Whenever we talk of Kashmir's magnificence, the names of the most prominent places like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Mughal gardens etc instantly come to our minds but valley still has a lot of unexplored regions which are more beautiful and charming than these prominent places. Some of these unexplored tourist places ar:
The efforts to reach this heavenly valley are worth it as you have to cross the tricky Margan Top (from where the famous Nun Kun peak can be seen on a clear day). A Gem in the unexplored Kashmir, Warwan valley in Kishtwar district situated at an altitude of approx 7000 feet from sea level offers breathtaking vistas of greenery, waterfalls and clear skies, the Warwan valley is sandwiched between Kashmir and Ladakh.
Lack of electricity in this valley takes your soul closer to nature. On a moonlit night, one is enthralled by the sheer beauty of the snow peaks of Zanskar range and the shimmering Dariya-E-Chinab flowing through the valley with distant echoes of shepherds getting their ships back home.
The Inshaan village has couple of accommodation facilities – a dak bunglow under construction and a Forest Rest House.
Here, the Kashmiri hospitality comes to act and any of the locals will accommodate you. The recently opened Vailoo-Inshan Road makes life easy as you can drive a vehicle (4X4 preferred) in the Warwan valley. Generally cut from the rest of the world for 7 months.
Best time to visit Warwan Valley is between May and October.
One of the relatively unknown areas of Kashmir with vast tourism potential is the valley of Bungus. The Bungus Valley that lies at an altitude of 10,000 ft ASL and located in the northern border district of Kupwara Kashmir presents ideal conditions for recreation. It is an Eco-Toursim place Eco tourism is an increasingly popular form of tourism in which tourists seek out wild and scenic areas such as mountains for an active and educational trip. Most of the tourists engaged in eco-tourism in Kashmir are from the North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand often venturing the unexplored areas of the developing world. Bangus valley humbles the best of the European meadows. There are two elliptical bowl shaped valleys with name of Bodh Bungus (Big Bungus) and Lakut Bangus (Small Bungus). Bangus valley is surrounded by Chowkibal Mountains on the northern side, Qazinag and Shamsbery Mountains on the western side. Besides other hills also seem to provide protection to the grassland namely; Meeldar, Nastichavan and Yaddil etc. Bangus comprises mountain grasslands and coniferous forests. This valley is also famous for caves of Kala Roos and one can see Stone Age wall paintings. There is myth that some of the caves go up to Russia. The Bangus valley certainly epitomizes Kashmir's heavenly beauty in the original way.
How to Reach:
As they say, "Good things never come easy". If you happen to visit Bangus, you will not stop thanking your stars. To visit Bangus permission is required from Government forces. It is accessible by road, a couple of hours drive from. Generally tourists are allowed access to Big Bungus only. Situated inside a dense forest of the marvelous pines, the Bungus meadows are probably the most beautiful in Kashmir and an ideal place for camping (though it is not allowed and one is requested to be back to Reshwari before evening).
Where to Stay:
The only accommodation near Bangus Valley is the beautiful guest house situated on the banks of Mawar river in the Reshwari Village falling in the Handwara sub-division.
Doodh-e-pathri is yet another bowl shaped valley about 42 kms form Srinagar. Probably the simplest to approach out of all the destinations described, Doodpathari (or Dodhpathir in local dialect) is situated at a distance of 40 kilometers from Srinagar. Doodhpathris bowl shape green valley with a flowing Shali Ganga river flowing through the meadows makes a beautiful day trip destination from Srinagar, resounds with soft wind passing through the pine trees of the enclosures of the valley. It is also called as a "VALLEY OF MILK" because it produces rich milk in a large quantity. the name is derived from the abundance of milk in this area due to lush green meadows for the cattle. The shephards from the nearby villages get their cattle to graze here.
How to Reach:
It is accessible by road and at 40 -60 minutes drive from Srinagar by car / bus.
Where to Stay: Mostly tourist prefer to stay at Srinagar for night. If anyone is interested to stay here, the JKTDC has built tourist guest houses where one can enjoy night stays also.
Toshamaidan is also Bowl shaped vast meadow like Gulmarg situated in District Budgam, it is covered with thick forests on one side and Mountains on other side, till 2014 it was army training / firing range but Government of Jammu and Kashmir cleared it from army and added as one more place of Attraction for tourists.
It is undeveloped yet, one cant find any market or accommodation for living at Toshmaidan.
It is trekkers, Hikers and Campers choice, it offers many trekking routes in and around its vicinity, it offers , trek to Doodh Pathri , trek to Gulmar and other higher reaches treks.
Tucked away in a densely forested gorge at an altitude of 2438 m, Daksum is completely silent meadow. It is walkers paradise. Up the hills which are swathed in coniferous trees, past gurgling brooks, the simple, haunting notes of a flute will waft down to you from where an unseen shepherd tends his flock. For in the hills surrounding Daksum, suddenly you will find yourself in grassy meadows where sheep are taken to pasture.
Daksum is a reviving experience -the bracing mountain air, the solitude, the densely clad hills, and beyond them, snow covered mountains, all contribute to Daksum's mystique, making it the perfect retreat.
Wular Lake, is situated between the towns of Sopore and Bandipore, but major part of this lake lies in district Bandipora of Jammu and Kashmir. It is India's largest fresh water lake and is one of the Asia's largest fresh water Lake, covering an area of about 125 sq km. The natural beauty of this lake, being located amidst snow clad hills, is undoubtedly beyond description.
Shrine of famous Muslim Sufi Saint Baba Shakur-u-Din lies nearby this Lake, on a hillock from where one can have a magnificent view of Wular Lake. The view of Wular lake from Baba Shakur-u-Din hill is a recommended visit.
People also visit this lake to see the migratory birds and the nearby Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. Terrestrial birds such as eared kite, sparrow hawk, Short-Toed Eagle, Himalayan Golden Eagle, Blue Rock Pigeon, Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Kashmir Roller, Himalayan Pied Woodpecker, and Golden Oriole etc can often be seen near the lake.
One can also enjoy Boating, water sports and water Ski Wular lake as these have been recently launched by J&K Tourism.
Besides this Wular Lake also serves as the livelihood source for thousands of fishermen.