Cuddled affectionately by the Great Himalayas, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been blessed with abundance of natural exquisiteness. This paradise on earth is a treasure trove of serenity which attracts every human soul seeking nirvana. The state is a perfect gateway for honeymooners seeking some moments of peace away from the busy city life.
The most charismatic gem of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar remains highly popular among those seeking nature. The city calmly dwells on the bank of Jhelum. The sights of Shikara boats and beautiful houseboats adorned with flowers and sailing on the pristine waters of Dal Lake and Nageen Lake are fascinating in Srinagar. To seek blessings of divinity, visit the Hazratbal Shrine, Jama Masjid and Shankarcharya temple. Apart from this, travellers visiting Srinagar can also indulge in bird watching at Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary; water skiing at Dal Lake, Nagin Lake and Bod-dal; golfing at Kashmir Golf Course and trekking towards Pir Panjal.
Adding unmatched splendour to the horizons of northern periphery, Leh is known for its jaw-dropping beauty. With soaring mountains, foaming lakes, divine Gompas and far stretched landscapes, Leh is a treasure trove of fun for adventure seekers. No traveller visiting here can ever miss a chance to participate in Trekking and Mountain Biking. It also houses magnificent spiritual places like Alchi Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Matho Monastery, Spituk Monastery and Thiksey Monastery, which surprise the viewers with their charismatic architecture.
The City of Temples, Jammu is known for the heavenly Mata Vaishno Devi. The city welcomes streams of travellers every year seeking peace and spirituality. Temples like Raghunath temple, Ranbireshwar temple, Mahamaya temple, Peer Baba and Peer Khoh remain flooded with devotees all year long. Apart from temples, Jammu is also known for its architectural grandeur echoing in Bahu Fort and Mubarak Mandi Palace. The Aquarium at Bagh-e-Bahu (Bahu Fort), being the largest underground aquarium in the country, also remains a popular attraction among travellers visiting Jammu.
Known as skiers’ paradise, Gulmarg is one of the most visited destinations in Jammu & Kashmir. Being a haven for adventure enthusiasts, Gulmarg offers a range of activities including skiing, trekking, snowboarding, golfing, mount biking and fishing. Kongdori, Shark Fin and Apparwath Peak are perhaps the best locations to indulge in skiing while viewing the majestic facades of nature. Other popular destinations in Gulmarg that let you soak in the powers of nature are Nagin Valley, Khilanmarg, Frozen Lake and Bota Pathri.
Named after the legendary king Raja Udham Singh, Udhampur city is breathing amidst lush green landscapes. The city houses many relics of the past world, which make it a blessing for history enthusiasts. The Krimachi group of temples located in Udhampur are considered to be the oldest structures in the city. The Ramnagar fort is another historical attraction raised by Raja Suchet Singh. Apart from this, Moungri Cave shrine, Pingla Mata and Sudh Mahadev temple are some of the other must visit attractions in Udhampur.
A land where many soldiers shed their blood to safeguard the motherland, Kargil is situated at India-Pakistan border. Apart from the stories of bravery buried under the soils of Kargil, it is also known for providing great adventure opportunities to trekkers, campers, rafters and mountaineers. Veteran adventurers never miss a chance to plan a trekking trip to Pensi-La Lake and Suru valley. Apart from this, Mulbek Gompa, Shergol, Urgyan Dzong and Wakha Rgyal are other beautiful gems of Kargil.
Residing beautifully on a hilltop at an altitude of 2024m, Patnitop presents unexplored views of the Shivalik Range. It is a perfect melange of nature and adventure. Visit Gourikund, a retreat for spirituality seekers. For those who wish to experience the powers of leisure walk in a picturesque location, Pine forest is perfect. Trekking lovers can visit Shivgarh, whereas those looking for paragliding, rock climbing or camping can visit Sanasar.
Defining Ladakh in a perfect way, Zanskar brings in strings of adventure and nature lovers every year. Some of the major lures of this destination include Zongkhul, Zangla, Stongdey, Karsha and Panikhar. Another great gem of Zanskar is Pensi La, high pass dividing Zanskar from Suru Valley. Zanskar offers enough opportunities to delve into adventure activities including trekking, mountaineering, rafting, etc.
Reckoned to be the Gateway of Kashmir, Baramullah is another precious gem of Kashmir. Dotted with numerous natural endowments, Baramullah houses the most charismatic offerings of Mother Nature including Gulmarg, Khilanmarg and Tangmarg. Travellers visiting Baramullah always include Wular Lake in their travel itinerary which is known as Asia’s largest fresh water lake. Apart from this, Vijimarg, Mahalishamarg and Uri are ideal locations for whole family fun amidst natural wonders.
Visiting Jammu & Kashmir and not buying Pashmina shawls is a sin. Travellers visiting this state find numerous options to buy including hand woven carpets, pashmina and shahtoosh shawls, wooden souvenirs, traditional Dogra jewellery, Buddhist masks, prayer wheels and Thangka paintings. Most of the destinations here house handicraft shops and bazaars selling colourful local items.
Jammu and Kashmir is known for cuddling a rich heritage reflecting in its fairs and festivals. Be a part of the famous Jhiri Mela (October - November) to see the real fervour and zeal of the locals towards their past. Lohri is another festival that remains close to the hearts of the locals here. The locals perform 'Chajja' dance during this festival. Bahu Mela is also a well known fair celebrated in Bahu Fort of Jammu twice a year (March or April and September or October).
The beautiful gems crowning the nation, Jammu & Kashmir brings to you great tastes with some mouth watering delicacies. Kashmiri Food offers authentic non-vegetarian dishes influenced by Mughals. Rogan Josh (lamb cooked in rich spices) is a must try Kashmiri dish. The locals also have a special liking for Yoghurt Lamb Curry (lamb cooked in yoghurt). Other must try dishes in Jammu and Kashmir include Thenthuk (noodle soup), Matschgand (minced meatballs), Aab Gosht (mutton cooked with milk and several spices) and Goshtaba (mutton cooked in flavorful yogurt gravy and spices).
The beauty of Jammu & Kashmir is such that this state can be visited throughout the year. However, the best time to visit here is between March and October when the splendor of this destination reaches to another level. During the winter months (December - March), the state gets blanketed with pearly white snow which makes it look like a shimmering crown. Months between September and March are also ideal for flocking at Jammu to enjoy some cool breezes.
Travellers can fly down to Jammu & Kashmir by taking flight to Jammu Airport in Jammu City, Aerodome Airport in Srinagar or Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh. Those visiting by rail can land at the Jammu-Tawi Station, well connected with all the major cities in India. The National Highway 1A links Jammu & Kashmir to the rest of the country and offers great road trips.
Travellers can plan road journey to visit Srinagar, Leh, Jammu, Kargil, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. The main bus station of Sri Nagar is at Lal Chowk. Those visiting Jammu & Kashmir between 15th May and 15th November can take the pleasure of a ride on the Leh-Srinagar National Highway. The Jammu Kashmir Road Transport Corporation offers bus services between Jammu, Srinagar & Leh. Apart from this, for short distances, auto rickshaws and tongas are easily available.
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