Enjoy the adventure and romance of a backwaters journey through rural Kashmir, drifting slowly down the serene Jhelum river, a tributary of the Indus lined with poplar and chinar trees. Travel in the comfort of a shikara style Kashmiri gondola, reclining on a soft backed day bed shaded by an elegant canopy and watch the world go by as two boatmen with heart shaped paddles take you past beautiful countryside dotted with rural villages on a journey from Dal Lake with its famous antique houseboats and the ancient atmospheric trading town of Srinagar down river to explore the quieter and less visited lakes of Mansabal and Wular.
Day 1: Arrive Srinagar
Transfer to the luxury of Sukoon houseboat. After a welcome drink spend the afternoon either at leisure relaxing on Sukoon’s sun deck admiring the fabulous views of life on Dal lake and the mountain scenery or take a sun set shikara ride to explore the network of canals between local villages built on stilts above the lake with floating markets and shops.
Day 2: Dal Lake to Manasbal Lake
Our water safari starts with a Classic Moghul and Raj-era journey from Dal Lake to Manasbal Lake. From the bustling networks of Venetian style canals and vintage bridges of Srinagar on the shore of Dal Lake the Jhelum flows west through open country past rural riverside mosques and temples to Manasbal, the deepest lake in Kashmir, famed as a stopover for migratory birds, and an abundance of water lilies and lotus blooms floating on its clear waters. Overnight in deluxe comfortable Alpine tents. on the pristine shore of Manasbal Lake.
Day 03: Manasbal to Wular Lake.
This morning we will continue our water safari by paddling along the intricate waterways of the Jhelum to Walur Lake renowned for its rich harvests of water chestnuts and fresh fish. Once here we will be paddled around the scenic lake and can go ashore at Watlab where we can visit the famous Muslim Sufi shrine of Baba Shukar Din. We will then arrive at our camp on the banks of Wular Lake to enjoy another night out under the stars in deluxe comfortable Alpine tents.
Day 04: Wular Lake to Sonmarg.
Today we will finish our water safari and drive to Sonmarg, the journey bringing us first to the 8th century Shiva Temple complex at Naranag, then on to the camp where you will be welcomed with cold/hot towels and a hot cup of tea, settle in your tent, which has a double or twin beds with comfortable mattress, Kashmiri carpets, and large windows to enjoy the fabulous views of Sonmarg’s wildflower strewn meadows among a natural amphitheater of snowy Himalayan peaks from your bed! Each tent has its own Toilet and shower tent just at the back. Dinner shall be served under the stars around a bonfire! An overnight at Sonmarg Sukoon Camp.
Day 5: Explore Sonmarg Valley.
After bed tea and breakfast we take about 3 hours walk on the rolling hills to the Gujar (Nomad) Huts at upper Lichpather, as we ascend towards the huts the views towards Sonmarg and across to the Thajawas glaciers get increasingly beautiful .We will be invited into the home of a Gujar family to enjoy a hot cup of salt tea! and have a glimpse of their traditional lifestyle. We continue walking for another hour to the upper meadows to enjoy greater views of the mountain, our lunch will be set up on an ornate carpet in the shade with lovely views. After lunch we walk back to the camp for High Tea and some time at leisure before dinner served under the starts around the campfire. Overnight in your comfortable tent.
Programme ends with breakfast, then make your way to Ladakh or return back to Srinagar.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served daily
May to July & September to Mid October
Nearest Airport: Srinagar: (daily flights from Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, Bangalore) then a 30 min transfer to the Ghat from where a 10 min speed boat transfer to Sukoon Houseboat.
Nearest Railway Station: Udampur railway station 200Kms/ 6hrs drive the breathtaking scenery of the lower Himalaya, surrounded by gentle hillside slopes with villages and pine forest.