Places of Interests

Tulail Valley

Enchanted surroundings, snow-clad peaks, turquoise-colored lakes, gushing rivers, and picturesque valleys are a few elements that add to the charm of a mountainous region. Even the Tulail Valley does not fall short of this appreciation rather it has many majestic features that make it one of the ideal tourist destinations in India. Tulail valley is a famous valley in Gurez. This valley inhabits a village which has the population of the original dard and shina tribes. 

Tulail Valley Kashmir is still a less-explored tourist destination in India. Though this valley is away from the lenses of the mainstream traveling destination list, it meets the criteria of a perfect tourist destination. This valley is a perfect site that gives you quality time to spend with yourself, with nature, and with your loved ones. The place is especially famous as a trekking site.

To have an organized traveling plan to Tulail, the team of Cliffhangers India is a perfect travel agency. The agency is an expert in traveling through the extensive regions of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

KishangangaRiver

As you climb down Razdan Pass and enter Gurez Valley, you will be greeted by the restless, noisy, and beautiful Kishen Ganga River. It passes through Gurez before finally merging into the Jhelum River near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. In Pakistan, it is known as the Neelum River and forms the beautiful Neelum Valley.

Rafting can be done in the Kishenganga river but arrangements for that will have to be made from Srinagar itself. Trout fishing is a frequent sport among locals and you can try your hand at it too if fishing interests you.

Another activity that you can indulge yourself in is camping near the river. There are several camping spots where you can pitch your tent in Dawar. With the recent increase in tourism in the valley, a few campsites have also become operational.

Kishanganga River Lake

Just Before Dawar, You will come across the Dam on the Kisanganga River that takes the form of a large lake, like in the picture below. It is a great spot to stop and click some pictures.

I will recommend being around the dam at the time of sunrise if you want to get some good shots. Otherwise, just take a short break here while driving to or from Dawar and enjoy the views.

Habba Khatoon Peak

This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Gurez Valley. Habba Khatoon in real life was a poetess whose husband, the king of Kashmir, was captured and imprisoned by Akbar during his conquest of Kashmir. Now the name stands for a mountain that overlooks Dawar, the central township of Gurez. A film starring Dimple Kapadia was also planned on the life of Habba Khatoon but it was never finalized.

I have provided more details on the poetess and her life in a different article, The Life and Legend of Habba Khatoon. It is said that she still wanders around here at the mountain in search of her husband.Spooky? Maybe, but the mountain definitely looks gorgeous with the Kishenganga River flowing in its shadow. It is visible from the entire town but you get its best view while sitting on the banks of the river.

The best time to view this majestic peak is either at the time of sunset or sunrise. It turns a little golden in the early or late hours of the day and presents a perfect photographic opportunity.

Habba Khatoom Waterfall

It is a small stream of underground water that emerges from Habba Khatoon peak and flows down into the Kishenganga river. Locally, it is referred to as ‘Habba Khatoon ka Chashma’. It will be wrong to actually call it a waterfall.

It is just a small stream of water and to be honest, there is nothing great about it. The spot where this small waterfall is however very scenic, in the middle of the forest. You will have to leave your car parked and walk for about 500 meters to get to the water stream.

There are two things that I really liked about it though. It is possibly the coldest water that I have ever touched. I am not comparing it with frozen lakes or glacial waters because that is something entirely different. But for a flowing stream of underground water, I have not found one colder than this. The second thing is the taste of the water. I know water does not actually have a taste of its own but it really feels good and very refreshing. Try it out while you were there and you will know what I mean.

Just ask any of the locals around and they can point you in the direction of this small waterfall. You will have to cross the river after Dawar and go to the left side after registering yourself at the Army check post in order to reach this spot.

The Marsh

Ok so it is not really called the Marsh and that is a name that I just made up. But I do not really know what else to call this place. Take a look at the picture below. This is the spot where the old town of Dawar actually was. But after the dam was built on the Kisheganga river, this area got flooded and the houses were relocated.

What you get now is a small swamp-like area that is perfect to view the sunset and also get some long-exposure evening shots. Walking around in the mud is also fun. The trunks of the cut-down trees popping out of the water add to the overall charm of the place.

What you get now is a small swamp-like area that is perfect to view the sunset and also get some long-exposure evening shots. Walking around in the mud is also fun. The trunks of the cut-down trees popping out of the water add to the overall charm of the place. It is at the far end of Dawar town, after the market. You can ask the locals for directions. Right next to this marsh is also the spot where the campsites in Dawar are.

 

Khandiyal Top

It is the top of a hillock that offers a 360-degree view of the entire Dawar town, the Kishenganga dam lake, and the surrounding villages. It is another good spot to see sunrise and sunset. To get here, you need to take the road going uphill near the petrol pump. Drive as far as you can, leave your car parked, and then walk to the top. The roads will get a little narrow and confusing so ask for directions.

Loghut Cafe

It is a small cafe run by the Indian Army. Until a couple of years ago, it was just a wet canteen frequented by Indian soldiers. But now, it is a very fancy and modern-looking cafe that is a favorite spot to hang out, both for tourists and locals.

Chorwan Village

It is a small village a few kilometers from Dawar that is extremely close to the border. The last time I was in Gurez, I heard that it is now being developed for border tourism but I think that is just an idea for now. I am not sure when will it really happen. You cannot go all the way to the village and will be stopped at the Army check post. But go as far as you can. The views on the way are quite amazing.

Tilel District

The majority of the tourists come as far as Dawar town and return to Srinagar from there. But trust me when I say this, the relay beauty of Gurez Valley is beyond that, as you drive into the Tilel region. The only catch however is that the tarred road also ends in Dawar. Beyond that is only a badly broken dirt trail that will test your vehicle’s suspension and your stomach. It will be a terrible drive, yes, but what you get in return are views that are bound to charm you.

Chakwali

Chakwali is the last village in the Tilel District that you tourists can travel to. This is where the road currently ends and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir begins to your left.

Razdan Pass

This is the first and only high-altitude pass in your journey between Srinagar and Gurez. At a height of 3,300 meters, it provides some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains and the gorges. The climb to the pass is not really that steep but the road may get a little bad on both the Srinagar and Gurez sides. You must stop here for a minute to enjoy the views and get some amazing photographs.

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