z fashion    3020The northern-most state of India Jammu and Kashmir includes 3 regions: the foothill plains of Jammu, the blue valleys and lakes of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, the starkly beautiful mountains and high altitude plains of Ladakh that lie beyond the passes. While Jammu is the winter capital, Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. J&k since time immemorial has been a symbol of eternal natural beauty and that is why it has been an object of interest for several travel enthusiasts. It has been one of the most attractive, beautiful, serene and most talked about yet most controversial tourist destination of India. Kashmir is home to some of the most stunning and highest parts of the Himalayas.

Jammu

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Jammu City is among the top places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is considered as a paradise on earth. The town is divided into 2 parts old and new city. The city has a few forts and palaces and a number of temples wrapped in old myths. A visit to Jammu is no less than an expedition to a holy land, invites those seeking tranquility and peace. The unrivaled divinity at Vaishno Devi, Raghunath temple, Mahamaya temple, Ranbireshwar temple, Peer Baba and Peer Khoh touches each corner of Jammu invigorates visitors. A travel enthusiast can witness architectural grandeur of Mubarak Mandi Palace and Bahu Fort. The Aquarium at Bahu Fort is the largest underground aquarium in the country, also catches the eyes of the tourists.

Srinagar

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The capital town Srinagar is most lovely town in the entire Kashmir valley. The sunlight and the clouds seem to be out of this world, mountain peaks look heavenly from a distance and deep blue sky makes us feel at peace and rejuvenated. It’s full of flowers in spring and snow in winter. Srinagar is famous for the Dal Lake, house-boats and its many vibrant shikharas, Mughal Gardens (Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh) and HazratBal Dargah. It is also known for dry fruit, saffron and traditional Kashmiri handicrafts like handmade woollen shawls, carpets and rugs. Srinagar also renders nice choices for activities like water skiing, golfing, bird watching, trekking and boating and therefore makes holidays in Jammu & Kashmir a successful expedition. Srinagar is in itself a tourist center and the take-off point for excursions to other places of interest.

Gulmarg

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Gulmarg’s prime location, legendary beauty and proximity to Srinagar make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country.The snow-capped mountain peaks raise the grandeur of the land. A visit to Gulmarg will transport one to a exquisite world of flowers. Flowers that bloom here embody daisies, bluebells, buttercups and forget-me-nots.Today Gulmarg is not only renowned for its exceptional beauty, it also has the highest (at an altitude of 2,650 m) green golf course in the world, and is the country’s premier ski resort in the winter.  Khilanmarg is an important skiing center. The most favorite tourist sports here embrace Skiing, Heliskiing and Trekking.The newly made Gondola lift offers a ride high above the mountains and pine-clad slopes of the region and provides for a beautiful view of Gulmarg. Tourist places like Kongdori, Khilamarg and 7 springs offer pleasent rides on pony from Gulmarg.  A little below Gulmarg, one comes across the holy shrine of a Muslim Saint, Baba Reshi.

Pahalgam

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Pahalgam, a pristine little hill-town is 45 kms. from the District Head Quarters at Anantnag and on the banks of stream Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. The area falls on the way to the great pilgrim centre of Amarnath and has a beautiful landscape. Once favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films and an excellent tourist puller, is perhaps the best health resort in the country. The Pahalgam valley presents glamrous look because of its snow clad mountains, healthy climate, pine forests and huge meadows and pastures. Visitors normally head to Pahalgam’s Betaab Valley, with its fresh flowing Lidder stream and surrounding snow-capped hills enriching the impressive beauty of the valley.This place offers you many fun activities like golfing, hiking, trout fishing, river rafting, horse rides and more.

Sonmarg

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Located on the Srinagar-Ladakh Highway, scenic Sonamarg is backed by snowy mountains which stand tall against a cornflower blue sky. It is renowned for its Thajiwas Glacier. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to the Thajiwas glacier that is a major local attraction thoughout the summer months. Scenes of many Bollywood movies have been filmed here. The Sindh River that meanders through the valley abounds with trout, angling is a favourite activity here. Thickly forested Sonamarg is filled with the fragrance of sycamore and alpine flowers, birch, fir and pine. Do not miss out on the chance to visit Zojila Pass, situated near Sonmarg and connects Kashmir and Ladakh. Sonmarg is nice to visit if you’re a nature lover.

