Crafts, Landscape & People (4-day experience)

A Picturesque view of Kashmir’s snow-capped

OVERVIEW

This 4-day tour of Kashmir gives one an insight into the life of the Kashmiris, their art and craft, and a dive into the breathtaking landscapes Kashmir has to offer. The experience includes long, beautiful exploratory walks, a visit to the beautiful Shalimar gardens in Srinagar, a stay in a houseboat on Nageen Lake, a pre-dawn Shikhara ride to the floating market on Dal Lake, and a drive past picturesque orchards from Srinagar to Pahelgam with the beautiful River Lidder flowing below, taking you to the last motorable point. You get to meet the people who work at the Shepherds’ craft project, visit their site and witness their amazing work, and also visit the Himalayan Cheese Factory where you learn what makes the cheese from here so rich and special.

Sample Program:

Day 1: 

• Arrival in Srinagar by any flight that lands before 2 p.m.

• Transfer to a houseboat on Nigeen lake.

• 4:30 p.m.: Shikara Ride to the Lake Club shore from where the guests will be taken to Shalimar Gardens

• 6:30 p.m.: Return to house boat for dinner and rest.

Day 2:

• Early morning (pre-dawn) Shikara ride to the floating market on Dal Lake, once a favourite honeymoon spot for privileged Indians.

• 8:00 a.m.: Local breakfast

• 9:30 a.m.: Leave for Pehelgam. The drive gets picturesque after an hour, past apple orchards and little streams and before you know it, you're 10,000 feet above sea level deep inside the greater Himalayas. The river Lidder flows beneath while you skirt the mountainside towards Pehelgam, which is in a narrow valley.

• Noon: Check in at Pehelgam Hotel (on the banks of the river) and proceed for lunch. After lunch, a short presentation on the Shepherd’s Craft project by the Founder, Ramneek, followed by a viewing of their crafts products.

• 3.30 p.m.: Drive up to Aru, the last motorable point on the road. En-route, a stop at one of the traditional Gujjar Kothas (transit homes) to meet some of the folk who work with the Shepherd Crafts project, by the river Lidder. A very picturesque landscape.

• 6:30 p.m.: Return to the hotel to unwind.

• 8:00 p.m.: Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3:

• 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast at the hotel

• 10 a.m.: Leave for Langanbal village to visit The Shepherd’s Craft project center, driving just over half an hour. You get to talk to the people of the project and witness them at work.

• Take a short walk to the Himalayan Cheese factory (www.himalayancheese.com) run by a Dutchman Chris Zanzee and his Malaysian wife Kamala, working with the same twin tribes of Gujjars and Bakarwals. Entry into the factory (set up inside a traditional gujjar house) is not permitted, but a set up just outside, and a social chat with the owner of the factory over a cheese table are a wonderful way to discover their lives and work.

• After this, visit Reshma's house and her cattle shed. And the homes of several other women from that clan, most of whom work for Shepard Crafts or Himalayan Cheese.

• Enjoy a nomad's lunch at the Shepherd’s Craft Centre of foraged forest greens, wild mushrooms, goat cheese and maize roti with salty tea, followed by freshly toffeed walnuts, made of walnuts from the walnut groves.

• 3:00 p.m.: Return to the hotel

• Spend rest of the evening enjoying long walks along the river or getting to know the hospitable locals.

Day 4: Bhavnagar

• Catch the return flight to your destination. Choose a flight only post noon, since you will need 5 hours to reach the airport.

 

 

Crafts, Landscape & People (4-day experience)

The Shepherd’s Craft Livelihood Project that you get to
visit on our tours

OVERVIEW

This is an alternative route planning but covers nearly the same interests as described in Option A. This option takes you straight to Pehelgam, as soon as you arrive, which is a five-hour drive. You get to drive along the River Lidder, flowing in the valley below you, and once you get to Pehelgam you get to visit the Shepherd’s Craft project Centre and meet the people working on the project, visit the great Himalayan Cheese Factory, and enjoy insights into the story of cheese over a quaint tasting table; you enjoy a pleasant nomad’s lunch after which you drive up to the last motorable point in the area to witness the unparalleled beauty of the magnificent Himalayas. The drive back to Srinagar is long but in this option, you end with a relaxing wander through Shalimar Gardens and stay a night on a houseboat before you head off to the airport. and visit the beautiful Shalimar gardens.

Sample Program:

Day 1:

• Arrive in Srinagar by any flight that lands before 2:00 p.m.

