Gurez Valley Kashmir : Possibilities , planning and things to do.

Gurez Valley Travel Guide

Gurez is a valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kms from Bandipora and 123 kms from Srinagar in northern Jammu and Kashmir. At about 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, the valley is surrounded by snowcapped mountains. It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan brown bear and the snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through the valley. The road to Gilgit runs through Gurez. Gurez is divided into three regions. The area from Toabat to Sharda Peeth is administered by Pakistan as Neelum District, that between Kamri and Minimarg is part of the Astore District, Northern Areas, Pakistan, and that from Toabat to Abdullae Tulail is known as Tehsil Gurez, and is part of Bandipora district. People of Gurez valley are Dards, they speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit valley now in Pakistan. The feature and attire of the Dards are similar to Kashmiri people of mountain region. Though Gurez is a far flung area but the people of the Dard race have uplifted themselves by the hard work and proper education. Dard women are fair with athletic built, who spend the summer in collecting wood from mountains for the harsh winter; when it is impossible to move in 20 feet out side. Ultimate adventure destination to the north of Kashrnir, Gurez, is a gateway to the famous silk route across central Asia. The pyramid shaped peak named after famous Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon is most fascinating peak of Kashmir. The emperor Yusuf Shah Chak who is said to be a Dard from Gilgit entered into Kashmir through Gurez. It is believed that when emperor was imprisoned by the King Akbar, his beloved Habba Khatoon used to wander near the peak to look for her lover. The roar of mighty Kishan-Ganga River flowing across the valley, resonates with surrounding mountains that lulls a visitors to sound sleep.The traditional log wood houses make Gurez no less than a European country side. The trekking Routes from Gurez and Tilel lead up to Gangabal and Sonamarg to its east and Drass, Dahanu and Zanskar to its north. The Kishen Ganga River in Gurez offers easy level of stream for Rafting and tough ones from Tilel. Some of the mountains have absolutely challenging scope for Rock Climbing.Trout fishing is a frequent sport among locals who through in a line to get decent meal for the day. Anglers can be delighted to catch a brown trout in the Kishen Ganga River or the streams coming down from the mountains. Gurez has lovely campsites where the tents can be pitched near the river. 20 km from Gurez,the awesome villages of Tilel have log wood houses which perfectly add to the magnificent view of mountains full of pine and fir trees. The road from Gurez to Tilel is just 7 years old, which has been extended upto Drass in Kargil region. The rugged and tough life of people of Tilel can make a visitor to contribute for promotion of the destination in one way or the other.

Best Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Gurez Valley

The natural beauty of the area will be high on the list. Gurez’s scenery is truly quite distinct from that of the rest of Kashmir. The enormous green landscape encircled by snow-capped peaks will undoubtedly have an impression on you.Having said that, there are a few spots that can be considered the main attractions of a visit to Gurez. However, for a quick overview, here is a list of top tourist attractions in Gurez Valley.

Kishanganga aka Neelam

The Kishanganga is the main River flowing through the enchanting Gurez Valley rising in the Kishansar Lake (which is a part of the Group of Lakes commonly referred to as the Great Lakes) and flowing through some great Mountain scenery until its confluence with the Jhelum around Muzaffarabad in Pakistani held Kashmir. The River was renamed as the Neelam in Pakistan in the 1950s. Old Maps and Books still refer to it as the Kishanganga. The River as mentioned originates at the Kishansar Lake which lies in the Mountains above Sonamarg and is joined by the Raman Sind and then it flows in a Western direction and enters Gurez where its joined by the Burzil Nallah which comes down from the direction of the Burzil Pass which was the Pass on the Trade Route which connected Kashmir with Astore and Gilgit. Of course now the Route is not used anymore and Burzil Pass is on the Pakistani side.
The Kishanganga is the main River flowing through the enchanting Gurez Valley rising in the Kishansar Lake (which is a part of the Group of Lakes commonly referred to as the Great Lakes) and flowing through some great Mountain scenery until its confluence with the Jhelum around Muzaffarabad in Pakistani held Kashmir.
Gurez's most formidable peak is Habba Khatoon around which quaint legends abound and at one time, even a film starring Dimple Kapadia was planned.

Habba Khatoon Peak

Gurez's most formidable peak is Habba Khatoon around which quaint legends abound and at one time, even a film starring Dimple Kapadia was planned. This pyramid shaped peak has been named after famous Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon. The emperor of Kashmir Yousuf Shah Chak (18th century) was enamored by her beauty, intelligence and poetry. He got Habba Khatoon divorced and married her. Emperor Yousuf Shah Chak was a Dard Shin from Gilgit and entered into Kashmir through Gurez.