Amarnath

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The Amarnath cave is at an altitude of 3,888 m and about 141 km from Srinagar. These caves are one of the most renowned shrines in Hinduism. Dedicated to the god Shiva, the shrine forms a crucial part of ancient Hindu mythology and claimed to be over 5,000 years old. This is here Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort Parvati. Inside the Amarnath cave is an ice stalagmite resembling the Shiva Linga and 2 other ice formations representing Parvati and son Ganesha that waxes during May to August and gradually wanes afterwards. Every year, the famous Amarnath Yatra takes place during the months of July and August, when the place is visited by around 400,000 people. From the city of Pahalgam, devotees usually take the 42 km pilgrimage on foot and cover the journey in four to five days. There are two alternate routes to the temple: the shorter route from the town of Baltal and the longer and more traditional path from Srinagar.

Leh-Ladakh

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Leh and capital city Ladakh are located towards the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir. Topographically, the entire area is mountainous. As these places have a lot of natural beauty visiting Leh Ladakh can be a good experience. There are a number of attractions in Leh Ladakh that are filled with extreme pristine beauty includes varied trekking trails, valleys, picturesque lakes, snow clad mountain peaks, wildlife safaris, adventure activity spots and lot more. Renowned as the land of monks and monasteries there is lots to see in this superb piece of land. Ladakh with a unique characteristic that is a mix of Indian, Tibetan as well as Buddhism linings make it a place which is worth paying a visit to. This stunning hilly region, every year, is visited by a large number of local as well as foreign tourists. It is both a popular winter as well as summer holiday destination.

Vaishno Devi

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Vaishno Devi Mandir is a most sacred pilgrimage destination for the Hindus. The temple is located in the folds of three-peaked mountain Trikuta at an altitude of 5200 ft, 12 kms from Katra, Jammu.  It’s the temple dedicated to Shakti, which attract thousands of tourists from every corner of the country. Mata Vaishno Devi is believed to have spent some time in this cave  while observing many religious disciplines. The idol of the main deity is found in the form of natural Pindies (stone structure), representing Goddess Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. These three structures symbolize the creative, preservative and destructive characters of the Mother.  The panoramic surroundings and the enthralling journey will make your trip an unforgettable one. An estimated 8 million pilgrims visit the temple every year.

Patnitop

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Relatively unknown, Patnitop, is one of the beautiful hill stations which are renowned for picturesque surroundings. Patnitop is in the Lower Himalayan Range close to the Pir Panjal range, 112 km from Jammu and 47 km from Udhampur.This renowned hill resort is perched on a exquisite plateau, at an altitude of 2024 m across that the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. This stunning place is well renowned for its beautiful locations and landmarks that make it an ideal tourist spot. The meadow is encircled by lush greenery of Pines and dense woods. Beautiful tracks lead to pockets where time stands still and calm prevails.

Nubra Valley

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One of the most enchanting and delightful tourist destinations of northern India, Nubra Valley is situated about 150 km from Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. This place is renowned for its orchards, scenic vistas, monasteries and Bactrian camels. The cold desert between Hundur and Diskit are another attraction for tourists. The view of the valley is exciting and picturesque. Throughout Summer, the valley is full of greenery and in winter it looks like landscape of the moon. Nubra Valley is full of tranquil spots and spellbinding sceneries. The Shyok River joins the Nubra or Siachen River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram regions. The Turtuk village bounded with apricot trees is a lovely place for people who love peace and interacting with tribal community of Ladakh. Nubra valley has a lot to offer who travels to Leh.

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 Accomodation

The state is home to each star and non star category hotels catering to the requirements of the tourists. It’s resorts, restaurants and cafes cater to the needs of all segments of travelers. Hotels in Jammu and Kashmir make it possible to meet maximum satisfaction of the guests and offer great degree of comfort. Tourists on varied budgets can easily book a room in any segments of hotels in J&K.

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Transport

Jammu and Kashmir is easily reachable through different modes of transport. By air, the state is reachable through the flights which operate from other cities to Leh and Srinagar. The railway line which passes through the state ends at Udhampur from where one can take a bus or other vehicle to reach different places. By road, the state can be reached through 2 different routes, via Manali till Leh or via Jammu till Srinagar.

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