The Government has extended the LTC relaxation to the Jammu and Kashmir, enabling you fly to the state and experience the paradise. Kashmir is a land of myriad seasons and it changes the hues of landscape with the seasons. Burgeoning with magnificent scenery, unique experience in Houseboat staying, Shikara riding, Mughal Gardens, floating vegetable Gardens and host of adventure activities, this enchanting valley is always lavishly beautiful and a favored destination for tourists from all walks of life. Incredible beauty of nature, innate appeal, blissful ambiance and misty cool air of Kashmir satiate inner soul of every traveler and persuade them to visit this land again and again.
What are the places to visit in Kashmir? Staffcorner has compiled some of the important locations that can help you plan your travel. This is not a complete list. Visitors are requested to share more details via comments.
Hazratbal Mosque is located at a distance of 25 km from the
Bagdam district. Facing the beautiful Nishat Bagh, the mosque is situated on
the western banks of Dal Lake. It contains a relic believed by many Muslims of
Kashmir to be a hair of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to legend, the
relic was first brought to India by Syed Abdullah, a descendant of the Islamic
prophet Muhammad who left Medina and settled in Bijapur, near Hyderabad in
1635. When Syed Abdullah died, his son, Syed Hamid, inherited the relic.
Following the Mughal conquest of the region, Syed Hamid was stripped of his
family estates. Finding himself unable to care for the relic, he sold it to a
wealthy Kashmiri businessman, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai.
However, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came to know of
what had transpired, he had the relic seized and sent to the shrine of Khwaja
Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer, and had Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai imprisoned in
Lahore for possessing the relic. Later, realizing his mistake, Aurangzeb
decided to restore the relic to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai and allowed him to take
it to Kashmir. However, by that point, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai had already died
in imprisonment. In the year 1700, the relic finally reached Kashmir, along
with the body of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai. There, Inayat Begum, daughter of
Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai, became a custodian of the relic and established the
Hazratbal lies in Srinagar and the nearest Airport is approx.
25 Km away. This Airport is connected with major cities of India. The nearest
Railway station is at Jammu which is 300 Kms away and from there National
Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley. It Takes around 10 to 12 hours to
cross this mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous
Jawahar Tunnel. Route from Dal Lake can
also be undertaken.
Jama Masjid, located in Nowhatta, is one of the most
important mosques in Srinagar. It was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. Later, the son of Sultan Sikandar, Zain-ul-Abidin got the mosque extended. The
attractions of the Jamia Masjid of Srinagar, Kashmir include beautiful
Indo-Saracenic architecture, a magnificent courtyard and 370 wooden pillars.
Another feature of the mosque is the peace and tranquility inside it, standing
out against the hustle of the old bazaars around it. T here is a perfectly
square garden in the middle and the mosque is surrounded by wide lanes on all
the four sides.
You can reach Srinagar via the Indian Airlines which operates
daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi, Mumbai and Jammu. Getting to Srinagar by
road is made easier by the National Highway 1-A which connects Srinagar with
Jammu. This all-weather road has several sharp inclines and hairpin bends. The
highway is maintained by the Border Roads Organization that helps clear
obstructions caused by natural calamities.
Charar-i-Sharief, located at a distance of around 40 km from
Srinagar, is amongst the most sacrosanct Muslim shrines in the country.
This historical town is famous for the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh
Noor-u-din Noorani, who preached Islam through his poetry. Every year Urs is
celebrated at Charar-i-Sharief. Thousands of people from all faiths visit the
shrine. This is the only town in valley which was to be developed as a Model
Town. It is situated approximately 28 km
from Srinagar, en route to Yusmarg. The Shrine of Charar-i-Sharief is
approximately 600 years old. Popularly known as the Hazrat Sheikh Noor-ud-Din
Wali, (also known as Nund Rishi) the shrine was built to commemorate Sheikh
Noor-ud-Din Noorani, a Sufi saint.
Khanqah-e-Mola, located on the banks of the river Jhelum, is
one of the oldest Muslim shrines in the state of Kashmir. The shrine was
constructed in 1395 by Sultan Sikandar. The chief aesthetic feature of this
famous shrine is its beautifully carved eaves and hanging bells, has a square
plan, erected on irregular walled base made of materials from ancient temples.
