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Srinagar Airport – Stringent Security Regulations and Recommendations to Tourists

Srinagar Airport – Stringent Security Regulations and Recommendations to Tourists
Srinagar International Airport is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in north India.Srinagar is a beautiful valley and it draws tourists from all over the world.
The airport here is known for its strict security measures and checks. For a smooth and hassle free boarding at the airport, the traveler needs to bear certain things in mind.
Adherence to baggage packing guidelines and keeping sufficient time in handbefore departure of flight are of utmost importance.

This article lists down certain regulations and recommendations which shall make the transit through the airport smooth.

Limitedand Restricted Hand baggage
There are several restrictions in terms of what you can carry as hand baggage on any flight originating from Srinagar.
Hand baggage is largely discouraged; however still check with your airline for specific dos/don’ts.Small amount of food and a small money purse is allowed.  Apart from avoiding usual prohibited objects like knife, scissor, nail cutteretc., do not carry fruits/flowers/souvenirs like conifer cone with you.
In case you carry perfume, lipstick or lotion, you have to wear it during checking.
Electronic items like still/video camera, laptops need to be started at the airport.
Travellers who generally prefer taking the baggage in cabin rather checking it in, need to change the habit as some airlines here do not allow even clothes in bag!
To summarize, do your packing well so at the last minute, you do not succumb to pulling things out from the bag or even leaving them at the airport.
Time keeping
Reach the vicinity of airport at least three and a half hours earlier than the flight departure time.
Unlike the normal airports, the security checks here start a kilometre before the airport. These checks could take half an hour to one hour depending on the rush.
Travel documents
Keep in hand your identity card and printed copies of tickets. They would need to be shown to security personnel at multiple points.
First security check before entering the airport premises
This is the first baggage screening and all the members including the driver need to get out of the vehicle. There would be sniffer dogs along with armed security personnel.

The vehicle would be searched/scanned thoroughly. All the baggage including the handbag need to be taken out from the vehicle (all by yourself) and put under baggage screening. Once the check is successful, collect the baggage and put it inside the vehicle.

Second Security check at entry of airport building

After arriving at the airport, the baggage needs to be passed through the screening again on the entry. A full-fledged body search would also be done.

Third Security check after check-in
After you have checked in and collected the boarding passes, you need to go through the security check for self and your hand baggage for the third time. Any suspicion item in handbag will be checked thoroughly by the personnel and you may be asked to use it.
Have patience while going through hand frisking.
Make sure that your boarding passes get stamped after check is over.
Personal identification for the check-in baggage
This is quite a unique check.
You need to identify your baggage before it gets loaded into the aircraft. Show the baggage tags on the back of the boarding pass to enter the baggage identification area. Make sure that you pass through this check; else your baggage would not be loaded in the aircraft.
Security check before boarding the aircraft
This is the final check, similar to frisking. After this is cleared, you can board the flight.
Please remember that all the checks are done to ensure safety of yourself and the area. So do not lose patience; instead be prepared to pass through them with ease and confidence.
Srinagar is famous for the panoramic views.Behold the spectacular view of surroundings during take-off!!


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Kashmir Tourism

The Kashmir valley has better news than you would imagine. According to Mr Ashwani Lohani, the Chairman & Managing Director of Air India. The airline is all set to resume its services on the Srinagar-Leh route in addition to the current existing flight schedule connecting Srinagar with the rest of India and other tourism friendly countries.

The officials of state tourism department & travel trade local bodies met at SKICC recently for a brainstorming session. The meeting was also attended by Farooq Shah, the Secretary Tourism, who confirmed there will be the soon resumption of Air India flight services between Srinagar and Leh. He further confirmed that there has been a spike in the number of foreign tourists visiting Leh in the recent times. An Air India service between Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar will boost J&K tourism industry’s chances of attracting more tourist and improving tourism revenues. A future schedule of flights between Srinagar to Dubai, Bangkok and Jeddah, is a possibility according to Shah.

To achieve the tourism targets the J&K Tourism Department will be aggressively marketing the tourism cause and would shortly be launching 13 road shows across India. A much-focused marketing efforts are necessary, especially after 2014 floods that have reduced the number of tourists drastically.

