Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term “Kashmir” denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Today, it denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir (subdivided into Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh divisions), the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and Chinese-administered territories of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
Cities of Kashmir
Tour to J&K, India and reach the remotest of places to get well-acquainted with this glorious land of snow crowned mountains and snow decorated trees. Be its the meadows of flower or the meadows of Gold, the cities of Kashmir are packed with best possibilities, you might not find anywhere. The cities of Kashmir are exciting and thrilling. Travel to Kashmir and experience your stay at the highest land of the world in Kashmir, India. Travel to Kashmir and visit the second coldest places of the world, Dras, located in Kashmir, India.
Gulmarg a prime location in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is about 52 Kms. from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. At an altitude of 2,653 m., Gulmarg is exquisitely situated in a pine surrounded basin of the Pir Panjal range. Gulmarg is a lovely blooming sight where an opulence of flora displays various colours with the changing seasons. Gulmarg’s astounding beauty, prime location and closeness to Srinagar naturally make it one of the prime hill stations in the country. Today, Gulmarg is not only a mountain resort of exemplary beauty – it also has the highest green golf course in the world, and is the country’s major ski resort in the winter
Khilanmarg all through the summer and well into the autumn, Gulmarg is a enticing attraction for golfers from all over the world. The world’s highest, 18-hole green golf course is at Gulmarg. A highland meadow, just 4 km from Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is accessible by foot, by pony or in a dandi. From here, the view of the snow peaks and the limpid waters of the Wular Lake is a breathtaking one, unfolding view upon view of Himalayan splendour. The Fascinating Sights at Khilanmarg Khilanmarg offers an unparalleled view of the great Himalayan range. The Apharwat peak leads to the Alpather Lake, a picturesque alpine lake that remains frozen until late June.
Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river. Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd’s village with astounding views. Today, Pahalgam is Kashmir’s prime tourist resort. It is cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 25 degree C. Pahalgam is bountiful with many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. Pahalgam Club has a 9-hole golf course, which can be used by tourists. Golf sets can be hired from the Tourist Office.
Srinagar, the crowning glory of hill stations, is the celebrated capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. Srinagar is called the city of lakes, which has facinated tourist’s from centuries, with its beautiful picturesque Himalayan backdrop, glittering lakes that are surrounded by houseboats and Shikaras and the grandeur of Mughal architectural. This summer capital of the state Jammu & Kashmir is also a business centre and a favourite Holiday resort. The Dal is famous not only for its beauty, but for its vibrance, because it sustains within its periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world.
Pilgrimages in Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir, India houses few of the most sacred places of worship. Travel to the sacred places Kashmir India, hooked in high altitudes and enjoy a satisfying trek to the land of temples – Jammu in Jammu & Kashmir, India. Tour to Kashmir and make your Kashmir tourism a purely religious. Travel to the divine and celestial land of Jammu & Kashmir and get blessed. Travel to this blessed land of the world in India – Kashmir and make your travel very satisfying. Tourism in Kashmir provide religious places of worship with different faiths. Travel to Kashmir, where people from various walks of life come to mingle together in harmonious co-existence and bring out a unique synthesis which has manifested itself in a common celebration of all religions.
Amarnath Cave situated on the Mount Amarnath, derives its name from the Mount Amarnath. The Amarnath Cave are at the height of 5,486 m, where it is located nearly at height of 4000 m. Because of this height, the cave is covered with snow for most of the year. Only for a short period in summer, the entrance is accessible. The cave is an ice cave, it contains a certain amount of ice stalagmites. The Amarnath Cave is a holy place for Hindu pilgrims. One very characteristic pilar of ice is believed to be an ice lingham, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Two smaller ice stalagmite represent Parvati, his wife, and Ganesha, his son. Amarnath Caves, J&K
The Hindu pilgrims also believe, that the height of the lingham increases and decreases with the phases of the moon. In the month of Shravan, on the full moon in August, thousands of Hindus go on a pilgrimage up to the cave. At this time the lingam reaches its biggest size. The pilgrimage is somewhat arduous. A legend tells, that Shiva explained the secret of creation to Parvati in the cave. Two mating doves heard this and now live in the cave for eternity, being reborn again and again. This legend is confirmed (at least in the eyes of believers) by flocks of doves near the cave, with no vegetation around.One of the most important event during July/ August, is Amarnath Yatra to the Holy Pilgrimage. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam.
