Blessed with uninhibited natural beauty, Baramulla is a small city in Jammu and Kashmir. Resting on the banks of the River Jhelum and enveloped by the Himalayas on all sides, this city has been endowed with a quietly scenic landscape. Baramulla has several scenic attractions like Wular Lake, Khilanmarg, Gulmarg, and it is home to religious establishments like temples, monasteries, and mosques and historical monuments like Buddhist stupas that draw the attention of travelers from India and beyond.
The weather of this place is perfect to get away from bustling cities, and since not many people know about Baramulla, it remains quiet as well. There are not many things to do but it is a good pit stop on the way to Gulmarg. However, its awe-inspiring natural beauty has inspired many religious priests and eminent scholars.
During winters, Baramulla experiences a temperature drop of up to -10 degrees Celsius, but the white powdery snow that covers the whole city makes it majestically beautiful. The temperature during summers remains mild, reaching a high of 32 degrees Celsius. And hence, summer is the best time to visit Baramulla and to be able to stroll around the city and fully explore every nook and corner. In a nutshell, Baramulla is a treat for the eyes and a feast for the soul throughout the year.
In 2306 BC, Raja Bhimsina founded the city of Baramulla. Situated between Muzaffarabad in POK, and Rawalpindi in Pakistan, the geographical location of the city makes it the gateway to the Kashmir Valley.
Baramulla has been an important religious destination for Muslims since the 15th century. In 1421 AD, Syed Janbaz Wali, the famous Muslim saint, visited Baramulla along with his disciples and companions and made it the center of his mission. After his demise, he was even buried here. The saint’s shrine draws devotees from far and wide. Shri Hargobind Singh, the sixth Sikh Guru, visited the city in 1894 AD. The city of Baramulla thus became home to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Muslims contributing to a rich composite culture and living in peace and harmony.
Several other famous personalities have visited Baramulla too- from the British historian, Moorcraft to the famous Chinese visitor Heiun T'Sang. The Mughal Emperors were also interested in Baramulla. To visit the valley, was the emperors' favorite halting station as it was the gateway to the valley.
Gulmarg is by far the most popular tourist attraction in Baramulla owing to its unprecedented scenic beauty. Often deemed as heaven on earth, Baramulla is famous for its exotic flora and hence, it is called Gulmarg which literally means valley of flowers. Gulmarg is popular for its trekking routes as well because it is blessed with such a beautiful landscape.
Enveloped in mesmerizing scenery, the Eco Park in Khadniyar rests on an island in the River Jhelum. A favorite relaxation getaway for the locals, Eco Park is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas crowning the island with a thousand dense green trees flanked on all sides.
The king of Kashmir, Lalityaditya Muktapid, founded the town of Parihaspora in the 8th century. This small town is known for its unusual archaeological monuments. The town is home to a monastery and a Buddhist stupa, and after the excavations here a few Vishnu temples, a Chaitya, and a Raj Bhawan were found.
With a length of a whopping 24 km and a breadth of 10 km, the Wular lake is the second-largest freshwater lake in the entire Asian continent. The main source of water for this lake is the Jhelum River. Zaina Lank, a small island is situated in the center of the lake. The lake is famous for boating and watching sunsets.
A popular picnic spot for the locals as well as the tourists, Khilanmarg is one of the most scenically gifted spots of Baramulla. With a meadow of vibrantly colored flowers, Khilanmarg will lift your spirits like nothing else. Khilanmarg offers a picturesque and panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain ranges and valleys of Kashmir.
Baramulla is closely located in Srinagar, which is very well-connected with the rest of the country via a wide network of roads, rails, and flights. Here’s how to reach Baramulla.
State-run and private buses for Baramulla are easily available from neighboring cities, namely Srinagar, Jammu, and Kargil. Direct interstate buses to these places from New Delhi, Shimla, Manali, Chandigarh, Ambala, and Ludhiana.
The nearest railhead to Baramulla is the Jammu Tawi railway station. This railway station is very well connected to major cities in India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ludhiana, Agra, Jalandhar to name a few. After deboarding at the station, one can cover the remaining distance via taxis or buses.
The nearest airbase to Baramulla is the Srinagar International Airport (SXR). It is also known as the Sheikh ul Alam Airport which is well connected to major cities in India, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, and Shimla to name a few. After deboarding at the Srinagar Airport, one can cover the remaining distance via buses or taxis.
When you are there, don’t forget to talk to locals as they can suggest to you the best places to see or things to do or the best local eateries.