srinagar- Yousmarg - Srinagar After breakfast transfer to yousmarg, full day stay there, in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 7 Depart Srinagar After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight back home.

7 NIGHTS / 8 DAYS

Day 1 Arrive Srinagar Arrive Srinagar, pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir famous for its lakes dotted with Shikaras and the Mughal Gardens. Transfer to Hotel/ Houseboat.day at leisure, shikara ride to Nehru Park in the evening, Overnight in the Houseboat/Hotel 
Day 2 Srinagar Excursion to the Mughal gardens built by Emperor Jehangir. Also visit to the Shalimar bagh & Nishat bagh other beautiful gardens located on the eastern side of the Dal lake. Overnight in the Houseboat/Hotel 
Day 3 Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar This morning you will be transferred to Gulmarg, Meadow of Flowers (Â 56 kms /2 hrs) situated at an altitude of 2730 meters, full day at leisure to take the leisurely walks on the lush green meadows of flowers with a backdrop of the snow capped mountains. Enjoy pony ride or Gondola ride (rope way) to Khillanmarg ,in the evening back to the Hotel. 
Day 4 Srinagar - Pahalgam - Srinagar After breakfast transfer to pahalgam,full day stay there,in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 5 Srinagar—Sonmarg-Srinagar After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Sonmarg (100 kms/2.5 hrs)full day stay there,in the evening back to the hotel.
Day 6 Yousmarg After Breakfast you will be transferred to yousmarg,full day stay there,in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 7 Srinagar – Aharbal – Srinagar After breakfast you will be transferred to the Aharbal where you will enjoy with the waterfall, full day stay there,in the evening back to the hotel. 
Day 8 Depart Srinagar After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight back home.

 

River Songs Tours and Travels Srinagar Kashmir (India) Specialises in Depicting and Showcasing the Glorious history and Age old Traditions of Kashmir's Rich Diverse cultural and natural Heritage and Timeless beauty in particular that of old Srinagar Town,we also Enjoy lovingly showing our Esteemed Guests / Clients all around Kashmir valley, Ladakh and northern India.The truly unique feature / aspect of our service is that we have vested discretion & full Right in our Esteemed Guests/Clients "Pay What You Wish" for our Personal Professional Services as Tour Guides for Guiding & showcasing the scenic and cultural Splendours and Narrating historic & Cultural Interpretation of the Sites,at the completion / end of above mentioned services,as we are firm believers of the golden principle of "First Deserve and than Desire" we have for many years had the privilege and best pleasure to serve our good kind Guests / Clients from all over the globe who have kindly Discovered the Vale of Kashmir with us in the same Pattern / Way wherein our Esteemed Guests / Clients decide at the end our Services Rendered as (Tour guides / tour leaders) what our Esteemed clients / guests Judge / feel it has been worth and we accept our worth the Token of Appreciation decided by our good Guests / Clients with Big smile and thanks very much kindly from our much valued Guests / Clients, after the happy & fully Satisfying completion of the said services provided by us lovingly to our most valued guests/clients,It is an up front guarantee and promise of our true Guest care and Guaranteed 100% Satisfaction,the letters cards and notes from the happy and delighted Guests /Clients who have kindly obliged & Honoured us by their Cordial Experience & Acceptance of our services over the years while their Trips &Tours in Kashmir Valley and Ladakh with us are the Sound proof of our success Goodwill and loving Endeavour!

You can kindly read what our esteemed clients / friends have to say about our services by clicking on the links below:

    guestbook and Testimonial letters

 

The speaking tree of Kashmir

The Chinar, radiant in red, mauve, amber and yellow, dots the autumn landscape of Kashmir, bringing cheer to people whose lives have been marred by years of militancy

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

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Kashmir’s landscape is fast changing with the onset of autumn. It has made the sun mild, brought a chilly mist into the air and denuded most trees, including the mighty Chinar (Maple). Walking down the streets, one cannot miss the rustling sound of leaves from the famed Chinar trees breaking the silence.

The majestic Chinar trees (whose botanical name is Platanus orientalis or oriental plane) grow as tall as 25 meters, with girth exceeding 50 feet in some cases. These trees figure notably in Kashmir’s literature and politics; religion and romance.

It’s not the Chinar during the summer, when it is all green, that draws the crowds, but the Chinar during autumn. For that is when its leaves acquire varied colourful hues — of blood-red, mauve, amber and yellow — in a short period of time, somewhere around October end, and remain that way till the end of November. Walk around Srinagar during this season and you can find Chinar leaves, in different bright colours, twisted and curled by the vagaries of the summer.

