To Know More About Jammu-Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is located among the Himalayan, Pir panjal and Karakoram mountain ranges. It is famously known as the "Paradise on Earth" because of its gorgeous valleys, mountains, lakes, forests and meadows. Along with its breathtaking landscape, Jammu and Kashmir. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has two capitals according to the season. While Jammu is the winter capital of the state, Srinagar is the summer capital. This contributes largely to its tourism during the major seasons. There are a plethora of places to see and things to in Kashmir for all kinds of travelers. If you are planning a trip to Jammu and Kashmir, you must know about its places of attractions, activities offered and a few other interesting things which also form an integral part of Kashmir tourism.
The Dal Lake and the Mughal Gardens in Srinagar accentuate the Kashmir tourism. There may not be a heaven or a land of milk and honey, but there is Kashmir Valley, which attracts travelers from all over the world. Drifting shikaras on sparkling lakes on a summer evening, the vibrancy of Mughal gardens in spring, enjoying snowfall on a winter’s day, and apple picking in an autumn’s afternoon are some of the ways to put a state of ecstasy on your face.
History of Kashmir- Bounded by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the south, Afghanistan to the north-west and Pakistan to the west; Kashmir is located in the north-western region of India. Since the partition of the Indian continent in 1947, as this region has become the subject of dispute between the two nations, India and Pakistan, its south and south-eastern portion makes a state of India. And, as per the agreement of 1972, the administered portions of the two nations are divided by a ‘line of control’.
Culture of Kashmir- Replete with a rich and varied culture, the lifestyle of Kashmiri people is mostly influenced by literature, dance, music, food and festivals that are celebrated there. With exposure to solidarity during the times of independence, the locals of Kashmir have become a part of new literature and learning. Blessed with glacial mountains, crystal clear waters, pine forests, Chinar groves, and pine trees, the region of Kashmir has been detached from the whole country for a long time. However, now it inhabits people from different races, making it a potpourri of different cultures. Tourism in Kashmir takes a glimpse into the culture of Kashmir as well Srinagar and other places in the state.
Honeymoon in Kashmir- Epitomizing romance, resplendent nature, breathtaking views, and the surreal settings of the region make it one of the best travel destinations for honeymoon. Boasting tranquillity and scenic views, the beguiling beauty of Pahalgam is beyond words. While, Gulmarg- another glittering town of Kashmir offers some romantic backdrops replete with lush green meadows and snow-clad mountains. Whether you’re trekking with nomads or expats in Pir Panjals; cherishing honeymoon in meadows of Sonamarg; enjoying views of snow-capped glaciers on pony rides in Pahalgam; skiing in Gulmarg on fresh snow; making an arduous pilgrimage to bow before your maker; just admiring the serenity of Dal Lake in your lover’s arms; Kashmir never lets you down.
Srinagar is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and famous places to visit in Kashmir as well as in India. From boating to trekking, bird watching to water skiing, Srinagar place has it all. Locally this place is known as the mirror to the mountains, Srinagar is a first stopover for every traveler and there are a long list of places to visit in Srinagar, Kashmir. The largest city of Kashmir, this place is enclosed by the green mountains and the main highlight being the Dal Lake which is the gem of the city. This place gives a close outlook to the Kashmiri cuisine and the state’s culture.
Best time to visit: June to October, and for snow you must visit Srinagar in December or January
Things to do: Stay in the boat house, Visit the Mughal gardens, Take the shikara ride
Famously known as the ‘Meadow of Flowers’, Gulmarg is a treat to the eyes with its spread of vibrant flowers against snow capped mountains as backgrounds. Gulmarg is considered to be one of the best places to visit in Kashmir for all right reasons. This region of Kashmir is also known as the adventurer’s paradise because of its vast options of skiing in the snow while enjoying the views around. The best time to visit Kashmir for snowfall is in winter season i.e. December-January.
Best time to visit:June to October, and for snow December & January would be the best
Things to do in Gulmarg: Mountain Biking, trekking, Skiing if you visit in winters and Gondola rides for a panoramic view of the valley.