Charar-e-Sharif in Kashmir is the mausoleum of Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani at Charar-e-Sharif. Kashmir, with its immense beauty and piousness holds the whole world enthralled for its virgin mysticism.Which is to be explored by the world,where brotherhood and communal harmony stood ahead among many ways to attain God. The Man,a prophet re-incarnation; Hindu by birth and dharma led masses of his followers among Muslims and Pandits in a unique way. In valley there are many shrines and mosques namely; Kaymoh, Chimyr, Hauchpur, Draygam and Roopvan which earned good fame.But Chrar-i-Sharif, remains the most popular.
CHATTI PADSHAHI GURUDWARA
Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara, the sixth guru of Sikhism travelled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally. A gurudwara has been built at the exact site of each of these halts. The most important one is Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara near the Kathi Darwaza in Rainawari, Srinagar. While the summer (June-August) temperatures of Srinagar are between 25°C and 35°C. In Spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) are cold, with minimum temperatures plunging down to 7°C. The Chhatti Padshahi gurudwara, is situated near the Kathi Darwaza, in Rainawari, Srinagar, which is held in great reverence by devotees of all faiths.
KHEER BHIWANI TEMPLE
Located at Tullamula in the Srinagar district, it is a very important Hindu Shrine. The temple is associated with the Hindu Godess, Ragnya Devi. An Annual festival takes place here on Jesht Ashtami ( May-June) when Hindus visit the place in huges numbers to offer prayers to seek the blessings of the diety. Devotees also throng on every Shukla Paksh Ashtami round the year & perform HAWANS to please the Mother. The Historic Temple of Kheer Bhiwani was built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1912 & later renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh. Kheer Bhavani lies in the Ganderbal tehsil of Srinagar District .
The shrine is located on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar and is one of the most important pilgrim places for Muslims in the state. This is the place where Prophet Mohammad’s hair is kept inside a glass casket. The hair is kept for public display only on auspicious days. The Shrine was built sometime in the 17th century by Muslim Auqaf Trust. The main reason for its construction was to preserve the hair of Prophet Mohammad. The shrine is also known by many other names like Madinat-us-Sani, Assar-e-Sharif, and Dargah Sharif. The mosque is also famous for the many fairs that are held in the premises which attracts a lot of pilgrims.
The Shankaracharya temple is situated at a great height atop a hill in the southeast of Srinagar. This temple is located on the top of the hills, southeast of Srinagar and is commonly known as the Takht-i-Sulaiman. This temple is situated at a height of 1100 feet above the Srinagar city. The temple is devoted to the worship of lord Shiva. Tours and travel to this pilgrimage involves a trek to the top of the hills in the Srinagar region. It seems before saint Shankaracharya came to this area, Buddhism was rampant in this region. The saint also popularized the worship of lord Shiva in Kashmir.
The Khanqah-e-moulah is popularly known as the Khanqah mosque or the Shah Hamdan Masjid. This mosque is located on the banks of the river Jhelum. Tours and travel to this pilgrimage destination gives you the thrill of watching this ancient monument on the banks of the river Jhelum in its complete rustic glory. This mosque was constructed by Sultan Shah Sikander in the year 1395 to honor Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, popularly known as Shah Hamdan who used to visit Kashmir for meditation. The word Khanqah basically means a lodge or resting place for Sufi saints.
The imposing structure of Srinagar’s largest mosque, the Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque, is one of the earliest examples of Islamic wood architecture. First built in AD 1398, it was successively destroyed by fires and rebuilt thrice. The present building conforms to the original plan. Unlike the Islamic shrines, the Jama Masjid & other Muslim shrines in Kashmir are not topped by a dome. Instead four spires tower above the surrounding rooflines. Each of mosque’s massive walls are pierced by an enormous doorway below its corresponding spire. Four lofty prayer halls are surrounded by 370 pillars, each the size of the deodar tree.
Hill Station in Kashmir
Though, the whole of Jammu & Kashmir, India is pleasant, few of the places are truly a haven for the tourists to Jammu & Kashmir, India. Travel to the hill stations of Jammu & Kashmir and experience the outstanding heights and engaging climate. Tour to the hill stations of Kashmir and indulge in the most challenging wild sports in the mild surroundings. Enjoy the trips to Sonamarg in Kashmir , still uneplored.
Srinagar, the crowning glory of hill stations, is the celebrated capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. Srinagar is called the city of lakes, which has facinated tourist’s from centuries, with its beautiful picturesque Himalayan backdrop, glittering lakes that are surrounded by houseboats and Shikaras and the grandeur of Mughal architectural. This summer capital of the state Jammu & Kashmir is also a business centre and a favourite oliday resort.
