Kashmir’s annual Tulip festival begins on April 3—here’s where to stay in the state

Enjoy spring in the region amid colourful blooms and verdant valleys.

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Think of a vacation in Kashmir, and immediately, images of snow-carpeted valleys, adrenaline-fuelled ski sessions, and imposing mountain ranges come to mind. But Kashmir is also a sight to behold in the spring-summer season with inviting green meadows stretching for as far as the eyes can see, a burst of seasonal blooms, and clear blue skies. 
The state also hosts the famous Tulip Festival held annually at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, drawing a large crowd from across the country. This year, the festival starts on April 3 and will run till April 20. So, if you’re planning a trip to the region, it would be ideal to visit during this time. 
Wondering where to stay in Srinagar or around the city? This list of five unique properties will help you decide.

Nadis Hotel, Srinagar


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A charming boutique stay surrounded by greenery and located on the foothills of Zabarwan hills in Harwan village, the 18-room Nadis Hotel will make for an excellent home as you visit the state for the tulip festival. Here, you’ll get to live like the Kashmiris do—dig into traditional Kashmiri fare, sip on kahwa (sweetened tea) as you sunbathe in the lawns or enjoy some ‘me-time’ in your room as you admire the exquisite view from the windows. 

Qayaam Gah, Srinagar


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Overlooking the scenic Dal Lake, Qayaam Gah is one of the newer luxury hotels located on the outskirts of the city. The sprawling three-acre property has the green Zabarwan hills serving as the backdrop. Book one of the four villas, which are made up of local cedar wood, glass, and stone, and done up lavishly with rugs, intricate deodar woodwork, and seasonal blooms. During your stay, you’ll find traces of Sufism and spirituality in every corner—the villas are named after famous Sufi mystics, and an air of mysticism hangs in the air. In the evenings, a local troupe performs songs that mix of Kashmiri, Hindi, and Urdu on the deck called Qalb (translating to the spiritual heart). 

Karan Mahal, Srinagar

Fulfill your royal dreams at Karan Mahal, the former residence of erstwhile Kashmiri rulers. The property is located in the middle of 60 acres of lush orchards and is flanked by the Zabarwan mountain range and the vast valley up to the Pir Panjal mountain range—you’re in for a visual treat during your stay here! Though the mansion was renovated before opening as a hotel, the seven rooms retain most of the original elements like wooden ceilings, Lalique lamps, and massive wardrobes. You’ll find traces of tradition in the food as well, with recipes for khatta meat (a mutton dish), gucchi pulao (a rice-based dish featuring local mushrooms), and lamb yakhni (a mild mutton and yogurt gravy) being passed down generations.

If you plan to stay a little further away from Sringar, consider these properties:

WelcomHotel by ITC Hotels, Pine N Peak, Pahalgam

Pahalgam is roughly two hours away by road from Srinagar. You can enjoy picturesque views of rolling green meadows, clear skies, and the snow-kissed Himayalan mountain ranges here during the spring-summer months. We suggest making Pine N Peak your base—the luxury hotel is set atop the Rajwas plateau and offers 60 rooms with central heating and plush interiors. Some rooms and suites offer enviable views of the snow-covered mountains, the Lidder River flowing through green meadows, and gushing waterfalls that are perfect for afternoon picnics and languid treks. Snack on an endless supply of kebabs hot off the grill and sip on Kashmiri kahwa and noon chai—it doesn’t get better than this!

The Vintage, Gulmarg

A short hour and a half ride away from Srinagar, Gulmarg is a popular destination with tourists. While it may be known as a winter wonderland during the colder months, its summer persona is just as stunning, with lush valleys dotted with vibrant bluebells, daisies, and other blooms. During your time here, stay at The Vintage, a boutique mansion-style hotel that overlooks the Gulmarg Golf Course and the famed Apharwat peak. Take the Gulmarg Gondola ride, the second-highest cable ride in the world, or stay in your room as you enjoy the views and savour some noon chai. 

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