A Complete Jammu and Kashmir Travel Guide

Capital of Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar
state bird The Black Necked Crane
STATE ANIMAL The Hangul or Kashmir Stag
LANGUAGE SPOKEN The state official language is Urdu. The main language spoken is Kashmiri in Kashmir and Dogri in Jammu
Major Cities Jammu, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Katra, Leh, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Udhampur
TEMPERATURE Summer 19°C to 30°C (March to June) Monsoon 15°C to 25°C (July to September) Winter -40°C to 12°C(October to February)

Introduction

Jammu & Kashmir is a state in northern India. It is considered one of the best places to visit in India. It is also called the “Heaven on the Earth.”  It is located in Himalayan Mountain and shares border with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Srinagar is the summer capital and Jammu is the winter capital.   The Kashmir Valley is famous for its beautiful landscapes and Jammu shrines attract thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. The Kashmir valley has a large capacity of fruit production apple, almonds, cherries, and pears.

History of Jammu and Kashmir

Maharaja Hari Singh became the ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1925, and he was the reigning monarch at the conclusion of the British rule in the subcontinent in 1947.

Jammu and Kashmir had a Muslim majority (77% Muslim by the previous census in 1941). During Partition many people in Pakistan expected that Kashmir would join Pakistan. However, the predominant political movement in the Valley of Kashmir was secular and was allied with the Indian National Congress since the 1930s. Once the Instrument of Accession was signed, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir with orders to evict the raiders. This resulting in Indo-pak war in 1947 lasted till the end of 1948. India and Pakistan fought two further wars in 1965 and 1971. Following the latter war, the countries reached the Shimla agreement, agreeing on Line of Control between their respective regions and committing to a peaceful resolution of the dispute through bilateral negotiations.

Best Places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir

1. Gulmarggulmarg

Gulmarg is well known for its natural beauty this place is famous for its golf hikes and beautiful highlands gold course. There is also a ski resort and you can also see Line of Control of India and Pakistan. This is one of the best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir.

2. Sonmargsonmarg

The next place in our list of best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir is Sonmarg. Sonmarg is located at an altitude of around 2730 meters from the sea level. It has snowy mountains as its backdrop against the sky. Sonamarg is also a base for undertaking the yatra to the holy Amarnath cave, during Sawan Purnima.

3. Raghunath Templeraghunath temple

Raghunath Temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shri Rama. All the inner walls of this temple are covered with gold. This temple is located in the center of Jammu.

4. Mubarak Mandi PalaceMubarak Mandi palace

The palace was the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. The palace is located in the heart of the old city of Jammu and overlooks the Tawi river.

5. Chadar Trekchadar trek

When we are talking about the best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir, how can we forget the Chadar Trek. Zanskar is located at a very high altitude in Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the best trekking destinations around the world. In Winters, the Zanskar river freezes up and gets converted into an amazing adventure trek called Chadar The Frozen River Trek.

6. Amarnathamarnath

Holy Amarnath Cave ( Temple) is situated 144 km east to Srinagar. It is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. It begins with a 43 kilometers (27 mi) mountainous trek from the Nunwan and Chandanwari base camps at Pahalgam.

7. Bahu Fortbahufort

This fort is located at a distance of around 5 km from the main city. This fort is facing the Tawi River. There is a temple of the goddess Kali in the fort. The temple is known locally as the “Bawe Wali Mata temple”. A popular Hindu festival is known as “Bahu Mela” is held during Navaratras in the fort twice a year. 

Festivals in Jammu and Kashmir

  1. Eid ul fitr – eid

Eid Ul Fitr is celebrated on the last day of month-long fasting in Ramzan or Ramadan. Namaz is offered six times on this day and fast is broken with feasting. Exchange of sweets and wearing new clothes, meeting relatives and sharing wishes completes this peaceful festival

2. Hemis festivalhemis festival

The festival honors Lord Padmasambhava known as guru rinpoche in the region.The ritualistic festival is believed to bring spiritual and physical health to people.

3. Holi FestivalHoli _The Festival of Colours_

It is celebrated in the month of March every year and it spans for two days. The first day starts off with fasting and prayers. In the evening, bonfires are lit in celebration of the triumph of good over evil. This also symbolizes the end of the harsh winters. The second day commences with people playing with colors and colored water.

4. Shikara Festivalshikhara festival

it is celebrated every year during the month of July to August. The Shikharas are painted beautifully and decorated with flowers to participate in Dragon race and Canoe Polo matches in Dal Lake

5. Baisakhibaisakhi

The festival is celebrated on the 13th of April every year. It is to celebrate the starting of the harvesting season in Northern India. The day also witnesses the start of many fairs, some are even weeks long. Do visit these fairs as they prove to be a great place for shopping for local and traditional items.

6. Lohrilohri

Like all other places in India, the festivals of Lohri is celebrated on the 13th of January in the Jammu city as well. Lohri welcomes the commencement of the spring season, after the end of winter. This festival is celebrated mainly after sunset. A bonfire is lit and people offer things like sweets, puffed rice, popcorn, etc into it.

