People ask me (quite often these days) is it safe to travel solo or with your gang of girls in Kashmir and Ladakh. So I would say yes, no different from anywhere else in India but don’t walk around by yourself at night and try not to wear tight cloths otherwise guys stare at the girl wearing western in Srinagar.
Way back in 2015 when I made my first visit to this enchanted land, I think I understood what they meant by paradise. But I also thought I had seen better places. Until it hit me in the face, I didn’t realize my ignorance.
There cannot be another paradise and there cannot be another place that can compare to the beauty of Kashmir and valleys of Ladakh.
So here is my itinerary,I hope this will help
Day 1: Srinagar
On your arrival at the Srinagar International Airport, you will be taken for a 35 minutes drive through the heart of New Srinagar city, passing the Abdullah bridge which connects the banks of the Jhelum river. Visit the famous Mughal gardens of Nishat and Shalimar. Later drive for an hour of Shikara ride in the lake have lunch try some local dishes and proceed to “Badamwari”.If you happen to be here in the month of April you can
visit the Indira Gandhi memorial Tulip Garden, that remains open only for a few days during this time, before going to Chesham-e-Shahi.
Day 2: Gulmarg
On the second day, early in the morning at around 7 AM, leave for Gulmarg. It will take you a maximum of 1.5 hours to reach this beautiful hill station where you can enjoy a number of activities apart from sightseeing. Gulmarg is an enchantingly beautiful place with snow-covered slopes and splendid landscapes.The gondola ride up to the second phase was out of the world. Be sure to take it to the second phase for otherwise it is a waste. I could see the LOC from there and it was amazing. The snow-clad slopes were out of the world.Return to Srinagar in the evening and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay at Hotel.
For online ticket : gulmarggondola.com/gondola_tickets.php
Day 3: Pahalgam
Early in the morning leave for Pahalgam the ‘valley of shepherds’ which is situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from river Lidder and Sheeshnag lake. En route to Pahalgam visit the Awantipura ruins, an 1100-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On arrival into Pahalgam, we took the horse ride up to Baisaran which went through a valley full of Pine trees. The top with a large amount of flat green land & surrounded by mountains with snow top you will feel like you are in Mini-Switzerland. And then drive to Aru itself is about 40 minutes or so. The taxi driver normally gives you two hours to look around. That’s plenty. Once you get there, hire horses. The costs are fixed and they have a board displaying the amounts. Make sure you wear comfy clothes and shoes. Next, proceed to Betaab Valley. Once again, the driver will park the cab and give you an hour to look around.This is more for family outings because people take picnics there. Night stay in Srinagar.
Day 4: Srinagar
The first thing on your agenda should be the alluring Mughal Gardens.The Mughal gardens include Cheshm-E-Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, and the Nishat Bagh. All of these gardens are located in the boulevard road in Srinagar. Start with Nishat Bagh going ahead with Shalimar Bagh and then Chesham-e-Shahi.Located close to the Chesham-e-Shahi garden is the famous Pari Mahal you can spend few beautiful moments here after the
‘Srinagar garden visiting spree’.
In the afternoon you can head for the famous religious attractions in the city that will include the Shankaracharya temple, Jama masjid, dargah of Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph
and Hazratbal shrine.
By evening you can go on a shopping spree in Lal Chowk and the Polo View market are great shopping stops. Buy something for back home that will remind you of this wonderful day spent.
Day 5: Sonamarg to Kargil
On the Fifth day, After breakfast, proceed to Kargil via Srinagar-Leh Highway. Enjoy a short halt at Sonmarg (Known as the gateway to Ladakh & the Meadow of Gold) to admire the views. One can enjoy a pony ride to Thajiwas glacier. Notice the gradual change in the colours of the mountains as you travel to Kargil. Cross the Zozilla pass & Drass region. Visit the Zozilla War memorial & Kargil War memorial on the way to pay tribute to the Indian Army. It was in this very region in which the Indian Army fought and won the famous war of Kargil. Overnight stay in Kargil.
Day 6: Kargil to Leh
On the six days, En route, visit Mulbek (known for its huge Buddha Statue) and Lamayuru monastery (The oldest monastery in Ladakh). Admire the confluence of Indus – Zanskar Rivers and the effects of Magnetic Hill (Defiance of the law of gravity). Visit Gurudwara Patthar Sahib and Kali Mata temple and reach Leh in the evening. Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 7 : Leh
Leh local sightseeing Hemis, thiksey, Stok royal residence, SOS kids town, shey monastery and Druk White Lotus School (Rancho School). Explore the Leh market or just relax and unwind. Night stay in Leh
Day 8: Leh to Nubra
After breakfast leave for Nubra Valley, driving through Khardong-la (altitude: 18,380 ft), and then visit Sumur village, Hunder village and Samstaling Gompa(monastery) in Sumur. Later check in to your camp(in Deskit/ Hunder village) and enjoy in-house activities like dance, bonfire, barbeque.
Day 9: Nubra to Leh
On the Ninth day, visit Deskit monastery and the Sand Dunes where you can enjoy a short camel safari using the double-humped camel found there and then explore Panamic, known for its hot water spring enriched with a high amount of Sulphur.Night stay in Leh
Day 10: Leh to Pangong
Full day excursion to Pangong Lake on approx. 300 km round trip, located on the Indo-China Border, en route crossing the Chang-la pass (altitude 17370 ft.). After sightseeing around the lake, drive back to Leh.
Day 10: Leh Local SightSeeing
After breakfast, visit Shanti Stupa,Spituk, Sankar Gompa & Leh Palace and after visiting one is free to walk around in the Leh market .
“Because of cloud burst we were not able to explore turtuk and hans village so we pick the night bus 9:30pm to Manali.
Perhaps if you are traveling alone or with one or two friends, you can buy or book tickets of Manali – Leh bus service of HPTDC. I will take two days to reach and halt in Keylong.”
Day 11: Manali
Rest for a while and do nothing just enjoy the surroundings and natural beauty of Manali.
Day 12: Solang Valley and Rohtang la
Visit Solang Valley and Rohtang la, picturesque valley and very good for the nature lover and photographer. You can also enjoy paragliding, Zorbing, Mountaineering, Trekking.
Day 13: Local Sightseeing in Manali
You can visit Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Vashist Village, Tibetan monastery, Museum, Mall road.
Day 14: Kullu
Kullu area is known for apple orchards and trout fishing beside a range of adventure activities such as walking, trekking, and rafting. You can also visit Beas river, Nigger castle, boat club, and The Roerichs heritage.
Day 15: Delhi
Explore Delhi and Dilli food.
Day 16: Shopping and Flight back to Home.