Current Situation in Kashmir for Tourists | Srinagar Tourism

The ongoing political situation has been troublesome for tourists planning trips to Kashmir in 2018. There had been a decline of over 50% footfall in Srinagar, Kashmir in 2017. Foreign, as well as domestic travelers, are worried about the current situation in Srinagar for tourists. We have updated this post with current status in Kashmir since June 2017 and salute the spirit of tourists who continue to visit the valley inspite of media reports. Srinagar tourism along with the warm hospitality of the people of Srinagar deserves a special mention for having stood the test of time. We hope to see a steep rise in Srinagar tourism in the comings months and wish you an enjoyable trip to the 'Switzerland of India'.

Is it safe to travel to Srinagar now?

There have been reports of Stone pelting on tourist cars and long traffic jams in April 2018. Also, travelers have reported that Mobile as well as Internet shutdown has been imposed at certain areas. Shops and old city have been imposed with curfews making them avoid these places. If you are looking for 100% safe trip, then it is not safe to visit Kashmir for the time being. Tourists are advised to travel with local and trustworthy drivers for a safe trip. 

Srinagar News Update

2018 Updates

April 2018 - Cases of stone pelting on tourist cars.

March 2018 - State Govt supports tourism, Tourists rush for Tulips

February 2018 - Couples choosing Srinagar this Valentine

January 2018 - Snowfall embraces valley

Updates for the Year 2017


Srinagar Tourism

Read our complete guide on Srinagar Tourism with 


We interacted with a tourists who had recently been to Kashmir to get an update on the situation. Further, we asked our trusted guides to take videos and images of the tourist attractions in Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. The photos and videos are placed in the last section of the article. We will be updating this post on the current situation in Kashmir for tourists every month for benefit of travelers. Also, don't forget to read status updates from travelers in Kashmir now, given in the last section of this article. If you wish to travel to Srinagar and are unsure of money-refund on any emergency cancellation of the trip due to the current situation, read about "Safe Kashmir Tour Package" which gives 100% refund on any political unrest. Also, you may read the "Safety Tips", which will be helpful to you if you are traveling to Srinagar, Kashmir in 2018.

We have discovered that there are two faces of the situation there. The media which has over-amplified the situation in Kashmir signals a clear “No - Go” for tourists. On the other hand, tour operators who are losing business due to footfall, are saying “everything is fine out there”. In our opinion, the current situation for tourists in Srinagar is quite gray and therefore, we will tell you both sides of the story. We hope this post helps you in making an informed decision on whether to travel to Srinagar or not.


 

The Bad Side - Breaking Myths

Myth : The situation is normal as just as usual.  

Fact : You will not get 100% of the trip.

In this section, we are going to highlight why you should not go to Srinagar, Kashmir this season. Even if you are going, you should be careful about certain aspects mentioned below:-

 

Extra Hours on Road

The tour operators who are only interested to see you go to Kashmir will definitely tell you everything is fine. It is true that you will not find stone-pelters and agitators on the tourist points as locals would not like to disrupt tourism. However, you may find some diversions and traffic jams while going from Srinagar to Sonamarg or from Srinagar to Pahalgam. This will likely delay your journey by an hour or two.

 

Offbeat is out of bound

If you are looking to visit offbeat destinations like Bangus Valley or the ones described in our Offbeat Srinagar Guide, it is going to be difficult to obtain required permission. If you stick to Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Yusmarg and Srinagar, then it is likely to be fine. Also, don’t plan offbeat destinations in advance though you may take a call once you are there. You should completely forget about exploring old city, Lal Chowk, etc due to the curfew imposed in these specific areas. 

 

What can go wrong

No one is likely to come inside your hotel to trouble you. Tourist attractions are also safe for tourists. The agitations can only affect your transfers from one city to another. In the worst case, you may have to spend a day extra at Pahalgam and skip Gulmarg or vice versa but you still get to enjoy your holiday in the lovely Kashmir valley. It is recommended to reach SRinagar a day or two in advance in case you have a connecting flight back home. 

