Jammu and Kashmir, also know as the crown jewel of India, is a diverse state. It is spread over an area of 222,236 sq.km. It is majorly divided into three regions on the basis of geographical and cultural differences. These are:
- The Jammu region
- The Kashmir valley
All these regions have something different to offer to the tourists. So if you are planning to travel up north, here’s a list of Top 5 places that you need to visit.
This is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the perfect blend of Indian glory and Mughal sophistication. Further, Srinagar has various things to offer to a tourist. Once in Srinagar, you can visit various Mughal gardens located in the city.
It has various luxurious hotels in its vicinity. But if you want to have a different kind of an experience, you can stay in one of the many houseboats that constantly keep floating in the famous Dal Lake. Also, you can go and visit the Pari Mahal. It is a seven terraced garden located on the top of Zabarwan hill. The view from the hilltop is just mesmerizing. Besides this, Srinagar has a beautiful golf course and Asia’s largest tulip garden spread over an area of 12 hectares as well.
Gulmarg is called the “Meadow of flowers”. It is a beautiful hill station located 55 km Southwest of Srinagar. Gulmarg is synonymous with serene beauty, beautiful landscape and adventure sports. If you visit Gulmarg during summer, you will get to see a beautiful grassland and a mesmerizing landscape. Further, you can also take a gondola(cable car) all the way to the top of the Affarwat mountain. During winters, Gulmarg turns into a major attraction for adventure sports lovers as it is the hub for winter sports in India.
A hill station located in district Ganderbal, Sonmarg is a spellbinding locality famous for its walnut orchards and lush green landscape. It is also known as the “meadow of Gods”. Sonmarg is home to the Kheer Bhavani temple located in the interior of a lake. It is visited by thousands of devotees every year.
It is also known as the “valley of shepherds”. Pahalgam is a well known hill station located on the banks of Lidder river. Pahalgam is associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. It serves as a launch pad for the yatris who are planning to trek to the sacred Amarnath cave, the most pious and ancient pilgrimage of Lord Shiv in India. It is located 15 kms from Pahalgam in the beautiful Betaab valley. The Valley is named after the superhit Sunny Deol starrer movie Betaab which was shot there. Pahalgam offers rock climbing and water rafting to people who are in search for adventure. Once in Pahalgam,you can also trek upto the Kolohoi glacier located in the footsteps of Kolhoi hill. Thus, spending a few days in Pahalgam is a different kind of an experience altogether.
Ladakh is also called the”land of high passes”. It is the least inhabited yet the most captivating region of Jammu and Kashmir. One can clearly find the influence of Buddhism in Ladakh due to the presence of monks and monasteries in the region. Some of these monasteries are open for visitors. If you want to have a taste of Buddhism, you can go spend some time there.
Ladakh has always been a mysterious land but there are some places that are open for tourists and you can go visit them. After visiting Ladakh, you can go visit Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, or the Leh war memorial. Or you can go and chill out sitting at the banks of Pangong Tso lake.
A land like no other with beautiful landscapes and mesmerizing idyllic mountains and benevolent people,J&K is truly a heaven on earth. So what are you waiting for?
Edited by Mrinaal Datt.
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