At a height of 2,740 m, Sonamarg in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is the last major point in the Kashmir valley before the Zoji La pass into Ladakh . At the pass the green, lush Kashmiri landscape abruptly switches to the barren, dry landscape of Ladakh. Sonamarg is thus not only a good base for treks but also a jumping off point for trips into Ladakh. The passage to Sonamarg is through the Sindh Valley which presents yet another bewitching facet of countryside in Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 2,740 m, Sonamarg in Kashmir is framed by snowy mountains against a sapphires sky.
Gulmarg is located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. At an amazing altitude of 2730 meters above sea level the hill resort has a gently sloping topography. Gulmarg is 57 km southwest from the capital city of Srinagar and is close to the Indo-Pakistan border. Gulmarg’s astounding beauty, prime location and closeness to Srinagar naturally make it one of the prime hill stations in the country. Originally called â€˜Gaurimargâ€™ by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was impressed by the sight of its green slopes embellished with wild flowers.
Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river. Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd’s village with astounding views. Today, Pahalgam is Kashmir’s prime tourist resort. It is cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 25 degree C. Pahalgam is bountiful with many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. Pahalgam has eight tiny villages within its surroundings, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir’s oldest temple.
Aru is a grassland surrounded by a gorge on one side. Aru is a beautiful shaded valley of the Lidder river. Encircling and protecting Aru, are the conifer spread mountains with occasional flash of high, snow-covered peaks rising against the blue sky. The one of the most beautiful hill resort of Kashmir is still, serene and idyllic. There are small hamlets of wood-and-stone houses, some of them in the typical Gujjar-shepherd style with flat roofs, squat and backed against the hillside. The melodious chirrup of birds, the gentle touch of the breeze, the blue sky, is all that you may find at Aru.
Gardens in Kashmir
Surrounded by panaromic lakes and majestic hills, the praiseworthy Mughal gardens serve as major attractions of the state of J&K. Acquiring an Islamic style of architecture, these gardens are believed to have been influenced by Persian and Timurid gardens. Terraced lawns, cascading fountains, and bright flowerbeds give these gardens its identity. Kashmir is believed to be famed as a paradise because of these Mughal gardens with vast picturesque hillsides, excellent water bodies and packed flowering shrubs and trees.
Shalimar was built by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, in 1616. Covering a lush green area of 540 by 183 metres, the garden offers a wonderful view of the Dal Lake and the nearby hills. It is an excellent piece of Mughal architectural art as well. The garden has a canal in the center, which was used as a source of water supply. The magnificent upper terraces used be reserved for the emperor and the ladies. Black stone and black marble is used at several places including the pavilion and pillars. One can easily distinguish the Shalimar Garden from others on the basis of exotic terraced gardens, floral beds, and fascinating fountains.
Another popular garden located on the eastern banks of beautiful Dal Lake, is Nishat Bagh or “The garden of bliss”. The garden boasts of being the largest one of the Mughal gardens in Kashmir. Located about 11 km from the Srinagar city, the garden is popular for its unique location that offers a splendid view of the Dal Lake, as well as the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range, with the famous Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop. The Nishat Garden was laid out by Asif Khan, the brother of Mughal Empress Nur Jehan, in 1633. Like Shalimar Bagh, Nishat also has terraces, each representing a different Zodiac sign.
Laid out by Shah Jehan, the gardens of Chashma Shahi, so named because of a mountain spring that waters it. The gardens include three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains. ChAshmashahi is the Ist Mughal Garden you will come across after Nehru Park. Smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, the Chasma Shahi, or ‘Royal Spring’, are well set up the hillside, above the Nehru Memorial Park. The fresh water spring in these pleasant, calm gardens is renowned to have medicinal values. There is also a small shrine, the Chasma Sahibi, close to the gardens, which also has a fresh water spring.
Pari Mahal was initially a garden founded by Dara Shiko, Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan’s eldest son for his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah. Once dotted with numerous springs, which have dried up now, the Pari Mahal gardens are now the treasure possession of the state. Pari Mahal is bedazzling with radiant lights at night, and though located on the spur of a hill, can he seen from most places in Srinagar. Pari Mahal, once a Buddhist monastery, was converted into a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh. Pari Mahal gardens are now fully maintained by the state government. The place is enriched with a number of fascinating fountains.
