Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by its acronym, J&K. It is also known as paradise on earth. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Moreover the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north respectively, and a Line of Actual Control separates it from the Chinese-administered territory of Aksai Chin in the east. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.
If there is paradise on earth it is here it is here…no matter what you think of this age old adage unless you visit Kashmir, you won’t understand the power these words carry. It is only when you are amid the snow capped mountains taking a Shikara ride on the serene Dal lake or soaking in the beauty of Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam, you’ll realize what it’s like to be in the lap of a mountain land blessed with such a natural beauty that it moves you literally.
Beauty of Kashmir:
The valley of Kashmir is unique in its surroundings. However which offers breathtaking view of its varying topography. Nature has endowed Kashmir with exotic beauty. Moreover which is reflected in its picturesque landscapes as well as lush green forests of Chinar, Deodar and Pine trees, beautiful rivers and waterfalls, snow covered mountains and a range of flora and fauna. Infact, it abounds in many varieties of wildlife, which includes Bears as well as Leopards and Himalayan Chamois etc. The countless species of luxuriant vegetation too, attract lot of enthusiastic botanists. Kashmir also has a lot to offer to the artists, archaeologists, rock and mountain climbers and big game hunters who throng this place in large numbers. Besides this, it is an ideal place for holidaymakers as well as for people who seek tranquility and peace amidst natural surroundings. No wonder that, Kashmir is referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India.
Name of some tourist spots in Kashmir:
1.Mughal Garden in kashmir:
Constructing Mughal Gardens was the most beloved pastime of the Mughal imperials. Mughal Gardens in Srinagar are basically the gardens that were built during the reign on Mughal Emperors. Influenced heavily by the concept of Persian Gardens or the charbagh. However these gardens drew heavily upon Persian style of architecture. The common features that all Mughal Gardens share is the rectilinear layouts within the walled structure with canals, fountains as well as pools of running water and several species of shade providing trees , flowers, fruits and aromatic grasses.
2. Nishat Bhag:
Nishat Bagh is one of the most beautiful terraced Mughal garden located at the side of the famous Dal Lake near Srinagar. Moreover the Garden of Gladness or Nishat Bagh is the second largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir Valley located on the bank of the Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains at the back and offers a magnificent view Pir Panjal mountain range.
3. Shalimar Bhag:
Shalimar Bagh is the largest mughal garden in India located at northeast of Dal Lake near Srinagar city along with other famous lake garden Nishat Bagh. The Bagh has the Dal Lake in the background and considered to be very beautiful during the autumn and spring seasons.
4. Achabal Garden:
The Achabal Garden is one of the most splendid tourist attraction in Anantnag as well as one of the finest masterpiece of Mughal style gardens in India. Achabal Garden is also known as the places of the princes and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the globe every year.
5. Chashma Shahi:
The Chashme Shahi is one of the beautiful mughal garden built around a spring in the Zabarwan Range. Moreover a fresh water spring,terraces,water pool and a large fountain makes it the most charming of the gardens near Srinagar along the banks of the Dal lake.
6. Verinag Garden:
Verinag Garden lies at the entry point of Kashmir Valley in the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir as well as the first tourist spot of Kashmir Valley. The Verinag Spring of Mughal and surrounding area is officially recognize by Archaeological Survey of India and a Monument of National Importance.
7. Pari Mahal:
Pari Mahal is beautiful seven terrace garden over-looking city of Srinagar at the top of Zabarwan mountain range in Srinagar. The gardens is the property of the Srinagar government and also known as the Worlds Beautiful High Altitude Paramilitary Camp.
8. Dal Lake:
Over 15km around, Dal Lake is Srinagar’s jewel, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats as well as the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. Flotillas of gaily painted shikaras(gondola-like taxi boats) skiff around the lake, transporting goods to market as well as children to school and travellers to delightful houseboats inspired by originals from the Raj era.
9. Shankaracharya Hill:
Other popular and must visit places in Srinagar include the Shankaracharya Hill where Shankaracharya Temple is located. Moreover Hari Parbat north-west of Shankaracharya Temple and Pari Mahal near Zaberwan Hill are other places you can visit.
Hazrabatbal Mosque and ruins of Avantipur are other tourist attractions in and around Srinagar.
Most tourists spend day 2 or 3 of their Kashmir tour itinerary in Gulmarg. Moreover Gulmarg can be done as a day trip from Srinagar. It is a huge meadow ring by fir trees and snowy peaks. If you love long leisurely walks you can take a walk along the Inner Ring Road or Outer Ring Road. There are ponies available just in case you want to ride. Skiing is another popular activity in Gulmarg and so is the Gondola Cable Car ride.
11. Pahalgam in kashmir:
Once considered as a shepherd’s village, Pahalgam today is an integral part of any Kashmir itinerary. The centre of the town has some shops, restaurants and most of the hotels are located here. But it is not what entices tourists. Just travel little outside, and you are bestow with thick and green woodlands of breathtaking beauty. You can hire a pony and head up to the many walks and trails that lead to meadows and quaint trails scattered around the hills. Hajan is a great place to go with a mat and picnic basket. It is on the way to Chandanwari, the famous Amarnath Yatra route.