After a wonderful Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in India (Read here – Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Photo Blog: Beautiful Himalayan Trek), we decided to explore Kashmir on a bike trip and after some initial research decided for Srinagar to Gurez Bike Trip.
Read about our complete Gurez Trip here – Gurez Valley (Dawar and Tulail) Trip – Offbeat Kashmir. Please click here to read all our blogs for backpacking in India
Little information for Srinagar to Gurez Bike Trip
While we were excited for another offbeat trip in Kashmir, we had very limited information about Gurez Valley. How to reach Gurez Valley? Where in Gurez should we head to? Road condition from Srinagar to Gurez? How much time would it take for Gurez Bike Trip? Are there any good guest houses in Gurez? Do we need a permit for Gurez and how should we get it? Is it even safe to go to Gurez as it is on India Pakistan Border? So many questions !! We inquired around, researched online but still could not find complete information and were confused.
Finally, we decided to pick a bike from Srinagar and leave for Dawar (main city in Gurez Valley). Thankfully, it turned out to be an amazing bike trip for us. Based on our experience, we have written this separate blog with all details and tips to help fellow travellers plan their Gurez Bike Trip. You may read more about our complete Gurez Trip here – Gurez Valley (Dawar and Tulail) Trip – Offbeat Kashmir.
Srinagar to Gurez Bike Drive Video
Here is our complete video for Srinagar to Gurez Bike Trip. We have covered different stretches to help you understand the road condition better. Road gets worse as you approach Dawar and deteriorates even further in Tulail Valley.
Drive on Rajdhan Pass – On top of Rajdhan Pass, it is almost flat drive on a well paved road. You face challenges while driving up and descending down from Rajdhan Pass. You have to negotiate both turns and slope while driving on loose soil and rough patches.
Drive next to India Pakistan Border – You drive very close to LoC at times inside barbed fence as Gurez has border with Pakistan.
Srinagar to Gurez Bike Trip: Commonly asked Questions
Here, we are summarizing answers to commonly asked questions so that you can plan your Gurez Bike Trip better –
1. Do you need Permit to visit Gurez Valley?
No, Not any longer. Earlier, you had to get a Permit in advance for a visit to Gurez Valley but now it is no longer needed for Indian Nationals. You can show your ID Card and make an on-the-spot entry at Army and Police check-posts. Actually, on our way from Srinagar to Dawar, we had to stop for ID check at around 6 Posts. We met few boys in Gurez who had a Permit copy back from 2009. We clicked a picture of the same but this is no longer needed. You can directly go to Gurez Valley.
Please note that if you want to visit Tulail area, then you will require a Permit. You can get the same from Dawar Police Station on the spot (Carry Aadhar Copy and 1 photograph for each member). Also if you want to visit Chorwan Army Check Post, you would need special permission from Army HQ at Dawar (Not usually granted as this is sensitive area). For more details, you may read our blog here – Gurez Valley (Dawar and Tulail) Trip – Offbeat Kashmir.
2. What documents do you require for verification at Army/Police Check Posts?
ID Proof, preferably Aadhar card. Security Personnel usually ask for Aadhar Card. We were not carrying the same and Driving License worked fine for us. Driving License and Vehicle Documents – In case you are driving a bike/car.
3. Is it Safe to visit Gurez as it is on India Pakistan Border?
Yes. We found it very much safe as you have Army at almost all the places to help and guide you. Just be careful not to venture around without appropriate guidance. There may be inconvenience with regular verification at Check-Posts but safety wise, we never felt any issue even driving next to border fence.
4. What about Army? What about Local people? How do they receive tourists?
We got so much love and care both from Army and local people wherever we went. It was a bit inconvenient to go through verification at almost 15 times during our trip but that is a standard process with Gurez being close to Pakistan. Otherwise, Army and Police Personnel both were very helpful. At every Check-Post, Army Personnel eagerly chatted with us and guided us for our trip. At Bagtore Check-Post, we were welcomed by Army people with tea and biscuits as we sat with them for an hour chatting about their life, their family back home and more.
Gurezi people are equally welcoming. People of Gurez have a big heart and that makes it a special place to visit. Everyone was smiling looking at us and if we asked for anything, they eagerly helped us, at times even inviting us for tea at their home- “Ghar Chalo, Chai Peeo” – Come home and have tea, please. We even visited a family in Dawar and they gifted us Kaala Jeera (Black Cumin), considered to be a precious possession in Gurez.