Sonamarg, as the name suggests, is famous as the ‘Meadow of Gold’. An endless stream of stunning flowers and undulated trekking routes are its attractions. Sonamarg has to be in every visitors’ list of places to visit in Kashmir for its mesmerizing aura and breathtaking views. The best season to visit Kashmir would be in summer i.e. May-June when the valley is blooming with variegated flowers.
Best time to visit:June through October, December & January for snow
Things to do in Sonamarg: Trekking, Camping and nature walks
Kupwara is a small district located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and situated at a distance of 90 Kms from the state capital, Srinagar. Blessed with nature’s finest views, the thriving meadows, alpine mountains, and the gushing clear water make Kupwara a must-visit destination in Kashmir. This city epitomizes the beauty of Kashmir.
Best time to visit:April to October
Things to do : Visit to Lolab valley, Qamar Reshi Sahib Shrine, Sheikh Baba Behram
Commonly called the “city of sufis”, this city in Jammu and Kashmir shares the southern borders with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The city has a large presence of Sufi shrines of Pirs within its boundaries. For the history lovers willing to have a glimpse of Kashmir’s past, Kathua should be on your list of top places to visit in Kashmir. Situated on the banks of a river, Kathua offers scintillating views and serene atmosphere. The city is also a gateway to a state and a big industrial town with army presence.
Best time to visit:April to October
Things to do : Visit to Lolab valley, Qamar Reshi Sahib Shrine, Sheikh Baba Behram
Protected and blessed by Mata Vaishno Devi, who seems to have found her earthly abode on the Trikuta Hills, Jammu City is indeed amongst the top places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Dubbed as the City of Temples, Jammu invites those seeking peace and tranquility. The unmatched divinity at Raghunath temple, Ranbireshwar temple, Mahamaya temple, Peer Baba and Peer Khoh touches every corner of Jammu invigorates visitors. One must visit the Bahu temple, which is situated inside the majestic Bahu Fort. The temple is dedicated to presiding deity of Jammu, Goddess Kali or Bawe Wali Mata as she is popularly called in the region. Besides the temple, a travel enthusiast can witness architectural grandeur of Bahu Fort and Mubarak Mandi Palace. The Aquarium at Bagh-e-Bahu (Bahu Fort) also catches the eyes of the tourists as it is the largest underground aquarium in the country. A trip to Jammu is no less than an expedition to a holy land.
Nestled in Trikuta Hills, Vaishno Devi is a town famous for the temple that goes by the name of the town. It is said that Vaishno Devi is a manifestation of Goddess Durga from Hindu mythology. This place is considered sacred as it is counted among one of the 108 Shakti Peeth in India which is why this temple receives a heavy footfall every year. The journey to the temple includes a trek of 13 kilometers which takes 9-10 hours depending on your pace. Services like palanquins, ponies, and helicopters are also available for those who cannot walk or wants to read early. There is no doubt that Vaishno Devi is counted among the top places to visit in Kashmir.
Best time to visit: March to October
Things to do : Trekking, shopping, and trying local food.
The refuge of several Gujjars and Bakerwalas, Rajouri is situated around 154kms away from Jammu. The district shares border with Pakistan and thus remain an intriguing travel destination. Rajauri is blessed with many charming places to visit; Dehra Ki Gali, Thanamandi and Kotranka Budhal are few places that are apt for sightseeing. One can retire to these remote places in summers as the weather remains pleasant here all year round. The magnificent Rajauri Fort, Balidan Bhavan, Dhanidhar Fort and Rama Temple are few places that can be visited in the vicinity of Rajouri. An absolute delight for travel and adventure enthusiasts, Rajouri is amongst one of the top places of interest in Jammu Kashmir.
Named after Raja Udham Singh, Udhampur city is the second-largest city in Jammu region. Set amidst lush green surroundings and fringed by eucalyptus trees, Udhampur is one of the best tourist attractions in Jammu & Kashmir. A delight for history lovers, the city offers many relics dating back to the time of epic of Mahabharata. The Krimachi group of temples are said to be the oldest structures in the city. Udhampur is also famous for the underground river Devika, which is considered the sister of Ganga. Visit the Ramnagar fort, located approximately 40kms from Udhampur and built by Raja Suchet Singh. Moungri Cave shrine, Pingla Mata and Sudh Mahadev temple are other prominent places that must be visited in Udhampur.
