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Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

Panoramic view of Dal Lake, Srinagar city and Kashmir valley 1) Jammu and Kashmir, is known as heaven on earth.thi In the seventeenth century the Mughal emperor Jahangir set his eyes on the valley of Kashmir. He said that if paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here, while living in a houseboat on the mesmerizing Dal Lake."Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast." If there is ever a heaven on earth, its here, its here, its here. In Jammu and Kashmir the most important tourist places are Kashmir, Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Jammu, and Ladakh. Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit

Regions

Jammu most will only stop here to change from train to bus en route to Kashmir, Jammu is the winter capital of state, it is famous for its temples Kashmir Valley some say it is Heaven on Earth, friendly people, beautiful gardens, vast lakes and pristine streams and stunning landscapes, it is all that but please see "Stay safe" below Ladakh truly amazing landscapes high up in the Himalayas, popular for trekking and with those on a search for the most serene place in the world

Cities

Jammu the winter capital Srinagar the summer capital of the state, set around famous Dal Lake, with its floating houseboats Gulmarg decent skiing and the World's highest gondola Katra in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains and home of the holy Mata Vaishno Devi shrine Leh the jumping off point for treks and adventures around Ladakh Pahalgam a calm and serene place offering multiple trekking routes. Starting point of Amarnath Yatra Patnitop a small hill station in Jammu

Overview
Before militancy intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy. The tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. However, the holy shrines of Jammu and the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh continue to remain popular pilgrimage and tourism destinations. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath which has had significant impact on the state's economy. The Vaishno Devi yatra alone contributes Rs. 475 crore to the local economy annually. Tourism in the Kashmir valley has rebounded in recent years and in 2009, the state became one of the top tourist destinations of India. Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world's highest green golf course. However with the decrease in violence in the state has boosted the states economy specifically tourism. It was reported that 7.36 lakh tourists visited Kashmir in 2010 including 23,000 foreigners. In 2011, the number of tourist arrivals in Kashmir touched the mark of 10 lakh.

Language
The state's official language is Urdu. However, the main languages spoken are Kashmiri in the Kashmir Valley, Ladakhi in Ladakh and Dogri in Jammu. Most people can speak Hindi as a second language. As elsewhere in India, English is fairly widely spoken among the educated classes and those involved in the tourist industry.

Entry
By plane

Flights operate to Jammu, Srinagar and Leh. Try Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air Deccan.
By train

The last stop on the railway line north is Udhampur, where you can catch onward buses and hire SUVs/MUVs (Tata Sumo / Toyota Innova/ Mahindra Scorpio). However it is better to get down in Jammu and catch a taxi from there as these are more readily available. The Kashmir Railway is a railway line being built in India to connect the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. The Project officially coded USBRL (Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link) starts from the city of Udhampur, 55 kilometres (34 mi) north of Jammu, and travels for 290 kilometres (180 mi) to the city of Baramulla on the northwestern edge of the Kashmir Valley. The route crosses major earthquake zones, and is subjected to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, as well as inhospitable terrain, making it an extremely challenging engineering project.

By bus

There are two ways to get in by land - via Jammu and up to Srinagar or via Manali in Himachal Pradesh and up to Leh.

Transportation within

Buses are operated by J&K SRTC to most points around the state. They offer package tour to Gulmarg, Shonmarg, Yusmarg, Ular lake, City tour, etc. There is Tourist information center, where one get the tickets plus info. 4wd jeeps are quicker, a little more expensive and reach more locations. Private hire jeeps are also available.

Notable visitor attractions


Gulmarg

Gulmarg is well known for its amazing natural beauty and it is counted as one of the unique tourist destinations in the world. Gulmarg is surrounded by dense forest. This place is famous for its golf hikes and beautiful highland golf course.
Sonamarg

The way to reach Sonamarg or the Meadow of the gold is from the sindh valley. This valley also shows more amazing facet in kashmir. Sonamarg is located at an altitude of around 2730 meters from the sea level; it has Snow Mountains as its backdrop against the sky.
Raghunath Temple

Raghunath Temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shri Rama. All the inner walls of this temple are covered with gold, on three sides. Galleries of this temples are covered with Saligrams. The other surrounding temples are related to other gods from the Ramayana. This temple is located in the centre or we can say in the heart of Jammu.
Bahu Fort

