Updated: Nov 16, 2022
If Gurez valley of Kashmir is alien to you, so it is to many travellers across India and world who travel to this beautiful part of the globe.
“It is amazing” is the most common expletive you hear from travellers who visit the valley, true this valley is cut off for almost six months because of the heavy snow but you cannot miss visiting the valley if you visiting Kashmir during summer.
Merely 4 hours drive from Srinagar about 140 KMs, what is amazing that the drive is through the interior of Kashmir mostly Villages which is fascinating as you get to see the people, local houses and amazing landscape on both sides of the road.
On way to Gurez Valley the first major halt is at Bandipora where you find the famous Wular Lake- well you heard a lot about Dal Lake but Wular Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia – yes that is right! You drive further you reach Yali and here is where you would like to stop and refresh your soul with breath taking beauty.
Enroute you will see the herd of sheep crossing the roads or climbing the mountains and when they travel in numbers it is musical orchestra of a different kind for sure. One word of caution, Gurez Valley is quite near to Border and you would be required to register yourself before you enter the Gurez valley, so don’t forget to carry your identity proof.
Enroute you will find small eating stalls [Dhabhas] to enjoy hot noodles, tea, snacks and enjoy while you appreciate the scenic beauty. Gurez has many camping sites and spots that you can choose near the river flowing, you also have many guest houses should you choose not to camp. There are no star hotels at the valley so the place is still virgin in that respect- raw and natural beauty!
The most beautiful attraction of Gurez Valley is the Neelam River which flows to the other side of border, the water is simply pristine splashing over the rocky stones and in continuous melody during day and night.
The entire valley is between mountains which is an experience to feel than describe. One can drive further to also the last village on Indian side and explore and experience how people live in log huts and make use of the natural resources to survive on day-to-day basis.
If you are a traveller and love mountains, rivers, gorges, living in camps and enjoy the beauty you can simply not miss visiting Gurez valley. The good news is that lot of hospitality companies, local tour operators and guides are promoting and exposing this beautiful place to tourists and one can book nature tours and treks and just go!