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The valley of Kashmir situated in the northern most part of India is the paradise on earth and arguably the most beautiful place on the face of the planet. It is a place that will grip you with its hypnotic beauty and you are sure to fall in love with its grandeur and magnificence. The essence of Kashmir is completely Indian including the culture, tradition, people and natural brilliance. The serene beauty and the tranquility of the place is what makes it so special. Tourism is one of the main pillars of the economy of the state with a large population involved in tourim related activities.
Recommended Kashmir Tours
The world famous tourist centre Srinagar is the summer capital of the state. Some of the notable tourist spots in Srinagar are Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashma Shahi. Tourists can enjoy scenic rides in the houseboatsknown as Shikaras.
Jammu is the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is another famous tourist place in the state. It serves as a base camp for devotees travelling to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. It is also sometimes called the city of temples. Some of the famous temples situated here are Raghunath Temple, The temple of Maha Kali, Gauri Kund Temple, Shudh Mahadev Temple, Shiva Temple, Peer Khoh Cave Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, and the Parmandal Temple.
Patnitop near the Vaishno Devi temple is another famous tourist place where the adventure sport of skiing can be enjoyed during the winter months.
It is famous for the Buddhist pilgrimage sites, the scenic beauty and the serenity of the place. The main tourist attractions are Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and Soma Gompa. Besides, the tourists can enjoy winter sports like skiing and heliskiing in Gulmarg and take to fishing, horse riding, golf and trekking in Pahalgam. Other popular tourist destinations include Sonamarg, Wullar Lake, Kargil, Sanasar, Kishtwar and Krimchi.
Climate of Kashmir
The climatic conditions in Kashmir can change very quickly so one has to be prepared for the worse. While in the day time the harsh sun can produce unbearable heat, the temperature drops dramatically during the night. Proper clothing including woollens and windcheaters should be carried along to tackle the unexpected weather. Winter sees a lot of snow falling in this region which enhances the beauty of the place even further. The best time to enjoy the splendors of the Kashmir valley is between the months of May and September.
Culture of Kashmir
Culture is deeply etched into the lives of the Kashmiri people. A lot of handricraft items such as the Kashmiri shawls and the beautifully embroidered caps are quite famous among the tourists. One of the important dance festivals, the Hemis festival is held in the month of July which sees a lot of tourists coming to the place from all over the world. The dance is characterized by a lot of masked men dancing around with music playing along. Other festivals are organised by monasteries like Lamayuru, Thiksey, Spitook, Likir and many others. A 15-day-long Ladakh festival is organised by the tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir to exhibit the region's folk dances, art and craft, sporting events and rituals.
How to Reach Kashmir
The major flight carriers in India operate flights which connect Srinagar, Jammu, and Leh to the major metro cities of India.
The main railway station of the state is situated in Jammu which connects Kashmir to all major cities of India. The upper reaches of Kashmir do not support a rail network because of the difficult terrain.
The national highways and other roads such as the Srinagar-Leh and the Manali-Leh highway connect the major places in Kashmir with the rest of the state. They offer easy access as well as dazzling sights for the tourists.