Situated about 18 km from Srinagar, Harwan is a huge garden lined with flowerbeds and massive Chinar Trees. A canal passes through its centre, which is dotted with countless flowers. The sweet fragrance in the air and big green-carpeted lawns make it an ideal spot for picnics and excursions. The garden serves as a gateway to the famous wildlife sanctuary of Dachi Gam and Mahadev Mountain. Behind the garden, there is a small but beautiful Harwan lake that feeds the garden and provides an astounding view of the majestic mountains. The place offers you a natural feel, away from the polluted and noisy urban life.
Lakes in Kashmir
A visit to the lakes of Kashmir is a must for those on a tour to the valley. In fact, the city of Srinagar itself is quite famous for its lakes. Peace, serenity, calm, tranquility all defines the beautiful lakes of Kashmir. Apart from that, the delightful backdrop of the lakes almost leaves you speechless. Then, there are the amazing shikaras and houseboats on the lake that further add to the enjoyment.
Popular as the jewel in the crown of Kashmir, the Dal Lake is the most famous and most visited lake in the state. Lined with Mughal-era gardens, the lake is rich in lotus, water lillies and water chestnuts. It is among those major destinations that let you free to enjoy life on water in the houseboats. One can have the pleasure of Shikara rides, kayaking, canoeing and other water activities in the Dal. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the lake gives a paradisiacal view when frozen in winter. The Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes, not only in Kashmir, rather in the whole of India. It is the second largest lake in Kashmir..
Located east of Kashmir, the lake lies on the foothills of the mountain Zabarwan. A number of willow and poplar trees lining the lake, Shankaracharya hill on the south and Hari Parbat on the west provide a charming view to the surroundings. Along with several water activities and Shikara rides, one can also hire boats, a romantic experience. Several salesmen can also be seen selling fruit, nuts, fresh flowers, baked goods, woolen shawls, silk carpets, leather goods and other materials on their boats. Nagin Lake, a subsidiary of the Dal Lake, is regarded as a separate lake.
Located approximately 28 km from Srinagar is the charming Manasbal Lake. It is one of the largest natural haunts of aquatic birds In Kashmir. The lake is a good place for birdwatching as it is one of the largest natural stamping grounds of Aquatic birds in Kashmir and has the sobriquet of supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes. The rootstocks of lotus plant which grows extensively in the lake are harvested and marketed, and also eaten by the local people. Manasbal Lake is located in the Jhelum valley, north of Srinagar city in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in India.
With a width and length of approximately 10 and 24 km respectively, Wullar Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. The lake gives about 60 percent of the fish yield of the region. Its perfect location between the cities of Sopore and Bandipore provides a marvellous view of the majestic hills on one side and steep valleys on the other. Wullar Lake, which draws water from the northern river Jhelum, lies at a distance of 60 km from Srinagar. Moreover, a renowned bird watcher’s paradise, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is also situated near the Lake.
Wildlife in Kashmir
Mother nature has undoubtedly showered her blessings on Jammu and Kashmir liberally. Be it natural beauty or the fascinating wildlife, Jammu and Kashmir has it all making it an overwhelming tourist destination. It enchants tourists from across the globe. The varied topography of the state is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the endangered ones. Jammu and Kashmir is a paradise for both wildlife buffs and bird lovers. There are numerous National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the state.
DACHIGHAM NATIONAL PARK
Dachigam National Park is situated around 22 km away from Srinagar and covers an area of more than 141-sq. km. Located amidst the mountains, there is a huge variation in the altitude of the park that ranges from 1600 m to 4200m above sea level. Due to this difference, the park is divided into two regions, the upper region and the lower region. The park is without a doubt the most scenic of all the parks in the state. The animal for which the park is most famous is the endangered species Hangul, the Kashmiri stag. Other animal species that you will see in the park are Musk deer, Brown Bear, Leopards, Jungle Cats and many more.
This is a park that is rich in everything, right from flora and fauna to avi-fauna. Gulmarg Biosphere is located at a distance of 48 km from Srinagar and covers an area of 180 sq. km. The park has acquired fame because it has been able to protect most of the animals that are found here, which are Musk Deer, Hangul, Brown Bear, Leopard and Black Bear. Most of the park is covered in forest consisting mainly of Conifers. The common birds that you will see here are Griffon Vulture, Monal, Koklas, European Hoopoe and many more. Best time to come here is between September and March for mammals and March to May for birds.
Monuments in Kashmir
On a tour to Kashmir you will find the imposing fort on top of the Hari Parbat Hill also known as the Kohi Maran. This fort is said to be built by Atta Mohammad Khan an Afghan ruler and the outer was was built by Mughal ruler Akbar, who had made this fort a capital city and even today you can find the ruins of palaces and mansions built around fort but within its walls that has three entrances known as Sangeen Darwaaza, Kathi Darwaaza and Bachi Darwaaza.