The shedding of Chinar leaves, locally known as Buen, marks the onset of autumn and sets off a process of change in the Valley every year, with people wearing woollens and changing their food habits to suit the weather.

 

The famous Char Chinar on Dal Lake in Srinagar. ~Photo: Gustap and Jeroo Irani

 

Islamic preachers who travelled to Kashmir four centuries ago from Central Asia and Persia also revered the tree. It is said that the oldest Chinar tree in Kashmir, around 700 years old, was planted by the Sufi Saint Syed Qasim Shah in Chattergam, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The tree grew to be 14.78 metres high.

Women wailing and praying in the shrines, hoping to bring an end to their sorrows, can be seen seated under the Chinar trees that dot most of the Valley’s prominent shrines and mosques. Two major shrines in Kashmir — Sultan-ul-Arifeen and Hazratbal — have neatly-placed majestic Chinar trees for the devotees.

Hindu worshippers equally revere the Chinar tree. The trees can be found in the goddess Bhavani temples in Kashmir, including the Khir Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. Many Hindus believe that the Kashmiri name ‘Buen’ comes from goddess Bhavani.

Officially, there were 42,000 Chinar trees in Kashmir during the 1970s. However, the number had fallen to around 5,000 by the turn of the century. But the horticulture department is making up for the lost numbers again by planting around 14,000 more trees.

Ridden with political uncertainties, raging militancy and omnipresent security personnel across the Valley, Kashmiri residents seek solace under the Chinar, before winter arrives and its colours fade.

 

When dry, the leaves of the Chinar tree make great fodder for heat. Here, a man heaps the fallen leaves into an ample pile to burn it as charcoal in Srinagar. ~ Photo: AP

 

Chinar-gazers assemble under the tree in villages, towns and the capital city of Srinagar to gaze in awe at the changing hues and swirling leaves, which are burnt to keep the traditional Kangri (earthen fire-pot) alive when snowfall takes over the landscape.

The Chinar has served as an inspiration for politicians too. Former Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who died in September 1982, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. Abdullah’s close friend and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, according to Congress leader Muzaffar Parray, was a regular to Kashmir in autumn. “Gandhi visited Kashmir the same month she was assassinated in 1984. She was fascinated by the autumn Chinar trees,” said Mr. Parray.

 

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. ~Photo: The Hindu archives

 

Known as Chanakya and a close aide of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Makhan Lal Fotedar, a Kashmiri, chose to name his bare-all memoir The Chinar Leaves.

The centrality of the Chinar in people's lives can be gauged from the fact that the first Kashmiri Muslim fashion designer Zubair Kirmani, who made it big in the fashion industry in India, named his brand Boune Paen (leaves of Chinar). “The tree represents our heritage and culture. It is intrinsic to who Kashmiris are,” says Mr. Kirmani.

To capture the political turmoil and insurgency years of Kashmir, Bollywood directors Vishal Bhardwaj in Haider, Shoojit Sircar in Yahaan and Aamir Bashir in Harud chose the autumn and Chinars to depict the troubled times the Valley has gone through.

With its origins believed to be in Greece, the Chinar tree is a silent witness to Kashmir’s romance, its religious reverence, and its political and armed struggles for ages now.

In 1990s, when militancy raged across the State, the militants used the Chinar as bunkers and arms hideouts. Given the girth of the trunk, the hollow spaces in between could accommodate both men and armed machinery.

As militancy waned over a period of time, rights activist Khurram Pervez, coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, says that the Chinar now provides shade to a vast number of unmarked graves and mass graves in the State.

A graveyard in Bimyar in Baramulla district, 50 km away from Srinagar, is dotted by Chinars. “The Bimyar graveyard has many dreams and a lot of pain buried. This is a site of mass graves and unmarked graves. More than 230 unidentified people are buried here, which includes a 6-month-old baby girl,” says Mr. Pervez.

With a strict ban on their being cut, the Chinar not only dots graveyards and Mughal gardens but colleges and universities too. Highways and homes host mighty Chinars, which in turn host the migratory birds that come all the way from Siberia and Russia.

 

The trees provide a perfect getaway for lovers in Kashmir's landscape. ~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

 

The Mughal gardens of Naseem Bagh in Srinagar house more than 100 Chinar trees, a perfect host to lovers who come here for a romantic getaway.

