Kunzum Route K11: Driving from Delhi to Srinagar, Kashmir including Jammu, Pahalgam & Gulmarg

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.

Notes:
* 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

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34 COMMENTS

  1. put up the pics pls…wud love to see how gulmarg and pahalgam look now. pahalgam was just too beautiful but a bit deserted..dont you think?

  2. Want to know the road condition during December to January from Srinagar to Gulmargh to Pahalgam is it motorable can tourist visit during December and January

  3. Hi Prosenjit,

    I have never driven in Kashmir in the winters but I believe they keep these roads open at all times, it being a crucial highway.

    Look forward to seeing you on Kunzum more often.

    Cheers….Ajay

  4. hey…it’s a really cool driving guide you have put out there…just perfect. thanx. We were thinking of doing the entire Jammu to Sonmarg stretch on one day….But it seems a bit too much of a drive for a single day, (if you like to take some cool stops). What do you think? Is Sonmarg too ambitious …or should we halt in Srinagar? we want to camp during the night..and there is some unrest in Srinagar…so..hmm….what do you suggest?

  5. You can most times of the year – it snows in Dec – Feb but many people still go at that time. Costing totally depends on transport mode, days, hotels etc.

  6. Hi Ajay,Wonderfully written and detailed once again.BTW how practical is it to ride on a bullet from delhi to srinagar AND please do advise as to the best time for bike travel.
    I have a bullet lying around just rusting away and i have been wainting to do this route for ages. any advice would be appreciated

  7. what a wonderful guide ajay ji.you rock…definitely it will help many many people.BTW Don’t you think the average speed was a bit low????

    • Hi Alok, yes it is as safe or unsafe to drive at night in J&K as anywhere else. I am personally not a fan of highway driving at night but you are the best judge for yourself. Just be sure there are no police / army restrictions though that may come up from time to time.

  8. Hi Ajay,
    very informative post. Thanks.

    Do you have any idea on road condition between delhi-Jammu now?
    I am planning to travel in coming Apr month. Thank you.

  9. Hi Ajay,

    Thanks for the wonderful information. It surely helps a lot. I hope Sept month for travel to these destinations are apt.

    Farah

  10. Dear Mr Jain,

    I found information on your web site very useful and informative.

    I am planning a trip to Srinagar in October during Dushera via Jammu. Jammu will be for night halt. I am interested to know the following:

    1. Road condition Delhi to Jalandhar – dual carriage? Any construction en route?
    2. Road condition Jalandhar to Jammu – dual carriage? Any construction en route?
    3. Road condition Jammu to Srinagar – dual carriage? Any construction en route?
    4. Will it be crowded in October during Dushera time in Srinagar/Gulmarg/Pahalgam/Sonmarg?

    Will sincerely appreciate if I receive your valuable inputs.

    Regards
    Sidharth Mukherjee

  11. I never been to Srinagar, once I went upto Pantntop about 10 yrs back. Hope road condition are good and the administrative things are also under control in Srinagar. I really like to go there.

  12. would like to travel to Srinagar from Delhi. Please suggest seasonal conditions and off-course road condition specially from Jammu to Srinagar….hill road…any specialty is require to drive on hill roads which i have never experienced so far. I shall be driving on my XUV5OO. Thanks in advance.

  13. Dear, I am planning to trip from Delhi to Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg myself with my European friend coming Oct. Please advise would that time would be a challenge. Please advise on any foreginors restriction on biking trip?

  14. Thanks Ajay! I am planing to travel in a couple of days by road (with family in a SUV) Delhi to Ludhiana and thereby next day all the way to Srinagar. Anyone who have recently done this route please give suggestions/cautions (road diversions/traffic snarls etc). Thanks.

  15. Superb Ajay Jain. I guess, this is one of the most comprehensive post on travel to Jammu. Now I am thinking of going as well. I have 5 days to spare in Dec 2013. Still looking out for more options, but this trip sounds exciting and snow might make it even more wonderful. Thanks.

  16. I’ll be glad if you could guide me,
    I am planning to drive from Delhi to Kashmir this Summer. Is it alright and safe?
    plus are the roads well built??
    moreover what are the traffic conditions like in Kashmir in June??
    Kindly help

  17. This is a great article. Thanks for sharing your moments.
    Driving is what I prefer myself, however, kashmir bring along lot of apprehensions in my mind in regards to safety for DELHI NUMBER CAR. Please suggest. I’ll be driving in the valley with my family.

  18. I want to go Srinagar, Gulmarg n Pahalgam etc in mid of May. Plz suggest…
    Is kashmir safe enough ?
    How long should be the duration?
    Where to stay (budget hotel) in srinagar ?

    • Yes, it is as safe as any other time. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but you could wait till after the election results are out.

      Duration is your choice really. And you could search for accommodation on the net.

  19. We are planning to go to Srinagar by road from delhi by own car in first week of June. Is the condition of roads OK for driving and comfortable for first time driving on hills.

  20. I and my wife are visiting Kashmir from 14 to 22 September. Planning to cover Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pehalgam, Sonmarg.

    I will be using cab or other public transport for travelling within Kashmir.

    Will appreciate if someone can recommend nofrill budget hotels. My orequirements are clean loo, clean and peaceful place preferably with WiFi

  21. I am planning to drive my self from Jammu to Srinagar during this september. My wife & daughter will be with me. This will be the first time to drive. Although I have experience of driving on the Jammu Katra road & also before NH reconstruction started recently. Would it be difficult for me signle handedly from Jammu to Kshmir in i10 Automatic. And what about travelling these days. Are the roads beyond udhampur very difficult to drive. By the way I am 50. I feel the butterflies in the stomach.
    Please guide me.
    debs

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