Jammu and Kashmir, over the years, has been regarded as one of the major tourist spots in northern India. Owing to the cool and pleasant climate and scenic landscapes, Jammu and Kashmir showcase itself as — the paradise on earth or a valley right out of heaven. Jammu and Kashmir invite tourists to explore its snowy peaks, the exotic valleys and icy rivers. Apart from some political and terrorist disturbances off and on, the State remains cool throughout the year, making it a perfect summer retreat.
Most attractive tourist spots / places in Jammu and Kashmir
Geographically, the State of Jammu and Kashmir is split into three major divisions — Jammu, Ladakh, and the Kashmir Valley considered as a paradise on earth.
Jammu is the northernmost province of the State, famous for its historic temples and ashrams. It is renowned to be a city which provides a calming atmosphere and has a vast variation in culture to Kashmir and Ladakh. The LOC (Line of Control) separating India from neighbouring Pakistan can be found here. Jammu houses one of the most frequented shrines in India — the Vaishno Devi Shrine, which is enclosed under a cave in the hovering mountain ranges of the Himalayas. It has got international acclaim as a much-desired pilgrim centre. Dedicated to Mother goddess Vaishno Devi, this fabulous shrine allures millions of devotees from all over the world. The Bahu Fort, which was built around 300 years back, houses a temple dedicated to goddess Kali. The fort is considered holy, as it is believed to have been the hideout of the goddess when she was fighting a demon. It is frequented by tourists and pilgrims alike.
Amarnath is the name of a mountain located in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This Mount Amarnath is mainly famous for the Amarnath Caves which are well known holy shrines of the Hindus. This shrine is more than 5,000 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave of Amarnath is located at an altitude of 3,888 metres and is renowned for the ice lingam situated in the cave. Earlier, this place was even called as ‘Amareswara‘. This temple in Amarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimages in India. Every year, during the months of July and August, the famous Amarnath Yatra takes place and it is visited by around 4,00,000 people.
Manas Sarovar Lake acts as a perfect visiting location, with serene flora and fauna surrounding the lake. The Lake also has an interesting piece of history which brings in tourists in large number.
Sansar is one of the wonderful hill stations in Jammu region. Its name has been taken from small local lakes ‘Sana’ and ‘Sar’. This hill town surrounded by huge conifer trees and has beautiful views.
Bhaderwah, popularly known as ‘Mini Kashmir’ is gifted with an awe-inspiring view and charming beauty due to striking woodlands and gleaming streams flowing through different parts of the town. It also has many historical and religious references.
Jammu is well connected to Delhi by trains and flights and varieties of tour packages from Delhi. Kashmir forms the larger part of Jammu and Kashmir, and mainly consists of numerous valleys.
Shrinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is famous for its juicy apples and the rare saffron fibres. It is also famous for its lakes, houseboats, Kashmiri handicrafts, and landscaped gardens. Dachigam National Park is one of the most important wildlife parks in northern India.
Gulmarg, the hill resort with mysterious meadows and mountains, provides every reason for travellers across the globe to sojourn here. The meaning of ‘Gulmarg’ is ‘the meadow of flowers’. It offers a view of snowclad peaks and wonderful landscapes. The royal and elegant slopes of Gulmarg have made it Asia’s only heliskiing resort. Golfing is also a popular activity here. It is located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, at an altitude of 2,730 metres.
The Dal Lake is unanimously considered as India’s most beautiful lake in Kashmir. The lake — which remains frozen for the most part of the year — attracts tourists during summer when the ice melts away and makes way for boathouses and numerous water activities.
Anantnag is a town located in the district of Anantnag in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. There are various places of interest for tourists, and these include hot springs, lakes, temples, shrines, etc. The place is known for its religious tolerance, and there are shrines that belong to both the Hindus and the Muslims. Some of them are the Hazrat Baba Rashi, Nila Nag. etc. Among the temple complexes, there is Hanuman temple, Sita temple, Ganesh temple and Shiva temple.
Pahalgam is astounding for its mesmerizing natural beauty. It is located at the confluence of Lidder River and the streams originating from serene Sheshnag Lake. The valley is located 96 km from Anantnag district at an altitude of 2,130 metres. This lush green valley is most sought by travellers seeking relaxation and leisure. The valley offers breath-taking panoramic views of the beautiful Himalayan Ranges. It is the base camp for the renowned pilgrimage to Amarnath, and also a famous shopping place for woollen products.
Ladakh is a part of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh consists of two districts — Leh and Kargil. Due to the strong influence of Tibetan culture on it, Ladakh is often called ‘Little Tibet’. The Ladakh region is around 3,000 metres above sea level and consists of important mountain passes. Ladakh, therefore, becomes an important trade route connecting Europe and Northern Asia to South-East Asia. It is of prime importance to the Armed Forces as it gives access to almost the entire Himalay a region. From a tourist’s point of view, Ladakh tours offer irresistible sights. The Leh and Kargil valleys provide unlimited photographic moments.
Leh Town was the former capital of the Himalayan monarch of Ladakh, and now it is one of the popular tourist destinations in India. It lies in the centre of the Leh district. Leh is famous for its architectural wonders like Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Leh Mosque, and also for its magnificent landscapes.
Lamayuru is located in western Ladakh. It is famous for its interesting tourist spots. Tourists who visit Ladak tend to visit Lamayuru as a rule, mainly in order to visit the monastery that is located in the region. The town of Lamayuru has a very spectacular gompa located in a very serene setting. The palace house Kagyupa Monastery is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world. This monastery is located near a beautiful lake, with the huge mountains providing an intimidating background. Built during the 10th century, the monastery is quite large even by today’s standards, and it currently accommodates more than 150 monks. The monastery has been rebuilt many times, and this can plainly be seen in its architecture. Frescoes, murals and thangkas adorn the walls of the monastery, and you can take a look at these during your trip to Lamayuru. You can also visit Wanla Gompa, by taking a small trek from Lamayuru to the nearby region of Padum.
So lots of tourists do not want to miss Jammu and Kashmir from their touring table in India.