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Jammu and Kashmir Tourism

Jammu and Kashmir

-Chalo Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is an ideal tourist destination famous for its scenic beauty, snow-covered mountains, wildlife, exquisite monuments, hospitable people, local handicrafts, splendid temples, lakes, rivers, forests, verdant meadows, beautiful gardens, and tall pine trees.

About Jammu And Kashmir:

Jammu And Kashmir is a union territory of India ( administered by India as a state from until October 31, 2019).

Located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, the region of Jammu and Kashmir is separated by the Line of Control from the Pakistani-administered territories in the west and north respectively.

It lies to the north of the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to the west of Ladakh, which is also administered by India as a union territory. Jammu and Kashmir is the second-largest union territory of India.

Known as Paradise on Earth, Jammu & Kashmir is enclosed by the Pir Panjal and Karakoram mountain ranges. It is dotted with beautiful mountain peaks, massive glaciers, lush valleys, splendid monasteries and temples, blue lakes, rivers, dense forests, verdant meadows and tall pine trees.

Jammu and Kashmir History:

The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari (modern-day Srinagar) and hence Kashmir was a stronghold of Buddhism.

Karkoṭa Empire (625–885 CE), a powerful Hindu empire, which originated in the region of Kashmir, was founded by Durlabhvardhana. This dynasty marked the rise of Kashmir as a power in South Asia.

After ending the rule of Karkoṭa dynasty, Avanti Varman ascended the throne of Kashmir on 855 CE, establishing the Utpala dynasty.

Queen Kota Rani, a Hindu ruler of Kashmir, ruling until 1339, saved Srinagar city from frequent floods by getting a canal constructed and named after her “Kutte Kol”.

Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir in 1339. The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered Kashmir in 1585 ending the Kashmiri Muslim Rule.

During the reign of Shah Jahan, Kashmir became the northernmost region of Mughal India and also a pleasure ground in summertime.

The Afgan Durrani Empire controlled Kashmir from 1751 until the 1820 Sikh triumph. In 1819, the valley came under the rule of Ranjit Singh of Punjab.

The state of Jammu came under the Sikhs in 1770. Gulab Singh was made the Raja of Jammu in 1822. After the First Anglo Sikh War, Jammu and Kashmir became a princely state from 1846 to 1947 during the British East India Company Rule as well as British Rule.

Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947, thus joining Kashmir to the Indian union causing warfare between India and Pakistan that led to the establishment of the line of control (cease-fire line) in the region in July 1949.

In August 2019, the Parliament of India passed the resolution to amend Article 370 and in October 2019, the President of India implemented it as a constitutional order.

Also, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act was passed that contained provisions to dissolve the state of Jammu and Kashmir and establish two union territories- Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Popular Languages Of Jammu and Kashmir:

The official language of Jammu and Kashmir is Urdu. People living in Kashmir Valley speak Kashmiri, people living in Ladakh speak Ladakhi, whereas people in Jammu mostly speak Dogri. Hindi is also spoken by most of the people of the state.

Capital of Jammu & Kashmir:

The winter capital is Jammu (November – April) and the summer capital is Srinagar (May – October).

Governor of Jammu and Kashmir:

Sh. Girish Chandra Murmu is the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, appointed by the President Of India.

Jammu and Kashmir High Court:

The seat of the Jammu And Kashmir high court shifts between its summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu of Jammu and Kashmir.

Map of Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir Tourism:

Tourism in Jammu And Kashmir has improved and increased in recent years as it attracts people from all over the world.

Jammu and Kashmir is known as Heaven on Earth adorned with beautiful lakes, lush valleys, splendid temples, grace, forests, snow-covered mountains, emotions, adventure, vibrancy, full of cheerfulness and unparalleled beauty and unique charm.

Best 50 Places To Visit In Jammu and Kashmir:

1.Srinagar

The summer capital of J&K, Srinagar is one of the most popular holiday destinations in India.

It is known for the stationary houseboats, colorful Shikaras in Dal Lake, Mughal gardens, shrines, and Kashmiri handicrafts and offers its visitors a visual treat.

2.Gulmarg

Surrounded by snow-covered lofty mountains, meadows of flowers, lush greenery, small lakes.

Known for its scenic beauty, Gulmarg has been one of the popular places to visit in Kashmir. It also has the world’s second-highest Gondola ride.

3.Lolab Valley

It is famous for its springs, fruit orchards, lake and rice fields and is a must-visit for nature lovers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.

The valley is home to several wild animals such as Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Ibex, Markhor and Hangul.

4.Sonmarg

Known as “Meadow of Gold”, it is a picturesque hill station in the Kashmir Valley. It is adorned with snow-laden fields, majestic glaciers, serene lakes, meadow and dense forests. Adventure lovers can indulge in trekking and camping activities.