Many couples can be spotted here shooting videos to preserve the scenic beauty of the site for posterity. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are flooded with selfies from the young and the old alike with the majestic Chinar trees in the backdrop.

“These colours play on the minds of people and motivate them to undertake pleasurable activities,” says Dr. Arshad Hussain, a leading psychiatrist working at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital.

The Chinar leaves thus help fight the seasonal depression induced by the autumn sun, particularly among Kashmiris, whose lives have been marred by the violence and insurgency of the past 25 years.

In fact, Kashmir’s separatist struggle continues to draw its motivation from poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal's famous couplet, which was influenced by the Chinar:

Jis khaak ke zameer me hai aatish-e-chinar,

Mumkin nahi ki sard ho woh khaak-e-arjumand

(The dust that carries in its conscience the fire of the Chinar, It is impossible for that 

The speaking tree of Kashmir

The Chinar, radiant in red, mauve, amber and yellow, dots the autumn landscape of Kashmir, bringing cheer to people whose lives have been marred by years of militancy

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Kashmir’s landscape is fast changing with the onset of autumn. It has made the sun mild, brought a chilly mist into the air and denuded most trees, including the mighty Chinar (Maple). Walking down the streets, one cannot miss the rustling sound of leaves from the famed Chinar trees breaking the silence.

The majestic Chinar trees (whose botanical name is Platanus orientalis or oriental plane) grow as tall as 25 meters, with girth exceeding 50 feet in some cases. These trees figure notably in Kashmir’s literature and politics; religion and romance.

It’s not the Chinar during the summer, when it is all green, that draws the crowds, but the Chinar during autumn. For that is when its leaves acquire varied colourful hues — of blood-red, mauve, amber and yellow — in a short period of time, somewhere around October end, and remain that way till the end of November. Walk around Srinagar during this season and you can find Chinar leaves, in different bright colours, twisted and curled by the vagaries of the summer.

The shedding of Chinar leaves, locally known as Buen, marks the onset of autumn and sets off a process of change in the Valley every year, with people wearing woollens and changing their food habits to suit the weather.

 

The famous Char Chinar on Dal Lake in Srinagar. ~Photo: Gustap and Jeroo Irani

 

Islamic preachers who travelled to Kashmir four centuries ago from Central Asia and Persia also revered the tree. It is said that the oldest Chinar tree in Kashmir, around 700 years old, was planted by the Sufi Saint Syed Qasim Shah in Chattergam, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The tree grew to be 14.78 metres high.

Women wailing and praying in the shrines, hoping to bring an end to their sorrows, can be seen seated under the Chinar trees that dot most of the Valley’s prominent shrines and mosques. Two major shrines in Kashmir — Sultan-ul-Arifeen and Hazratbal — have neatly-placed majestic Chinar trees for the devotees.

Hindu worshippers equally revere the Chinar tree. The trees can be found in the goddess Bhavani temples in Kashmir, including the Khir Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. Many Hindus believe that the Kashmiri name ‘Buen’ comes from goddess Bhavani.

Officially, there were 42,000 Chinar trees in Kashmir during the 1970s. However, the number had fallen to around 5,000 by the turn of the century. But the horticulture department is making up for the lost numbers again by planting around 14,000 more trees.

Ridden with political uncertainties, raging militancy and omnipresent security personnel across the Valley, Kashmiri residents seek solace under the Chinar, before winter arrives and its colours fade.

 

When dry, the leaves of the Chinar tree make great fodder for heat. Here, a man heaps the fallen leaves into an ample pile to burn it as charcoal in Srinagar. ~ Photo: AP

 

Chinar-gazers assemble under the tree in villages, towns and the capital city of Srinagar to gaze in awe at the changing hues and swirling leaves, which are burnt to keep the traditional Kangri (earthen fire-pot) alive when snowfall takes over the landscape.

The Chinar has served as an inspiration for politicians too. Former Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who died in September 1982, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. Abdullah’s close friend and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, according to Congress leader Muzaffar Parray, was a regular to Kashmir in autumn. “Gandhi visited Kashmir the same month she was assassinated in 1984. She was fascinated by the autumn Chinar trees,” said Mr. Parray.

 

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. ~Photo: The Hindu archives

 

Known as Chanakya and a close aide of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Makhan Lal Fotedar, a Kashmiri, chose to name his bare-all memoir The Chinar Leaves.

