Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. The region is the northern-most part of India and lies within the beautiful blanket of Himalayan ranges. It shares its borderline with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The state was officially declared as a part of the Union of India in 1947. It is comprised of three regions as Jammu, Ladakh, and Kashmir valley. There are two state-capitals - summer capital and winter capital. Srinagar is the summer capital while Jammu is the winter capital. The region is packed with natural beauty. Snow-covered mountains, lush green forest cover, and distinct species of flora and fauna add to the glamour of the state.
The state has an overall literacy rate of 66% and the prime languages spoken are Urdu, Dogri, and Kashmiri. It ranks sixth and eighteenth with regards to area and population respectively in India. The state is a combination of 22 districts and has adopted the bicameral system of legislature.
Majority of the citizens in the region are Muslims. Jammu is a Hindu-dominated area with around 65% of the people belonging to this religion. Among the rest, around 31% are Muslims and 4% are Sikhs. In Ladakh, around 54% are Muslims while the rest belong to Buddhism.
The important valleys in the region are Chenab, Kashmir, Sind, Tawi, Poonch, and Lidder. Kashmir valley is a major tourist spot due to its impeccable natural splendor. Various types of forest cover can be traced in different parts of the valley. Some of the prime ones include northwestern thorn scrub forests, western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests, Himalayan subtropical pine forests, northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, western Himalayan broadleaf forests, and Karakoram-West Tibetan plateau alpine steppe. The major rivers in the state are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Indus, and Tawi. Siachen glacier, one of the highest and biggest in the world, is situated in the state.
Best time to visit
The state exhibits varied weather conditions and has a typical climate much different from the rest of India. Winters are extremely cold and summers are fairly hot. Heavy snowfall is another distinct feature of the climate in the are. Hence, the real beauty of the valley and other parts can be experienced in winter season. Due to weather conditions, majority of the tourists plan their tout between May and October. This period is ideal to enjoy the natural beauty of the area as the temperature is quite suitable for general tourism.
Main tourist spots
Each part of the region has a distinct identity. Jammu is more famous for temples while the Kashmir valley is the best place to get a splendid experience of eye-catching beauty of nature. Ladakh is more of landscapes and valleys and is quite popular among trekkers and bike-tourers.
Places to see in Jammu
Vaishno Devi temple is the most visited site here. It is a temple devoted to Mother goddess, also called as Mata Rani, and is a prime pilgrimage center of Hindus. It is a well-developed tourist spot and possess state-of-the-art infrastructure to offer best services to the visitors.
Patnitop is a major hill station situated in the lower Himalayan Range. It is popular among adventure lovers for para-gliding. The spot also exhibits an incomparable view of natural wonders.
Some other attractions here are Mansar lake, Poonch, Bhimgarh fort, and Sanasar.
Famous spots in Kashmir Valley
Srinagar is a big attraction in the area. The city is also known as 'Venice of the East' . Dal lake is an unbelievable sample of nature's art. The house-boats here, also called as 'Shikaras', offer a great boost to the local tourism industry. Manasbal and Nagin lakes are worth seeing. Several gardens in the city add to its charm as a tourist hot-spot. Some of the noted ones are Shalimar, Chashme Shahi, Nishant, and Badamwari. You must also not miss the other spots like Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat, Shankaracharya Temple, and Kheer Bhawani Mandir.
Amarnath yatra is a noted shrine attracting millions of tourists each year. Amarnath is a cave dedicated to lord Shiva. It is open for visit only in the summer season as the area is covered with dense snow cover for rest of the year. Pilgrims visit the area to see the ice stalagmite Lingam of Shiva. The best time of the year to visit the spot is May to August.
Gulmarg, Yusmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonmarg are the important hill stations here. Gulmarg is a heaven for skiing-lovers. Aru and Betaab valleys are also worth giving a visit.
Notable Spots in Ladakh
Leh, the second-largest district in India, is a noted tourist center. The areas worth watching here are Shanti Stupa, Stoke Palace, Leh Palace, war museum, Zorawar fort, and Hemis Monastery. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Zanskar, and Moriri lake are the backbone of the local tourism industry.
Jammu and Kashmir is rightly called as the 'Heaven on Earth'. Though a major part of the state is guarded by the Indian military forces, the tourism here has developed steadily and peacefully. The region is also a major shopping hub and you will get some of the finest handicrafts here. Seeking more information from a reputed tour operator will help you to plan your tour better and make the optimum utilization of the time and money invested.
Jammu And Kashmir Tourism