There are a couple of legends surrounding the origins of Yusmarg’s name. The more prosaic one says ‘Yusmarg’ is a corruption of ‘Roosmarg’, or ‘meadow of the musk deer’. The interesting one comes from a belief that Jesus Christ spent some of his ‘lost’ years in India, and passed through Yusmarg, earning it the name ‘Meadow of Jesus’!

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Yusmarg is a small little dwelling, perfect for hikers who’d rather spend time in the wilderness than in manicured gardens. It lies at the end of the road from Charar-e-Sharief, home to the dargah of Sheikh Noorud-din Wali. As you pass the ancient Sufi shrine, the air becomes cooler and the foliage turns a deep shade of green. The winding road passes by streams and small clearings set amidst the forests, till you come across some new tourist facilities built by the Yusmarg Development Authority (YDA). Up next is a water reservoir, and then, a narrow, rutted path that passes by a small market on to the JKTDC tourist huts and car parking. All around are meadows, rolling hills and pine trees.

Walks and Treks

Doodhganga, barely 2 km to the west of Yusmarg, is a fast-flowing river named after the water that churns into froth when passing over rocks. The clearing by the river is the perfect spot to picnic in, or relax in the meadows off the path. You’ll also see the huts of nomadic Gujjars on the slopes, and their horses grazing around.

The Nil Nag Lake beside Gogji Pathri Village is also a popular walk, a 4-km hike north from Yusmarg.

There are also a few long trekking routes from Yusmarg. The beautiful Doodpathri meadow with its JKTDC guesthouse is a 20-km trek to the west. It’s steep going through the forested lower slopes of the Pir Panjal, and a guide is essential.

The frozen valley of Sang-e-Safed around 40 km southwest of Yusmarg is a two-day return hike and takes you past the unspoiled meadows at Diskhal and Liddermar (25 km). Fresnag, north of Liddermar is also a popular hiking destination. Other trekking destinations near Yusmarg include Trisoru 18 km, Burga (15 km) and Drugdolen (7 km).

Vaibhav Sharma
A cottage in picturesque Yusmarg
A cottage in picturesque Yusmarg

Angling in Doodhganga

The fisheries department’s office here, gives licenses (1,000 for a day’s fishing; 2,000 for foreigners; you can catch up to 6 fish), but the office is often shut. You can also pick up a license when passing through Srinagar (Department of Fisheries, 77-B, Gogjibagh, Jawahar Nagar, Tel: 0194-2312046, 2313378; W jkfisheries.in).

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

The JKTDC Hutment Complex (Cell: 09797927055; Tariff: 1,200-7,000) at the end of the road to Yusmarg is the only stay option. The living units are scattered across a large meadow. The restaurant here serves basic meals.

When to go April to September Location In Budgam District, facing the Pir Panjal massifs in the north Air Nearest airport: Srinagar Rail Nearest rail: Jammu

 

THE INFORMATION

Tourist Offices

Directorate of Tourism (Kashmir)

Tel: 0194-2502279

W jktourism.org

JKTDC

Tourist Reception Centre

TRC Road, Srinagar

Tel: 2457927-30

jktdc.co.in

Director, Tourism

Jammu, Tel: 0191-2520409

Leh

Tourist Reception Centre, Leh

Tel: 01982-252297, 252094

Tourist Development Authority

Tourist Reception Centre, Leh

Tel: 250866

Permits

Deputy Commissioner, Leh

Tel: 01982-252010, 252297

STD code 01982, 01985

Tourist Office, Kargil

Tel: 01985-232721, 232266

Zanskar Valley

Tourist Reception Centre, Padum

Tel: 01983-245017

STD code 01983

Manasbal

Wular-Manasbal Development

Authority

Tel: 01954-217541

Cell: 09622912407

Lolab Bangus Development Authority

Cell: 09419017791

STD code 01954

 

THE INFORMATION

Tangmarg

Tourist Reception Centre

Narbal-Tangmarg Road

Tangmarg

Tel: 01954-254436

STD code 01954

Yusmarg

Yusmarg Development Authority

Chief Executive Officer, Yusmarg

Tel: 01951-244266

Cell: 09419000272

STD code 01951

Achabal

J&K Tourism

Tourist Info Centre, Achabal

Cell: 09906606555

Daksum

JKTDC Tourist Bungalow

Daksum

Cell: 09469515050

Mansar Lake

Tourist Info Counter

Jammu Airport. Tel: 0191-2431917

Tourist Info Counter

Jammu Tawi Railway Station

Tel: 0191-2476078

JKTDC

Wazwan, Dilli Haat, Opp INA Market

New Delhi

Tel: 011-24670505

J&K Tourism

TRC, Gulmarg

Tel: 01954-254487, 254439

STD Codes Jammu 0191, Delhi 011,

Gulmarg 01954