Kashmir Edge Tour
See a side of Kashmir that few people from the outside have ever set their eyes upon. These places lie along the Line of Control and adjoining areas which have been largely off limits due to the Borders and the sensitive local Political situations. But slowly the Government has now opened up the areas and JK Tourism and other Departments have built infrastructure like Guest Houses so that people can come and enjoy the beauty of these hitherto unseen places for most.
The Kishenganga River (called the Neelum once it crosses the LOC serves as the LOC for most of the Borders in this area. This is the River in the Keran Sector.
So introducing for the first time our Kashmir Edge Tour. Where you travel mostly in the Kupwara distrcit of kashmir in the North West which borders the Loc and is home to beautiful Valleys such as the Lolab valley and the largest Alpine Valley in Kashmir, the Bangus Valley. This is also the Home of the Shamsbari Range and you can actually walk along the Kishenganga River and see activities across the Border in areas under Pakistan. The same Kishenganga is called the Neelum River once it goes across the Line of Control.
Kupwara is a district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and situated in the extreme North West of the state with the Western part of the District running along the LOC. It has a total area of around 2380 kms and is divided into the following 14 Tehsils :
Handwara / Karnah / Kupwara / Lolab / Machil / Ramhall / Qaziabad / Trehgam / Langate / Keran / Lalpora / Kralpora / Dragmulla / Zachaldara
Kupwara is a beautiful border District with the Kishenganga flowing through it. Its home to many Valleys as well as dense Forests and is home to a variety of Wildlife as well. Since a large part of the District is along the Line of Control Kupwara has never been a part of any Tourist Itinerary and its hidden Gems have been seen by a few and far between.
We at Travel The Himalayas are now trying to open these places to Tourists as the concept of Border Tourism now grows. Situated at a distance of 90 kms Kupwara Town is the ideal place to be used as a base to these beautiful hidden Valleys of Kupwara. And ,many of these Valleys sit at the crossroads of Kashmiri and Pahari culture. In many of the Villages on this circuit the main spoken languages are Pahari and Gojri.
The beautiful Alpine Meadow at Bangus. This is the largest Alpine Meadow in the Kashmir Valley and is spread over 300 sq kms.
Day 1 : Land in Srinagar, Local sightseeing around the Dal Lake and the many beautiful Gardens of the City.
The Kazinag Mountain as seen on the way to Uri near Boniyar. The Mountain is also Home to the Kazinag National Park which is considered the home of the elusive Markhors in Kashmir.
Day 2 : Srinagar to Uri : First day out of Srinagar you travel to the border Town of Uri. This little Town right at the LOC has become quite well known after certain unfortunate incidents have taken place in the last few years. There is even a Bollywood Movie made with the same name. The Town is beautiful and sits astride a Mountain as the Jehlum flows by. Civilians are allowed only up til the Uri Bazaar and special permissions are required to move beyond the Bazaar. From Uri you return to Reshwari in Kupwara where you stay at the Guest House.
The Guest House at Reshwari among the Pines
Day 3 : From Reshwari to Chandigam : Lolab Valley visit. Day Trips to Kalaroos and Satbaran. Night at Chandigam Guest House. The Lolab Valley is named after the Maharaja Lolo is a very beautiful Valley known for its lush Green Trees and Pastures, stretches about 25 kms from the North West and South West varying in breadth from a few yards to almost 5 kms wide. It is traversed by a considerable Stream known as the Lalkul (Lahwal). The Water to the Lalkul is contributed by a number of tributaries flowing from the surrounding Hills which are clothed by dense Forests of Deodar. There are Eleven Ponds in the Valley with an average depth of 7 to 15 feet and are unique in themselves. Varnow Village in the Lolab Valley is of historical importance because of being the birthplace of Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Lolab Valley today has a well developed infrastructure and good connectivity with the rest of the Region. Some of the other renowned places with tremendous potential are Chandigam, Dooruswani, Khurhama, Krusan, Khomrial, Nagsari and Cherkoot.
The Mysterious Cave Complex at Kalaroos. as per local beliefs there is a Tunnel underneath which goes all the way to Central Asia.
