A dream destination for many, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is nature’s bliss, featuring snow-clad mountains, wonderful meadows, spectacular views, serene villages, pristine lakes, and peacefully flowing rivers. But like every other place, Jammu and Kashmir also has a few dos and don’ts about which tourists must be aware. Let’s look at a few common do’s and don’ts if you are about to visit Jammu and Kashmir in the near future.
Dos while Touring Jammu and Kashmir
- Carry your original identity cards to avoid hassles at the security checks placed at various places
- Foreigners must carry their passports and preserve them carefully
- Prepaid SIMs don’t work in Kashmir. So, buy a postpaid SIM card.
- Book your hotel in advance, especially during the peak season from April to June.
- Bargain for hotel bookings while visiting the region during other seasons
- Ensure to book a taxi in person and fix the fare before you step into it. Discuss the taxi’s availability, the number of days for which you need it, etc., clearly and in detail.
- During summers, the days may be pleasant; however, the evenings can get cold. So, even if you visit Kashmir in summer, carry warm clothes.
- Carry an umbrella, as the weather across the valley is unpredictable and it may rain anytime.
- If you are on a budget trip, a small group, or a couple, travel in a bus operated by Jammu Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation. JKRTC fares are cheap and traveling long distances by bus is more reliable than taxis.
- Stay prepared physically and mentally while scaling heights, as getting to a few places demand a certain level of physical strength and stamina. High altitude can cause breathing difficulties for many. Consult your doctor to make the necessary arrangements before visiting high-altitude places.
- Keep a set of doctor-prescribed medicines to combat cold, fever, headaches, etc.
- Reaching Srinagar by road can take a lot of time due to the terrain and heavy traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar route. Keep enough time on hand to cover the time these enroute delays may cause.
Don’ts while Journeying across Jammu and Kashmir
Now, let’s see what you shouldn’t do in Jammu and Kashmir. While some pointers are general, some may be experience-based. Not every tourist undergoes the same kind of experience. But you can remember the below and try to avoid unpleasant experiences, as much as possible.
- Avoid traveling by taxi if you are a couple. Taxis have many problems associated with them such as forced suggestions, high tariffs, delays in starting, hurry, shortcuts bypassing many tourist places, etc.
- Refrain from booking a taxi for local traveling. Hire a rickshaw and negotiate to save some money.
- Negotiate fares of pony rides with their owners before hiring one, avoid haggling. Instead, if possible, walk the distance.
- Avoid paying Shikara rates (Dal Lake) displayed on the board. Negotiate to save some money.
- While buying photos from a photographer, be firm on the number of photos and the charge per photo. The photographer might try to sell more photographs than originally decided to make money.
- Don’t book a houseboat without reviewing it in person. Negotiate as much as possible and ask the price, inclusive of breakfast and dinner. Also, remember, you may have to step in a Shikara to connect with the main street from the lake. So, prepare for those charges as well as the commuting time.
- Avoid discussing Kashmir-related or local issues with the locals or with anyone for that matter. Behave as responsible tourists and avoid getting into arguments. Remember, you are a tourist and a visitor to the region. So, behave accordingly to enjoy without any hassles.
We hope these pointers help you make your Kashmir trip a hassle-free, pleasant, and memorable one.