Traveled 19hrs, Changed 4 buses, and Reached this Hidden Gem of North India - Aru Valley
Jammu and Kashmir,  My Experience,  Travel

‘Traveled 24hrs, Changed 5 Vehicles to Reach this Hidden Gem of India!’

This post was recently updated on July 24th, 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Which Indian Union Territory hits your mind whenever you hear, Heaven on Earth?

Oops! I already gave a big hint.

No Doubt.

None other than ‘Kashmir’.

Even a whole article full of pretty words cannot do justice to Kashmir’s beauty.

From past adventures, I can correlate, that place would be exceptional if it demands a prolonged time to reach the location.

For e.x – Kinnaur in Himachal, particularly Chitkul, and Aru Valley in Pahalgam, Kashmir are amongst those.

If you have read the above example carefully, I had revealed the destination in Kashmir that the heading notifies of.

Yes, it took me 24hrs, changed 5 Vehicles to reach Aru Valley in Pahalgam Kashmir. I believe it is a hidden gem of India.

In the article, I had expressed how you can reach in lesser time, including other necessary info.

Keep Scanning!

Firstly, I would be beginning with my expertise –

How it Took 24 hrs. Commencing from Delhi to Aru Valley?

Delhi is entirely connected to the nearby states with its bus transportation service.

Delhi to Jammu

I found no hassle in getting the Delhi to Jammu bus.

An overnight journey took nearly 12 hrs., and at daylight, I stepped out in Jammu.

Related post, While returning from Jammu I did a train journey and it turned out to be a nightmare.

Port Blair to Havelock – A Remarkable Day Spent Exploring in the Rain
The daytime began with an immediate thought that nothing stands in structure …

Postpaid V/s Prepaid, Which SIM Works in Jammu and Kashmir?

Make sure to take a Postpaid SIM because Prepaid SIM doesn’t work in Jammu & Kashmir.

If you had taken a Prepaid SIM from any other state in India, it would not work in J & K.


Take a Postpaid SIM along, or hence you can buy a Postpaid SIM from there itself.

Identity Proof required for buying a Postpaid SIM in Jammu and Kashmir? 

You have to provide identification proof if you would like to obtain a Postpaid SIM in Jammu and Kashmir.

The ID proofs like election card & driving license would work.

But, you cannot obtain a SIM by providing an Aadhar card as identity proof.

I was stuck halfway because I hadn’t carried a Postpaid SIM, and I only had an Aadhar card to show as Identity proof.

Therefore, I had to remain dependent upon the locals to give their phones for a call.

Considering it was my first time there.

Still, I don’t want you to make that mistake, even if it would be your first experience in Jammu and Kashmir.

You should consider it as precedence when planning!

From this part, Delhi to Jammu – 12hrs

Jammu to Srinagar

Because I went at the time of Amarnath Ji Yatra. It was troublesome to get a bus from Jammu to Srinagar.

Consequently, I had to rely upon the shared vehicles that were operating.

The shared taxicabs began moving towards Srinagar in the evening.

Therefore, It took nearly 9hrs to see the sunshine in Srinagar.

From this part, Jammu to Srinagar – 9hrs, total – 21hrs.

Srinagar to Pahalgam

This portion is subdivided into two parts –

Srinagar to Anantnag 

Likewise, I had mentioned above, since it was the time of the Amarnath Ji Yatra, so it became tough to get buses.

Close to Dal lake is a car-sharing stand.

A car-sharing from Srinagar to Anantnag took nearly 1.5hrs.

Anantnag to Pahalgam

Anantnag is halfway to the Pahalgam.

It took added 1 hrs of car-sharing to reach Pahalgam.

From this part, Srinagar to Pahalgam – 2.5hrs, total – 23.5hrs.

Pahalgam to Aru Valley

The last portion of the journey,

I would say a scenic ride.

A car-sharing from Pahalgam to Aru Valley took approximately 30 min.

That concludes a total 24hrs and a change of 5 vehicles to reach the Aru Valley.


I had not traveled continuously for 24hrs but took a day halt at Srinagar to gather info in proceeding further.

Journey Overview Through the Infographic

I had given an overview of the written journey with the help of an infographic below.

I believe you can relate easily!

Hidden Gem Aru Valley, Explanation with the help of an Infographic

Now, let’s see how thoroughly you have read the article until now ?.

Please, take the Quiz below –

Is there Another Way of Reaching Aru Valley in a Considerably Shorter Time?

You can skip the starting of the road journey by taking a flight.

Delhi to Srinagar flight will make you reach within 2hrs. As compared to the road, it would save approximately 70% of your time.

The remaining of the route can be covered by taking a taxicab or car-sharing from Srinagar.

You can also find the Srinagar to Pahalgam buses if you are not going at the peak season of Amarnath Ji Yatra.

This can ultimately make you reach from Delhi to Aru Valley within 5-6hrs.


When you are running out of thoughts, the best way would always be to talk to a local resident of that place.

It entirely depends upon your preference’s – 

If you needed to reach faster, it would be somewhat costlier. As compared to considerably less when you wish to travel slower. 

From my experience,

Traveling slow helps develops the patience level, and it’s of most importance in life.

Why do I Call Aru Valley a Hidden Gem?

I cannot define any place as a ‘Hidden Gem’ seeing a fewer number of tourists on the spot.

The surroundings of Aru Valley are un-disturbed from the mass outsider’s foot. It seems like the place has just been introduced on land by God.

Also, that area has not become much commercialized as there are a few hotels to stay and eat.

This way, I include Aru Valley amongst the Hidden Gem.

From my sense,

Aru Valley is best visited for day trips, unless and until you decided to go for the Tarsar LakeMarsar lake trek, and other hikes beginning from there.

Also, there are short day hikes like the Katarnag Lake trek, which you can do, and ultimately it will give you the reason to stay overnight. 

In fact, a #Myindia contest by MakeMyTrip had stamped that Aru Valley is amongst the Hidden Gem by selecting my image with 4 others as the National winners from the 5000 submissions received.

But that doesn’t mean Aru Valley is not known to anyone.

Upon search, you will find 1000 articles written and videos made on Aru Valley. The article was written by me as well!

Also Read, 5 Steps to Write a WOW Title for Travel Articles

Faces Behind the Places

During my stay, I had communicated with the locals and snapped them.

These pictures often remind me that there’s more to a place than just visiting for the sake of touring.

Unheard stories began to unfold when you attempt to know the other person.

Faces behind the Hidden Gem place of India - The owner of the hotel where I had stayed.

That’s it from the impressive tale.

Mainly it was impressive for me since the road journey had tested my patience.

From my sense,

The tale was impressive for you because I believe it had created enthusiasm within you.

Please take the poll below,

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box.

You can stay connected with me ❤️ over Instagram for more often photo-related content, behind-the-scenes, and updates.

Which was the longest journey you took to reach a place via road?

A Passionate Traveler who explores to see every corner from his eyes and presents it through Visual and Creative writing. The blog covers Travel and  Photography content.


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