The centrality of the Chinar in people's lives can be gauged from the fact that the first Kashmiri Muslim fashion designer Zubair Kirmani, who made it big in the fashion industry in India, named his brand Boune Paen (leaves of Chinar). “The tree represents our heritage and culture. It is intrinsic to who Kashmiris are,” says Mr. Kirmani.

To capture the political turmoil and insurgency years of Kashmir, Bollywood directors Vishal Bhardwaj in Haider, Shoojit Sircar in Yahaan and Aamir Bashir in Harud chose the autumn and Chinars to depict the troubled times the Valley has gone through.

With its origins believed to be in Greece, the Chinar tree is a silent witness to Kashmir’s romance, its religious reverence, and its political and armed struggles for ages now.

In 1990s, when militancy raged across the State, the militants used the Chinar as bunkers and arms hideouts. Given the girth of the trunk, the hollow spaces in between could accommodate both men and armed machinery.

As militancy waned over a period of time, rights activist Khurram Pervez, coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, says that the Chinar now provides shade to a vast number of unmarked graves and mass graves in the State.

A graveyard in Bimyar in Baramulla district, 50 km away from Srinagar, is dotted by Chinars. “The Bimyar graveyard has many dreams and a lot of pain buried. This is a site of mass graves and unmarked graves. More than 230 unidentified people are buried here, which includes a 6-month-old baby girl,” says Mr. Pervez.

With a strict ban on their being cut, the Chinar not only dots graveyards and Mughal gardens but colleges and universities too. Highways and homes host mighty Chinars, which in turn host the migratory birds that come all the way from Siberia and Russia.

 

The trees provide a perfect getaway for lovers in Kashmir's landscape. ~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

 

The Mughal gardens of Naseem Bagh in Srinagar house more than 100 Chinar trees, a perfect host to lovers who come here for a romantic getaway.

Many couples can be spotted here shooting videos to preserve the scenic beauty of the site for posterity. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are flooded with selfies from the young and the old alike with the majestic Chinar trees in the backdrop.

“These colours play on the minds of people and motivate them to undertake pleasurable activities,” says Dr. Arshad Hussain, a leading psychiatrist working at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital.

The Chinar leaves thus help fight the seasonal depression induced by the autumn sun, particularly among Kashmiris, whose lives have been marred by the violence and insurgency of the past 25 years.

In fact, Kashmir’s separatist struggle continues to draw its motivation from poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal's famous couplet, which was influenced by the Chinar:

Jis khaak ke zameer me hai aatish-e-chinar,

Mumkin nahi ki sard ho woh khaak-e-arjumand

(The dust that carries in its conscience the fire of the Chinar, It is impossible for that 

The speaking tree of Kashmir

The Chinar, radiant in red, mauve, amber and yellow, dots the autumn landscape of Kashmir, bringing cheer to people whose lives have been marred by years of militancy

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Kashmir’s landscape is fast changing with the onset of autumn. It has made the sun mild, brought a chilly mist into the air and denuded most trees, including the mighty Chinar (Maple). Walking down the streets, one cannot miss the rustling sound of leaves from the famed Chinar trees breaking the silence.

The majestic Chinar trees (whose botanical name is Platanus orientalis or oriental plane) grow as tall as 25 meters, with girth exceeding 50 feet in some cases. These trees figure notably in Kashmir’s literature and politics; religion and romance.

It’s not the Chinar during the summer, when it is all green, that draws the crowds, but the Chinar during autumn. For that is when its leaves acquire varied colourful hues — of blood-red, mauve, amber and yellow — in a short period of time, somewhere around October end, and remain that way till the end of November. Walk around Srinagar during this season and you can find Chinar leaves, in different bright colours, twisted and curled by the vagaries of the summer.

The shedding of Chinar leaves, locally known as Buen, marks the onset of autumn and sets off a process of change in the Valley every year, with people wearing woollens and changing their food habits to suit the weather.

 

The famous Char Chinar on Dal Lake in Srinagar. ~Photo: Gustap and Jeroo Irani

 

Islamic preachers who travelled to Kashmir four centuries ago from Central Asia and Persia also revered the tree. It is said that the oldest Chinar tree in Kashmir, around 700 years old, was planted by the Sufi Saint Syed Qasim Shah in Chattergam, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The tree grew to be 14.78 metres high.

Women wailing and praying in the shrines, hoping to bring an end to their sorrows, can be seen seated under the Chinar trees that dot most of the Valley’s prominent shrines and mosques. Two major shrines in Kashmir — Sultan-ul-Arifeen and Hazratbal — have neatly-placed majestic Chinar trees for the devotees.