Day 4 : Trip to Bangus Valley from the Chowkibal side./ Stay at Redi LBDDA GH. One of the relatively unknown areas of Kashmir with vast tourism potential is the Valley of Bangus. Lying within the Trans Himalayan Area, Bangus is a unique combination of ecological area, compromising Mountain Biome, which includes Grassland Biome with flora at lower altitudes, and Taiga or Coniferous forest. The Valley which lies at an altitude of around 10,000 ft above sea level, is in the northern part of district Kupwara within the Handwara sub-district. Occupying an area of 300 sq kms (20 x 15) the principal Valley locally known as Bod Bangus (Big Bangus) consists of a linear elliptical bowl aligned along the East West axis. The Valley is surrounded by Rajwar and Mawar in the East, Shamsbari and Dajlungun Mountains in the West, Chowkibal and Karnah Gali in the North. A smaller side Valley known as Lokut Bangus (Small Bangus) lies on the north-eastern side of the Main Valley. Both the Valleys comprise level green meadows surrounded by low lying Mountains covered with dense Coniferous forests (Budloo) with a stream flowing through.
One of the famous colorful Pakistani truck as seen from across the LOC in Tithwal in the Tangdhar Sector.
Day 5 : Redi to Tangdhar via Sadhna Pass. Visit Teetwal. Stay at Tangdhar . Tithwal : On the Banks of the tranquil flowing Kishanganga in the Karnow Valley lies the Village of Tithwal. Here you can peacefully admire the calm and tranquil environment with indulgent greens that let you enjoy the gifts of Mother nature in all their glory.Tithwal is around 93 kms from Kupwara Town and is of historical importance in the light of its geographical location on the LOC and is presently being used as crossing / meeting point for the general Public of both the sides of Kashmir. The Road to Tithwal from Kupwara is a macadamized road which passes through the breathtaking vistas of the Drangyari Meadows and the Sadhna Top which is located at 10,000 feet.
Seemari -The last village on Indian side in Tanghdhar Sector. Right side is Seemari divided by Kishanganga/Neelum river
Day 6 : Tangdhar to Keran via Firkin Gali. Stay at Keran RB Guest House. Keran : The Village of Keran is said to have been established by Raja Bahadur Khan in the tenth Century. Also located on the banks of the Kishenganaga River, Keran enjoys a majestic view. To reach Keran Valley one has to Pass through the Firkin Gali. It is 37 kilometers towards West from Kupwara. 89 kilometers from Kralpora and 118 kilometers from the state Capital Srinagar. One the way to Keran the other places of interest are Milyal, Raja Ram Mountains, Firkin Village, Kralpora, Trehgam and the Kheerbhawani Temple at Tikker, Kupwara. From the Firkin Gali a Road link connects it with the Sadhna Top and is known for its mesmerising and enchanting beauty on both sides of Kashmir. On the way one can witness the lush Green forests, Meadows, Streams and also the Ancient Architecture.
From the Keran Sector you can see activity across the LOC as the Kishenganga River denotes the LOC.
Day 7 : To Machil via Jet Gali. Visit Dudi Village. Stay at Machail Guest House. Machil : Machil is a charming Village sheltered in the East of the Kupwara District, Jammu and Kashmir. Covered in a lush green forest it is an ideal destination for group picnic and trekkers. Rest Houses are available for a comfortable stay and to spend some time in this mesmerising place. Machil has some of the most beautiful and breathtaking Meadows and it is surrounded by the Mountains of Nuwan. Machil consists of 15 Villages and is around 52 kms away from the main town of Kupwara. Machil lies nuzzled in the most north western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Guest House in Dudi Village in the Machail Sector
Day 8 : Return to Srinagar
The idyllic Dudi Village in the Machail Sector.
Inclusions : All Taxi Transfers / Airport Pick Up and Drop / All Night Stays at Government Guest Houses/ Breakfast and Dinner / Guide Charges / All Permits from the DC Office / Police / Army
Cost : Rs.37500/- per person for a minimum of 2 persons / Rs.30000 per person for minimum 4 people. GST Extra.
Gurez can be added to the following Itinerary by adding 2 more days. Costs for that would be extra.
Note : Since some of these areas are sensitive Border areas the Final Authority on all matters is the Army. It may so happen that, in case of some incident, they might deny access to certain Areas.