A day in Kokernag, Kashmir

Kokernag Botanical Garden, Kashmir, India.

Kokernag Botanical Garden, Kashmir

Staying in the accommodation right inside the Kokernag garden, gave us an advantage. We could visit the Kokernag garden right at sunrise – an ideal time for birding. Specially by the natural spring that flows through it.

Developed by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department, it is the biggest garden in Kashmir.

A natural spring flows in the Kokernag Botanical Garden, the biggest garden developed by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department, with a number of flowering plants, a rose garden and several huge chinar trees in Kashmir.

The department’s Tourism Reception Center (TRC) is next to this garden. We met an extremely dedicated tourism officer here, who guided and mentored us throughout our stay.

Kokernag Trout Fishery, Asia’s largest

The scenic trout fishery in Kokernag right next to Kokernag Botanical Garden is the biggest trout fishery in Asia.

Right next to the Kokernag Botanical Garden is the largest trout fishery in Asia. The research students at the training institute here showed us the various steps involved in breeding the fish.

The scenic trout fishery in Kokernag right next to Kokernag Botanical Garden is the biggest trout fishery in Asia.

The cool weather of Kashmir provides the perfect temperature for trout breeding. This potential was first tapped by a Norwegian researcher who started breeding trout here.

The scenic trout fishery in Kokernag right next to Kokernag Botanical Garden is the biggest trout fishery in Asia.

Though not native to Kashmir, we were told by the students, that trout is now “The Pride of Kashmir”. We had the opportunity to taste it at several locations in Kashmir, and pride it rightly is!

Fried Trout fish, a delicacy of Kashmir, India.

A trip to Kashmir is incomplete without tasting a trout delicacy.

Garden outings, a family culture in Kashmir

We reached Kokernag on a Sunday and were surprised to see the garden as a hot-spot for Sunday family outings.

It was choc-a-bloc with kids playing, couples romancing among the roses and the elderly resting under the Chinars. Each family had carried a multi-layered “tiffin box” for the family lunch. Some were even carrying their own portable gas cylinders!

Kokernag Botanical Garden, Kashmir, India.

In our two month stay in Kashmir, we saw this kind of activity in the gardens throughout the state. It is a well preserved part of the family culture throughout Kashmir. Three generations of families spending the whole day together in the gardens – it was a refreshing sight!

Such a contrast to the “mall culture” engulfing urban India.

We felt it was worth spending a day in Kokernag. However, if time doesn’t permit a night halt here, it can be seen as a break on the way to Sinthan Top.

These travel stories will help you plan your trip to Kashmir

Guide for offbeat travel to Kashmir, India

Or if you are traveling ahead of Kashmir to Ladakh

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Sandeepa and Chetan. Married. Indians. Exploring Travel as Lifestyle. Featured by National Geographic, Yahoo. We hope that through our travel stories we inspire others to make their dream into a reality.

16 thoughts on “A day in Kokernag, Kashmir

  1. Kamna

    Wish I could spend my life traveling….n half of it in Kashmir. Your blog brought back memories of my trip to The Heaven in june 2016…just before valley started burning again. We too had a day spent at kokernag. However on way due to ill planning v missed Achhbal Gardens…most beautiful gardens in whole kashmir valley. Though it was more than compensated by visit to Verinaag. U guys if haven’t been to this place must go there. The beauty of the place will leave u spellbound. I have numerous pics of that place clicked n every time I miss kashmir go back to my album.

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hello Kamna, this is a beautiful part of Kashmir, isn’t it? We did go to Verinag, it was an overcast day, yet we could appreciate the beauty of the place. We have written about our entire South Kashmir experience, do have a look. Hope to bring back some more memories of your Kashmir travels.

  2. ram kumar K

    You guys are rock stars! So glad I stumbled upon your amazing travel blog! I love offbeat destinations too, your blog has been of great help to plan my trip to J&K. Thanks a bunch keep travelling, cheers!

  3. Pingback: Gujjar home, Kashmir, India | Spring Ever

  4. Anurag Sharma

    Dear Sandeepa and Chetan i’ll be visiting Kokernag comin June with my family for one day all bookings done need your recommendations for places around Kokernag and Pahalgam .

  5. Anand

    Sir, Can you please give the contact number of jktdc kokernag. I wanted to book the tourist bunglow. Also Sir on their web site for a tourist bunglow DBR with att bath while filling the form it is accepting 2 adults and 1 child. So wanted to confirm with them whether they accomodate 2 adult and 2 children 11 and 13 yrs . My mail id is anandguptamittal@gmail.com
    Thanks And Regards

  6. vikram agarwal

    AM travelling to Kashmir in 2nd week of March with my wife and 2 kids (5yrsand 3 yrs).Am there for 9 nights. Please suggest me where should I go. I want to go to all the offbeat places but since I have kids with me so am little worried , I will anyway hire a car for all days !

    1. sandeepachetan

      Hello Vikram, March is a great time to be in Kashmir. Spring would have set in and the holiday rush yet to start. Since you have 9 days, you can travel at a leisurely pace. South Kashmir is a region we highly recommend – it’s not very touristy yet easily accessible. Kokernag, Achabal, Daksum, Sinthan Top, Verinag is a beautiful circuit. Recommend staying ta Daksum.
      Also consider Yusmarg and Aru valley. The kids will love running on the beautiful rolling meadows. All of these places have good stay arrangements. They are sufficiently offbeat places in Kashmir without getting too adventurous.
      Happy planning and have a great trip to Kashmir.

  7. Rose

    That would really help our upcoming trip.

    We have a question here. Have you stayed in Daksum JKTDC?
    We have one to spare and we are confused between Kokernag and daksum JKTDC stay options. It would be great if you can throw some light.

    Does Kokernag have something else other than this garden and trout fishing?

    1. sandeepachetan

      We had not stayed at Daksum, only visited it as a day trip. But we heard from someone who had that the stay facility is quite decent. While Kokernag has a garden, Daksum has a wildlife sanctuary. And a lot of trails in the woods where you can just walk by. Daksum is more for a nature lover. The botanical garden and a tour of the trout fishery are the major attractions of Kokernag.