Habba Khatoon Spring

The main exquisite thing is Habba Khatoon Spring (locally known as Habba Khatoon Uch ), located on the outskirts of Achoora Village, through which the lucid water gushes out. It is believed that Habba Khatoon once took water in an earthen pot (Clay Handi) from the nearby river, upon moving towards her hut the pot fell down and broke which then gave rise to a spring at the same spot.
The water of this spring is sweetest besides having medicinal properties, so bone-chilling that you can’t finish even one full glass and you cant place your feet or hands more than a couple of seconds inside it. Play a game with your friends, whosoever spends more time by dipping their feet inside this water, wins. You will truly enjoy it.
Nilnag Lake in Yusmarg
About Dudh Ganga River in Yusmarg, Kashmir

Dudh Ganga River

Flowing through the beautiful Yusmarg, Dudh Ganga is a gorgeous river known for its water that appears milky in colour. The river is rich in the population of trout fishes and thus, is considered one of the best angling & fishing destinations in Kashmir. Dudh Ganga also acts as a perfect base for many trekking expeditions. Trekkers set out for popular treks in Sang-e-Safed Valley, Tatakoti, Romesh Thong and Sunset Peak after camping at Dudh Ganga.


Sang-e-Safed is an oval-shaped meadow that divides the stream of Doodh Ganga. The site is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Yusmarg. On the route to Sang-e-Safed, tourists can visit several other meadows, such as Haigin and Liddermar. Haigin is an extremely picturesque meadow situated around 4 km from Yusmarg. Sang-e-Safed, meaning white rocks, is surrounded by large pine trees and makes for a popular picnic spot.
‘Sang-e-Safed’ translates to ‘White Stone,’ a name fittingly bestowed upon this paradise due to the glistening white stones. They dot its landscape like pearls on a celestial tapestry. The valley is embraced by a multitude of flora, with vibrant wildflowers painting the valley floor.


Summer season, which starts in March and ends in June, are the best months to explore Yusmarg. During this time, the weather remains quite pleasant, flowers are in full bloom, and you can enjoy a variety of activities like horse riding, trekking, trout fishing and sightseeing.

There are two accommodation options in Yusmarg, JKTDC Tourist Bungalows and huts, for which bookings have to be made beforehand. Both of them offer basic facilities, and you can stay in them with your families. However, if you want to stay only in a hotel, you will have to book a hotel at Srinagar, where both luxury and budget hotels are available, besides a houseboat experience.

You can try out a lot of activities and enjoy sightseeing during your holidays in Yusmarg. Some of the top tourist attractions which you can explore are Pakherpora Shrine, Charar-e-Sharif, Nilang Lake, Doodhganga and Sang-e-Safed. Popular activities to enjoy in Yusmarg are trekking, horse riding and trout fishing.


Located in Bagdam district, Meadows of Jesus or Yusmarg is known for its long stretches of green pastures. An ideal tourist attraction that in its humblest of ways teaches to revere nature, Yusmarg is a proud part of the Valley of Kashmir. Embark on trails that lead to exotic places like Sang-e-Safed Valley and Nilnag.

Yusmarg is a beautiful meadow located about 47 km southwest of Srinagar and is also known for its scenic beauty. It is a great place to go for a picnic or hike, but it may not have as many attractions as Sonmarg.

The Doodh Ganga is a tributary of the Jhelum that flows from the upper reaches of Yusmarg called Chazken Naad and Lidermarg. The river originates from Pir Panjal glaciers near Tatakoti mountain peak.
Catch a bus from Lal Chowk in Srinagar for Budgam. On the Magam route, you need to get down at Budgam to take a shared taxi for Khan Sahib. On a different route, there are chances that your bus may pass through Khan Sahib on the way to Budgam, so keep your ears open. From Khan Sahib, take a cab to Doodhpathri.
The Dudhaganga (or Dudhganga, Doodhganga) is a right-bank tributary river of the Krishna in western India. It rises in kolhapur district of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats and flows eastward through the Kolhapur and Belgaum districts in Karnataka before joining the Krishna.
Doodhpathri is famous because a famous sufi saint prayed there. The doodhpathri name was given by the famous saint of Kashmir Sheikh ul Aalam Sheikh Noor din Noorani (locally known as Alamdar Kashmir).
Yes, it is absolutely safe to visit Doodhpathri . You can visit doodhpathri any time of the year.
Nilnag (literal translation “blue-water lake,” Kashmiri pronunciation: [nɪl nɑːɡ]) is a freshwater lake 5 km (3.1 mi) away from Yousmarg in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is around 47 km (29 mi) away from Srinagar, the summer capital of the union territory. The lake is famous for its turquoise water.

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