• Drive straight to Pehelgam (2.5 to 3 hours by road).

• 6:00 p.m.: Check in at Pehelgam Hotel.

• 8.00 p.m. onwards: Dinner and sleep

Day 2:

• 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast at the hotel

• 10 a.m.: Leave for Langanbal village to visit the Shepherd’s Craft project center, driving just over half an hour. You get to talk to the people of the project and witness them at work.

• Take a short walk to the Cheese factory (www.himalayancheese.com) run by Dutchman, Chris Zanzee and his Malaysian wife Kamala, working with the same twin tribes of Gujjars and Bakarwals. Entry into the factory (set up inside a traditional gujjar house) is not permitted, but a set up just outside, and a social chat with the owner of the factory over a cheese table are a wonderful way to discover their lives and work.

• After this, visit Reshma's house and her cattle shed. And the homes of several other women from that clan, most of whom work for shepherd Crafts or Himalayan Cheese.

• Enjoy a nomad's lunch at the Shepherd’s Craft center of foraged forest greens, wild mushrooms, goat cheese and maize roti with salty tea, followed by freshly toffeed walnuts, made of walnuts from the walnut groves.

• 3.30 p.m.: Drive up to Aru, the last motorable point on the road. On route, stop by one of the traditional Gujjar Kothas (transit homes) to meet some of the women who work with the Shepherd Crafts project, by the river Lidder. A very picturesque landscape.

• 6.30 p.m.: Return to hotel

Day 3:

• 9.00 a.m.: Breakfast

• 10.30 a.m.: Leave for Srinagar

• Check in at the houseboat and lunchCheck in at the houseboat and lunch

• 3.30 p.m.: Head out to Shalimar Gardens and if time allows, visit an artisan's home nearby.

• 8.00 p.m.: Dinner

Day 4:

• Fly back from Srinagar.

• If the flight is not a morning one, then shopping in the morning before catching the flight is a great idea. Kashmir is famous for its Pashminas, walnuts, kagzee badam, saffron. We can have the traders bring all these to the hotel or accompany you to our trusted vendors.

 

 

Gulmarg – Srinagar – Old City (4 days)

Sample Program:

Day 1: Arrival & Shikara ride on Nigeen Lake.

• Arrive at Srinagar and Transfer from the airport to the houseboat,

• you will be met on arrival in Srinagar by your tour guide who will transfer you to the Houseboats. Houseboats are a representative of Kashmir Culture and symbolic of Kashmir art.

• Check-in at the houseboats, Check-in to be followed by Lunch.

• Take time for leisure and enjoy the serenity of Nigeen Lake from your houseboat with the most beautiful sights of Zabarwan mountain ranges supplemented by the reflections of Chinar tree in the Lake.

• In the early evening enjoy a relaxed Shikara ride on Nigeen Lake.

Day 2: Srinagar Sightseeing – Old city, Shrines of Sufism, Heritage Walk.

• After breakfast proceed for a half day sightseeing tour of Srinagar.

• Set of on the banks of the Jhelum River, the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar is a distinctive blend of cultural heritage. It is best known for its panoramic views of the Dal Lake crowned by the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountain range.

• During the morning session take a tour of the city, drive into the Old City to explore its narrow lanes on foot.

• Visit the 14th century Jama Masjid and the Shah Hamadan mosque that showcases exquisite wood carving.

• A visit to the Mughal Gardens – A high point of Mughal architecture and horticulture in India, the Persian styled Mughal Gardens are the highlight of any visit to Srinagar.

• Visit the Nishat Bagh to marvel at the lush terraced lawns, bright flower beds, cascading fountains and decorated marble pavilions that showcase the opulence of the rulers that built them in the 17th century AD.

Day 3: Day trip to Gulmarg.

• After breakfast proceed for a full day trip to Gulmarg.

• Suggested to take a Cable Car ride till 1st phase of Cable car till Koongdoori.

• After reaching Koongdoori, you can take an additional cable car ride taking you to 13,000 feet above sea level. It presents a picturesque view of Himalayan range and the Pir Panjal mountains.

• Evening return to Srinagar.

Day 4: Srinagar – Vegetable Floating Market & Departure.

• Pre-dawn visit the world-famous vegetable floating market, a lifetime experience that will always remain with you no matter where you travel – this part is unique to Kashmir.

• Back to the houseboat for some leisure time, breakfast and Check-out.

• Transfer to Srinagar airport for taking a flight to the onward destination.