Kashmir

 

Kashmir is known for its unearthly beauty, which has earned it the title of " Paradise on Earth". Kashmir Valley is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in north India. .

Kashmir is like a multi-faceted diamond placed in the lap of Himalayas, changing its colours with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. The natural beauty has been described in terms of emerald pastures, sapphire water and pearly snow valleys. The floor of the valleys is flat with lush patchwork of different shades of green, glinting with waterways that mirror poplars and weeping willows. Mountains are carpeted with Firs and Pine making way for the streams tumbling down with crisp clean water

Main Tourist Spots in Kashmir

Gulmarg

 

Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Originally called "Gaurimarg" by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. Gulmarg was a favorite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty- it also has the highest green golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2,650 m, and is the country's premier ski resort in the winter.

Pahalgam

 


"Pahalgam" or the village of Shepherds is a very popular resort ninety kilometers south of Srinagar. It has some magnificent plains (like Baisaran) where horse-riding can be indulged in. Again, some fantastic angler opportunities as well and a lot of trekking routes (including the one that goes to Amarnath, a hindu pilgrimage shrine deep in the himalayas). A number of treks in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier. Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the month of Sawan (July to August).

Sonmarg

 

Sonamarg, at an altitude of 3,000 metres above sea level, 87 km north-east of Srinagar. The drive to Sonamargh is though yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time in Sindh Valley. The Sindh Valley is the largest tributary of the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long, and valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes. Sonamarg, which means 'meadow of gold' has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. the Sindh meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months. The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing; but the rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in July and August with fine spell in between..

Dal Lake

 


The world famous water body described by Sir Walter Lawerence as the "Lake par-excellence", half a kilometers from the city, is the jewel in the crown of Kashmir eulogized by the poets and abundantly praised by the travelers and tourists. The lake is 6 X 3 km divided by causeways into four parts, Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. Two islands, Sona Lank and Ropa Lank, within the lake add to its beauty. Nagin is the most lovely part of the Dal Lake separated by a causeway.

Jama Masjid, Old City

 

It is one of the oldest and the most spacious of all the mosques in Kashmir, situated in the heart of the city. The foundation of the mosque, an architectural wonder was laid by Sultan Sikander in 1398 A.D. The area of the mosque is 384 ft X 381 ft. spacious enough for over thirty thousand people to offer prayers at a time. The attractions of the Jamia Masjid of Srinagar, Kashmir include beautiful Indo-Saracenic architecture, a magnificent courtyard and 370 wooden pillars. Another feature of the mosque is the peace and tranquility inside it, standing out against the hustle of the old bazaars around it. Thousands of Muslims assemble at the mosque every Friday to offer their prayers.

Other attractions

  • Nishat Bagh
  • Shalimar Garden
  • Harwan Garden
  • Parimahal
  • Chesma Shahi
  • Shankaracharya Temple
  • Kokernag
  • Verinag
  • Naranag

  • Dacksum

  • Achwal

  • Dodpathri

  • Yusmarg

  • Sinthantop

How to reach

By train

The nearest railway station is at Jammu. The rest of India is connected by rail with Jammu; however the construction of a rail link from Jammu to Srinagar is still in progress and will be completed in 2014.


By plane

Almost all the domestic airlines in India fly from Delhi to Srinagar which is now an international airport also.


By car

From Jammu, various places in Kashmir are 6-8 hours by road. You can also hire a taxi or take a bus from New Delhi. The travel time by road is about 20 hours from New Delhi. The landscape tends to get very interesting from Jammu and it is mainly because of this reason travellers prefer the road trip (especially from Jammu). Please bear in mind though that the Jammu-Srinagar highway is extremely treacherous in the winters and, for most part of the winter is blocked by landslides. On the way from Jammu to valley do not forget to relish the famous rajmah chawal in Peerah and Pattisa (sweet made in ghee) in Kudd.

 

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