To call the state a true assortment for the meat lover would not be an understatement. While the best finds are often found on foot along forgotten roads, with downtown bakeries making fresh sheermal or baqerkhayn, or family dhabas handing out tangy yakhni and goashtaba. Not participating in the local cuisine is criminal, but there are several restaurants that will make you sit down as well. In Gulmarg, the Nédous dining room is an icon, with figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, and Mountbatten planning historic moves on a hot wooden Bukhari. The hunter’s bar, part of the same hotel, is ideal for an after dinner whiskey. Also, mark the Cafe Igloo–Built entirely in snow – for an evening worthy of Insta arriving on the grid. Once in Srinagar, get ready for options – Butter Chicken near Boulevard in Stream, Tabak Maz at famous Ahdoo’s restaurant, Chicken Tawook at Ground Zero Grill & Café, yakhni at Linz Café, and roast duck in Lhasa, all deserve to be eaten. ‘be repeated. For a coffee, try the sun-speckled wooden interiors of Books & Bricks Cafe, but if you’re in a team, the stunning pastel and pop Chai Jaai is a must visit.
Gulmarg certainly has a list of interesting stores – think Faiz shawls, Shahab Textiles for authentic outfits and fabrics, and Ladakh Palace of Arts for its crafts and jewelry, but Srinagar is the holy grail of shopping in Kashmir. Famous for pashminas, spices, rugs and walnut wood, the local markets are a salmagundi of tourist returns. We would suggest Saklain Coterie for essential oils and artisanal soaps, Mr Sadiq & Fils for papier-mâché crafts, Amin-Bin-Khalik for dried fruits, Moses suffering for wood carvings, spices and Kahwa to Cashmere Shop, and Woodfort for walnut furniture.
What to do
The sublime state is truly a land for all seasons. If you go there in spring or summer, there is no shortage of activities. You could take a shikara ride at Dal Lake or Manasbal, play a game of Gulmarg Golf, go Rafting short on the Lidder river in Pahalgam, take a walk in the heritage Old Srinagar, or take a day trip to Floating post office Where Strawberry Valley. In autumn or winter, the city is covered in white, making it ideal for a “Gondola” cable car ride (the Kongdoori road to Apharwat Peak is charming), skiing in Gulmarg and snowboarding at Sonamarg or Pahalgam. Never a dull moment.
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