The Himalayas are rugged, remote, and sparsely populated. Large areas are cut off by snowfall in winter. Combine this with the fact that the people here have close ethnic, linguistic, and cultural ties with communities in Tibet, and it feels very different to other parts of India.
The Kashmir Valley is one of the most wonderful places to explore, with turquoise rivers that cut through wildflower encrusted mountain vales. Stay in a cedar houseboat on Dal Lake, wander through the magnificent Mughal gardens, and explore the historic buildings of the Old City on a heritage walking tour.
Crossing the mountain passes from Kashmir to Ladakh - Little Tibet - is not for the faint hearted, as the road twists and turns. It’s well worth the effort though, as this high altitude desert is filled with ancient Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and forts. In winter you stand good chances of seeing snow leopard in the Hemis National Park, as well as marmot and birds of prey.