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~ Jammu & Kashmir ~
Heaven on Earth ~ A paradise on earth called Kashmir…

 

Kashmir, is known as heaven on earth.thi In the seventeenth century the Mughal emperor Jahangir set his eyes on the valley of Kashmir. He said that if paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here, while living in a houseboat on the mesmerizing Dal Lake.”Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” If there is ever a heaven on earth, its here, its here, its here.

The Kashmir valley is situated about 300 kms. from Jammu across forested ravines and steep mountain passes. The emerald valley of Kashmir is cradled in the Himalayas, under the crystal blue skies, against the background of snow-capped mountains. It is a magic land of silvery streams, rivers, fresh water lakes, pine, deodar and chinar forests, snow clad mountains, sparkling waterfalls, shikaras, green meadows and grassy slopes full of flowers of vibrant colours. It is an oval plateau over 5000 feet high and framed by three Himalayan ranges – the Karakoram, Zanskar and Pir Panjal. 

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 covers an area of 222,236 square kms and is often referred as the 'Switzerland of the East'.


:: Cuisine of Kashmir ::

Kashmiri food is very rich and fragrance with the flavour of the spices used like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. During festive occasions, the Kashmiris serve a feast called Wazwan. 

:: Seasons of Kashmir ::
For anyone interested in visiting the valley, the first question is "when to visit Kashmir, India" or the ideal time to visit the Kashmir valley. The best time to visit Kashmir is during the months of March to October. During this period the weather conditions in Kashmir are at their best. The blossoms of spring, the cool weather of summer and the gold and red hues of autumn all provide the peak season for Kashmir travel. From December to early March is the winter season for Kashmir, when the entire valley wears a white blanket of snow. For those, who enjoy chilling weather and are interested in skiing, winter is the time to be in Kashmir.

:: Access Information ::

By Air :: Srinagar airport is approximately 14 km from the city. 

By Rail :: Jammu Tawi, approximately 305 km far, is the nearest railhead for Srinagar. Trains from Delhi, Calcutta, Pune, Mumbai and other cities arrive at this station only. 

By Road :: National Highway 1-A is the main highway connecting Srinagar with Jammu. Srinagar has an extensive and good road network connecting it with the all major cities.


:: Places to visit in Kashmir ::

The tourist attractions of Kashmir consist of some of the finest places in and around the valley. It is one of the most charming and scenic places in India. Sightseeing in Kashmir is mainly about appreciating the beauty of the nature. Glittering glaciers, snow covered mountains and picturesque hill stations all add to the tourist appeal of Kashmir. Have a look at some of the popular tourist spots in the Kashmir valley.

:: Srinagar ::

Srinagar is located in the picturesque Kashmir valley and one of the most beautiful cities in India in terms of natural splendor. The tourist attractions of Srinagar are mainly related to natural beauty like lakes, gardens, etc. 

    

:: Dal Lake :: The Dal Lake is Srinagar’s most distinctive landmark. It is divided by causeways into four parts, the Nagin lake being one of them. There are fields of Lotus blossoms in parts of the Lake, Vegetable patches, shops and even villagers. The best way of exploring the lake and the sites on its shores by Shikara boat.

:: Mughal Gardens :: The landscaped Mughal Gardens, developed by the rulers of the Mughal dynasty, make you fall in love with their beauty. They consist of mainly the following three gardens: * Chashmashahi Garden * Nishat Garden * Shalimar Garden *

:: Pari Mahal :: On a nearby spur of the mountain is the ancient monument Pari Mahal, located on the National Highway, is famous for the saffron that grows here from September to October.

:: Shankaracharya Temple :: Perched on the Takht-e-Suleiman hill, the Shankaracharya Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is supposed to be the oldest shrine of the Kashmir valley.

:: Hazratbal Shrine :: Situated opposite the Nishat Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake, the Hazratbal Shrine houses the Moi-e-Muqqadus (preserved sacred hair) of Prophet Mohammad. It is one of the most popular shrines in Srinagar, revered by Hindus as well as Muslims.

:: Sonmarg ::  

Sonamarg lies at the head of the Sindh Valley. The Drive through this valley presents a spectacular fact of the Kashmir countryside. Sonamarg is surrounded by colourful mountains and thick pine forest. There are many attractive walks, the best being a trek or pony ride to the Thajiwas glacier. Sonamarg also serves as a base for the amaranth yatra from the baltal route.

:: Gulmarg ::

Gulmarg is one of Indiaa’s premier hill resorts. Historically a favourite haunt of emperor Jahangir, Gulmarg Today is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty – it also turns into India’s premier ski resort in winter. The famous shrine of Baba Reshi, a highly revered kashmiri Sufi saint ,is another attraction of Gulmarg and is thronged by thousand of devotees all year around. The Gondola Cable car offers rides to the upland meadow of Kongdori and beyond to the top of Apharwat range to a height of 14000 ft for viewing the Himalays peaks in summer and for downhill skiing in winter. 

> Tourist Attractions in Gulmarg ::
The gorgeous hill resort of Gulmarg is dotted with various places of interest like Khilanmarg, Alpather Lake, Wular Lake and Manasbal Lake.

:: Pahalgam :: 

Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the Sheshnag and the lidder streams. Once a humble shepherd’s village, it is now Kashmir’s premier summer resort, cool even during the height of summer. The resort is surrounded by many places of interest, the best being the upland meadow of Baisaran, on the way to chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for picnic. Thousands of people visit Pahalgam every year to entertain themselves with the incredible beauty of Pahalgam. Chandanwari 16 Kms from Pahalgam is the starting point for the annual Amarnathji Yatra held in Summer.the Amarnath cave, houses and ice stalagmite in the shape od a natural Shivling, which waxes and wanes with the Moon.

:: Patnitop :: 

Patnitop is a beautiful hill station located in Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is almost 112 kms away from Jammu. It has an elevation of 6,640 ft. Patnitop was initially called as “Patan da talab” meaning the “pond of the princess” as it is believed that there used to be a pond in which princesses would take bath. With the invasion of Britishers in India it got changed to Patnitop as it was difficult and unusual name for them to pronounce. Patnitop lies in the enclosure of beautiful thick forests and therefore presents a lovely view to its audience especially in winter when it is entirely covered with white blankets of snow and therefore offers its visitors an opportunity to enjoy skiing on its glorious slopes and other tempting sports. Patnitop is also ideal for paragliding and trekking.

:: Jammu :: 

Katra ~ Place of Maa Vaishno Devi - Katra or Katra Vaishno Devi, as it is popularly known, is a small town in Udhampur district of the Indian state ofJammu 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. 

 

 

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