I’ve been wanting to go to Kashmir since I went to India last February 2016 (will blog about that later) And as luck would have it, I met one Kashmiris through one of my Instagram post. We formed a friendship and the rest is history. Though one might doubt friendship base on Social Media where trust may be an issue, I have no problem with it (yet).
This Kashmiri friend of mine have a houseboat business in Nageen Lake, Kashmir. Most of the houseboats you’ll look up in Google focused at Dal Lake and will be a bit crowded for people who love to enjoy nature quietly, but Nageen Lake is just besides Dal Lake and less crowded. You may want to choose here for your holiday. Have you ever stayed on a houseboat for your holiday? I haven’t yet. And in Kashmir too! A heaven on earth.
“Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.”
If there is ever a heaven on earth, its here, its here, its here.
So what is this houseboat about? I’ll paste here what my friend forward to me:
Heaven Breeze, Group of House Boats is located close to the old city of Srinagar, and offers a breathtaking view on the idyllic and peaceful open Nageen Lake.
The houseboat, built in classic Kashmiri style, is currently run by Mohammad Shangloo and his lovely and warm family. They are the third generation to enjoy welcoming travellers and making them feel at home. Their delicious home-made Kashmiri food always proves to be a great hit among visitors.
Walking in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who managed one of the first houseboats built by the British in 1880, Mohammad has safely guided travellers on adventurous treks into the mountains and on exciting fishing and hunting escapades for over 50 years. Today, he is working closely with His Grandson Obaid Shangloo, who has also been in the family business since childhood.
Come and enjoy a restful stay at Heaven Breeze by lounging in the traditional Kashmiri sitting room, sipping a cup of tea on the porch while taking in the idyllic view of one of the most beautiful lakes in Kashmir.
Are you tempted? I am. But have to wait for a cheap flight ticket to India first. LOL
OK, so what do you do in Kashmir? Here’s a sample of the itinerary my Kashmiri friend provided.
Duration : 5 Nights / 6 Days
Destination : Srinagar – Sonamarg – Pahalgam – Gulmarg -Srinagar .
Day 1 : Arrive Srinagar
Arrive Srinagar airport, our assistance on arrival & proceed to houseboat, check-in houseboats.
Srinagar is also known as “paradise on earth” & “The Venice of Asia”. After Refreshment leave for Shikara ride on the lake while you will see all the Country side and Floating market Floating Gardens. return evening back to houseboat . Dinner & overnight stay at houseboat
Day 2 : Srinagar – Sonamarg – Excursion
After breakfast leave houseboat & proceed for full day excursion tour of Sonamarg. (9600 fts a.s.l) “The Golden Meadow” Sonamarg is the beginning of the enchanted journey into a natural wonderland. Surrounded by mountains upto 5300 meters high the valley is divided by spur of the “Thajwas Range”. Return back to Srinagar for Dinner & overnight in houseboat
OPTIONAL – One can enjoy Horse ride at Sonamarg
Day 3 : Srinagar – Pahalgam – Excursion
After Breakfast drive to Pahalgam (Valley of Shepherds) – It is a resort set in a pristine village lying next to the Lidder River. It is situated at an altitude of 2,130 m above sea level and has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. The nearby forested slopes are home to the Himalayan brown bear.
After having your lunch at local restaurant, proceed to have bridle walks and feed your cameras with the picture of magnificent view of mountains. Return back to Srinagar for Dinner & overnight in houseboat
OPTIONAL – One can enjoy Horse ride at Pahalgam.
Day 4 : Srinagar – Gulmarg – Excursion
After breakfast full day excursion of Gulmarg – the most beautiful summer resort in the valley. It is popular for its highest golf course and skiing in winters.
You can enjoy a pony ride and also enjoy a Gondola ride (cable car) to Khilanmarg (at your own cost). Return evening back to Srinagar Dinner & overnight in houseboat
OPTIONAL – One can enjoy Gondola ride or Horse ride at Gulmarg
Day 5 : Srinagar ( Local sight seeing )
After breakfast visit the Mughal Gardens, Chashmi-e Shahi (The Royal Spring), Nishat (The Garden of pleasure) & Shalimar Bagh (Abode of Love). In the Afternoon enjoy the shopping around Srinagar , Return evening back to Houseboat , Dinner & Overnight Stay at houseboats
Day 6 : Depart Srinagar
After breakfast check-out houseboats & proceed to Srinagar Airport to board the flight for onwards destination.
So what is the price for all these sightseeing? Rs 36,500
And what does it includes?
>> 1 Double Room 2 PAX
>> 05 Nights accommodation at Srinagar Houseboats / ON MAPAI BASIS (Dinner & Breakfast)
>> Shikara Ride at Nageen Lake and all around
>> All car transfers and sightseeing by per Itinerary.
*MAPAI = Modified American Plan All In, price includes stay with dinner & breakfast
However the price DOES NOT INCLUDE the followings:
>> Medical Insurance.
>> Any other expenses of personal nature
>> Horse ride at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg.
>> Gondola ride (cable car) at Gulmarg
>> Mineral Water/Soft Drinks/Hard drinks, Laundry, and Tips etc.
If you are interested you can contact my Kashmiri friend here:
You can call him Ubiee. If he tries to be funny just inform me, I’ll whack him in the head (Disclaimer: I don’t have any profit gain from this, just promoting my Kashmiri friend’s tour package to you)
Oh! One more thing, this Heaven Breeze Housboat is voted as Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award 2016! How cool is that