Besides starting flights from Srinagar in the morning and evening time, an option of travelling to Bangkok, Dubai from Srinagar via Delhi is being explored. A smart group fare facility will be introduced as part of improved marketing strategy, said Akram Siah, Chairman Tourist Trade Interest Guild (TTIG). The other countries who continue to send tourists to Kashmir are Malaysia, Bangkok and Thailand.

The travel trade fraternity suggested that Kashmir tourism should be promoted in the Air India’s in-flight magazines and promotional videos. According to Mr. Nasir Shah, Chairman Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum (PILTOF) this suggestion was accepted, and travelers will see such advertisements in the next issue of the Air India magazine. It was also recommended that J&K tourism brochures be kept at all Air India offices in India, and Kashmiri cuisines are introduced on all the related flights to Srinagar.

He said that a commercially viable travel on the Srinagar-Bangkok via Delhi and Srinagar-Dubai –Jeddah was possible. The route sector is beneficial for pilgrimage purpose and close to 25000 to 30000 young people receive employment in this area due to the tourism business.

There was a request from travel agents who demanded that direct flights to Srinagar Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Nagpur be introduced as well.The tour operators also recommended that the airfare is capped  at INR8500 during peak season.

The tour operator group that attended this important meeting were

RaufTramboo, President Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir,

KhaliqWangnoo J&K Chapter Chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators
Shamim Shah, J &K Chapter of Travel Agents Association of India
Manzoor Pakhtoon, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance
Nazir A Mir, Chairman, Association of Kashmir Tour Operators and Asif Burza, President Pahalgam Hotels Association besides representatives from HBOA& TASK.


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Heaven on Earth- Srinagar

Heaven on Earth: Srinagar
In a nutshell, Srinagar is symbolic of pristine beauty and mesmerizing landscapes. It is one of the most beautiful places in India hands down. That perhaps explains the immense craze for tourism in Srinagar despite the civil unrest which has been perpetuated ever since, and more so recently. In fact, it has always been juxtaposed against Switzerland. I would definitely not indulge in comparing these two juggernaut places which are famous on an international scale because that won’t be fair to either one. However, I would definitely elevate Srinagar and eulogise the place to the best of my ability. This would be my way of expressing immense gratitude and satisfaction after visiting Srinagar. It is by far one of the most wholesome and fulfilling experiences that have engulfed me by the sheer delight I happened to experience there.

Srinagar is a place where nature can be experienced in all its grandeur. It has lakes, hills, handicrafts, gardens, snow, and so much more. The wooden houses, the medieval mosques, the temples, the antiquated balconies, and the Kashmiri cuisine all together happen to be credible ingredients for a perfect recipe. Words perhaps cannot do justice to the place that Srinagar is. However, here is a list of places and experiences that are a must have while moving across Srinagar. We will be more than happy if you extend the list and have a crazy experience to share later. But do make a point to absolutely cover the under listed.

Pic Credits: Flickr·

Dal Lake: It goes without saying that you need to see the alluring Dal Lake during your vacation to Kashmir. This lake is beautiful and the surrounding mountain peaks add to the beauty. It is rightly crowned as the jewel of Srinagar. You ought to embark on a beautiful and romantic Shikara Ride. Go back to Bollywood that can be credited with instilling in us a desire to embark on the house boats or Shikaras. Many songs and poets also have sung sermons praising this lake. Need we say more?

Pic Credits: Flickr·

Mughal Gardens: The Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Chasm-e-Shahi together comprise the Mughal Gardens. A repository of ancient Mughal class and grandeur, these gardens are nothing short of spectacular. A walk around the garden gives you an idea of the sheer class and perfection of Mughal art and architecture and an eye for perfection. The garden has been luring tourists for generations now.

Pic Credits: Pinterest·

Wular Lake: The largest fresh water lake in the country, Wular is situated almost 60 kms away from the city of Srinagar. The lake which has a calm demeanour mostly is also said to be frequented by certain periodic fierce winds. There are a lot of places around the lake that might interest you. Therefore, do plan a visit to Wular for a unique experience.