7.Eid-ul-Azhaeid

Eid-ul-Azha is the Bakri Eid which commemorates the concept of kurbani that is sacrifice. A goat is sacrificed in every Muslim household on this day.

Best honeymoon destinations in Jammu and Kashmir

After the list of the best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir, here are some places that are good options for honeymoon destinations.

  1. Pahalgam: pahalgamIt is a small but developed town of the Kashmiri valley. The place is also famous for its scenic charm. Tullian Lake, Baisaran, Aeu Valley and Sheshna, Tullian Lake are some of the most popular tourist spots in the area.
  2. Srinagar:Srinagar Jama Masjid, Hazratbal Shrine, Shankaracharya Temoke and Paei Mahal, Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi, and Shalimar Bagh are prime attractions of the city. The Shikara and the houseboats on the Dal and the Nagin Lakes will let you slowly gulp the scenic beauty in slow motion.
  3. Gulmarg:gulmarg 2 One of the most serene locations in the country. Frozen Lake, Khilanmargand Bota Pathri and Gulmarg Gondola. The view from the Apparwath peak will make you spend the entire day gazing at the horizon head.
  4. Jammu:jammu Also known as Temple city of the state. This place is surrounded by the shrine of Vaishno Devi. The Bahu Fort is also a beautiful monument in the city.

Things to do in Jammu Kashmir

1. Shikara Ride

Location-Dal Lake in Srinagar and Manasbal Lake near Sonamarg

2. Houseboat stay

Location-houseboat docked at the Dal Lake

3.‘Gondola’ Cable Car Ride

Location-Kashmir

The ride takes place in three phases.

Phase 1: Gulmarg to Kongdoori

Phase 2: Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak

Phase 3: Kongdoori to Mary Shoulder [Chair Lift]

4.Pony Ride-

Location-Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Yusmarg, and Gulmarg

5.River Rafting

Location-Sonamarg, Pahalgam

6.Paragliding

Location -Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Bhaderwah, Sanasar, and Harwan (Srinagar)

7.Skiing And Snowboarding-

Location-Pahalgam, Sonamarg, and Gulmarg

8.Mountain biking

Location-Srinagar to Sonamarg, Sonamarg to Manasbal lake, Srinagar to Gulmarg, Gulmarg to Pahalgam and Pahalgam to Srinagar

9.Hot Air Ballooning

Location-Valleys of Suru and Zanskar.

Cuisines of Jammu and Kashmir cuisine jammu

  1. Rogan Josh
  2. Modur Pulav
  3. Matschgand
  4. Yakhni or Yoghurt Lamb Curry
  5. Dum Olavgust 
  6. Kashmiri Muji Gaad
  7. Aab Gosht
  8. Goshtaba
  9. Lyodur Tschaman

Interesting fact about Jammu and Kashmir

  1. The Pir Panjal railway tunnel, or the Banihal railway tunnel, is India’s Longest Railway Tunnel. It is 11,215 km long, 8.4m wide and 7.39m tall. Banihal railway tunnel is India’s longest and Asia’s fourth longest railway tunnel.
  1. Srinagar was founded by Emperor Ashoka and not the Mughal emperor Jahangir
  2. Amarnath Cave in Jammu and Kashmir has natural Shiv Lingam made of ice which is over 5000 years old and is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination
  3. Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra, Jammu, which is visited by over 81 lakh pilgrims every year, has been awarded the Cleanest Religious Place Award
  4. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest tulip garden in Asia.

Best Time to Visit Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are one of those few places which you can visit throughout the year. Every season, you will get different colors in this beautiful place. In the month of March and April, you can enjoy the spring season which is very beautiful. If you come in the month of August, you will find quite warm weather. And if you are one who loves the snow, December and January will be the best time for you to visit this beautiful place.

 Climate

The climate of Jammu and Kashmir varies greatly. In the south Jammu, the climate is typically monsoonal, though the region is sufficiently far west to average 40 to 50 mm of rain per month between January and March. In the hot season, Jammu city is very hot and can reach up to 40 °C whilst in July and August, very heavy rainfall occurs with monthly extremes of up to 650 millimeters. In September, rainfall declines, and by October conditions are hot but extremely dry.

Tourism

Every year thousands of Hindu Pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath. Bahu Fort is the major attraction for the tourists visiting the city. Tourists from across India visit Jammu to pay their tribute to Mata Vaishno Devi. Mata Vaishno Devi is located in the Trikuta Hills, about 40 to 45 km from Jammu City. Approximately 10 million Pilgrims visit this holy place every year. Gulmarg one of the most popular ski resort destination in India. It was reported that more than a million tourists visited Kashmir in 2011.

How to reach

By Air – 

There is an airport in Srinagar which operates flights to major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, and Bangalore. There is one more airport in Jammu which operates domestic flights.

By Road –

Jammu and Kashmir have good road connectivity. One can enjoy the beautiful landscape while his/her road journey to Jammu and Kashmir. You can take local buses as well. There is a proper road facility that connects Jammu and Kashmir and other states as well.

By Train – 

In Kashmir, there is no railway connectivity. But you feel find rail in Jammu. The major railway station in Jammu is Jammu Tawi railway station which connects Jammu to other states like Delhi.

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