About Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is world famous for its scenic splendour, snow-capped mountains, plentiful wildlife, exquisite monuments, hospitable people and local handicrafts.
The town of Katra, which is close to Jammu, contains the Vaishno Devi shrine. Nestling on top of the Trikuta Hills at a height of 1700 m is the sacred cave shrine of Vaishno Devi, the mother goddess. At a distance of 48 km from Jammu, the cave is 30 m long and just 1.5 m high.
At the end of the cave are shrines dedicated to the three forms of the mother goddess - Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasarasvati. Pilgrims start trekking to the cave temple.
The Bahu fort, which also serves as a religious temple is situated about 5 km from Jammu city on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi. This is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago, the existing Fort was more recently improved and rebuilt by Dogra rulers.
There is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali inside the fort popularly known as Bave wali Mata.
This temple is situated at the city center and was built in 1857. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, in 1835 AD and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD.
The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of saligrams.
Bahu Fort, which also serves as a religious temple, is situated about 5 km from Jammu city on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi. This is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in Jammu city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 300 years ago, the fort was improved and rebuilt by Dogra rulers.
Inside the fort, there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali, popularly known as Bave Wali Mata, the presiding deity of Jammu.
Situated 62 km from Jammu, Mansar Lake is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar.
On the eastern bank of Mansar Lake there is a shrine dedicated to Sheshnag, a mythological snake with six heads. The shrine comprises a big boulder on which are placed a number of iron chains.
Patnitop is the most popular tourist spot of Jammu region. Located 112 kms from Jammu this famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 metres across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes.
It has lush green meadow and pine trees which resembles with Gulmarg. Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the mountains cape of the Chenab basin. In winter, it is covered with a white carpet of snow.
The drive to Sonmarg is through the Sindh Valley which presents yet another spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonmarg ('The meadow of gold') has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky.
The Sindh River that meanders through the valley abounds with trout and mahaseer. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier, which is a major local attraction during the summer months.
Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Originally called 'Gaurimarg' by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers.
Gulmarg was a favourite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here.
Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd's village with breathtaking views. Now it is Kashmir's premier resort, cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 2500C.
A number of hotels and lodges cater to all preferences and budgets, from luxurious hotels to unpretentious trekkers' lodges.
Over 15km around, Dal Lake is Srinagar's jewel, a vast, mirror-flat sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. Flotillas of gaily painted shikaras (gondola-like taxi boats) skiff around the lake, transporting goods to market, children to school and travellers from houseboat to shore.
Most visitors to Srinagar stay out on Dal Lake in one of the delightful houseboats left behind from the Raj
Just behind the Botanical Garden is Asia's biggest Tulip Garden, which attracts crowds in March/April. Its long, straight rows of blooming tulips (60 varieties) would look like a typical Dutch flower farm but for the backdrop of mountains.
Tulip Garden Srinagar is visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world. The period from March to May is considered as the best time to visit the garden, but April is also a favorite month among flower lovers.
Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Persian style of architecture. This style was heavily influenced by the Persian gardens particularly the Charbagh structure. Significant use of rectilinear layouts are made within the walled enclosures. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens.
Cheshmashahi is the first Mughal Garden you will pass after Nehru Park. Built at a height above the city.
Yusmarg in Kashmiri means The Meadow of Jesus. It is believed by the natives that Jesus came to Kashmir and stayed at Yusmarg for some time. It is an alpine valley covered with snow clad mountains and the meadows of Pine and Fir, It lies 13 km south of Charari Sharief a town of Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is situated at the bank of Doodganga River which is a tributory of Jehlum River.