The two-storied, two-tiered structure of the shrine has gently sloping
pyramidal roofs demarcating each tier. The roofs are further accentuated by
heavy woodwork adorning the cornices under the eaves.
Kheer Bhavani temple, located in the village of Tulla Mulla,
is located at a distance of 27 km from Srinagar. Devoted to Ragnya Devi, the
temple is one of the revered Hindu shrines. This temple, is located in the
middle of a spring, around which there is a vast area whose floor has been
covered with smooth and beautiful stones. In it exist large and old chinar
trees beneath which the pilgrims sit or sleep on mats of grass. The colour of
the spring goes on changing. While most of the colours do not have any particular
significance, the colour black is taken as an indication for inauspicious times
for Kashmir. The Brahmins of Kashmir worship this spring and pilgrims from
every comer of the country visit to have the darshan of the place.
In Rajtarangini Tula Mula is considered very sacred and the
Brahmins of Tula Mula were very great and powerful. The spring of Maharagya was
very sacred. Thousands of years ago many floods occurred in Kashmir and the
sacred spring of Tula Mula also was inundated under its sway and the holy place
could nowhere be traced. All around was water. At last Kashmir's Yogi Krishna
Pandit had a dream in which the goddess appeared to him and ordered that she
would swim in the form of a snake at the proper place and that he should stick
large poles and when the water subsided there the holy spot was discovered.
This event happened during the Samvat 4041.
Martand Sun Temple, situated on top of a plateau, is located
near the town of Anantnag. Dedicated to Lord Bhaskar, the Sun God, the temple
belongs to medieval era. The temple was constructed by King Lalitaditya, a
Kshatriya of Surya dynasty, so as to commemorate Surya.
A colonnaded courtyard, which has a shrine located in its
centre, is one of the highlighting features of this beautiful temple. Built
with 84 columns, the temple is counted amongst one of the best works of King
Lalitaditya. Tourists visiting the temple can enjoy a beautiful view of Kashmir
Owing to its architectural beauty and style, this temple is
counted amongst the rare ones in the entire world. Constructed using hard and
square limestone, this temple provides a proof of the skill and talent of Hindu
Kashmiris. Another attraction of the Martand temple is the beautiful
surroundings, as it stands erect in a square field with snow covered mountains
at its backdrop.
Anantnag is connected by buses to cities such as Srinagar and
Jammu. The distance between Jammu and Anantnag is around 237 km and the travel
time is around four hours. Anantnag has a railway station that is connected to
a few important places. However the better option is to take a train to Jammu
as the connectivity is much better to this station. The closest airport is
located at Srinagar.
Shankaracharya temple, located on the hill known as
Takht-e-Suleima, is at a height of 1,100 ft above surface level. According to legend, Raja Gopadatya commissioned the building of this temple in 371 BC and
at that time it was known by the name Gopadri. When SHankaracharya came to
Kashmir with the purpose of reviving traditional Hinduism about 10 ten
centuries ago, then it is said, that he stayed at this temple. Henceforth, the
temple got the name of Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar. At the Shankracharya Temple in Srinagar,
Siva is the main deity and the temple is regarded as the oldest one in the
Kashmir valley. Much renovation work has been carried on for years in this
temple. The first repair work is believed to be done during the Lalitadiyta’s
reign. Then, when the Shankaracharya Temple of Srinagar was damaged by an
earthquake, repair work was carried on by Zain-ul-Abideen, under the
Governorship of Sheikh Mohi-ud-Din. The stone steps, that you find at the
passage to the shrine were build during the rule of the Dogra king, Maharaja
Gulab Singh. Modernity touched the Shankaracharya Temple of Srinagar in 1925,
when the electrification of the temple was done.
