TRAVEL INFORMATION

If you want to do a heliski or free ski trip to the Himalayas of Kashmir we´re sure you have some questions concerning your travels. The following questions should help you to organize your trip and gather informations quicker.

About Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. In the winter time they will shift the capital from Srinagar to Jammu. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats – the iconic holiday destination. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, dry fruits and much more. Srinagar is one highlight of Kashmir. It is a city of lakes and mountains that climb directly out of those lakes, so you can have your full holiday, or an extension to holidays in other parts of India. Today there are about 2.500 houseboats on Dal and Nagin lakes, which vary from small and cozy one-bedroom boats to seven-bedroom houseboats, beautifully carved, made of luxury cedar pine. They’re ornate, glamorous and have a butler onboard and are heated in winter of course.

National flights from / to Kashmir

The flight tickets are not included in our heli-ski packages and air transfer will have to be organized on your own. Nevertheless we are happy to assist you and to provide you further information upon request. Flying into SRINAGAR (SXR) will be possible via NEW DELHI (DEL) and MUMBAI (BOM). Basically you can fly into Srinagar from every airport within India, but they will always go via New Delhi or Mumbai. India is only 4.5 hours ahead from central european countries, which hardly gives you any jetlag. SRINAGAR AIRPORT is located 14 km from the city. Almost all domestic Airlines operate regular daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Mumbai. Some of them go via Jammu.

Air India

Delhi, Mumabi, Jammu, Leh

Go Air

Delhi, Mumabi, Jammu, Leh

IndiGo

Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Jammu, Nagpur

Jet Airways

Delhi, Chandigarh

Jetkonnect (Cityliner from Jet Airways)

Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu

 

International flights from / to Kashmir

Flying into New Delhi and Mumbai is possible on direct flights from major cities worldwide. Obviously we cannot list all the connections here, but we like to give some examples for direct flight connections (mostly Europe):

Lufthansa

Frankfurt, Munich

Swiss

Zurich

British Airways

London

China Airlines

Rome

Air France

Paris

Air India

Paris, London, Frankfurt, Birmingham

Emirates

Dubai

Jet Airways

Brussel, Milano

VISA

Foreigners are advised to ensure that they are in possession of a valid Indian Visa before they begin their journey to India. More details for the online visa application can be viewed HERE.

Shuttle Service / Transfer from and to Gulmarg

Our ski packages include full service organization and therefore a transfer service to and from Srinagar airport (approximately a 1 – 1.5 hour drive depending on the snow conditions) is provided. You´ll also need a decent four wheel drive to get into Gulmarg. We do not recommend to take any car hire on your own due to lack of traffic regulation and signs as well as poor road conditions. Please be cautious about any taxi service or transport service offered by agents at the airport. In case of any special needs and / or different arrival or departure airport, don’t hesitate to consult us prior to booking anything on your own. We´re more than happy to assist you with your special request.

Insurance

Even if you are fit and healthy, don’t travel without health / accident insurance which will cover you when abroad. Accidents do happen and in case you´re not insured it can get very expensive. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as skiing / snowboarding.  A good travel-insurance policy is essential. It is also a good advice to keep the contact details from your insurance with you – just in case. Photocopies of your passport, including the visa page, should be kept separately from your original passport, as well as a copy of your airline ticket. E-Mailing scans of all the above mentioned documents is a very smart way of having them ready if you need them.

Vaccination

Specialized travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information; they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you and your trip. The doctors will take into account factors such as past vaccination history, the length of your trip, activities you may be undertaking. Most vaccines don’t give immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given, so visit a doctor four to eight weeks before departure. Ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccination (otherwise known as the ‘yellow booklet’), which will list all the vaccinations you’ve received. Kashmir doesn’t require any particular vaccinations, unless you stayed for more than six days in a fever affected area. Being vaccinated against hepatitis is always advisable no matter where your journey leads you to in this world. Once applied it´ll keep you protected for approximately 10 years. It is also advisable for the tourists to carry with them some of the important medicines in case of any emergency.

High altitude sickness

If you are going to altitudes above 3.000 meters, you should get information on preventing, recognizing and treating Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The biggest risk factor for developing altitude sickness is going too high too quickly – you should follow a conservative acclimatization schedule such as can be found in all good trekking guides – and you should never go to a higher altitude when you have any symptoms that could be altitude related. It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. Not any certain fitness condition will protect you from being affected or not. Symptoms usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude but may be delayed up to three weeks. Mild symptoms include headache, lethargy, dizziness, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. AMS may become more severe without warning and can be fatal. Severe symptoms include breathlessness, a dry, irritative cough, severe headache, lack of coordination and balance, confusion, irrational behavior, vomiting, drowsiness and unconsciousness. Treat mild symptoms by resting at the same altitude until recovery, which usually takes a day or two. Paracetamol or aspirin can be taken for mild symptoms like headaches. If symptoms persist or become worse, an immediate descent is necessary; every 100 meters will help. Drug treatments should never be used to avoid descent or to enable further ascent. To prevent acute mountain sickness: Ascend slowly – have frequent rests; It is always wise to sleep at a lower altitude than the greatest height you´ve reached during the day, if possible. No worries in Gulmarg you will sleep on an altitude of 2.700 meters. Drink a lot during the day. The mountain air is dry and cold and moisture is lost as you breathe. Our many years of experience with guiding customers on high altitude shows that only a few people have been affected by the altitude in our terrain.

Food / Drinks / Alcohol

When you´re in Srinagar you should only drink bottled mineral water which is available easily for a cheap price. Having food on roadside eateries or food stalls will not necessarily make you sick. We never had experienced any problems. However use your common sense and have a certain look for cleanliness and hygiene when having food on roadside eateries or food stalls. This only applies when you´re in Srinagar!!!
When you´re in Gulmarg you can drink the water from the tap!!! It´s the cleanest and healthiest drinking water you can get as it comes from the absolutely untouched himalayan mountains.
Unlike in other parts of India, the Kashmiries have always been heavy meat eaters (lamb,goat and chicken). Beef will also be available. In Kashmir the cow is not holy in comparison to the rest of India.
Kashmiri cuisine is one of the famous as the people use exotic spices such as saffron, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom etc. in their food. Kashmiri Basmati rice forms an interesting part of the customary food, striking a perfect balance with spicy dishes of the state. The routine cooking process in Kashmir is a combination of vegetables and meat in the same type of dish. Vegetarian meals are available everywhere in Gulmarg. Like anywhere in India, vegetarian meals are extraordinary different to the western world and very tasty.
Tea drinking is a very important part of the Kashmiri culture. Two of the most important types of tea that the Kashmiri drink are “Sheer Chai” (salted pink tea with almonds) and Kahwah (sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom). With tea, they often eat certain types of bread / bakery such as “Katlam” and “Kulcha” topped with Kashmiri Butter made from fresh milk.

Our partner hotels with their restaurants / bars serve beer, wine and spirits. The wine and the beer will be imported from overseas.

You still have some open questions? No worries feel free to contact us with your enquiry anytime! Your Kashmir Heliski Team.