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.
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
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 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.
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!
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!
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.
Do you need further assistance to plan your itinerary for offbeat travel to kashmir?
These travel stories will help you plan your trip to Kashmir
Or if you are travelling ahead of Kashmir to Ladakh
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.