Friday, 27 May 2011

Kashmir: Jammu Kashmir




Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. Today Kashmir denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh).

Aru


Far from the stress, dust and pollution of the urban life, Aru welcomes you to the tranquil and serene meadow, approximately 107 km from Srinagar. Located at a height of around 2408 meters, Aru is famous for the Lidder River, Lidderwat meadow, Kolahoi Glacier, conifer spread mountains and trekking opportunities. The dense woods is home to various birds and wild animals. The best period for blooming of nature during summer is considered between May To September, while in winter it is November To February. The melodious chirp of birds, the cool breeze, open blue skies, green-golden grass, crystal clear waters and misty mountains all around make Aru one of the best hill stations in the Kashmir region.


Kishtwar

The upland valley of Kishtwar, comprising Kishtwar National Park as well, is a major hill station in Jammu region. The area boasts of The Pir Panjal range, Great Himalayan Ranges, and the Chenab river that not only form a unique ecosystem and bio-geographical pattern but also draws lakhs of tourists every season. The hills are ideal for trekking and mountaineering, while the lands are perfect for growing saffron. The wooded hills are provided contrast with beautiful waterfalls. These wooded hills and the Kishtwar National Park are rich in wildlife like snow-deer, leopard, Neel Gai and musk-deer. Although a small region, Kishtwar is rich in all such attractions as well as pilgrims.


Patnitop

This beautiful serene hill station has all the attractions that an ideal hilly tourist destination should have. The place is rich in dense pines, snow clad peaks, waterways, freshwater springs, adventure sports and a unique climate. At an altitude of 2024 metres, you will find a huge golf course too. Sudh Mahadev is another sacred spot situated close to Patnitop. May-June in summer and September-October in autumn is the best time to visit Patnitop to explore nature at its best. If seeking snowboard joys, December to March is the time to be here.


Sonmarg

Known as the 'Meadow of Gold', Sonmarg is an ideal place for camping. Countless colourful flowers and the holy Sindh river form a perfect gateway to Ladakh. Nature lovers can spot dense forests of alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine, and various lakes. Most importantly, this hill station serves as a base camp for the holy Amarnath yatra, which is organized in July-August every year. People also visit the nearby Nilagrad river, which is pure red in colour and is believed to have curative powers for skin ailments.


Srinagar

The summer capital of Kashmir is situated on the banks of the Jhelum river. Srinagar is considered the most beautiful and most visited city of the state of J & K, the year round. The famous Dal Lake and Nagin Lake are the assets and identity of Srinagar. These lakes are visited for an enchanting view of Mughal gardens and unique houseboats and shikara rides. The Dal Lake gets frozen in winter and offers an opportunity for various adventure sports. The city is a leading player in handicrafts too. Srinagar, undoubtedly the best hill station in J&K, gives you a totally different experience.


Gulmarg

Spreading the sweet fragrance and aroma in Baramula district, the meadow of flowers- Gulmarg is quite close to Srinagar. This hill station is popular for its grassy slopes of flowers and the highest golf course in the world. The name of the city was coined by Sultan Yusuf Shah in the 16th century because of countless Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not and Buttercups. These flowers blossom in the months of December to April. Apart from this, adventure seekers can enjoy various activities from skiing and horse riding to trekking. The Khilanmarg valley of countless colourful flowers is the most refreshing and peaceful area of the city.


The state of Jammu and Kashmir offers wonderful hill stations at an altitude of thousands of metres above sea level. A place that offers you snowy Himalayas, majestic rivers, stunning lakes, vast green-golden landscapes, hundreds of pilgrims, numerous adventure activities and enticing flora and fauna, is certainly the best tourist destination.


House Boats

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has became a great tourist destination because it has developed and taken care of its uniqueness in a perfect manner. Houseboats in J & K serve as the best meduim to fulfill your dream of staying as close to nature as possible. They have made people's fantasy of living on the water come true. Facing the majestic Himalayas and offering the pleasant sounds of rolling waters, these houseboats are the greatest attraction in Kashmir.



One can experience the stunning beauty of these houseboats and the natural surroundings on Dal Lake, Nagin Lake and Jhelum River. Houseboats as old as 50 years can also be seen in Kashmir. Earlier used by the people of fishing communities only, these boats today are not merely a tourist attraction rather a place where the use of unique Kashmiri handirafts can be seen (in furniture, carpets etc.).


They are completely made of wood and provide guests with homely environment, quiet surroundings and enchanting views outside. Quite similar to a fully furnished house, they offer proper living rooms, drawing and dining rooms, carved wooden furnitures, and beautifully decorated interiors.

Amarnath Cave (in Pahalgam; devoted to Lord Shiva)



Sudh Mahadev (Patnitop; devoted to Lord Shiva)




Avantipur Temple (Avantipur; devoted to Lord Surya)



Charar-e-sharif


Hazratbal mosque


Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara (Srinagar)

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