5.Yusmarg

It is the quietest place out of all tourist destinations in Kashmir and is also an amazing trek spot and has forests with maple trees.

6.Verinag Spring

Located at the base of Pir Panjal Range, it is a source of Jhelum River. The water of the spring is known for its medicinal values.

Verinag spring and Mughal garden surrounding it, have been recognized as a Monument of National Importance by Archaeological Survey of India.

7. Anantnag

It is one of the most beautiful cities of Jammu and Kashmir and is a large business and trading center of the valley.

It also offers trekking, paragliding, and other adventure sports.

8.Kokernag

Koker means ‘fowl’ and nag means ‘serpent’. It is famous for gardens, freshwater springs, the water of Kokernag satisfies both hunger and thirst and it is also a remedy for indigestion.

9.Pahalgam

With gorgeous natural beauty, Pahalgam is also known as the “Valley of Shepherds”.

It is counted among the top Jammu and Kashmir tourist places with little houses, green fields and farms of saffron, beautiful valleys, and opportunities for camping, sightseeing, trekking, pilgrimage yatra, white water rafting, and fishing and many more.

10.Gurez Valley

Gurez Valley is known for its exotic fauna and wildlife.

This beautiful valley is set on the ancient Silk Route and the serenity of this place is enhanced by the sparkling waters of the Neelum River which flows through the Gurez valley.

11.Jammu City

The winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir is known as the ‘City of Temples’.

This place has grand ancient temples and beautiful palaces. You can buy walnuts and a handloom from the bazaars of Jammu.

12.Katra

One of the most important places of worship in India, the shrine of Vaishno Devi is located here. This place is also visited by devotees of Lord Shiva.

13.Kishtwar

Known as the land of sapphire & saffron, it is one of the best travel destinations in Jammu and Kashmir, that has fascinating mountains, valleys, pristine rivers, and flowering grasslands.

14.Sanasar

This place is a heaven for adventure lovers with its numerous adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, rock climbing, abseiling, and camping.

With its dense forests, flower-laden meadows and majestic mountains, it is an ideal holiday destination for nature lovers who want to escape the chaos of city life.

15.Patnitop

It is the most popular hill station of Jammu Region, with endless meadows, panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains, number of treks, few temples, monuments, and beautiful gardens, it is a perfect place to experience nature.

16.Nubra Valley

Located on the ancient Silk Route, Nubra Valley is famous for the Bactrian camel rides.

You can also buy some Kashmiri or Tibetan artefacts, Pashmina shawls, woolen socks, almonds, apricots, apples, and other things.

17.Bhadarwah

It is a town located in the district of Doda, in the Jammu division of the state.

The city is popular for the 600-year-old festival, Mela Pat. It is also referred to as the Land of Snakes.

18.Kargil (now under Ladakh)

Kargil is a tourist hotspot, situated close to the line of control and is bestowed with natural beauty and adventure.

It offers unique opportunities for river rafting, skiing, mountaineering and trekking. It is also one of the largest producers of apricots in India.

19.The Tarsar-Mansar Trek

The Tarsar Marsar trek is indeed the paradise for nature lovers and adventurists.

The trekkers witness the diversity of the region as they go through wide plains, lush meadows, flower-decked valleys, grassy knolls, small streams snow-covered mountains.

20.Pulwama

A small town the northern part of Jammu and Kashmir is known for apple orchards, waterfalls, natural springs and scenic valleys.

21.Hemis

Hemis is a village in Leh district, known for the Hemis Monastery, national park and museum to a Buddhist complex.

22.Dras

Often called the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’, is the second coldest place inhabited in the world.

The famous pinnacles tiger hills, the three pimples, and Tololing can be viewed from Dras. Dras war memorial is the main attraction of this village.

23.Aru Valley

It is a famous tourist place in Jammu & Kashmir known for its lush meadows, pristine lakes & mountains, activities like horse riding, hiking and trekking.

24.Lamayuru

Lamayuru is a tiny village, popularly known as the Moonland of Ladakh that houses one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh.

25.Motorbiking to Mansabal Lake

Srinagar to Manasbal Lake is one of the most famous motorbiking routes in the Kashmir Valley, among motorbiking enthusiasts.

Riding past the meadows, valleys, lakes and orchard, Motor Biking is a great way of exploring the landscape and creating memories and having an adventure-filled ride.

26.The Famous Chadar Trek

It is one of the most exciting and challenging treks, known for its unusual camping sites, picture-perfect scenery, and chilly weather.

27. Fishing and Angling in Kashmir

Water bodies in this region offer great options for fishing and are well-stocked with Rainbow trout and German brown trout fishes.

Some of the top places for fishing & angling activity are Lidder, Erin, Daksum, Noobug, Krishen Ganga, Verinag, Krishansar and Vishansar Lakes and others.