Bahu fort was modified and improved by Dogra Rulers of jammu but first built it was built by the Raja Bahulochan. This fort is located at a distance of around 5 km from the main city and perhaps is the oldest edifice in the Jammu. This fort is facing the Tawi River. There is a temple of goddess kali in the fort.
Mubarak Mandi Palace

Mubarak Palace was built with the touch of three different styles, Rajasthani, Mughal and Gothic. Most famous part of this Palace is the Sheesh Mahal segment. There is a Dogra Art Museum, which is a treasure house of miniature paintings from various hill schools.

Peer Baba

This is of the holy places for Muslim saints. Here, people from all the religions come in large number to pray, on Thursday.
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 Winter, Zanskar river freezes up, and get converted into an amazing adventures trek called Chadar-The Frozen River Trek. The traditional name for the Zanskar Trek is Chadar Trek as the river becomes a snow sheet during winters due to heavy snowfall. It boasts of some of the lowest temperatures making it a challenging trek for the adventurers. The most isolated and inaccessible for nearly eight months in a year due to heavy snowfall resulting in closure of all the access passes; Zanskar has the distinction of being the least interfered with microcosms of Ladakh, and thus one of the last few surviving cultural satellites of Tibet. This geographical isolation together with the esoteric nature of Buddhism practiced here has enabled its ten thousand inhabitants to preserve and perpetuate their cultural identity.

In Kashmir Valley

Skiing is popular in Gulmarg, showing cable car in a snow clad mountain.


Vernag Spring and Mughal Garden- A fresh water spring and a Mughal garden next to it, spring is chief source of Jhelum River. Srinagar - Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, a popular hill station o Dal lake - famous lake in Srinagar, with house boats called shikharas. o Manasbal Lake o Shalimar Gardens--Mughal Garden o Nishant Gardens-Mughal Garden o Chashme Shahi- Mughal Garden o Badamwari Garden o Pari Mahal- old monument of Pari Mahal, one can have full view of Dal Lake. o Shankaracharya Temple- Ancient Temple of Lord Shiva o Hari Parbat- Ancient Temple of Goddess Sharika Bhagwati and an old fort on this hill. o Kheer Bhawani Temple

Gulmarg - Popular hill station and skiing destination. Pahalgam - Hill station Betaab Valley- A lush green valley 15km from Pahalgam where the movie Betaab was shot. Sonmarg - Hill station Yusmarg - Hill station Aru - scenic valley Amarnath temple - pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees of Shiva. Eco-tourism places:Gurez, Dudhpathri, Bangus valley.

In Jammu

Patnitop: a view towards the mountains


Vaishno Devi - famous shrine Patnitop - Hill station Bhaderwah - Hill station Poonch Sanasar Eco-tourism places: Mantalai and Shivkhori Punj old fort Shahdra Sharif shrine Bhimgarh Fort Ramnagar Fort in Udhampur District MANSAR LAKE-Mansar lake, with its length more than a mile and width half-a-mile, is a very attractive lake in the midst of lusting greeneries surrounded by forest-covered hills. It is considered as a very holy site known from mythological periods sharing the sanctity and legacy of Mansa Sarovar. It is a very popular base of tourists.

A temple for a snake god, Sheshnag, is located on the banks of lake. It is believed that it is auspicious for newly wed couples to seek blessings of Sheshnag by performing three parikarma around the lake. Holy dip in the Mansar Lake is assumed to be purifying the sins. A temple of Durga and two other ancient temples Narasimha and Parvathi Shiva (Umapati Mahadev) are located in the close proximity of the Mansar Lake. Mansar Lake is an ideal spot for boating, amidst the lusting greeneries of Jammu. There is a wildlife sanctuary nearby.

In Ladakh

Tso Moriri in Ladakh Tourism in Ladakh


Leh - capital of Ladakh, famous monasteries. Nubra Valley - scenic valley with towns of Deskit and Hundar. Lake Moriri - one of the largest and high altitude lakes. Pangong Lake - Lake divided between India and China Zanskar - scenic trekking areas. Gurdwara Pathar Sahib