Daksum in the evergreen forests at Anantnag-Semthan-Kishtwar road is a natural scenic spot. The best thing about this place? It still remains free from the hustle bustle and noise of boisterous tourists. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, revel in the beauty of the green conifers and listen to the only sounds of a gurgling mountain brook flowing somewhere and Himalayan birds chirping away to glory! Take back the best of nature from here.
Located at an altitude of 2,438 m above sea level, it is about 85 Km from Srinagar. It is en route trek to Kishtwar and a picturesque jungle trail from here will lead you to Sinthan pass and Sinthan top.
Daksum is located in a densely forested gorge with Bringhi River rushing right through its center.
For an adventurer and a nature lover, the jungle trail in Daksum is a memorable and fulfilling experience. ‘Be one with nature,’ sounds cliché? But it is what your entire being is exposed to during this nature walk. The landscape is a bit erratic and you are in for surprises in the form of lush green and thick coniferous forest on a hilly slope, open grassy meadows, and a background of snow covered mountains, the Pir Panjal range.
If you are lucky enough you can actually hear a shepherd (known as Gurjars in this part of the world) singing or playing his flute while tending to his flock.
At a height of 3785m, the pass is open from April to September. Sinthan pass is on Kishtwar and Srinagar road in Jammu and Kashmir and is known to connect J&K with Kishtwar. It was considered one of the barren passes but is a wonderful and enjoyable ride from Srinagar.
Travelers need to cover 290 Km to reach Kishtwar via the Srinagar –Jammu highway.
As your each the foothill of the Sinthan pass you can witness pretty Kashmiri villages with typical wood house and inclined roof tops with yellow green paddy fields during summers and a white blanket of snow during winters.
The curves and bends of the road give you an exhilarating and incredible view of snow covered mountains shimmering with sunlight on one side and thick pine forests on the other.
The Himalayan flora and fauna welcomes you with open arms on the way. Thanks to the locals, the entire area has an untouched and unrivaled aura about them with various mountain brooks, lush greenery and wild flowers all around.
While driving to the top we stopped for lunch at a brook with a small wooden hut built by the local gurjars (shepherds). An astounding view of the Pir Panjal range is a real feast for not just your eyes but all other senses.
Pull down the windows of your SUV and breathe in the cool and freshest of airs. This trip to Sinthan pass is definitely a delightful and a soothing experience.
The view that awaited us at the Sinthan pass was nowhere close to our imagination. The height of 12,450 feet is awe inspiring. The views from the Sinthan pass make the entire journey worthwhile.
From Sinthan pass, there is an uphill trek to Sinthan top. The uphill climb is a difficult and steep but the end result is worth every breath!
We tried to be adventurous and made another trip in the month of December and were admonished by nature in the form of a blizzard! Risky, though it was, but it has been one of the most awing experiences of my life. The crystal clear, pristine and fresh snow along with the scenery in the aftermath of the blizzard still remains etched in my memory!
Let the pictures speak for themselves what I cannot express in as many words!
How to reach
The nearest International airport is Srinagar from where Anantnag is at a driving distance of 66 Km. It is 237 Km from Jammu situated just after the Jawahar Tunnel. Buses from Jammu take about half a day.
Taxis can be hired from Srinagar which takes around 2 to 2 & a half hours.
Anantnag railway station is also connected with Kashmir Railway that runs from Baramulla to Qazigund.
Sleeping and staying
There are not many places to stay in Daksum. Travelers will have to put up in Anantnag or Kokernag.
Hotel Alpine is a good option to stay in Anantnag. A number of restaurants are available in the area serving local and Indian cuisine.