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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 justice to Kashmir’s beauty.

From past adventures, I can correlate that a 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 among those.

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

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

The article expressed how you can reach in less time, including other necessary info.

Keep Scanning!

Firstly, I would begin with my expertise –

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

Delhi remains 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.

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

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.

Summing-up,

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 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 me 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 to Amarnath Ji Yatra, getting a bus from Jammu to Srinagar was troublesome.

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 remains subdivided into two parts –

Srinagar to Anantnag 

Likewise, since it was the time of the Amarnath Ji Yatra mentioned above, 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

In 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.

Insane!!

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 have 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

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. Therefore, it would save approximately 70% of your time compared to the road.

The remaining route can get 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.

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

And,

When you run out of thoughts, the best way; is to talk to a resident of that place.

It entirely depends upon your preferences – 

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

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 fewer 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 decide to go for the Tarsar LakeMarsar lake trek, and other hikes.

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. 

A #Myindia contest by MakeMyTrip had stamped that Aru Valley is amongst the Hidden Gem by selecting my image with four 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 communicated with the locals and snapped with 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.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box.

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

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

About Author

Vansh Tiwari is a passionate traveler who explores every corner. Then, he presents his vision in images and writing. Further, he loves long walks along the roadside!

9 Comments

  1. Yes I enjoyed this article and I scored 3/3 yeeeee.
    How did you manage in Kashmir because you have no any network provider or internet?

    1. Dependant on the locals! I regularly request them to give their phones for a call. Haha, from that day, I use to check the network availability on priority whenever going out. Thanks for reading Khushi.

  2. This is such an informative article. Had no idea a postpaid sim is required for J&K. Thank for enlightening on that. Can’t wait to travel to Kashmir and definitely Aru Valley!

    1. Yeah, a Postpaid SIM is a must! I had faced consequences of not gathering much info before entering the territory. Even I wanted to visit Aru Valley again, but sometime later. Thanks for reading Rituparna.

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