Brave heart Kargil is situated at India-Pakistan border at an altitude of approximately 2800m above sea level. Connected to the Zojila Pass, Kargil holds important place in the history of India. Set up in the Ladakh region of the state, Kargil is one of the most interesting places to see in Jammu & Kashmir. It offers great opportunity to trekkers, campers, rafters and mountaineers. The Nun Mountain allows mountaineering expeditions whereas, Kargil offers brilliant option for trekking to Pensi-La Lake and Suru valley. Excursion can be made to Drass and see features like Tolo-ling, Mushkoh Valley and Tiger Hill. A short walk to Goma Kargil provides breathtaking views. Mulbekh Gompa, Shergol, Urgyen Dzong and Wakha Rgyal are prime attractions of Kargil.
The green meadows and the lofty mountains are followed with tranquility and serenity in Pahalgam. The beauty of this small exceptional town does by no means can be a disappointment for an ardent nature lover. Blessed with good accommodation option, Pahalgam is indeed one of the best places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Expect a lot of greenery, hotels and resorts and lot of beauty surrounding you. Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Baisaran, Sheshnag lake and the Tulian Lake excursion can invigorate your senses and activities like horse riding; trekking and golf make sure that you remain engaged all through your journey. Chandanwari, which is located 16kms away from Pahalgam is the base camp for Amarnath Yatra, a trekking route of approximately 30kms lead up to the holy shrine of Amarnath from here. Pahalgam is the most developed region of valley of Kashmir and thus don’t expect it to be quite like other destinations in Kashmir.
Anantnag is rightly the paradise in paradise! Strategically positioned and organized, Anantnag has some of the most picturesque towns of the valley of Kashmir. Kokernag, Pahalgam, Verinag and Daksum are few places that adds feather to the cap of Jammu & Kashmir tourism. Visit Kokernag for the most interesting ‘Claw-like’ formation of the streams that divide from here, rest the place has lush gardens and largest fresh water springs in Kashmir. Standing at 2438m, Daksum is apt for those seeking perfect peaceful ambiance. The prominent feature of the Anantnag city is the Martand Temple, which is a must see. A few kilometers away from the city are Daksum, which is the heaven for nature lovers. Here is at solitude finds its real meaning. A tour to Verinag can leave you stunned; the variety of flowers and the sparkling Verinag springs is truly worth seeing here. It is needless to mention that holidays in Jammu & Kashmir are incomplete without a visit to Anantnag district, where lays a true heaven!
It is often seen that whenever Katra is discussed; it is referred merely as a base camp for devotees who visit Vaishno Devi. But, there is certainly more to explore in Katra. Situated around 42kms from Jammu, Katra is one of the most picturesque places in Jammu. A nature lover would love to visit Baba Dhansar located just 10kms away from the city. Known for its scenic beauty, it is an ideal picnic spot. Shiv Khori is another must visit; this place stand second to Vaishno Devi in religious value and is famed for its 4ft tall naturally formed Shiva Linga. Katra is indeed a place that should be visited in Jammu & Kashmir as it reflects perfectly the divinity of Jammu.
Reckoned to be India’s coldest and world’s second coldest place, Drass is situated 60kms away from Kargil. Located at the base of Zojila Pass, which connect Kashmir and Ladakh, Drass is also dubbed as the Gateway to Ladakh. The best time to visit here is during spring and summers, when the snow melts and the greenery returns. Visit the Drass war memorial, which is also known as Kargil war memorial. Drass is also a base for a trek to beautiful Suru Valley.
This is considered to be the best place when it comes to observing the natural aspects of Kashmir. This is one of the top tourist places in Kashmir that is not much explored. If you’ll 4 kilometers downhill from this place, you’ll see the beautiful Nil Nag Lake that will be a treat to your eyes. You’ll find the true tranquility as well as picturesqueness of Kashmir here.
Best time to visit: October to December
Things to do : Trekking, pony-riding
Endless meadows and picturesque views describe Patnitop the best. Blanketed by the sky-high Himalayas covered with snow, Patnitop has created a niche in the tourism industry due to its surreal beauty. Along with this, the place also offers some thrilling activities that will treat the adrenaline junkie in you. It proves to be one of the top tourist places in Kashmir for both families and friends.
