The Old Mughal Road is a beautiful and picturesque highway to Srinagar. Recently resurrected, the road is an alternate and less traveled route between Jammu and Srinagar. The 84KM long road begins in Bafliaz in Poonch district and takes you into the Shopian district of Kashmir via the Pir Panjal Pass. Aptly named, the road was historically used by Mughal Emperors Jahangir and Akbar during their reigns. Towns, forts, ruins and waterfalls along the way have legends linking them back to relics of the past. A must pit stop is Noor- e- cham, a waterfall said to have been a romantic sojourn for Queen Noor Jahan!
The drive down the black top highway, takes approximately four hours, and is a stupendous one along grass-laden meadows with scatterings of charming dhoks (huts) and Mughal ruins. Every turn promises a breathtaking view.
CRPF soldier at Peer Ki Gali, the gateway into Kashmir Valley
Peer ki Gali, the highest pass along the route offers a backdrop of enchanting green pastures and a panoramic view of snow capped mountains. After the pass, the road meanders downhill until it finally terminates in Shopian, some 50 kms short of Srinagar.
Shikaras (boats) on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is renowned for its Mughal gardens and alpine lakes. The somnolent Dal Lake at the heart of the city with its floating bazaars and gardens is a marketplace for everything from handlooms to hair salons and of course, Kawah laced with saffron.
Kahwah, the traditional green tea consumed in the region is a delicious blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron strands and almonds to name a few ingredients.
Pahalgam, 90 Kms outside of Srinagar, is an astoundingly beautiful resort town with deep cut mountain valleys and a meandering (Lidder) river juxtaposed against snow covered mountain peaks.
Flowers in bloom in Pahalgam