 

Cases of tourists being hit

There has been just one case, when one tourist namely Abjeet Yadav, was hit by stone pelters at Anantnag. There has been no such cases in tourist places like Pahalgam, Srinagar or Gulmarg.


 

The Good Side - Breaking Myths

Myth : It’s too risky to travel to Srinagar.

Fact : If you are okay with skipping offbeat destinations and fine with enjoying 80% of your tour, then you should definitely go to Srinagar. The good part is that you are going to pay way too less.

Separatists are not against tourists

Tourism is one of the most important sources of revenue for Kashmir. The locals in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam and other tourist places earn their livelihood from globetrotters. In spite of any political situation, they are unlikely to stop their own earning means. Even the separatists would not like to hurt the income of local Kashmiris. Therefore, agitations are kept out of the way of crowd pullers. 

 

Srinagar Tourism in off season rates

It is a fact that there has been at least 50% decrease in footfall in Srinagar. This has led to fall in prices of Srinagar flight, tour packages, hotels and even taxi fares. You can bargain much more while buying carpets, kesar (saffron), handicrafts and other souvenirs. to avoid being cheated, keeping your shopping guide handy. You are likely to save at least 25% - 30% on your tour by visiting Srinagar in this season, compared to the same trip next year (I hope the situation improves by next year).


Safe Kashmir Tour Package

We have been operating  “Safe Kashmir Paradise” tour, specially crafted for the current situation in Kashmir. In the present scenario, the most important part of your trip is going to be your drivers/ car-hire. We have ensured that tour packages offered by us are operated by trustworthy drivers/ car-hire. The unbeatable features of the package are:

  • 100% refund on cancellation due to present situation in Kashmir
  • Free of cost partial changes to itinerary, due to inability to reach Pahalgam, Gulmarg or Sonamarg
  • If you can find better hotel prices than us, book car-only tour without hotels. 
  • Car-only tours at cheaper rates than Srinagar Taxi rate cards.
  • Cheaper than do-it-yourself or any online tour
  • Complete Flexibility in the number of days.
  • Choose Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Srinagar in any order or skip one, as per your choice.
  • Complimentary: Shikara Ride at Dal Lake

Quote for Package

06 Days 05 Night with Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Srinagar with Car

  • Three Star hotels with Car - 15000/- per person - 13000/- before 15 April
  • Four Star hotels with Car - 20000/- per person - 17250/- before 15 April
  • Unpublished Rates of Khyber and Taj Vivanta - Ask us the price
  • Car only tour, without hotels - 5500/- per person - 5000/- before 15 April

Send us a query for Kashmri Safe Tour Package Now or send us email at srinagar (at) tripscam (dot) com

  • Book your hotels and car both with us - Prices cheaper than rate cards
  • Book hotels and car both with us - Prices cheaper than doing it yourself

 

Tips for traveling in Kashmir in 2018

 

Your driver is your best friend

As we have explained above, the only risk to your tour is on the routes from Gulmarg-Srinagar, Pahalgam-Srinagar. A good driver can take safe diversions and ensure you have a hassle-free journey. A trustworthy driver is all the help you need to make your Srinagar tour safe and enjoyable.

 

It is fine to take your children with you

We have read reports of travelers regretting they didn't take their children with them due to the current situation in Srinagar. If it is safe for you, it's safe for your children as well.

 

Try reaching Srinagar two days before your departure

You should keep your itinerary such that you reach Srinagar two days before your departure from Kashmir. This will be helpful to you so that you do not miss your flight in case you get stuck in Pahalgam or Gulmarg. We have drafted a good itinerary for the same. You may check the itinerary in our tour package below

 

Keep one day extra in your trip

If it is possible for you, keep a day extra at Srinagar or Pahalgam. The hotels are cheaper this season and therefore, it's not going to add a lot of money to your budget. However, the extra day will ensure a more relaxing holiday and a fall-back option in case of any eventualities. 

