Jammu & Kashmir
“The Paradise on Earth”
Once said by Mughal Emperor Jahangir “Agar Firdaws ba roy-i zamin ast, hamin ast-u hamin ast-u hamin ast,” meaning, “If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.” And Kashmir has proven to be the Paradise on Earth with the time. Kashmir is famous for its splendid picturesque scenic beauty, snow covered mountains, beautiful valleys, astonishing gardens and lakes. It is truly a Paradise for the tourists. Jammu & Kashmir is also famous for Vaishnodevi Shrine and Amarnath Yatra.
Some of the world famous tourist destinations which attracts the tourists not only from India, but other International tourists are Srinagar, Sonamarg, Yousmarg, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Vaishnodevi at Katra, Patnitop.
- Srinagar: Being the state capital, Srinagar is the home for beautiful lakes like Dal and Nageen Lakes and some amazing apple orchards of apples and pine. It also has beautiful gardens like Tulip Garden, Cheshmashahi, Nishat Garden, etc. Situated on the banks of River Jhelum, it certainly is a treasure trove of beauty. Some of the famous sightseeing attractions in Srinagar are Mughal Gardens, Chashmi-e Shahi (The Royal Spring), Nishat (The Garden of pleasure) Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love), Dal Lake, Hazratbal and Shankracharya temple.
- Sonamarg: Also known as the “Meadow of Gold”, Sonamarg is the last stop of Kashmir district before entering the region of Ladakh. Sonamarg is undoubtedly one of the best place to get yourself lost in the beauty of valley with snow- covered mountains and alpine trees.
- Pahalgam: Home to many beautiful valleys at Kashmir, Pahalgam is one of the best tourist place to spend some quality time. The literal meaning of Pahalgam is the “Village of Shepherd”. The famous valleys to experience the astonishing natural beauty are Aru Valley, Chandanwari Valley and Betab Valley.
- Yousmarg: Approximately 47 Kms from Srinagar situated at Badgam district, Yousmarg is a picturesque destination with the dense forest of Pine trees. Yousmarg has stretchable grassy pastures with the splendid snow- capped mountains is a gift of the beauty of nature.
- Gulmarg: It is an awesome hill resort where you can enjoy nature at its best. It also boasts of the highest golf course in the world, located at a height of 2,650 m. It is also a fantastic skiing destination. Natural beauty is scattered all over, with different seasons offering its landscape different colours. The meadows of Gulmarg, bloom with lovely flowers, are punctuated with enclosed parks and small lakes and surrounded by forests.
- Vaishnodevi Shrine (Katra): Situated in Trikuta Hills, Vaishnodevi Shrine is the abode to Goddess Vaishnodevi, a manifestation of Goddess Durga. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peetha. Every year more than one crore of devotees visit this shrine to pay their reverence to the deity. It is a religious trekking destination of 13 Kms uphill to reach the caves. The darshan of Maa Vaishnodevi in the holy cave is in the form of three naturally formed rocks which are known as pindies, manifest the three forms of the goddess as Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi.
- Patnitop: Another hills station situated on the banks of river Chenab. Earlier known as “Patan Da Talab” meaning “Pond of the Princess”, Patnitop is situated in the Shivalik Ranges of the Himalayas offers a sports lover a paradise to enjoy the adventurous sports like paragliding, trekking and skiing.
Delicacy: Zaeka –e –Kashmir or Kashmiri Cuisine is mild in taste and rich in flavours with highly use of species like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and saffron. Influenced by Mughals, Kashmiri cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, with varieties of mutton, chicken or fish used as prime ingredients but there are a few delicacies for vegetarians too which have established their own place for the food lovers. Some of the famous dishes from Kashmiri cuisine are Rogan Josh, Modur Pulav, Matschgand, Yakhni or Yoghurt Lamb Curry, Dum Olav, Kashmiri Muji Gaad, Aab Gosht, Goshtaba.
How to Reach: Srinagar and Jammu are the two major airports of Jammu and Kashmir. There are flights operating from other states of the country to connect these two airports. Other means of transport to connect Jammu and Kashmir by railways and roads.