A Sufi Retreat in Paradise

Qayaam Gah

Qayaam Gah

, Jammu & Kashmir
, India

Qayaam Gah is an intimate stay with an elegant design steeped in Sufi mysticism. Qayaam is a Kashmiri word that means a dwelling place, particularly on a journey, and Gah means ‘home’ and signifies a pause in a pilgrim’s inner journey. The retreat is designed to seamlessly blend nature and elegant living with large and beautifully embellished rooms, keeping Kashmiri traditions. Polished wooden pillars, gleaming teak floors with tall ensuite bathrooms fitted with state-of-the-art amenities builds the character of the space.

Our Rating: Premium
Property Type: Boutique


Fringed by an arc of mountains, Srinagar has a melancholic vibe with the Dal Lake and its ‘floating gardens’ in the heart of the city, dotted with houseboats and shikaras that add a splash of colour. The streets are lined with lovely chinar trees that change colours with the season. Situated on the foothills of the Zabarwan Range, the Mughal gardens are spread across the Lake’s less urbanised eastern shore and bustle with tourists during spring as it houses the largest tulip fields in Asia!

Set on a secluded ridge high above the calm waters of Dal Lake lies Qayaam Gah, a serene retreat that is only accessible by a country road winding through forests and hamlets.


Seamlessly integrated into the surroundings, each of Qayaam Gah’s large pavilions offer blissful seclusion, with a perfect balance of indoor and outdoor living and stylish luxury. Four standalone villas pay homage to the vernacular style with traditional Kashmiri carpets, woodcarving and Bukhari wood-burning stoves. Built with a combination of cedarwood, glass and stone, with local style of fine carving in deodar woodwork, the design is simple and natural, offering breath-taking views of the mountains and blooming orchids that grow around the building.

The wide verandas encourage communing with nature and deliver uninterrupted 180-degree views of Dal Lake. The three suites share a similar style and spectacular views from king-size beds and large patios. The rooms also feature a common living space with a study area and can be interconnected as two-bedroom suites, suitable for when families travel together.


Qayaam Gah’s food include mouth-watering local and global delicacies with all the ingredients being organic and locally sourced.

Ruh the restaurant, living space and library that combines Kashmiri design, culture and cuisine to create a relaxed, stylish indoor-outdoor haven for an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the soaring Zabarwan Mountains. The innovative menu focuses on authentic local flavours and internationally inspired fusion dishes that delight and excite your palate.

QALB is the outside terrace, where you can enjoy an afternoon high tea or sundowner, with a curated private moonlit dinner with live music.


Qayaam Gah offers a Driving Adventure program with the opportunity to enjoy open-top 4WD jeeps through some of the world’s most scenic and dramatic mountains. Explore incredible landscapes surrounding ABChapri’s Kashmir properties at your leisure with a personally customised itinerary and pause en-route to drop in at the Sukoon houseboat and Camp Sukoon.

Wake up to a fresh cup of bed coffee and attend a rejuvenating yoga class to kickstart your day. Watch shikaras drifting between houseboats, stilted lakeside hamlets and floating gardens while the shimmering image of Hazrat Bal Shrine is reflected in the water like a mirage. Rediscover the magic of silence only occasionally broken by a bell hanging from a passing goat’s neck. Take leisurely strolls on mountain paths to spectacular viewpoints with a picnic and experience traditional rural Kashmiri life. Trek over hills of the Zabarwan range to Dachigam National Park, where Himalayan Black bears and Hangul Kashmir stag roam. It is a delight for birders, and one can find black bulbuls, colourful pheasants, cinnamon sparrows, and pygmy owlets. Visit the nearby ornate Mughal Gardens and atmospheric historical heritage sites steeped in history.

You can choose a book from their fascinating library and learn about the local history, wildlife and Sufism over a cup of Kashmiri Kahwa. Enjoy a quiet moment at the sunset lounge in the sunken alfresco fire pit where the pool catches reflections of the ever-changing colour streaked sky accompanied by flickering candles as night falls.

Perfect For
families and travellers who want to experience a holiday that blends harmoniously with its unbounded natural habitat. Enjoy the glorious Himalayan sunsets and pleasant evenings around a campfire to remind yourself that a life lived well is life amidst Mother nature.

Why we love this place

Set in a restful space that mimics a paradise garden centred around a cascading fountain, Qayaam Gah’s grounds have been purposefully left undisturbed to welcome and encourage the area’s abundant wildlife. Home to native and migratory birds, shy Kashmir stags, and sloth bears, you can often spot them pick on cherries during springtime.

About your host

ABChapri Retreats is a collection of unique, carefully curated hotels for travellers who seek mindful and authentic spaces. Altaf Chapri Hussain, CEO at ABChapri Retreats is a passionate traveller, who believes that travel experiences work well when blended harmoniously with the local environment and community, where you can take a break from your busy life and slow down.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

A holiday should relax and regenerate you, not frazzle you out. Slow down and see what is around you, with the balm of nature’s beauty taking the strain out of those tired brains and bodies’ – Altaf Chapri, Co-Founder/MD, ABChapri Retreats

Nourished by natural spring water, the retreat has organic gardens where you can pick vegetables and local herbs to accompany a fresh locally sourced fish.
Poultry and eggs are sourced from nearby villages, where the hotel’s cows are tended, generating local employment.
A nearby water spring feeds the heated infinity pool.
The villas are built with a combination of cedarwood, glass and stone using local building techniques.
The hotel follows a no-plastic policy. Water is filtered by the latest reverse osmosis system and served traditionally in copper vessels or glasses.
All discharged water is, in turn, recycled, treated and used to compost the land rather than pollute the river, or the lake.
Not a single tree was felled during the construction of the hotel.

Our Recommendation

Explore the paintings and books in each room that depict the theme of Sufism and indulge in an evening of musical performances.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)