But, fishing and angling are not allowed without obtaining the permit from Jammu & Kashmir Directorate of Fisheries.

28.Birdwatching in Hokersar

Hokersar is located around 14 kilometers from Srinagar and is home to several varieties of birds including Tufted Duck, Brahminy Duck, Garganey, Greylag Goose, Common Merganser and Northern Pintail, monal pheasant, crimson tragopan, blood pheasant, golden eagle and koklas pheasant.

29.Zanskar

Zanskar is one of the most popular attractions of Jammu and Kashmir. Known for its sparkling rivers, snow-capped mountains, picture-perfect landscape, and pleasing weather.

There are several monasteries and it also offers a variety of adventure activities like paragliding, trekking and river rafting.

30.Jeep Safari Tour in Jammu and Kashmir

This adventurous activity is a better way to explore the region adorned with lofty peaks, distinct wildlife, dense forests and lush meadows.

All kinds of people can relish this activity. Some of the top places for a jeep safari in Jammu & Kashmir are Sonmarg, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Yusmarg, Zoji Pass, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and many others.

31.Mountain Biking in Kashmir

Mountain Biking is absolutely an exhilarating and thrilling adventure. Before going mountain biking adventure, it is essential to equip yourself with the right kind of equipment for safety and security.

The best mountain biking hotspots & routes are, Gulmarg to Pahalgam, Pahalgam to Srinagar, Sonmarg to Wular/Manasbal Lake, Srinagar to Sonmarg.

32.Explore This Beautiful Place On A Horseback

Various destinations like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Yusmarg, Sonmarg, Kokernag, Patnitop, Sanasar, and Kishtwar are the best tourist places for horse riding.

33.Golfing at Gulmarg Golf Course

It is the highest golf course as well as the oldest and one of the best golf courses in India.

Dense forests of pine trees and wonderful mountain ranges surround it from all sides, thereby enhancing its overall beauty.

34. Amar Palace Museum

Built by Amar Singh of the Dogra dynasty, this majestic structure is built from red sandstone and stands on a hillock overlooking the Tawi River valley.

It houses several rich exhibits, including the golden throne weighing 120 kilograms, antique books, paintings by MF Hussain and other Pahadi style paintings.

35.Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

It is one of Asia’s largest tulip garden and every year in April, tulip festival is celebrated in which tourists can enjoy the mesmerizing views of the garden at its full bloom.

36. Betaab Valley

Betaab Valley got its name from Bollywood super hit movie, Betaab, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh and is a popular tourist attraction of Kashmir.

The valley is set amid snow-capped mountains and lush greenery, offers a soothing ambiance to every visitor.

37.Mountaineering in Jammu and Kashmir

The most famous mountain peaks to enjoy mountain climbing in Kashmir Valley are Kolahoi (known as the Matterhorn of Kashmir), Tattakuti, Harmukh, Sunset (highest peak in the Pir Panjal Range) and Sonmarg while some of the famous mountain peaks in Jammu region are Crooked Finger, Riger, Sickle Moon, Arjuna, Brammah I and Flat Top.

38.Gurudwara Pathar Sahib

Set in Ladakh, it was built to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who defeated a demon, who threw a large boulder on Guru Nanak who was meditating at the base of a hill.

39.Camping at Pangong Lake

Known for its changing hues, this lake is located in Leh. This camping site is a must-visit for adventure seekers, photographers, and nature lovers.

40.Amarnath Yatra

It is considered as one of the famous and holiest yatras of Hinduism. The Amarnath Cave has a Shivalinga formed naturally of an ice stalagmite and devotees from all over the world visit the shrine.

41.Chashme Shahi

One of the most beautiful and popular gardens in Jammu and Kashmir, known for its Mughal architecture, terraces covered with colorful flowers, waterfalls, and fountains, and the main attraction of the garden is its freshwater spring.

42. Shalimar Bagh

One of the finest Mughal Gardens is covered with water canals, colorful flowers, and fountains.

It was built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife, Nurjahan and it served as the summer residence of the Mughals.

43. River Rafting On The Stretches Of River Lidder and Sindh

It is one of the top adventure activities for adventure lovers that visit Jammu and Kashmir. River Lidder stretches from Langabal to Ganeshpora has rapids ranging from Grade I to Grade IV and River Sindh that gushes past spectacular mountains has rapids ranging from II to IV.

44.Shanti Stupa

Built-in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura, the stupa is located on a hilltop in Chanspa around 5 km away from Leh. The white-domed stupa is a popular tourist attraction of Leh.

45.Hazratbal Shrine

The shrine is considered as one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India and people from all over the world visit here to seek blessings.

Located on the banks of Dal Lake, the shrine preserves sacred hair of Prophet Mohammad.