 

Carry your Medicines and Essential

Please make sure to carry your medicines, essential items for kids, milk powder for infants etc before arriving at Srinagar as medical shops may close early at 7 P.M. or remain shut throughout on a particular day.


What is the Current Situation in Kashmir?

 


What tourists are saying about Safe Kashmir Paradise Tour

"The driver allocated by them Gulzar Bhai was amazing. He suggested us places to go. In fact on the second day there was a bandh observed in Srinagar, however, we never got to realize the same. Gulzar took us through different routes. He was understanding since I have a three-year-old who has motion sickness, we stopped every hour. " - Poojari Neeta Krishna

"Our short trip to Kashmir was supposed to be a surprise birthday gift for my 75-year-old mom. The package from Tripscam solutions did not disappoint us one bit. Sincere advice and genuine hospitable people made this trip to Kashmir very memorable. " - Neeta

Read our full reviews on our Facebook page.


 

Updates for the year 2018

Status update on 14 Apr 18 

Recently, two of our travel groups on Kashmir tour has given us feedback of 'Stone-Pelting' on their tourist cars. Also, there have been reports of long traffic jams on Sonamarg Trip. Safety of tourists is of primary concern to Tripscam solutions and hence, we are closing down our 'Safe Srinagar Tour Package" for time being. 

Status update on 02 Apr 2018

Pictures are worth a thousand words and videos are over a million. These are videos shared publically by tourists on Facebook.

Current Situation in Gulmarg for Tourists - Video on 01 April 2018

Current Situation in Gulmarg for Tourists - Video on 01 April 2018

Status update on 27 Mar 18

State Government appears all set to promote Kashmir Tourism and leaving no stone unturned to bring Srinagar Tourism back to its good old days. 

Militancy can't hold us back - Priya Sethi, State Tourism Minister

Tourism minister talked about the plan of action for increasing tourist facilities in Srinagar in this article on Indian Express. Even the opposition has asked the Government to involve small and medium scale stakeholders like houseboat owners and hoteliers in promoting Srinagar Tourism (source - Indian Express). In a bid to revive Kashmir tourism, the Travel Agents Association of India has organised 4 day tourism conference in Srinagar, beginning today. Directives were issued to security agencies to reduce security imprints and even beautify their bunkers to promote Srinagar Tourism (Source).

Tulip festival began in Tulip Garden Srinagar on 25th March till the second week of April. You may read complete details of Tulip Festival 2018 here. The festival has seen many travel enthusiasts rushing to the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

March has also brought some good news for our company as we have sold 100 tour packages to Kashmir, since we introduced our Safe Kashmir Tour Package, back in June 2017. Travelers have really liked our offering of 100% refund on cancellation due to political situation and have left rave reviews for us on our facebook page. We thank our readers and travelers for trusting us in our bid to revive Srinagar Tourism. Send us a query for Kashmri Safe Tour Package Now.

Status update on 04 Feb 18

Dal and Nigeen Lake is no more frozen and looking beautiful. It is important to note that tourists have been visiting the valley without any difficulty in past few months. Our representatives met Srinagar Travel agents at SATTE - 2018 in New Delhi on 01 Feb 18. The tourism industry in Kashmir is expecting an increase in the number of tourists in the year 2018 with a dry spell in the last one and half years. A lot of tourists are sending queries for February to us through our Live - Chat and they are preferring the week around Valentine's day. Tourists are choosing Yousmarg for a day trip over Sonamarg in this season.

Status update on 23 Jan 18

Kashmir valley is embraced with snowfall with Pahalgam and Gulmarg turning 'Snow-White'. Sonmarg hotels are closed for tourists. The number of tourists certainly declined in January, not due to political situation but the weather. However, the tourists looking for snow-covered mountains are still heading to Pahalgam and Gulmarg.


Updates for the year 2017

Status Update on 19 Jun 17

What tourists are saying:-

Went from Delhi to Patnitop on 17th June. Covered Patnitop to Srinagar today. All routes are open. No problems at all. Heavy, very very heavy security all around. But nothing to be scared of.  Start your trip early in the morning to avoid traffic. Will attempt Kargil tomorrow and then Leh. If internet works, I'll surely post an update!

