Kashmir, often referred to as “Paradise on Earth,” is a destination that enchants travelers from across the globe. Nestled in the northern part of India, it boasts breathtaking landscapes, serene lakes, and snow-capped peaks. If you’re planning a trip to this heavenly abode, you might wonder how to get to Kashmir. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the three main modes of transportation: By Air (Srinagar Airport), By Road (Srinagar-Jammu National Highway), and By Train (Jammu Tawi Railway Station). Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or a history buff, Kashmir has something to offer everyone.
Kashmir’s natural beauty and cultural heritage have always drawn travelers. To make your visit seamless and enjoyable, it’s essential to choose the right mode of transportation.
Related: Best time to visit Kashmir
By Air: Srinagar Airport
Srinagar Airport, also known as Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport, is the most convenient way to reach Kashmir by air. Here’s what you need to know:
Upon arrival at Srinagar Airport, you’ll find a range of facilities, including baggage services, car rentals, and currency exchange counters. The airport staff is welcoming and eager to assist you.
Airlines and Connectivity
Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to Srinagar Airport, connecting major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Prepare to be awestruck as your plane descends towards Srinagar. The breathtaking aerial views of the lush green valleys and the shimmering Dal Lake are a mesmerizing welcome to Kashmir.
Transport from the Airport
From the airport, you can hire taxis or use pre-paid services to reach your desired destination in Srinagar or other parts of the Kashmir Valley.
By Road: Srinagar-Jammu National Highway
Traveling to Kashmir by road is an adventure in itself, with the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway offering scenic beauty and a thrilling journey.
The highway connects Srinagar to Jammu and other cities in northern India. While the road can be narrow and winding in some sections, the picturesque landscapes along the way make it worth the drive.
- Plan your journey during the summer or early autumn months to avoid road closures due to heavy snowfall in winter.
- Check the weather conditions before embarking on your road trip.
- Be prepared for occasional traffic jams, especially during peak tourist seasons.
As you drive through the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, you’ll encounter several attractions like Patnitop, a charming hill station, and the holy town of Katra, the base for the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage.
By Train: Jammu Tawi Railway Station
If you prefer a more relaxed and comfortable journey, traveling to Jammu by train is an excellent choice.
Jammu Tawi Railway Station is well-connected to major Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Several trains, including the Jammu Rajdhani Express, provide a convenient way to reach Jammu.
Scenic Train Ride
The train journey to Jammu offers scenic views of the countryside and the Shivalik hills, providing a unique perspective of Northern India’s beauty.
Connecting to Kashmir
From Jammu, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Srinagar, which is approximately 270 kilometers away. The road journey from Jammu to Srinagar is equally picturesque.
Do I need a special permit to visit certain areas in Kashmir?
Yes, some areas in Kashmir, like Leh and Ladakh, require special permits for tourists. Make sure to obtain these permits in advance if you plan to visit restricted areas.
What are the must-visit places in Kashmir?
Some of the must-visit places in Kashmir include Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Dal Lake, and the scenic landscapes of Sonmarg.
What is the best time to visit Kashmir?
The best time to visit Kashmir is during the summer and early autumn months (May to September), when the weather is pleasant, and most tourist attractions are accessible.
Can I hire a taxi or cab at Srinagar Airport?
Yes, there are taxi services available at Srinagar Airport for your convenience.
Are there any direct flights to Srinagar from international destinations?
While there are no direct international flights to Srinagar, you can easily connect through major Indian cities.
Do I need any permits to visit certain areas in Kashmir?
Some areas in Kashmir may require permits, so it’s advisable to check with local authorities or tour operators beforehand.