5. How far is Gurez Valley from Srinagar and how much time does it take to reach Dawar?
Though Google Map shows Srinagar to Dawar distance as 137 kilometers but it took us almost 8 hours (8 AM to 6 PM – Excluding 2 hour break). First of all, road condition was very poor. After Bandipora as you ascend, most of the stretch is mud and loose stones. Secondly, you have to be very cautious at slopes. Thirdly, you loose time at every check-post for verification and entry. So start early from Srinagar so that we reach Dawar well before sun-set.
6. How is the road condition from Srinagar to Gurez Valley?
Up to Bandipora, road is well paved but after that, it gets worse with regular off-road stretches (loose soil, mud and stones). You can not drive beyond first gear at these stretches. Road at Razdan Pass is again well paved but it deteriorates once you start descending from Razdan. Krishnaganga River Dam is being built near Gurez and it is all dust and mud over here. People told us that Bandipora to Dawar road had always been in bad shape. Like people of Gurez, we also hope that it improves some time soon.
7. How to reach Gurez Valley – Bike Trip or Public Transport or Booking a Cab?
If you are not averse to dust and sun – a bike trip to Gurez would certainly excite you but you have to be an expert rider. Roads are rough and challenging.
In case, you want to use Public Transport – Take a shared jeep from Batmaloo Bus Stand (Srinagar) to Bandipora. From Bandipora, you will get shared jeeps for Dawar. But with shared jeep, you will not be able to stop enroute at Razdan Pass and Peer Baba Dargah. Also, all places of interest in Gurez are spread out and you again need to book a taxi in Dawar to roam around.
If you are with family (children and elderly), we will suggest to book a taxi. You can roll up windows and comfortably reach Dawar. You also need not to hire a separate taxi to go to Tulail and visit places around Dawar.
8. Which Bike should I rent for Srinagar to Gurez Bike Trip?
We strongly recommend for at least Royal Enfiled 350 CC. Road condition was really bad and it takes a long ride to reach Dawar. Any other lower CC bike may not be able to negotiate these roads and also at the end, you will develop backache. Also, we will suggest to have a luggage rack on your bike.
9. What if my bike breaks down or gets punctured on the way?
Oops, you will be stuck there. There is no village/shop after Bandipora except few snacks shop at Tangbal. Also you will not find many vehicles plying on this road. On top of it, you will also not have any mobile signals. So best option is to carry a repair/ puncture kit and you should know basic repair work. Shared jeep drivers and army check-posts are the only saviour in case your bike breaks down on the way. We ourself were not aware for how to fix a bike or puncture. We were just hoping all the way that our bike did not break down. Thankfully, for us, our Gurez Bike Trip went smooth.
10. Are there any village/town on the way for having lunch?
No !! 🙂 Once you leave Bandipora, you will not find any town/village till Dawar. There are few shops at Tangbal where you can get snacks, omelette, maggie and tea. After Tangbal, you won’t find even a single sign of habitation (except check-posts) till Dawar. So, carry ample water, some food and snacks. However, you never feel unsafe because you will always have reach to army personnel within 10 to 15 kilometers of any point. Still, go well prepared for your Gurez Bike Trip !!
11. Where to Stay in Gurez Valley – Guest House and Accommodation Options?
Dawar is the main city in Gurez valley and there are limited Guest Houses in Dawar. Best option to stay is J&K Tourism Guest House (TRC – Tourist Reception Center). You may book the same by calling at 9419444670/ 01957255284. Please note that Gurez has poor mobile connectivity so please try fixed line number. We did not find the staff at Gurez Guest House as warm as at other J&K Tourism Guest Houses but there is no better stay option than this in Dawar. There are 2 to 3 other private guest houses too for which you can get details through quick online search.
There is also another J&K Guest House at Shaikpora (Tulail Valley) with 2 rooms. It will be another 1 hour drive from Dawar. You may enquire at above number only if you want to spend a night at Shaikpora.