46.Skiing in Khilanmarg

Located at a distance of 6 km from Gulmarg, this place attracts skiers from all over the world. You can also enjoy activities like skating, snow bobbing, tobogganing, snow cycling and snowboarding.

47.Phyang Monastery

One of the most important monasteries in Leh serves as a home to more than 100 monks, and also has a 900-year-old collection of scriptures, idols, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian firearms and weapons in the museum of the monastery.

48.Shankaracharya Temple

One of the oldest shrines of Jammu and Kashmir, dedicated to Lord Shiva,  offers a great view of the snow-covered mountains of the Pir Panjal Range.

One needs to climb 100 steps to reach this temple which is set at an altitude of 1100 feet on a hill known as Takht-I-Sulaiman.

49. Hari Parbat Fort

An ancient Mughal Fort is one of the most famous places to visit in Srinagar and is maintained by the Archaeological Department of Jammu and Kashmir. To visit the fort, tourists need to seek permission from the department.

50.Paragliding at Nathatop

Soar high through the clear blue skies and explore the beauty of this place by gliding high in the sky like a free bird.

Famous National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries In Jammu & Kashmir:

1.Kishtwar National Park

It is one of the major wildlife destinations in Jammu & Kashmir, attracting wildlife lovers with its rich flora & fauna which comprises of musk deer, Himalayan brown bear, Indian Muntijal, Ibex, markhor, serow, wild boar, Bharal, Rhesus Macaque, Hangul or Kashmiri Stag.

It is also home to a wide variety of bird species like Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Snowcock, Koklass, bearded vulture, Himalayan Snowcock, western tragopan Himalayan jungle crow, griffon vulture, paradise flycatcher, golden oriole, white-cheeked bulbul, Indian mynah.

2.Dachigam National Park

Situated around 22 km from capital city Srinagar, Dachigam National Park is home to Hangul or Kashmir Stag, musk deer, leopard, Himalayan black bear, and Himalayan brown bear amongst many other species of animals, it is also home to several birds like Cinnamon sparrow, Black Bulbul, Himalayan monal, Golden oriole and many more.

3.Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Located at a distance of around 48 km from Srinagar, is famous for its rich and varied flora and fauna consisting of Hangul, Musk Deer, Serow, Brown Bear, Leopard, Black Bear and Red Fox, Griffon Vulture, Monal, Snow Cock, Koklas, Blue Rock Pigeon, Kashmir Roller, European Hoopoe, Jungle Crow, and many more and the forest consisting of Cedrus Deodara, Pinus griffithii, Abies Pindrow, Aesculus Indica, Indigofera Heterantha, Sorbaria Tomentosa, Rumex Patientia, etc.

4.Kazinag National Park

Located about 70 kilometers from Srinagar, it is home to various species of animals and birds, including Himalayan musk deer, markhor, common leopard, Himalayan Marmot, Himalayan Black Bear, and the Kashmir flying squirrel.

5.Overa Aru Wildlife Sanctuary

Located near to Pahalgam, was originally a game reserve of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Some animals found here are Kashmiri Stag (Hangul), musk deer, Himalayan Mouse Hare and rhesus macaque, and bird species which reside here are western tragopans, blue rock pigeon, Indian Myna, Himalayan Whistling Thrush and Kashmir Roller.

Jammu and Kashmir Is Famous For:

Jammu and Kashmir is famous for its scenic beauty, snow-covered mountains, wildlife, exquisite monuments, hospitable people, local handicrafts, splendid temples, lakes, rivers, forests, verdant meadows, beautiful gardens and tall pine trees. It is an ideal tourist destination and the perfect place for travelers of all kinds.

Fairs and Festivals of Jammu & Kashmir:

1.Bahu Mela

It is celebrated twice a year, from March to April and September to October, at the old Bahu Fort, located about 5 kilometers from the main city of Jammu.

During the festival, people take a sacred dip in the Tawi River and offer prayers.

2.Purmandal Mela

It is a three day fair organized on the occasion of Shivaratri. During this time, the devotees are attired in their best dresses and seek blessings at the temples.

3.Jhiri Mela

This festival is celebrated every year from October to November to honor the integrity of Jitu Baba Jhiri Mela, an honest farmer.

4.Pahalgam Festival

This festival is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring and there are performances by artists and a variety of events like tonga rides, village walks, cultural zones, kid zones, stand up comedy, musical events, street food corners, and art exhibitions.

5.Saffron Festival

A three day colorful Saffron Festival organized in Visoo, Pampore, has a film show which depicts the sowing and harvesting process of saffron, its medicinal value, plucking of saffron flowers followed by a cultural show.

6.Kheer Bhawani Mela

Celebrated on the eighth day of the full moon in May, in Tullamulla in Srinagar.

During this, a large number of Hindus visit the temple to seek the blessings of the goddess, Ragnya Devi and it is believed that on this day, the goddess changes the colors of the spring’s waters.

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