Tourist Places in Jammu & Kashmir- Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu, the winter capital. The Kashmir valley, often known as Paradise on Earth, is famous for its extremely beautiful mountainous landscape, whereas Jammu’s numerous Hindu shrines draw thousands of Hindu and Muslim pilgrims every year. Ladakh, or’Little Tibet,’ is much popular for its Buddhist culture and well known for its remote mountainous beauty. In fact, many travellers are afraid to visit Jammu 8t Kashmir due to terrorist attacks. Although, these valleys are saferthan they have been, it would be better in the interests of travellers to check the security situation before going to Jammu or areas near Srinagar. Known for its scenic splendour, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, stunning glaciers, splendid monasteries, blue lakes, rivers, rich wildlife, exquisite monuments and a friendly people, Jammu 8i Kashmir has become an irresistible holiday destination^. Apart from nature, the state

has lots to offer by way of local culture and traditions. Whatever type of holiday you’re looking for, this wonderful land will fit the bill and enable you to cherish those memories fora lifetime.

|||S:         History

Kashmir’s history can be traced back to the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka introduced Buddhism. Subsequently, Kanishka and Mihiragula patronised Buddhism. Around 7th century AD, the Karkotas, a local dynasty came to power. Lalitadita, the most famous king of the Karkotas, is believed to have defeated Kanauj, the Tibetans and even the Turks in the Indus area. This dynasty came to an end around 855. Then came the Utpalas, who were later challenged by the Tantrins, a powerful military faction. The Hindu rule over Kashmir came to an end in the 14th century. In around 1339 or 1346, a Muslim adventurer named Shah Mirza seized power and assumed the title of Shams-ud-din Shah. The Sultanate of Kashmir ruled until 1540 when a relative of

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Humayun, Mirza Haidar, annexed Kashmir. He ruled Kashmir virtually as a sovereign although in theory he ruled on behalf of Humayun. Kashmir ultimately became a part ofthe Mughal Empire during Akbar’s reign.

In 1819, Kashmir was annexed to the Sikh kingdom of Punjab and later on to the Dogra kingdom of Jammu in 1846. In 1846, the treaties of Lahore and Amritsar which were signed at the conclusion of the first Sikh war made Raja Gulab Singh, the Dogra ruler of Jammu, the ruler of an extensive Himalayan kingdom. The state was under Dogra rule till 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed an accord in favour of joining the Indian union. Angered at this, Muslim tribesmen backed by Pakistan, invaded Kashmir on October 20, 1947. India took the matter to the United Nations and the latter passed a resolution asking Pakistan to vacate the occupied areas. Pakistan’s refusal to vacate, and many other reasons, eventually resulted in three wars in Kashmir, namely the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Kargil War in 1999. While 60 per cent area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is under the control of India, Pakistan controls 30 per cent of the region. In 1959, Chinese troops occupied the Aksai Chin area of Ladakh. In 1963, a Sino-Pakistani agreement defined the Chinese border with Pakistani Kashmir and ceded Indian-claimed territory to China.

m Geography

The total area of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is 2,22,236 sq. km. Situated at an elevation of over 5,000 feet, the Kashmir valley, stretches for about 84 miles from the northeast to the southwest and is about 20 to 25 miles broad. The state has four geographical zones: 1. The sub mountainous and semi-mountainous plain known as Kandi; 2. The Shivalik ranges; 3. The high mountain zone constituting the Kashmir valley, the Pir Panjal range and its off shoots; 4. The middle part of the Indus river comprising Leh and Kargil.

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Major rivers: Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Ravi.

Climate: Jammu has the plains climate with heavy rain and humidity during monsoon (June to August). The Kashmir Valley has a pleasant mountain climate. Ladakh is famous for its semi-arctic cold weather. Annual rainfall varies from 92.6 mm in Leh to 650.5 mm in Srinagarand 1115.9 mm in Jammu. Flora and fauna: The flora in Jammu and Kashmir ranges from the thorn bush type in the arid plains to temperate and alpine flora in higher altitudes. Maple, horse chestnuts, silver fir, almond, walnut, willow and cedar are the common trees found here. The mountain ranges abound in deodar, pine and fir. Wildlife includes leopard, hangul or Kashmir stag, wild sheep, bear, many varieties of snakes, snow partridge, pheasants and peacock. The fauna in Ladakh consists of snow leopard, yak, Himalayan ibex, Tibetan antelope, wild ass, red bear and gazelle.

£1 Festivals of Jammu & Kashmir

Makar Sankranti or Lohri, is a festival which heralds spring. It is celebrated on 13th January every year. A unique dance called ‘Chajja’ is performed during Lohri. Baisakhi, also known as the harvest festival is celebrated either on the 13th or 14th of April. A week later, the 9-day Parsi Navroz festival is celebrated with great fanfare in the State. The Urs (or Ziarats) is a typical Kashmiri festival usually held at the shrines of Muslim saints on their death anniversaries. These Urs are also celebrated with equal enthusiasm by the Hindus and Sikhs. The anniversary of Rishi Pir, a Hindu saint, held on the fifth day of the full moon of Baisakhi, at his home in Srinagar is attended by Muslims also. Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid- ul-Azha are the most famous Muslim festivals in Jammu and Kashmir. While Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Azha is known for the Qurbani (sacrifice). Ramadan the annual Islamic month of fasting starts on 11 August 2010, 1 August 2011, 20 July 2012, 9 July 2013, and ends 30 days later with the feast of

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Eid ul-Fitr: The Ladakh festival is organised by the Tourism department from 1-15 September. The celebrations mainly at Leh and Nubra, comprises Buddhist dances, polo, archery, music, sword dancing and other events. Muharram marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the prophet’s grandson. Huge taziyas made of paper and wood are taken out in procession.

Muslim Pilgrimage

Charar-e-sharif (Kashmir) Hazratbal mosque (Kashmir) Khanqah-e-moulah (Kashmir)

Peer Mitha (Jammu)

Peer Budhan Ali Shah or Peer Baba (Jammu) Takht-e-Suleiman (Kashmir)

Buddhist Pilgrimage (in Ladakh)

Likir Monastery Lamayuru Monastery Rizong Monastery Shey Monastery Stakana Monastery Spituk Monastery

Stongdey Monastery Thiksey Monastery Sikh Pilgrimage

Chhatti Padshahi Gurdwara (Srinagar) Gurdwara Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Jammu) Nangli Sahib Gurdwara (Poonch)

m Tourism Spots

Hill Stations: Aru, Dah & Hanu, Gulmarg,

Kishtwar, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Sonamarg,

Srinagar.

Lakes: Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Wular Lake, Pangong Lake.

Monuments: Hazratbal Shrine, Shankaracharya Mandir, Jama Masjid (Srinagar), Strongdey Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Hemis Monastery (Leh), Imambara of Trespone (Kargil).

Museums: Shri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum, Amar Mahal Palace Museum, Dogra Art Museum and others.

Wildlife Sanctuaries: Dachingam National Park, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Jasrota National Park, Kishtwar High Altitude National Park, Nandni Wildlife Sanctuary, Ramnagar National Park, Over a Wildlife Sanctuary, Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the Kashmir region. Almost after two decades, the city has become safer to travel, but the movement of soldiers on the streets is still a

 

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