I drove to Jammu and Kashmir in April 2010 (yes, that’s right – I drove; don’t know any other way to travel) from Delhi. Here is a time – distance chart on Kunzum Route K11 should you want to do so yourself. Hope it helps!
Delhi to Jammu
- Delhi – Panipat: 1:34 hrs, 110 kms (Take the NH1)
- Panipat – Karnal: 0:37 hrs, 39 kms
- Karnal – Ambala: 1:25 hrs, 79 kms
- Ambala – Ludhiana: 2:10 hrs, 118 kms
- Ludhiana – Phagwara: 1:00 hr, 43 kms (Traffic can be a bit slow crossing Ludhiana)
- Phagwara – Jalandhar: 0:24 hrs, 21 kms
- Jalandhar – Pathankot: 1:53 hrs, 117 kms (Take the NH1A from here – you have to take two turns in Jalandhar, watch out for signs to Pathankot)
- Pathankot – Jammu: 2:47 hrs, 118 kms (Take a night halt here; it is also the ideal place to stay if you are headed to Vaishno Devi)
* You will get enough places to take pitstops all the way from Delhi to Jalandhar; gets a little difficult to find a clean loo after this. Coffee breaks can be had at Barista / Café Coffee Day / Costa on the way with enough quality eateries too. Recommended are Savoy Greens in Karnal (near Karna Lake), Sagar Ratna (just a little after Ambala) and Haveli (just before you hit Jalandhar) – all on the highway.
* The condition of roads is excellent almost throughout. There was some flyover construction activity at Pathankot though – with a promise of faster traffic in the future.
Total Driving Time from Delhi to Jammu: 11:52 hrs
Total Distance from Delhi to Jammu: 643 kms (402 miles)
Jammu – Srinagar
- Jammu – Udhampur: 1:36 hrs, 62 kms (You should take a diversion from here for the ancient temples at Kiramchi, 8 kms from Udhampur. You can get there only if you ask locals for directions – you have to turn from Supply Chowk)
- Udhampur – Kud: 1:00 hrs, 40 kms (Take a break here for the Indian sweet Patisa – Kud is famous for this)
- Kud – Patnitop: 0:13 hrs, 8 kms (Stop for views if you wish to at Patnitop)
- Patnitop – Peerah: 0:39 hrs, 27 kms (Peerah is famous for freshly cooked Rajma – Chawal served with Chutney and Ghee – don’t miss it; you may anyway be hungry by now)
- Peerah – Jawahar Tunnel: 2:03 hrs, 70 kms (The tunnel connects Kashmir valley to the rest of the country by road; close this and no traffic can get through)
- Jawahar Tunnel – Titanic View Point: 0:17 hrs, 6 kms (The first view of the Kashmir Valley can be had from here – a tea stall serves beverages and snacks)
- Titanic View Point – Anantnag: 0:45 hrs, 34 kms (Turn at Anantnag for either Srinagar or Pahalgam)
- Anantnag – Srinagar: 1:20 hrs, 55 kms (The first sight of Srinagar and you know you are in heaven)
Total Driving Time from Jammu to Srinagar: 7:53 hrs
Total Distance from Jammu to Srinagar: 302 kms (189 miles)
Total Driving Time from Delhi to Srinagar: 19:45 hrs
Total Distance from Delhi to Srinagar: 945 kms (591 miles)
Srinagar – Gulmarg
Total Time: 1:40 hrs
Total Distance: 56 kms (35 miles)
Srinagar – Pahalgam:
- Srinagar – Anantnag: 1:30 hrs, 55 kms
- Anantnag – Matan: 0:12 hrs, 6 kms
- Matan – Pahalgam: 0:49 hrs, 34 kms
Total Driving Time from Srinagar to Pahalgam: 2:31 hrs
Total Distance from Srinagar to Pahalgam: 95 kms (59 miles)
Anantnag: Go to Srinagar or Pahalgam from here
When you reach Anantnag, you can take the turn to either to Srinagar or Pahalgam. When going to or from Delhi to either Srinagar or Pahalgam, you have to cross Anantnag. You can calculate distance / time accordingly.
* I have not included the time where I took stops. In other words, you are only reading actual driving times above except where mentioned.
* The actual distance readings can vary in different cars. Treat these as approximations only.
* Time taken can vary with traffic – always a good idea to leave early morning to beat at least some of the rush.
* One rule when driving in India: Keep asking for directions even when you know you are going correctly. With highways constantly being upgraded, you may be directed to some more efficient routes including bypassing towns, or being told about new roads. And locals always know when a road or a bridge has gone under, and may suggest alternate routes.
* The best people to ask for directions are drivers of taxis, buses and trucks. They ply the roads all the time.
* Milestones give distances to centres of town – and the above may not necessarily be measured at that point by me.
* SH: State Highway; NH: National Highway