Shankarcharya lies in
Srinagar District across the Nehru Park: a beautiful island within the Dal Lake
One can either trek to Shankaracharya Temple from the Durganag Temple lying in
civil lines area or alternatively can take a automobile upto the footsteps from
the Boulevard road. The climb is approx. 7 Kms and then there is a flight of
100 odd steps up. the road passes through jungle and offers beautiful views
Shiv Khori -
Shiv Khori, a natural cave is located in a hillock in the
Reasi Tehsil. Stretching for around 1 km, the cave is situated at a distance of
100 km from Jammu. The cave is a real wonder
to be seen which according to the people is unending and believed to have led
to Swami Amar Nath cave in Kashmir. As per assessment of local people, it
measures nearly half a kilometer in length but Yatries are allowed to go only
upto 130 meters. Rest part of the cave is still a mystery as no one could go
further due to lack of oxygen. It is believed that some Sadhus who dared to go
ahead never returned. The cave is in the shape of Lord Shiva's Damroo i.e. wide
at the two ends while very congested at the center. The width of the cave is so
less at certain place that a person can barely crawl through whereas at places
it over a hundred feet wide and quite high too. There are many features, which
can be observed in the cave; however, the best of them is the natural water
dripping from the top to the Shivlingum. Shiv Khori is situated in between the
hillocks about 140 km north of Jammu, 120 km from Udhampur and 80 km from
Katra. Buses and light vehicles go up to Ransoo, the base camp of pilgrimage
surrounded by lush green mountains. People have to traverse about 3 km track on
foot which is recently being constructed
Nishat Garden, located on the banks of the beautiful Dal
Lake, is one of the largest Mughal gardens. Known as "the garden of
bliss", this garden was designed in 1633 AD by Asif Khan, elder brother of
Noor Jehan. Even though the layout of Nishat Bagh was based on the basic
conceptual model of the Persian gardens, it had to be remodelled to fit the
topographic and water source conditions at the site chosen in the Kashmir
valley. The plan, instead of being central with four radiating arms in a square
pattern as in the case of Chahar (suited for a flat country side), was changed
to an axial stream flow design to fit the hill condition with water source
originating at the top of the hill end.
Nishat Bagh located in the Srinagar District is 11 kilometres
from the city centre.
Shalimar Garden was constructed in 1616 by Emperor Jehangir
for his wife Nur Jahan. He enlarged the ancient garden in 1619 into a royal
garden and called it 'Farah Baksh' ('the delightful'). He built it for his wife
Nur Jahan ('light of the world'). In 1630, under Emperor Shah Jahan’s orders,
Zafar Khan the governor of Kashmir got it extended. He named it ‘Faiz Baksh’
('the bountiful'). It then became a pleasure place for the Pathan and Sikh
governors who followed Zafar Khan.
The layout of the garden is an adaptation of another Islamic
garden layout known as the Persian gardens. This garden built on a flat land on
a square plan with four radiating arms from a central location as the water
source, could not be exactly replicated to the hilly conditions in the Kashmir
valley. It needed to be modified to suit the hilly terrain and availability of
a source of water, which could be diverted from a higher elevation by gravity
to the planned gardens. Thus, modifications to suit the location were designed,
which involved the main channel running through the garden axially from top to
the lowest point. This central channel, known as the Shah Nahar, is the main
axis of the garden. It runs through three terraces. This layout saved on radial
arms and the shape became rectangular, instead of a square plan of the Chahar
Shalimar garden, its located near Srinagar and is 16.3 km frm the city center.
Chashmashahi is the smallest of the three Mughal gardens of
Kashmir. Meaning Royal Spring, this garden measures 108 m by 38 m and is above
the Nehru Memorial Park. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan set up the Kashmir Chashma
Shahi Mughal Gardens in 1632 AD. The garden is quite famous for spring of
energizing digestive mineral water inside it. Chasma Shahi Garden of Kashmir,
India, offers a striking view of the scenic Dal Lake and the neighboring
mountains. The garden has a number of terraces, with several fountains built
right through its center.
Apart from the three terraces and fountains, the other
attractions of Chashmashahi include an aqueduct and some waterfalls. The water
for the fountains comes from the spring. This water then goes through the floor
of the pavilion and falls over to the lower terrace, over a polished black
stone chute. Also, a number of fruits, flowers and chinar trees grow in the
garden, adding to its appeal. Near the garden is a small shrine, the Chasma
Sahibi with a fresh water spring. The Chashmashahi garden is amongst the few
others that charge an entrance fee. Recently, a number of extensions were made
to the garden.