Dear all, we have reached Kargil now. Stayed at Srinagar yesterday. We didnt face any issues at all. Infact we walked around Srinagar looking for medical shops. All shops were clossed by around 7 30. So, please make sure to buy all the things before entering Srinagar. Yesterday there were reports of some issues and all shops were closed this morning. Lots of armed forces were there and civilians too were crowded at most of the junctions. But we didn't face any trouble. J&K people are so helpful and friendly.

Source :  The above input are from this thread on devilonwheels. If you want more updates from travelers on Srinagar - Leh route, Please check the source thread.

Avoid Anantnag - Update 20 Jun 17

There has been a recent report of a tourist car being hit near Anantnag by stone pelters who broke the windshield of the car. However, the driver could steer the car safely to Srinagar. No injury to the travelers was reported. This could affect you if you are traveling from Jammu to Srinagar. In case you are traveling to Srinagar via flight/Leh and going to Pahalgam for a tour, tell your driver to avoid Anantnag route.

We hope the article was helpful to you in making a well-informed decision with respect to the current situation in Kashmir for tourists. You may also help fellow tourists by writing a report on Tripscam. Just scroll to the top of the article and share your experience which will take less than 05 minutes, but will go a long way in helping the travel community. Happy Travels!

Safe for Tourists Update 23 Jun 17

Travelers at Srinagar have reported that the tourists are not being harmed at all. Local people are accepting tourists with open hearts and arms. Military deployment has been done on the roads crossing Anantnag. As for now, it's safe to travel to Srinagar.

Gulmarg accident - Update 26 Jun 17

It's very sad to report that 07 tourists lost their lives in an incident on Gulmarg Gondola on 26 Jun 17. Due to high-speed winds, a pine tree uprooted and fell on the Gondola ropeway, thereby derailing one cable car cabin, in which victims were present.This is the first time such an incident has happened and has no connection with the current situation in Kashmir. The Gondola Ropeway is closed as of now for operations. Tourists traveling to Srinagar are advised to skip Gulmarg, as you will be unable to reach Apharwat Peak in order to experience snow. If you have booked our signature Safe Kashmir Tour Package, we are providing free changes to the itinerary and shifting your night stay at Gulmarg to Pahalgam without any additional cost. If you are planning a Kashmir Trip this season, don't be disheartened with the Gondola accident, as Kashmir Valley has much more to offer than Gondola Ride. You will be able to experience snow at Thajiwas Glacier at Sonmarg or you can spend time trekking at Pahalgam.

Update from tourists - 01 Jul 17

We had a detailed call with tourists on Kashmir Trip with our Safe Kashmir Tour Package. They reached Sonamarg on 29 Jun 17 from Leh and are back in Srinagar today after touring Pahalgam. They have reported that situation is pretty fine and there were no problems on the route to Sonmarg or Pahalgam. 

Curfew in Srinagar - 09 Jul 17

Fearing unrest in Kashmir Valley on the death anniversary of Bruhan Wani, internet services and social media sites have been blocked in Srinagar and parts of Kashmir. Also, curfew has been imposed in old Srinagar area. This may affect you if you frequently use internet-based apps while traveling. Also, we advise you to stick to tourist attractions in Srinagar and completely avoid Old Srinagar. 

Post terror attack on Amarnath Yatra - 13 Jul 17

A really sad and fateful terror attack on a bus with Amarnath Yatra pilgrims was reported on 10 Jul 17. Our condolonces are with the departed souls and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured ones. The terror attack has further affected the current situation of Srinagar Tourism. We took a fresh onground update today from Srinagar. Please take a note that day trips to Sonamarg are not permitted. This means that you will have to skip the day trip to Sonamarg as the cars are allowed only in the morning time to Sonamarg and not permitted to return in the evening. Another option is that you may stay overnight in Sonmarg and return to Srinagar the next morning. Tours to Gulmarg were already affected due to closure of Gulmarg Gondola. As of now, backpackers and merry-makers are able to travel to Pahalgam from Srinagar.

