Visiting Heaven on Earth Safely as a Tourist | Visiting Kashmir Safely as a Tourist

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two boats on lake

Indeed Kashmir is heaven on earth.

There aren't many places around the world, that people keep on their bucket lists. Kashmir is one of those places, that has gained popularity because of its beautiful valley, and infamous recent past.

Most people that think of going to Kashmir are pilgrims that visit either Vaishno Devi or Amarnath.

These two trips make them think about the beauty of Kashmir and then they feel like going to Kashmir as well. The closest area is Patnitop, which is enjoyed by several tourists every year.

Is Kashmir safe for Tourists?
For tourists, Kashmir has been quite safe, and this is evident as there has been no tourist regarding mishaps specifically.

Although tourists could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, they were never a direct target of any terrorist groups. However, safety depends on an individual.

Whenever we travel to a new place, it is always better to gather as much information as possible. It is always better to stay at well-known and connected places for the first couple of days. It is also advisable to take the help of locals. These all rules are valid while traveling to Kashmir as well.

One should understand that Kashmir is a highly sensitive area and you will be able to see the army on mostly every known road in Kashmir. You will also see military convoys moving on the streets sometimes. Although there is a risk of traveling to a conflict zone, if you ask locals and army personnel, they will always guide you to ways better secured.

You should ensure that you are making informed decisions before visiting Kashmir.

Safety tips for visiting Kashmir
We have covered almost everything that you need to know about visiting Kashmir, but there are a few things that we should keep in mind and we will be much better;

  1. Ensure that you have gathered as much information before your travel about Kashmir: It is not only about Kashmir, but also about the hotels, routes, and tourist destinations. This is important because, you should have an upper hand while traveling, and it is never a good idea to get stuck in a curfew or conflict.
  2. Go via a reputed travel agency or trusted locals: This is again important because reputed travel agencies have good connections with hotels and resorts and they are also able to plan your trip such that you cover most of the things in your short visit to Kashmir.
  3. Stick to the main tourist areas: Tourism plays a large part in the economy of Kashmir, and locals also take care of the tourists. Therefore, it is always better to stick to popular tourist areas such as Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, and Dal Lake, etc.
  4. Always use the main routes: It is never a good idea to explore small lanes and streets on your own while traveling to Kashmir. It is better to stick to the main routes to the popular tourist destinations in Kashmir. 
  5. Don't call for trouble: If you have heard about any issue in any part of Kashmir, don't try to visit it out of curiosity. You don't know whether that area will be a conflict zone. Therefore, it is a better idea to be always aware of your routes and their status and always confirm with the army and locals about the destinations that you are going to visit.
  6. Be away from arguments: This is for any place you visit and not only for Kashmir. One should understand that states that are different from your home town are best explored from the outside. You should never try to go into an argument with locals or any authority as such while traveling to Kashmir. Respect their views, and enjoy your stay.
  7. Have a postpaid sim card: Prepaid sim cards stop after Pathankot, therefore, you should ensure a postpaid sim card is with you for being in contact with others in Jammu and Kashmir and even outside.
  8. Ask before taking photographs: Although you can take photographs in all major tourist areas in Kashmir, it is always a good idea to ask before taking pictures to be sure. This is especially when you do it when you are taking pictures of locals.

Kashmir is one of the best places to visit, and with proper knowledge, we can enjoy our trip much more. The things that we have discussed are common, but it is always good to have as much knowledge as possible before visiting an area.

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