How to reach Srinagar from Jammu is one of the basic questions that any traveler to Kashmir wants to know more about. Unfortunately, all the government services are useless as the numbers provided on the Kashmir Tourism department websites are never answered. However, here’s the complete guide which will help you reach Srinagar from Jammu. This is based on my observations from December 2017.
Kashmir used to be one of the most popular tourist destinations up until a few years ago when terror activities began gaining the attention of the mainstream media. The capital and central city in Kashmir is that of Srinagar – which is ideally the base city for most tourists coming to Kashmir. Let us now take a look at how to reach Srinagar.
There are two ways by which you can reach Srinagar – directly via flight, or via Jammu. Let us take a look at each of these ways:
How to Directly Reach Srinagar
One of the easiest ways to reach Srinagar is via flights. You can book a flight from almost any city in India to Srinagar. Most flights will come via Delhi or via Jammu. Srinagar Airport (SXR) is named the Sheikh Ul Alam Airport after the Sufi Mystic who lived here in 1400 AD.
Time Taken: Time taken between Delhi to Srinagar via flights is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes while the flight between Jammu and Srinagar is that of about 20 minutes.
Cost of Flight: If booked in advance, the flights between Jammu and Srinagar cost about Rs. 1500 and the flights between Delhi and Srinagar cost Rs. 3000 – the price can change depending how close you are booking from the date of travel. Vistara is one of the best airlines if you’re looking to travel between Delhi and Srinagar.
How to Reach Srinagar From Jammu
The second option that you have is reaching Srinagar via Jammu.
Jammu Tawi railway station (JAT) is the biggest railway station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Many trains come here and the station is well connected with major cities. Trains from Delhi and Punjab are frequent and come in every day. The Jammu Rajdhani and Jammu Duronto are among two of the best trains which will bring you to Jammu.
In order to reach Srinagar from Jammu, you have three options – either take a shared cab, or take a private cab all the way to Srinagar, or take a cab up to Banihal from where you can take a train to Srinagar. There are no trains that connect Jammu with Srinagar.
Let us now take a look at all these options in detail:
Cab Between Jammu and Srinagar
A cab between Jammu and Srinagar comes in two options – you can either book an entire cab, or take a shared cab. These cabs run from Jewel Chowk in Jammu.
Cost of Cabs Between Jammu and Srinagar:
As of December 2017, different cabs charge you at different rates. The cost of travel from Jammu to Srinagar in a tempo traveler ranges between Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 – though if you are not a local chances are you’ll be forced to pay Rs. 500 per person.
If you decide to take a more comfortable mode of transport such as a Innova, Tavera or a Xylo, you will be charged up to Rs. 700 to Rs. 900 per person.
Time Taken To Travel From Jammu to Srinagar By Road
On an average, it takes about 8 to 9 hours to reach Srinagar from Jammu, it is best advised to leave early in the morning around 8 to 10 AM so that you reach by 4 PM to 7 PM. However, the time is variable depending upon the traffic and the army movement as there is only one road that connects Jammu with Kashmir and that road has a lot of public movement as well as truck traffic.
In winters, when it begins to snow, the road is often open to only one side of the traffic (i.e. you can go to Jammu from Srinagar on one day and on the next day you can go to Srinagar from Jammu – it is alternative traffic). This is because of the snow and to keep the highway uncluttered.
Are The Roads Between Jammu and Srinagar Safe
Yes, the roads between Jammu and Srinagar are completely safe. However, if you go there during winter or monsoon, you might be slowed down due to landslides – which are infrequent but not uncommon in these roads. Sometimes, small rocks tend to fall from the mountains which may damage the windshields of cars. However, all of these are rare incidents.
Let us now take a look at our second option:
How to Reach Srinagar from Banihal via Train
Another option that you have is to hail a cab at Jammu and get off at Banihal, from where you can catch a train. You will need to reach here via a cab as there are no direct trains from Jammu to Banihal.
The cost of travel between Jammu to Banihal is approximately Rs. 400 in a car and about Rs. 250-300 on a tempo traveler. These cabs drop you at Banihal railway station from where trains run to Srinagar almost ever hour between 7 AM to 7 PM. Don’t be too late though as you might miss the last train.
The cost of a train journey between Banihal to Srinagar is Rs. 20 as of December 2017. This is a 1 hour 30 minute journey which may take up another 30 minutes due to slow speeds and unplanned halts. Sometimes if there’s too much traffic on the roads, this might be a faster way to reach Srinagar than compared to a cab.