Gurez Valley Kashmir: An Offbeat Jewel

Gurez Valley Kashmir: An Offbeat Jewel

Gurez Valley stands as a hidden gem, offering a breathtaking landscape that remains largely untouched by mass tourism. Awarded the best off-beat destination by the tourism department, Gurez Valley boasts a unique charm that differentiates it from the more popular locales of Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. If you’re planning a trip to Kashmir, make sure to include Gurez in your itinerary.

About Gurez Valley

Gurez, also known as Gurais, is located about 126 kilometers from Srinagar. The valley, which was once restricted due to its proximity to the border, has been open to tourists since 2017. Thanks to the efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department, including festivals like Jashn-e-Gurez and Grand Gurez, the area is gaining popularity among travelers.

Indian nationals can visit Gurez Valley with a valid ID, such as an Aadhar card. However, foreign nationals are still restricted from entering the valley as of 2023. Nestled at an average elevation of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters), the valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is home to diverse wildlife, including the Himalayan brown bear and the snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through Gurez, eventually merging with the Jhelum River at Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.

The primary route to Gurez from Srinagar is via the Razdan Pass, which is typically closed from November to April due to heavy snowfall. Gurez is divided into two main areas: Dawar, the main township, and Tulail. Dawar offers basic amenities, including living, dining, and shopping facilities.

Tour Plan

Our Jammu Kashmir trip package includes a detailed itinerary for your visit to Gurez Valley:

Day 1: Srinagar – Bandipora – Razdan – Dawar (126 km, 6 hours) 

Day 2: Dawar – Tulail – Badugam – Chakwalia – Dawar (60 km, 3 hours) 

Day 3: Dawar – Bandipora – Srinagar/Gulmarg/Sonamarg

Depending on your schedule, a visit to Gurez Valley can be planned for two or three days.

How to Reach Gurez Valley

Gurez Valley is accessible from April to October, depending on weather and road conditions. During the closed months (November to March), the only way in and out is by helicopter from Srinagar or Bandipora. Shared cabs are available from Srinagar (Parimpora Bus Stand) to Bandipora and then from Bandipora to Gurez (Dawar). While shared cabs are economical (approximately ₹1,000 per person), they can be time-consuming and less comfortable. Alternatively, you can hire a private cab from Srinagar, which costs around ₹20,000, offering a more comfortable journey with sightseeing opportunities along the way. 

Road Conditions

The road from Srinagar to Gurez is generally in good condition, except for a few kilometers near Razdan Pass. The route is scenic, passing through Mansabal Lake and Wular Lake. The drive from Srinagar to Bandipora is mostly smooth, but it’s advisable to refuel in Bandipora as there are no fuel stations until Dawar.


Accommodations in Gurez Valley have improved significantly, with options ranging from the J&K Tourism Dak Bungalow to guest houses. Camping is also an option at designated sites.

Points of Interest

  • Kishanganga Dam and Power Project: A scenic spot near Dawar.
  • Habba Khatoon Peak: Offers a spectacular view, especially at dusk.
  • Khandiyal Top: Provides a panoramic view of Dawar and surrounding areas.
  • Tulail Valley: A picturesque area 32 km from Dawar.
  • Gurez Chakwali: The last village on the Indian side of the border.
  • Log Hut Café: A cozy café with city-like amenities, run by the Indian Army.

Permits and Entries

You must register at the Army checkpoint near Razdan Pass (Tragbal) with a valid ID. Drones and similar equipment are prohibited, and exit entries are required at all checkpoints when leaving the valley.

Festivals and Activities

The tourism department, in collaboration with the Indian Army, organizes various festivals and activities in Gurez, such as Jashn-e-Gurez. Activities include hiking, trekking, camping, fishing, and rafting on the Kishanganga River.

Pricing and Budget

  • Bike Rental: ₹1,500-2,000 per day (without fuel).
  • Taxi Rental: ₹18,000-22,000 for a 3-day trip.
  • Accommodations: ₹4,000-5,000 for basic options; ₹6,000-8,000 for better ones.
  • Camping: ₹1,000-1,200 per night.

For a seamless and memorable Gurez Valley experience, opt for our Jammu Kashmir trip package and explore the hidden beauty of this offbeat destination.

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