Do you love soaking in the view of snow-capped mountains, exploring a myriad of wildlife, or just simply unfolding in an aesthetic environment? Kashmir has many offbeat destinations which are yet unexplored and yet so beautiful. For tourists looking to explore pristine places and find quietude, Gurez Valley is one such Paradise.
Then this rarely explored destination is perfect for you! Gurez valley has it all, from an alluring scenery to traversing among the flora and fauna one can find this place truly soul-satisfying.
If you plan to visit Gurez valley in the winter- that’s just the icing on the cake! Gurez Valley is situated in the higher Himalayas, at an Altitude of 2400 meters, and is bordered by the Kashmir Valley in the South. It is 124 kilometers from Srinagar, located in the district of Bandipora, Kashmir.
Gurez Valley is home to varied fauna such as brown bears and snow leopards (mostly seen in winter). This tourist spot is cold throughout the year and has an average annual temperature of 15° C dropping to a chilling -10° C in the winters making it a white haven. Moreover, being in the “Switzerland of India”, Gurez Valley can meet one’s travel expectations to a ‘great height’.
How to Reach Gurez Valley in Winter
Some of the roads especially the Razdan Pass is buried under several feet of snow and is closed to the public from December to February. To reach Gurez Valley in winter one needs to chopper in a helicopter and book their tickets in advance from the ticket office in Srinagar.
Make sure to confirm the location of the hotel you’re staying at, beforehand.
Fun Activities for Tourists
There are manifold places to visit and ventures to undertake in this beautiful offbeat destination.
River Rafting – Rafting in the famous Kishenganga River beside the Rezdan Pass is the most enjoyable activity in Gurez Valley. Rafting and fishing are done by almost all tourists who visit this destination and one can try their hand at these activities at the beautiful Kishenganga Lake. Sunset also creates a gorgeous golden view of the lake.
Exploring the spooky Habba Khatoon Peak – Habba Khatoon was the wife of the king of Kashmir and a poetess who still wanders the mountains in search of her husband as he was captured and imprisoned by Akbar. This is a great place to explore for paranormal lovers. One can also pitch a tent and spend the night camping in this “maleficent” location before going sightseeing to the Habba Khatoon spring, which emerges from the ground a short distance away.
Climbing the Rezdan Pass – Having an altitude of above 3000 meters this pass is ideal for photographers wanting to capture the majestic view of the mountains. Tourists are seen climbing the gentler slopes of this pass and camping in the nearby locations one of them being the Khandiyal Top, offering a 360° view of the entire place.
Visiting some other famous places like the Army Cafe, Chorwan, and Chakwali villages, engaging with the locals and learning about their lives, trekking, or simply just attending the Gurez Valley festival that happens each year in September for 3 days. This festival lights up the place with folk dances and different activities involving tourists and locals alike.
The Gurez valley is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. It gets connected to mainland Kashmir and you can take this gorgeous trek called Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. This trek borders around Gurez Valley and Kashmir. Many exit points in Kashmir Great Lakes Trail will take you to the Gurez Valley. The surprise however is that not many people visit this beautiful valley. The area is sensitive because it is only one ridge away from Pakistan’s border.
Gurez Valley is traversed by the Kishanganga River. It is a popular activity in the area to set up a camp beside the flowing river and taste natural spring water the whole day.
A Dream Tour Package for Couples