Kashmir lies in the northern part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has abundance of Indian culture, history, tradition, people and natural beauty. The whole of Kashmir consists of archaeological sites. It is believed that human settlement here existed 4000 years ago too.
In the year 1948, the state was merged with the Indian federation on approval from the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. The state received a special status in the Indian constitution under article 370.
TOURIST PLACES IN KASHMIR
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is borderd by Pakistan in west, Afghanistan in the North and China towards the east. Punjab and Himachal touch Kashmir from South to East respectively.
Four major regions comprise the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The first region is the sub-mountain or the semi-mountain which is also called ‘Kandi’ meaning dry belt. The Shivalik ranges form the next high mountain zone. The Kashmir valley is included in this. The third is the Pir Panchal range with its off-shoots including Doda, Poonch and Rajouri districts and also parts of Kathua and Udhampur districts. River Indus runs in the middle of the state and forms the fourth zone along with Leh and Kargil.
Srinagar: Srinagar is the capital of the state. The most famous tourist spots are Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Chashm-e-Shahi.
Jammu: The winter capital of the state is Jammu. Mata Vaishno Devi’s shrine is the most important destination in Jammu. It is also referred to as the ‘City of temple’. Raghunath Temple Complex, which is the largest temple in North India is also found in Jammu. It is dedicated to Lord Rama.
Maha Kali Temple: The Bahu Fort has the temple of Maha Kali. It is considered only second to Mata Vaishno Devi. The temple was built in the year 1822 after Maharaja Gulab Singh acclaimed the throne.
Gauri Kund Temple, Shudh Mahadev Temple, Shiva Temple, Peer Kloh Cave Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple and the Parmandal Temple Complex are other famous temples within Jammu.
Sheesh Mahal: Sheesh Mahal is the most sought after site in Jammu. Dogra Art Museum is located in the Pink Hall of the palace. Miniature paintings of the hill schools are found inside the museum. Also found are handwritten Persian manuscripts of the Shahnama and Sikandernama. The Dogra kings resided in the palace. There is a courtyard surrounded by a group of buildings. River Tawi can be seen from the palace.
Amar Mahal Palace: There is a museum made out of red sandstone. It is known as the Amar Mahal Palace Museum. The Shivaliks can be seen in the north of this museum and River Tawi in the south. It used to be Raja Amar Singh’s residence. The 120 kilogram gold throne is kept in the museum.
Akhnoor: Akhnoor is situated 32 kilometers from Jammu. The city stands on the banks of River Chenab. The ruins of Indus Valley Civilization are found here.
Patnitop: It is a good hill station near Vaishno Devi Temple.
Ladakh: Buddhist community is found in Ladakh. Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and Soma Gompa are major tourist spots.
HOW TO REACH KASHMIR
By air: Srinagar, Jammu and Leh are the nearest airports. Direct flights are available from New Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur, Coimbatore and other major airports.
By rail: Jammu Tawi is the main railhead. It is well connected to other major cities of the country.
By road: The state transportation buses connect Kashmir from the rest of the cities of the country.