Published on : Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Thanks to the growing emphasis on authentic and cultural experiences, group tours are now more popular than ever, with the list of tours being limited only by your imagination! Along with this, group tours also offer numerous other advantages over independent travel. For instance, someone else always takes care of details like flights, hotels, sights, meals and, often, costs are lower than if you planned it yourself. Group tours also have the added advantage of a local guide who can really deepen your knowledge of a particular place.
Let’s take the instance of a group tour to Kashmir, with Srinagar as an ideal starting point. The summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar is a visual delight of houseboats, Kashmiri wooden mosques and historic gardens, like the Mughal Gardens, Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh. The next stop on this amazing journey would be Gulmarg. One of the most spectacular locations to visit in winters, Gulmarg is Kashmir’s winter resort. Following that, Pahalgam, also known as the Valley of Shepherds, is Kashmir’s most famous hill-station, with a river flowing right in the center.
On the other hand, if you dream of treading the virgin paths, then the spectacular lake treks that the valley offers is absolutely perfect. Another spectacular option is the highly recommended camping route across the valley. Or you can even visit Shokhdaran, Vishnasar, that’s just a short drive from Srinagar. During the journey, you can explore the Nichnai forests, with a steep descent over rocky terrain, after which you enter a gorgeous flower meadow, and then continue on to Vishnasar, where you can camp the night.
If some nature walks are what you crave for, then a walk to Krishnasar from Vishnasar is highly recommended. An isolated and undisturbed terrain, Krishnasar is reported to be one of the best spots for fishing. This can also be teamed up with a trek to Gadsar where, on the way, you’ll encounter snow-white glaciers, followed by some easy walking through wildflower meadows to Gadsar. Also visit the beautiful Naranag village and witness the beauty of the ancient temples of the region.
Though there are many travel companies that offer group tours to Kashmir, Nirvana Excursions, a boutique travel company based in Mumbai is one that really stands out from the rest as all their tours have been personally handpicked and finalized by the founders.
“Our priority is always to acquaint ourselves with the on-ground reality of the country we’re travelling to,” says Nidhi Batra, Nirvana’s co-founder. “Every tour that Nirvana plans is first experienced, from start to finish, by us and we make it a point to travel just as a guest might. We stay on the same property and rooms that we offer our guests, conduct a spot check on the coach that will be taking them around during the travel, have our meals at the same place where the guests would be served and visit every local sightseeing spot that would be part of the itinerary. That’s why every tour is as good as a personal recommendation from us.”
“At Nirvana, we sincerely believe in creating long-lasting memories for every traveller, and this strong conviction will be reflected in our newly-launched handpicked group tours to Kashmir. Every single detail, right from the food served, to the vehicles, to the service provided by the hotels to the standard of the hotel properties, has the Nirvana approval mark on it, while being well within budget for every traveller. “