Chashma Shahi lies in Srinagar District and it is 11 Kms from
Dal lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in India, is the
second largest lake of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The world famous water
body has been described as Lake Par-Excellence by Sir Walter Lawrence. It is
the Jewel in the crown of the Kashmir and is eulogised by poets and praised
abundantly by the tourists. the lake is 6x3 Kms and is divided in four parts by
causeways known as Gagribal, Lokut Dal,Bod Dal and Nagin. The Dal Lake is host
to world famous Shikaras and Houseboats which vie with each other with eye
catching names. Dal Lake changes its moods and scenery throught the day and
after every few kilometers. It is lined with world famous Boulevard road.
Dal Lake lies in Srinagar District
Nagin Lake, located to the east of the city, is another lake
of Kashmir valley. Nagin Lake of Kashmir is an offshoot leading from the Dal
Lake. The Nagin Lake is located to the east of the city, at the foothill of the
mountain Zabarwan. On the edges of the Nageen Lake are a number of willow and
poplar trees. The reflection of these tees in the water of the lake lends it a
beautiful view. Surrounded by Shankaracharya hill (Takht-e-Suleiman) on the
south and Hari Parbat on the west, the Nagin Lake of Kashmir presents a
charming sight. Shikaras, ferrying people to and from the lake, are a
fascinating feature of the lake. Bathing boats as well as water-skis and motor
launches are also available for hire at the lake.
Nagin lake lies to the east of the city at the foot of the
Zabarwan Mountain. The Shankaracharya hill (Takht-i-Sulaiman) is to the south
and Hari Parbat on its west. The lake is 6x3 km.
Dachigam National park is located among the high mountains of
the mighty western Himalayas. The variation in altitude is vast, ranging from
5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this vast variation, the park
is very clearly demarcated into an uneven region. The terrain ranges from
gently sloping grasslands to sharp rocky outcrops and cliffs. Part of the park
lies above the tree line and this area displays its own kind of natural beauty
with bare rock mountains and crevices.
The Park harbors the last viable population of the endangered
Hangul or Kashmir Stag. Himalayan Black Bear are visible in the lower reaches
from spring to autumn and hibernate in winter. Long-Tailed Marmots are very
conspicuous during summer in the upper reaches while Mouse Hare are active
throughout the year. Other wildlife includes Leopard, Common Palm Civet,
Jackal, Red Fox, Yellow-throated Marten and Himalayan Weasel.
Dachigam National Park is located 22 kilometers from
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, sprawling over an area of 180 sq.
km, is located at Srinagar. It is famous
for retaining several rare and endangered species such as the musk deer, and a
rich and varied avifauna. The area
houses a good population of pheasants and upland birds apart from other
species, both resident and migratory. The common birds are Griffon Vulture,
Monal, Snow Cock, Koklas, Blue Rock Pigeon, Kashmir Roller, European Hoopoe,
Jungle Crow, etc.
The reserve area is located at a distance of 48-km from
Srinagar , to its southwest
Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary
Hemis National Park (or Hemis High Altitude National Park) is
a high altitude national park in the eastern Ladakh region of the state of
Jammu and Kashmirin India. It is the only national park in India north of the
Himalayas, the largest notified protected area in India (and thus the largest
national park of India), and is the second largest contiguous protected area
after the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and surrounding protected areas. The
park is home to a number of species of endangered mammals including the snow
leopard. Hemis National Park is India's only protected area inside the
Palearctic ecozone, outside theChangthang Wildlife Sanctuary northeast of
Hemis, and the proposed Tso Lhamo Cold Desert Conservation Area in North
Hemis is located in Ladakh district. The nearest airport is
Leh, which is connected by Indian Airlines to Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, and
Jammu. The nearest railhead is Jammu,
situated at a distance of around 690 km. The Leh - Srinagar National Highway
officially opens from May 15 to November 15 every year (depending on weather
condition). The distances of some important destinations from Leh by road are :
Srinagar, 434 km; Kargil, 230 km; Manali, 497 km; and Keylong, 380 km.
