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Indus enhances Kashmir itineraries with visits to Lal Ded Memorial Museum

17th October 2012 Print
Lake Dal

Indus Tours, the tailor-made holiday specialist, has introduced a new day-trip itinerary in Kashmir to its extensive menu of touring options in the Indian subcontinent. Based in the ancient city of Srinagar, in the heart of the Kashmir Valley, this tour takes in all the area's key sights including the recently opened Lal Ded Memorial Museum and its extensive collection of endemic cultural artefacts. Thanks to the programme's fully flexible approach, this new half-day excursion can be pieced together with any featured hotels and experiences in Indus Tours' extensive portfolio, allowing customers to truly tailor-make their own unique holiday itinerary to northern India and beyond.

Kashmir is a fabled land of snow-capped mountains and verdant valleys in the far north-western corner of the Indian subcontinent. Often referred to as the 'princely state', it has a rich and varied culture born of its long and fascinating history. Srinagar, the regional capital, has been influenced by many empires including the Mughals, Afghans and Sikhs over its two thousand years of history, leaving it awash with beautifully preserved temples, bridges, wooden mosques and other interesting architecture from across the ages.

Thanks to its location on the banks of the Jhelum River and the Dal and Nagin Lakes, Srinagar is noted for its many houseboats and Indus Tours can arrange accommodation in either a historic houseboat or a traditional hotel, depending on customers' preferences. The company's new daytrip begins with pick-up by private car from the hotel or houseboat before stopping at the centuries-old Pandrethan Temple, a wonderfully symmetrical structure that's the riverside's only remaining stone temple.  From here, the tour continues by shikara (a traditional Kashmiri water taxi) along the winding Jhelum River past the magnificent architecture of the Bund - once considered India's equivalent of Venice and still the city's most prestigious address.

The cruise continues under the Zero Bridge (one of Srinagar's nine historic bridges) to arrive at the Lal Ded cultural centre. This brand new museum opened just this summer and contains an extensive collection of paintings, photographs, historic maps and other artefacts, plus examples of highly-prized Kashmiri handicrafts such as carpets, shawls and other items in copper, earthenware, wool and papier-mâché. The museum occupies a 100-year-old former school building that has been renovated and restored to house this important cultural collection.

From the museum, the tour continues along the river to the stunning wooden mosque of Shah Hamdan, which is famed for its intricate carvings created by the very best Kashmiri craftsmen. The mosque makes an ideal starting point for a walking tour through the narrow laneways of the old city, which are filled with interesting wooden buildings and plenty of opportunities for stocking up on authentic handicrafts and other local goods.  The tour concludes with a private transfer by car back to the guests' hotel or houseboat.

This Srinagar excursion can be bolted onto any holiday itinerary to this part of India. Indus Tours' programme is fully tailor-made, so customers can easily pick and choose the elements of the city or region that they would most like to experience. To better enable customers to visualise their dream itinerary, the company has put together a range of suggested holidays covering all the major highlights of the subcontinent.  Kashmir is included in several of these, such as the 9-day Kashmir: the Secret Garden itinerary, which combines houseboat accommodation in Srinagar with a visit to the flower-filled, Alpine meadows of Gulmarg. The holiday costs from £1,679 per person, based on two sharing.  More extensive is the 14-day Vale of Kashmir & Ladakh itinerary, which pairs the highlights of Kashmir with an adventure to the pristine, mountain scenery of Ladakh - a Buddhist homeland also known as the 'little Tibet'. This suggested itinerary costs from £2,498 per person (based on two sharing), with both prices including flights, transfers, accommodation and various sightseeing excursions as detailed in the itinerary.  Any Kashmir itinerary can be easily extended to include Agra, Jaipur or any other destination in northern India or the wider region.

Commenting on the new developments, Yasin Zargar, Managing Director, said, "Kashmir is a fascinating destination, filled with cultural charm and wonderful wildlife. The new Lal Ded Museum is already enhancing awareness of the region's tourism appeal, helping to preserve Srinagar's architecture, ambiance and unique heritage.  Our new Srinagar daytrip allows our discerning clientele to discover all the wonders of this truly historic city and combine it with the very best that the wider region has to offer.  And of course, as with all our holidays, our Kashmir itineraries come with all the high levels of quality, service and value for money for which Indus Tours is renowned."

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