Our new Qayaam Driving Adventure program offers an exciting new and unique opportunity for guests to self-drive open top 4WD Mahindra Thar Jeeps through some of India and the world’s most dramatic mountain scenery. On a fully supported 7-day itinerary guests will explore the incredible landscapes that surround our Kashmir properties. Guests will be free to set off in their own time, with personally customised itineraries pausing on-route as the mood takes them with Sukoon houseboat, Camp Sukoon and Qayaam Gah as their base.
The all-new retro cool meets new tech Thar 4x4 Jeep from Mahindra is the perfect all terrain vehicle for stylish, safe and comfortable on and off road driving adventures.
Best Time: Mid May to September
Duration: 7 Days
Highest Point: Zoji La: 3,528mts
2 nights Qayaam Gah/ Srinagar
2 nights, Sukoon Camp/ Thajwas Glacier
2 nights, Sukoon Houseboat/ Dal Lake
Day 1. Arrive at Srinagar airport for transfer in open top 4 wheel drive Mahindra That jeep, climbing through apple orchids and hairpin beds then off road to reach Qayaam Gah, set on a secluded ridge of the Vale of Kashmir high above the calm waters of Dal Lake with a backdrop of the rugged Zabarwan Hills. for a 2 night stay.
Day 2. Wake in the peaceful hillside surroundings of Qayaam Gah, then after a healthy mountain breakfast set off to explore the forests, grasslands and rural villages of the Dachihgam National park and Dara mountains side with a picnic trout lunch on banks of a mountain stream. Drive back to Qayaam Gah for High Tea on Qalb offer great views of the Lake and surrounding mountains.
Day 3. After breakfast take a 3 hrs mountain drive along the tumbling Sindh river to the alpine meadow of the Sonamarg Valley. Our Sukoon Camp located on a peaceful hillside above the rivers and hill station of the valley, offering superb views of the snow-covered mountains is reach by 15/20 min walk from where we leave our Jeeps.
Day 4. Today we leave early to take adventurous 2/3 hours 65 mile drive along one of the most spectacular roads on earth, the trans mountain highway linking Kashmir over the Zoji Pass to the Indus Valley and the Tibetan Plateau via Drass, the second coldest inhabited place on earth. and Gateway to Ladakh. After a picnic lunch at a scenic sport offer great views of Himalaya we drive back to our camp in Sonmarg where campfire and a samovar of steaming kehwa saffron tea will be waiting for us. Dinner will be served under the stars reflecting on our adventurous drive.
Day 5. After breakfast we set off on an exciting, leisurely 3 hour drive back to Srinagar via traditional local mountain villages stopping off at the ancient Hindu pilgrimage site and temple complex of Naranag. Arriving in time for high tea on board Sukoon Houseboat mored in the tranquil waters on Dal Lake and an evening enjoying diner on deck with live Sufi music.
Day 6. The day begins with the tradition morning ritual of a ‘bed tea’ - Kashmiri style laced with saffron and cardamon, milky Indian masala chai, tippy Assam and aromatic Darjeeling brews are all on offer. After breakfast on deck we will set off on a guided walking tour of Srinagar’s atmospheric old city. Starting at Zaina Kadal bridge we will enter a living museum of Islamic architecture and lively bazaars piled high with local treats like walnuts, apricots, red chillies and honey as well as many tempting pashminas and beautifully embroided shawls. We will visit the Patthar Masjid or “slipper mosque”, the exquisitely decorated sufi shrine Khanqah of Shah Hamadan, the Zain Ul Abedin tomb with its silk road style Byzantine domes and the 370 wooden pillared Jama Masjid with a lunch break at authentic Kashmiri restaurant in the old city. The Last stop will be the hilltop Shankarachariya Temple reached just before sunset for the glorious view it offers. After sundown you will be escorted back to Sukoon for dinner and retire for the day.
Day 7. After watching the lake come to life over breakfast on board Sukoon transfer to the airport.