Overa National Park, located at a distance of 76 km from
Srinagar, sprawls over an area of 32.27 sq. km. Popularly known as Overa-Aru
Biosphere Reserve, the altitude of this park varies from 3,000 m to 5,425 m.
This park is a habitat for several rare and endangered species, which include
the hangul, musk deer and other animals.
Overa National Park is home to 13 registered species of
mammals along with 80 registered species of birds. This national park has a
rich diversity of wildlife as well as beautiful species of pheasants.
The best time to visit the upper area of this national park
is from May to August, while March to May is the ideal time to visit the lower
areas. The months of March to May are the perfect time for birdwatching, while
for wildlife spotting, months of September to March are ideal.
Gulmarg, formerly known by the name of ‘Gaurimarg’, is one of
the most beautiful destinations located in the Baramulla District of Kashmir.
Gulmarg (translation: "Meadow of Flowers") is a town, a hill station,
a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee.
Gulmarg is approximately 55km from Srinagar, may take 3 hrs
Pahalgam, located at the convergence of the Lidder Lake and
the Sheshnag Lake, is famous for its natural beauty. Pahalgam is a town and a
notified area committee in Anantnag district in India's northernmost state of
Jammu and Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination, and every year, many
tourists visit Pahalgam. This world famous hill station is 45 km. from the
District Head Quarter at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at
an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils
of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of
Pahalgam. It was once a tourist attraction and a favourite place for shooting
of Bollywood films, and is still a health resort. Besides tourist huts, several
hotels in private sector have come up here and these hotels provide modern
facilities to their guests. A number of treks in this region also begin from
Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular
Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra.
Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra
that takes place every year in the month of Sawan (July to August). The road
from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by
car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible
on foot or by pony. About 11 km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of
Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The
Amarnath cave is 6 km away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice
stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave.
Pahalgam is 96 kms away from Srinagar. It can take 2-3 hours
Sonamarg or Sonmarg, located at a hefty altitude of 2,740 m
above sea level, literally means 'Meadow of Gold'. The picturesque natural beauty
of the region brought this name to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a town surrounded by
breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes, is a snow covered beautiful
flower-laden meadow in the majestic Himalayan mountain region. Sonamarg in the
Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before theZojii La
pass. The place is renowned for trekking
and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly
mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking
Sonamarg is located at 87 km from Srinagar,
Patnitop or Patni Top, is a hill top tourist location in
Udhampur district, in Jammu and Kashmir, India, on the National Highway 1A, on
the way from Udhampur toSrinagar, 112 km from Jammu. Situated on a plateau in
the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop sits at an altitude of 2024
metres. The river Chenab flows in close proximity to this location
You can enjoy the thrill of flying, at Patnitop. The
paragliding joyrides rides are conducted at Dawariyai, 2 km landmark, on the
Patnitop-Sanasar road.You can ask for paragliding, at the Patnitop Development
Authority (PDA) barrier. Any tourist can experience Paragliding, because you
will be flying with a pilot.The flight will take off from Patnitop and land at
Kud.The flight will last for 7min to 15 mins, depending upon the wind
conditions.One is retrieved by car to the take off area. The organizers also
give a good quality video of your, memorable flight.
Patnitop is located 47 kilometers from Udhampur and 112 km
Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, is
located at a height of 3,230 m. Temperatures
often plummet to - 40°C in winter. Summers, however, are balmy when many hikers
and campers visit Drass.
Buses plying between Srinagar and Kargil/Leh touch Drass.
Local buses leave Kargil in the morning and afternoon for Drass.
Note: All tourists to Ladakh travelling from Srinagar by road
are required to register themselves at the Tourist Registration Centre at Drass.
Kargil, once the trade and transit centre of the Pan-Asian
trade network, is one of the most famous attractions of Kashmir. It is located on the bank of the Suru River
which flows at around 10,000 ft. high
Kargil, the headquarter of Kargil district, is around 204
Kms. to the east of Srinagar and 234 Kms. to the west of Leh.