HARI PARBAT FORT
Hariparbat Fort crowns the top of Hari Parbat Hill. This impressive fort was built between 1592 and 1598. The walls and gateways, though much restored, bear evidence that the Mughal emperor Akbar also contributed to the construction of this fort situated at this dramatic vantage point overlooking the lovely city of Srinagar. Although much of its old apartments are in ruin still it conveys a little of the grandeur of the Mughals’ summer retreat in ‘paradise’. The hill is also considered sacred for Hindus due to the presence of the temple of Sharika Devi who is a form of Goddess Durga.
Martand is 60 kms southeast of Srinagar and located atop a plateau. The Sun Temple here is believed to date from the 8th century AD. Built by King Laitaditya Muktapida, it is a beautiful temple with a colonnaded courtyard and the shrine in its centre. The temple complex with its 84 columns offers an enchanting view of the Kashmir Valley.
Adventure in Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir offers a series of a little less rigorous adventure sports, such as Water Skiing, on Srinagar’s Dal and Nagin Lakes, a popular part time in the valley. Water trekking is calculated to delight anyone wanting to explore the valley in a boat. A Gondala, locally known as Shikara, takes sightseers along a five-day route along rivers and lakes situated within the valley. Enjoy spending nights camping along the way. Trout fishing is another delightful water sport in Kashmir and fishing season lasts all through summer.
Gulmarg also has one of the world’s highest green golf courses, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right. For the would-be golfer, there are golf sets on hire, pros to instruct one in the game, and temporary memberships. Naturally, these facilities are available to players as well, except that serious golfers usually carry their sets along. Srinagar and Gulmarg are mind-blowing venues for the royal game Golf. The plains of these destinations hemmed in by beautiful vegetation such as Chinnar and Pine trees add beauty to the adventurous game. The best seasons to play golf here is from April to November
The hilly regions of the wonderful Jammu and Kashmir offer great opportunities for trekking. The state offers amazing trekking trails to choose from. Tourists can enjoy trekking to several extraordinarily beautiful Himalayan peaks. Depending on your trekking skills you can make the choice. Most of the trekking tours provide tourists with trekking equipments and camping facilities. Some of the most enchanting trekking routes are: Amarnath trekking trial, Gulmarg trekking trial, trek from Ferozepur Nala to Danwas, trek from Tejjan to Samaidan. Sonamarg is the base of a trekking trail from Gulmarg to Tosamaidan.
Skiing is an interesting and adventure filled sport enjoyed by most of the tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir. The state is also home to the Ski Club of India, which was established in Gulmarg in 1927. Come winters and Gulmarg transforms into a paradise for skiers. It is located at an elevation of 2, 730 m above sea level. Khilanmarg is the other popular destination for skiing. Skiing season here begins in December and continues till March. The Dal and Nagin lakes in Srinagar and the Manasbal Lake, 32-km from Srinagar are the best places for water-skiing.
Blessed with beautiful and romantic rivers and lakes, the valley of Kashmir is the best place for enjoying river rafting between August and September. The hot spots for white water river rafting are the two mountain streams of river Indus and river Lidder. In fact, these are the perfect destinations for beginners also.
The wondrous Jammu and Kashmir is almost synonymous with mountain climbing. This adventure sports attracts a great number of tourists. Dotted with numerous mesmerizing Himalayan peaks, Jammu and Kashmir is truly a wonderland for tourists interested in mountain-climbing.
Aero-sports in Jammu and Kashmir attracts tourists from far and wide. The wonderful and beautiful Himalayas overwhelm tourists by the various opportunities for delightful sports such as Para-sailing, Para-gliding, Hot air ballooning and Para jumping.
Fishing is big business in Kashmir through spring and summer. The British introduced the brown and rainbow trout to the streams of Kashmir, where they have thrived. At the same time they introduced the system of anglers reserving ‘ beats’ on their favorite river. Reservations for beats should be made before one arrives in Kashmir, through an Indian Government Tourist Office or directly to the Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar .
Through essentially meant to carry skier’s uphill, a joyridein the Gulmarg Cable Car has become a tourist attraction in itself. There are at least hundred ‘gondolas’ with Gulmarg Cable Car Corporation. Therefore, you never have to wait for more than a minute for the next one to come along and carry you from 2,690m to a height of 5000m.