Pic Credits: Tumblr

Hokesar: The wetland is a home to a number of exotic and non-indigenous birds who travel from far off places during the winter months. Some of them include brahminy duck, goose, garganey, mallard, Eurasian Wigeon among others. This is a paradise for all bird lovers out there. Just bring your camera along and you’re golden.

Pic Credits: kashmirlife.net

Dachigham National Reserve: This place is an abode to the diverse flora and fauna of the Himalayas. You can even spot the Kashmiri stag which is an endangered species; in fact, the most endangered species of red deer. If lucky, you can witness an elusive leopard strolling down the picturesque reserve. Other commonly seen animals include Himalayan weasel, fox, wild boar and even types of magpies and yellow throated martins. There is just too much to see and explore. Do not forget to carry your binoculars.

Pic Credits: indianexpress.com

Awantipura: The Awantipura ruins are not only beautiful and charming but also have an alluring tale of devotion behind its creation. This makes for an interesting visit that satiates not only the eyes but also the mind. The rich heritage of the place would definitely excite the history aficionados. The verdant valley surrounding these ruins imparts a mystical aura to the place. The remnants have been depreciating but still manage to be one of the most heavily frequented historical and pilgrimage site.

Pic Credits: Flickr

Apple Orchards: It is almost a universal fact that Srinagar is the dominant supplier of apples to the country and even to the neighboring nations of Nepal and Bangladesh. You have to visit the sprawling apple orchards in the city. They are too beautiful to be stated in words. It is a major source of income for a number of people. Do remember to get the golden apple. It is a catch, quite literally!

Pic Credits: Utdcom

Old city: Any trip to Srinagar can be deemed incomplete if you do not visit the wooden old city. This should be done on foot for the ease of exploring more and travelling comfortably. It is a beautiful chaos per se. The city is replete with a number of mosques that add a mystic beauty to it.

Shankaracharya Hill: To get a panoramic view of the city and Dal Lake, you need to get to the Shankaracharya Hill. A small grey Shiv Mandir, which is said to have been a Buddhist temple adorns the top of the Hill. There is an interesting legend that explains the Hindu conversion of the temple. We are not killing it for you by getting down to the nitty-gritty. You shall figure it out when you reach there.

View from Shankaracharya Hill ‘ by Bill Strong. January 1976
Pic Credit: searchkashmir.org

There are many more lakes and gardens to visit in Srinagar. But do not just make your entire trip about them. In fact, make time to indulge and spoil yourself by savouring some Kashmiri delicacies and exploring the local market for their customary handicrafts like willow baskets. Kashmiri artisans are blessed and utterly accurate with their art. What about going for a heritage and handicraft walk? It will definitely be one hell of an experience. Oh yes! Do get some saffron and Kahwah from Kashmir whenever you get a chance. It will surely satisfy your senses at a cellular level. Happy Travelling!

Best time to visit Kashmir

Kashmir- An upcoming Winter Destination


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Best time to visit Kashmir

Kashmir is an year round tourist destination but if you are still looking for the best time, then the months of March till October are considered as great. During this period the weather conditions in Kashmir are just perfect. Blossomed gardens, chirping birds, alpine meadows and refreshing air is what would welcome you in this land. Kashmir.jpg

This whole period covers three seasons in Kashmir i.e. spring (March-early May), summers (early May-late August) and autumn (September-November). Pahalgam is popular from April to November for activities like rafting and horse riding. If Golf is your sport, then April to November months are the best time for you. What waits for you is the highest green golf course anywhere in the world, situated at an altitude of 2650 m, spread over 52 sprawling acres of lush land.

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From December to early March is the winter season for Kashmir, when the entire valley is covered with a white blanket of snow. Breeze is chilling and sunshine tender. But if you are a winter sport lover, travel to Gulmarg in these months for some of the best skiing and snowboarding. You would be awestuck by the views you would get by Gondola cable car rides at this period of year.

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So see what type of traveler you are and then go ahead to soak your soul in this paradise on earth!