Gurez : Land of the Shina
A trip to Gurez Valley is an unforgettable experience. Located at an attitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 m), the place is a real treat for visitors as you get to see real village life – people still living in log and wooden houses.The stream flowing from Kishan Ganga River and a must-watch Habba Khatoon peak will only help you relieve your mind of the noisy city and its hustle and bustle.
The simple music coming out of the flute of an unseen shepherd tending to his flock will keep you mesmerizedAfter enjoying a travel of 46 kilometers from Bandipore town, the Razdan Pass, which boasts of rolling meadows, welcomes you. Spending some time at this pass makes one to forget everything for a moment. The pass crosses through highest meadow in the journey and is a perfect picnic spot with tall pine trees rising majestically on the ridges. Several acres of rolling meadows on the top seem to be touching the sky while on a rainy day the clouds embrace the placethe forward journey form Razdan Pass is down-slope and an entry into Diwar village of Gurez Valley. Diwar is a plain area surrounded by mountains from all four sides.
In the middle of this plane, Habba Khatoon peak will catch your eyes. It is around this peak that Habba Khatoon used to roam around thus named after her. The Diwar village will let you see the real Kashmir as the people especially women still wear traditional Kashmiri dress, houses are wooden mostly erected from big logs and most households have cattle.The Kishan Ganga River flows through the village and is amicable for rafting. The visitors can stay for night also as Tourism Department has constructed beautiful Dak Banglow and Tourist Reception Centre building on the foothills. Gurez Valley has its own market where few hotels have also come up.
HOW TO REACH:
Gurez Valley is at a distance of 123 kilometers from Srinagar and 86 kilometers from the Bandipore district in North Kashmir. From Srinagar, the trip to this picturesque valley in a cab takes 6 to 7 hours. Given the nature of curvy roads carved out of mountains, mostly private transport plies on the route to Gurez. The journey is a treat with pine trees on both sides of the road refreshing visitors with its cool breeze.
Alternatively, you can avail Chopper services from Srinagar/Bandipore at very nominal prices with a total journey duration of not more than 20 mins.
Visit Gurez for travelling, driving, trekking, rafting, cycling, photography, local traditional and cultural values
BEST TIME TO VISIT
June to September is the best time to visit and it remains closed for about six months due to heavy snowing in winters.