12. Any Good Restaurants in Gurez Valley? Veg only?
Dawar has very limited restaurant options. After taking a walk across whole town, we realized that Noorani Restaurant ( They also have a guest house of their own -9469129349) right opposite to TRC (J&K Tourism Guest House) is the only best option 🙂 Unlike other J&K Tourism Guest Houses, TRC Dawar also does not have an in-house kitchen facility. If you are a pure vegetarian, then you would not find any Pure Veg place here.
13. What about Mobile Connectivity in Gurez Valley?
You will loose mobile signals once you leave Bandipora. In Dawar, BSNL works but signals are so poor that even that does not work properly. There are plans for putting new Jio towers. Hope that improves the situation !! By the way, this gives you the joy of using old STD booths to call back home. Forget about 3G and 4G connectivity 🙂
14. What about Electricity Supply in Gurez Valley?
Even if you won’t ask, we will tell you about this :). Dawar does not have direct electric supply and there is a generator for the town. It supplies electricity from 8 PM to 12 PM (4 hours only). So, plan to charge your phone/camera accordingly. With Krishnaganga dam being built next to Dawar, people are hopeful that electricity issue would be taken care of.
15. How is Gurez further connected. Can I take some other road or go to Sonamarg from another route?
As of now, there is no other road connecting Gurez Valley. You have to come back with the same road to Bandipora. There used to be a road from Dawar to Drass/Sonamarg but this is no longer operational. Being on India Pakistan Border, this is under Army control and no longer used by anyone. When we spoke to people in Dawar, they told that there were plans to build a direct road to Sonamarg. Our view is that it would take years for this plan to come to ground when even Srinagar – Dawar road needs so much attention.
16. Which are top places to visit in Gurez Valley?
Wular Lake, Rajdhan Pass (Hemkunth views), Peer Baba Dargah are the places that you can take a halt while driving from Srinagar to Dawar. Around Dawar, you can visit Habba Khatoon, Tulail Region and Chorwan Village.
We have written a detailed blog about our trip to Gurez valley. You may read more here – Gurez Valley (Dawar and Tulail) Trip – Offbeat Kashmir.
17. Tulail Trip – How far is it from Dawar and How is the drive?
Tulail is further up from Dawar. There are several small villages as you drive along Kishanganga River for approximately 60 kilometers. Usually with 25-30 households, these villages are a treat for your eyes and senses. Chakwali is the last village on this route adjoining Pakistan Border and Barnoi, Shaikhpora, Puarana Tilail, Badugam, Hasangam, Baduab, Miru, Angaikot, Gujran are some other villages between Dawar and Chakwali.
You may decide how long to drive as it is more about enjoying the scenery and rural Kashmir. We returned from Shaikhpora. Road was really bad. It gets narrower, steeper, full of mud and stones. Turns with slope and loose soil are perfect for a bike slip, so be very cautious. You have to either drive all the way or you can book a cab from Dawar to visit Tulail.
18. Where can I get fuel (Petrol/Diesel) for my bike/car while driving from Srinagar to Gurez Valley?
Last Petrol Pump, you will get is in Bandipora. You will not get any petrol pump after that till you reach Dawar. So get your tank full for your Gurez Bike Trip and also keep some spare fuel in a separate can in case you have one.
19. Where should I rent bike for Gurez Bike Trip? Which Bike is suitable?
We searched online for bike rental places in Srinagar. First recommendation that we got was Kashmir Bikers. We visited their shop in Srinagar but they did not have Royal Enfield Classic 350. We also did not like the attitude of staff as they tried to rent us an old Bullet with no self-starter and bad brake/speed control.
We decided to give a call to Kashmirmojo (third in Google Recommendations) and got a well maintained RE 350 at a cheaper price. Imran Wali (9070200200), owner and an avid biker also guided us well for our trip and provided a full repair kit along with bike. It turned out to be a good decision. You need a really good control bike for Gurez roads (preferably RE classic). Thankfully, we did not agree to take an old Bullet. Please take video/picture of the bike from all sides while renting it out.
Gurez Valley Map
It was not easy for us to locate all Gurez places on map. It made it difficult for us to plan our Gurez Bike Trip as places are also spread out. To help our fellow travellers, we are marking all Gurez Valley top places to visit on Google Map below –
We hope that this helps you plan your Gurez Bike Trip better and you get answers to most of your questions at single place in our blog. Still, if you have more queries or want to add more, please feel free to drop a comment below.