Kashmir, the ‘Paradise on Earth’ lies in the north-western region of India. Kashmir broadly consists of three diverse regions, the Kashmir valley itself, the crown of India, Jammu-the winter capital and Ladakh which is bounded by the mighty mountain the Karakoram and the Great Himalaya. The flora of Kashmir is a proliferation of the majestic chinar whose beauty is to be seen to be believed, the walnut, almond and the rare saffron which grows only in Kashmir.
The wildlife of this region is a tribute to the Himalayan ecosystem, the elusive snow leopard, the Himalayan black bear, the majestic Hangul, the Tibetan antelope, the yak and many species of rare birds.
The cuisine of Kashmir is without equal, the ‘Wazwan’ is the ultimate banquet which comprises of 36 courses including dishes such as ‘tabakh maaz, rogan gosht, aab gosht, and the ghustaba.
Some of the important places for tourist are Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Wullar Lake, Leh, Zanskar, Kargil, and Krimchi.
|Capital||• Jammu (winter)
• Srinagar (summer)
|Governor||Narinder Nath Vohra|
|Chief Minister||Omar Abdullah|
|Legislature (seats)||Bicameral (89 + 36)|
• 100 /km2 (259 /sq mi)
|HDI (2005)||+ 0.601 (medium) (17th)|
|Official languages||Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Area||222236 km2 (85806 sq mi)|
|List of Hotels in Jammu and Kashmir|
|Historical Era||New Imperialism|
|- Partition of India||1947|
|Today Part of|| India
The picturesque Kashmir valley is defined by its natural beauty, snow capped mountains, tall chinar trees and the famous Dal Lake, where lazily floating houseboats, packed with colorful flowers are a sight that stays with a person forever. The famous attractions here are the floating vegetable and fruit market, held in secluded tree lined canals, the famous Moghal gardens, golf courses and the unique shikara and houseboat rides on the Dal Lake.
The Dal Lake is interconnected to the Nagin Lake by a narrow water channel and the pleasantly gliding houseboats also make shopping possible as there are fully stocked houseboats on the lake, where you can shop for anything. The Wullar Lake, which is also Asia’s largest fresh water lake, is another attraction of Kashmir. The long expanse of gentle water is dotted on both sides by quaint villages, colorful fields and gives a glimpse of life of Kashmir.
Equally fascinating are the gardens of Kashmir, which owe their existence to the Mughal ruler who built expansive gardens that showcase the exquisite beauty of Kashmir. Most of the gardens like the Mughal Garden, Shalimar, the Nishat garden, and the Jarogabal Garden still exist and captivate tourist with their beauty.
In recent years the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden boasts of 12 lakh tulip bulbs of 68 varieties in different colors create a breathtaking sight. It is here that the Tulip festival is held in April. Other festivals celebrated here are the Baisakhi festival, the Kheer Bhawani festival, the Gurez festival and the saffron festival.
The important places of pilgrimage here are Amaranth, Sureshwar, Tripeshwar and Hareshwar and the Hazratbal shrine.
The valley is also famous for its exquisite flowers, fresh and dry fruits and the saffron. The jewelry and intricate silverware along with the finely woven carpets and rugs, and fine handicrafts make Kashmir a popular place for tourists.
Jammu is the winter capital of the State of Kashmir with the Trikuta range as a picturesque backdrop. Aptly named as the ‘City of Temples’ with the Mata Vaisno Devi, Gauri Kund, the Peer Koh cave temple, and the Raghunath temple are few of its famous temples. A visit to the Amar Mahal Palace, the water sports of rafting, and canoeing, mountaineering and trekking are some of the popular activities that tourists can do.
Jammu is famous for its delicate handicrafts, silks, carpets, wickerwork, and miniature paintings.
Ladakh perched on the highest point is a dominated by monasteries and the Buddhist culture.
Kasmir is a tourist’s paradise an experience that stays with a person forever.
|Division||Population||Muslim||Hindu||Sikh||Buddhist / Other|
|Jammu & Kashmir||10,143,700||66.97%||29.63%||2.03%||1.36%|
|India||Kashmir valley||~4 million||95%||4%||–||–|
|Ladakh||~0.25 million||46% (Shia)||–||50%||3%|
|Pakistan||Northern Areas||~1 million||99%||–||–||–|
|Azad Kashmir||~2.6 million||100%||–||–||–|