Places To Visit in Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by the acronym J&K. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south .Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape from the north and south respectively. They are the source of great rivers, which flow down into the valleys, forested with orchards and decorated by lily-laden lakes.Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised. In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700 m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats are some of the most favoured ones.Popular destinations are Jammu, Srinagar, Leh, Ladakh, Gulmarg, Pehalgam, Amarnath & Katra
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Jammu - the Duggar land where the past still has a living presence. A land of grand ancient temples, and beautiful palaces. Nestled against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal Mountains, the region of Jammu constitutes the southernmost unit of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It forms part of the transition between the Himalayan range in the north and the dusty plains of Punjab in the south. Between these two extremities lie a series of scrub-covered hills, forested mountain ranges and river valleys, encompassing several microclimatic regions that extend from Kishtawar in the north-east to Akhnoor in the south-west, and the historic town of Poonch in the north-west to the borders of Kangra (H P) in the south-east. The Shivalik hills cut across the area from the east to the west while the rivers Ravi, Tawi and Chenab cut their way through the region
Srinagar is one of several places that have been called the "Venice of the East" or the "Kashmiri Venice". Lakes around the city include Dal Lake – noted for its houseboats – and Nigeen Lake. Apart from Dal lake and Nigeen lake city is also famous for wular lake and manasbal lake to the north of srinagar. Wular lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia.
Srinagar has some Mughal gardens, forming a part of those laid by the Mughal emperors across the Indian subcontinent. Those of Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chashma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; the Naseem Bagh. Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in the city, set up in 1969. The Indian government has included these gardens under "Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir" in the tentative list for sites to be included in world Heritage sites.The Sher Garhi Palace houses administrative buildings from the state government. Another palace of the Maharajas, the Gulab Bhavan, has now become the Lalit Grand Palace hotel.The Shankaracharya Temple on the hill top in the middle of the city, besides the Kheer Bhawani Temple are important hindu temples in the city.
Leh the erstwhile capital of the kingdom of Ladakh is now a dream destination of many and the Mecca of adventure enthusiasts! Leh, one of the coldest deserts in the world is located at a distance of 434 Kms from Srinagar and 474 Kms from Manali (Himachal Pradesh). The Leh Palace was once the world’s highest building. The primary attraction within the Leh city this palace is structurally similar to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Now only the palace prayer room lives up to the sense of former grandeur of Leh Palace. Leh is a backpacker's haven with numerous trekking trails, valleys, and picturesque lakes. Renowned as the land of monks and monasteries there is lots to see in this amazing piece of land. There are three sub divisions of Leh with 7 different tour circuits identified for international tourists in Leh with breathtaking Himalayan panorama.Khaltse Sub-Division, Nyoma Division, Nubra Division
Ladakh is a region in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that currently extends from the Kunlun mountain range to the main Great Himalayas to the south. Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture.Ladakh is the highest plateau in the state of Jammu & Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000 m (9,800 ft).Ladakh is bordered by the Karakoram chain of mountains in the north and the Himalayas in the south. With the great Indus flowing right through Ladakh, the province is divided into Leh, the capital, Nubra, Zanskar, lower Ladakh and Rupshu. The many distinctive features of Ladakh are its uplands, craggy, barren cliffs and plateaus. Governed by a climate that provides about 50mm of rainfall each year, Ladakh is cold and dry. One, therefore, will be faced with a long and bitter winter of frozen landscape but yet very beautiful, and a short, hot summer when the precious glaciers melt.
Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country, in addition to Pahalgam and to some extend Sonamarg in Kashmir.While Gulmarg is an all-weather resort with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral scenes to keep the camera busy, the main reason to come here, at least in winter, is the off-piste, deep-powder, long-run skiing and snowboarding. The Himalayan resort of Gulmarg is one of the newest and increasingly popular ski destinations. Head here for the world’s highest gondola ski lift and eye-popping views.
Pahalgam is not a mere hill-station. Its a recreation resort.Surrounded by alpine peaks, the Lidder and Seshnag Rivers tumble down picturesque, deep-cut mountain valleys covered with giant conifers. The surrounding mountains contain many beauty spots and more than 20 lakes, to which countless guides and horsemen are more than keen to take you.Not quite spoiling this great natural beauty is Pahalgam, sprawling 4km around the river junction. It's a major resort town offering golf and rafting and is a staging point for the mid-summer Amarnathji pilgrimage.The best hiking often starts 12km away in Aru, a tiny village set in magical upland landscapes amid the foothill peaks. Aru (elevation 2440m) is increasingly used as a starting base by backpackers who blow straight through Pahalgam with just a change of vehicle.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath Shrine stands at 3,888 m, 46 Km from Pahalgam and 14 Kms from Baltal. Though the original pilgrimages subscribes that the yatra (journey) be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common practice is to begin journey at Chandanwari, and cover the distance to Amarnathji and back in five days. Pahalgam is 96 Kms from Srinagar.
Amarnathji is considered to be one of the major Hindu Dhams. The holy cave is the abode of Lord Shiva. The guardian of the absolute, Lord Shiva, the destroyer, is enshrined in the form of an ice-lingam in this cave. This lingam is formed naturally, which is believed to wax and wane with the moon.
Katra or Katra Vaishno Devi, as it is popularly known, is a small town in Reasi district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir situated in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, where the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi is located. It is located 42 km from the city of Jammu.Katra serves as the base camp for pilgrims who visit Vaishno Devi. It has a thriving tourism industry that offers plenty of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, dhabas, fast-food joints that fit all kinds of budgets. Free accommodation is provided by some registered trusts in the form of Sarais for the poor.There is another trek (1.5 km) from Vaishno Devi temple for Baba Bhaironnath. It is said that the pilgrimage is not complete until you visit this temple at last. The scenery throughout the trek is picturesque.Environment-friendly auto rickshaws and helicopter services are available, to make the journey a pleasant one.