Hindu worshippers equally revere the Chinar tree. The trees can be found in the goddess Bhavani temples in Kashmir, including the Khir Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. Many Hindus believe that the Kashmiri name ‘Buen’ comes from goddess Bhavani.

Officially, there were 42,000 Chinar trees in Kashmir during the 1970s. However, the number had fallen to around 5,000 by the turn of the century. But the horticulture department is making up for the lost numbers again by planting around 14,000 more trees.

Ridden with political uncertainties, raging militancy and omnipresent security personnel across the Valley, Kashmiri residents seek solace under the Chinar, before winter arrives and its colours fade.

 

When dry, the leaves of the Chinar tree make great fodder for heat. Here, a man heaps the fallen leaves into an ample pile to burn it as charcoal in Srinagar. ~ Photo: AP

 

Chinar-gazers assemble under the tree in villages, towns and the capital city of Srinagar to gaze in awe at the changing hues and swirling leaves, which are burnt to keep the traditional Kangri (earthen fire-pot) alive when snowfall takes over the landscape.

The Chinar has served as an inspiration for politicians too. Former Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who died in September 1982, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. Abdullah’s close friend and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, according to Congress leader Muzaffar Parray, was a regular to Kashmir in autumn. “Gandhi visited Kashmir the same month she was assassinated in 1984. She was fascinated by the autumn Chinar trees,” said Mr. Parray.

 

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, chose to title his autobiography ‘Aatish-i-Chinar’, which means ‘Flame of Chinar’. ~Photo: The Hindu archives

 

Known as Chanakya and a close aide of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Makhan Lal Fotedar, a Kashmiri, chose to name his bare-all memoir The Chinar Leaves.

The centrality of the Chinar in people's lives can be gauged from the fact that the first Kashmiri Muslim fashion designer Zubair Kirmani, who made it big in the fashion industry in India, named his brand Boune Paen (leaves of Chinar). “The tree represents our heritage and culture. It is intrinsic to who Kashmiris are,” says Mr. Kirmani.

To capture the political turmoil and insurgency years of Kashmir, Bollywood directors Vishal Bhardwaj in Haider, Shoojit Sircar in Yahaan and Aamir Bashir in Harud chose the autumn and Chinars to depict the troubled times the Valley has gone through.

With its origins believed to be in Greece, the Chinar tree is a silent witness to Kashmir’s romance, its religious reverence, and its political and armed struggles for ages now.

In 1990s, when militancy raged across the State, the militants used the Chinar as bunkers and arms hideouts. Given the girth of the trunk, the hollow spaces in between could accommodate both men and armed machinery.

As militancy waned over a period of time, rights activist Khurram Pervez, coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, says that the Chinar now provides shade to a vast number of unmarked graves and mass graves in the State.

A graveyard in Bimyar in Baramulla district, 50 km away from Srinagar, is dotted by Chinars. “The Bimyar graveyard has many dreams and a lot of pain buried. This is a site of mass graves and unmarked graves. More than 230 unidentified people are buried here, which includes a 6-month-old baby girl,” says Mr. Pervez.

With a strict ban on their being cut, the Chinar not only dots graveyards and Mughal gardens but colleges and universities too. Highways and homes host mighty Chinars, which in turn host the migratory birds that come all the way from Siberia and Russia.

 

The trees provide a perfect getaway for lovers in Kashmir's landscape. ~Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

 

The Mughal gardens of Naseem Bagh in Srinagar house more than 100 Chinar trees, a perfect host to lovers who come here for a romantic getaway.

Many couples can be spotted here shooting videos to preserve the scenic beauty of the site for posterity. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are flooded with selfies from the young and the old alike with the majestic Chinar trees in the backdrop.

“These colours play on the minds of people and motivate them to undertake pleasurable activities,” says Dr. Arshad Hussain, a leading psychiatrist working at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital.

The Chinar leaves thus help fight the seasonal depression induced by the autumn sun, particularly among Kashmiris, whose lives have been marred by the violence and insurgency of the past 25 years.

In fact, Kashmir’s separatist struggle continues to draw its motivation from poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal's famous couplet, which was influenced by the Chinar:

Jis khaak ke zameer me hai aatish-e-chinar,

Mumkin nahi ki sard ho woh khaak-e-arjumand

(The dust that carries in its conscience the fire of the Chinar, It is impossible for that 

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