Jammu and Kashmir has long been known as one of the most beautiful locations in India. The pictures of the Dal Lake, snow covered mountains and flowery meadows have been synonymous with northernmost India.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir receives thousands of visitors in its peak season. Along with breath-taking natural beauty, the UT also boasts of a formidable mix of architecture, history and culture.
Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Gulmarg have been the top tourist attractions in the area for a long time.
Bringing you the best of Jammu and Kashmir:
Srinagar is girdled on all sides by lush green mountains dotted with pine and deodar trees.
In the middle of the city rests the placid Dal Lake, the heart of the region.
The Dal Lake is populated by innumerable shikaras in the summer and sits frozen under a layer of thick ice in the winter. The sight of the colourful and vibrant shikaras, functioning as full-blown suites, tourist boats and flower shops, is enough to take your breath away.
Srinagar is full of such vibrant instances of natural beauty and man-made creations fusing into one wholesome tourist experience. The famous Mughal Gardens adjacent to the Dal Lake mark the modernised side of Srinagar. The Gardens are perfect for a long evening stroll, with unmistakably alluring views of the mountains.
The hustling bustling centre of Srinagar is its bazaars. Srinagar’s famous bazaars are made in Central Asian style, and they are always overflowing with crowds.
Many traditional-style wooden mosques populate these bazaars, functioning both as a religious and sociocultural axis.
The Srinagar fortress, myriad Sufi shrines, Jammu and Kashmir’s world-famous almonds and walnuts, and a lip-smacking cuisine, these are all the flavours of Srinagar.
Pahalgam stands at 7,200ft, surrounded by mountains, dense forests and meadows, it is every bit an Indian hill station.
The town is famous for being the Amarnath Base Camp. The world-famous Hindu pilgrimage, which ends on the glacial peaks of the Himalayas as a homage to Lord Shiva, begins at the foothills of Pahalgam. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the country flock to Pahalgam to begin this auspicious journey.
The Pahalgam Snow Festival, an annual adventure sports occasion, is another reason why tourists find Pahalgam irresistible. The Snow Festival includes activities like trekking, hiking, sledging and skiing.
For foodies, Pahalgam has innumerable dining options, offering local Mughlai delicacies and vegetarian Kashmiri cuisine.
Sonamarg literally means, ‘meadow of gold’
Situated at an altitude of 2730m, the valley of Sonamarg in Jammu and Kashmir’s local one-stop heaven. The Sindh river runs through the valley of Sonamarg, making it as picturesque as a tourist can hope.
The hill station also has a pony service, which can be used to trek up to the Thajiwas glacier. The glacier is a very popular tourist location, owing to its proximity to the town, and it’s awe-striking beauty.
Sonamarg is a prominent tourist attraction because it functions as the base camp off several lake treks that go through the Gadisar Lake, the Satsar and Gangabal Lakes and the Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes.
Sonamarg is the perfect location for outdoor enthusiasts, with all options from a leisurely stroll to the tedious mountain trek at your disposal.
Gulmarg is nestled cosily in the Pir Panjal range
The location sits inside a cup-shaped valley and is renowned for its natural beauty.
It is the perfect destination for adventure sports enthusiasts and is one of India’s premium skiing towns.
The mountains around Gulmarg are covered in a thick density forest. As the name suggests, Gulmarg is a place where many exotic flowers bloom.
Many tourist spots are strewn across the town. Khilamarg, Tangmarg, and Ferozepur Nallah receive thousands of tourists every year.
Gulmarg is also home to many religious sites, like St. Mary’s Church, Maharani Temple and Baba Rezi Shrine. They are relaxing niches for tourists to wind down. Trekking mountaineering services are readily available in the town. Tourists can also engage in trout fishing and Gondola rides.