Best time to visit:May – June, September – October
Things to do : Trekking, paragliding, and skiing
Located 12 kilometers from Pahalgam, Aru Valley is juxtaposed against the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas. It serves as a base camp for several treks and lakes including Tarsar Lake and Kolhoi glacier. The valley is also home to the Aru river which is a tributary of the Lidder River. Nature lovers resort to this place for peace and to unwind in the lap of nature. Apart from this, Aru Valley offers some of the most enthralling activities like horse riding and hiking. During the winter months, the view of the whole valley covered with snow is a comfort to the eyes. A visit to this place in Kashmir will leave you in awe of nature.
Best time to visit: July – September
Things to do : Horse riding and trekking
Amarnath is a haven for pilgrims and is counted among the top places to visit in Kashmir. Worshippers of Lord Shiva visit this place every year to take blessings and witness the enshrined image of Shiva which is popularly called Shivaling. People from all over the world resort to this place and indulge in the well-known ‘Amarnath Yatra’. It is believed that this is the same cave where Lord Shiva told about the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati. If you are a true follower of Lord Shiva then make sure that you include this attraction in your Kashmir tour itinerary.
Best time to visit: May – September
Things to do : Trek
Looking for an offbeat destination in Kashmir? Have you heard of Sanasar? No? Well, that is not a shock to us because this place is one of the hidden gems of Kashmir. It is a haven for adventure enthusiasts as this place offers many thrilling activities to indulge in like rock climbing, trekking, paragliding, and abseiling. The name, Sanasar, has been derived from the two local lakes and a visit to this place will take make you acquaint with the calmer side of Kashmir.
Best time to visit: April – June
Things to do : Trekking, camping, and sightseeing
Kashmir not only has an abundance of beauty but also has abundant flora and fauna. Dachigam national Park is where you will find indigneous species of plants and animals. Even the landscapes of this place are truly mesmerizing. It is only 22 km from Srinagar and can be reached easily by taking a private taxi. Its natural beauty makes it one of the most-visited Kashmir tourist places
Best time to visit:May-June and September-October is the best time to visit the park.
Things to do : Wildlife tour
Only those who have visited Khilandmarg will agree that it is the most beautiful place in kashmir. The valley put you in a trance because of its alluring landscapes and breathtaking panoramas. It is 6 km ahead of Gulmarg and only a few people dare to visit this place. There may not be much to do here but those who enjoy nature will love visiting this place. In summers, the aromatic flowers are the major attraction while skiing in winters lures tourists to this place.
Best time to visit:Spring and winter season
Things to do : Skiing in winter, hiking, nature walk
Baltal is one of the most famous places in Kashmir and it owes its popularity to its picturesque environment. It is only 14 km away from Amarnath caves and offers a base for the devotees to spend a night. The staggering beauty of this valley makes it one of the most amazing kashmir tourist places. You must visit this place as it is located at a convenient location from Srinagar and Pahalgam.
Best time to visit:May-September
Things to do : Nature sightseeing, photography
Located in Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir, Bhaderwah is another one of the Kashmir tourist places that you must visit on your vacation. A scenic drive to this place is all you need to make your experience in Kashmir most memorable one. The rich flora fauna of this place will leave you invigorated and gratifying. This place is also famous for a huge variety of snakes. There is no doubt in the fact that it is the most beautiful place in Kashmir that you every nature lover must explore.
Best time to visit:May-June
Things to do : Trekking, skiing, Mela Patt
If you love nature and animals, then you should definitely add Kishtwar National Park to enjoy Kashmir sightseeing. There, you will find musk deer, Himalayan black and brown bear. The national park is located on a plateau above Chenab River and just below the Nagin Sheer Glacier. The lush greenery and landscapes will leave you reinvigorated. It is spread over a whopping area of 400 sqkm where you will find a variety of flora fauna. It is one of the famous places in Jammu and Kashmir known for wildlife and nature.
Best time to visit:May-June, September-October
Things to do : Wildlife safari