Gulmarg Gondola not yet open - 01 Aug 17

Gulmarg Gondola is not yet operational and is awaiting the nod for clearance. With the onset of rainy season in Srinagar, expect some traffic on roads due to landslides etc.

Gulmarg Gondola open for public - 04 Aug 17

Gulmarg Gondola is open for public on 03 Aug 17 after a gap of 39 days. It is reported that Pomagalski, French firm which installed the Gonola initially has inspected and is satisfied with the safety measures implemented by the state cable car corporation.

Respite for Srinagar Tourism - 20 Aug 17

With the Amarnath Yatra over and the Gulmarg Gondola reopening, there has been some respite for Srinagar Tourism. With no major accidents happening, there has been some steady footfall of tourists bringing business to travel agents.

Srinagar in September - 04 Sep 17

Travelers have shown continued interest in Srinagar tourism in the last one month. With no major incident taking place in August, you can safely plan your trip to Kashmir in September. Presently, autumn season is going on in Kashmir and days will be warm. You will need light winter garments to keep you covered only during rains. Don't forget to carry a wind cheater with you at this time around. You will find lovely green meadows in Gulmarg as snow fall has not yet started. You may find snow only at Thajiwas Glacier at Sonmarg. The best thing about Srinagar tourism in September are abundant apple orchards!

Uneventful and Peaceful times in Valley - 24 Sep 17

Last two weeks saw a good number fo tourists travelling to the valley. Though snowfall has not started yet and it's not possible to find snow either at Gulmarg or Sonamarg, tourists are enjoying apple orchards and kesar (saffron) plantations in bloom.

Peace time continues in Valley - 05 Oct 17

The last one month has been uneventful and saw a good number of tourists visiting Kashmir in the ongoing shoulder season. If you are planning a Kashmir trip, late October will be a good time to visit the valley. You have good chances to catch up with snowfall on Apharwat at Gulmarg as well as Thjwas Glacier at Sonamarg. The hotels and tour operators are still giving good discounts and you should take advantage of traveling in this season. Don't forget to visit the apple orchards and kesar plantations on your way to Pahalgam.

Winters set in the valley - 03 Nov 17

Srinagar Tourism sees a decline in the number of tourists in November every year, not because of the political situation but the weather. The last two months have been peaceful and saw a lot of tourists having a good trip to Srinagar. Even the tourists who took Safe Kashmir Tour Package from us reportedly had a great time. You will love to read their reviews on our Facebook Page. Here are a few reasons you should postpone your Srinagar trip to December rather than November:-

  • Apples in the Orchards are already plucked up, packed and shipped!
  • There are more chances to catch up with snow in December rather than November.
  • You will find rains in Srinagar on at least one or two days of your trip.

However, if your holidays are falling in November and you are all set with your plans for Srinagar Trip, here are a few reasons to cherish Srinagar Tourism in November:-

  • Dal lake view in rains is mesmerizing and inexpressibly beautiful.
  • You may catch up with snow in either Gulmarg or Sonmarg.
  • You will find hotels and cars at really discounted rates.

Here are a few tips for those of you, traveling to Srinagar in November

  • The temperature will range from 14°C in the day to 2°C in the night. You will need heavy woolens to keep you warm. Here are some more packing tips for Srinagar.
  • Book flexible car only tour from us to peak up your chances of seeing snow. The flexible tour allows you to either head to Sonamarg or Gulmarg as per news of snow on that day without any extra charges for itinerary changes.
  • Most of the hotels in Sonamarg will be closed. So prefer a day trip to Sonmarg from Srinagar.

We are live to chat with you, in case you have any queries. Also, we are offering Safe Kashmir Tour Package at discounted rates. We have also introduced car-only tours for those of you who wish to book your hotels on your own.

If you have any further questions, you are welcome to write to Srinagar (at) tripscam (dot) com for advice and we will try our best to help you out with not just basics but also on places to visit in Srinagar.