Jammu and Kashmir is the northern most state in India. The state is Asia’s ‘Heaven on Earth’, rich in premium cash crops like walnuts and saffron, blessed with jaw-dropping natural beauty all year long. With the Himalayas lining it from north-east side, there are many valleys formed such as the Kashmir Valley, Sindh Valley, Lidder Valley, Poonch Valley, Tawi and Chenab Valleys.
The diverse landscape of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh attracts millions of people into the lap of the northernmost part of India. All three of these regions are blessed by nature’s bounty. While Jammu is famous for its temples, the beauty of Kashmir valley hardly needs any introduction. Here, the lush meadows marry dramatic mountains, shikaras sail on tranquil lakes, and the sleepy hill stations house a series of attractions. In Ladakh, you come across a landscape quite different from Jammu and Kashmir. There is a different experience waiting for you in each of these places.
The following are some interesting facts about the Kashmir Valley.
History and Administration
Centuries ago the Hindu religion flourished here, followed by Buddhism, and Islam with the invasion of Mughals. The state is divided into three administrations because of Article 370 – J&K under India, Azad Kashmir under Pakistan and Aksai Chin under China. Kashmir Valley, however, is completely under Indian governance.
Kashmir and Kashmir Valley
Kashmir is the jurisdictional area of Kashmir, separate from Jammu. Parts of it are currently under rule of Pakistan and China. Kashmir Valley on the other hand is one of the several valleys of Kashmir. It is marked as the area between the Pir Pinjal range in the south-west and the Himalayas in the north-east. The Jhelum river is the only river that flows through here.
Most Popular Tourist Spots of Kashmir
The state’s best destinations for Kashmir tourism such as Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam, best tourist spots such as Shalimar Bagh, Chasme Shahi and Pari Mahal, important lakes such as Dal lake, Wular lake, Manasbal lake – all lie within the Kashmir Valley.
Seasons and Capitals
There’s no distinctive rainy season due to limited rainfall. Hence the seasons are broadly summer and winter, or spring, summer, autumn and winter. Srinagar, in Kashmir Valley, is the summer capital while Jammu is the winter capital
The Kashmiris of Kashmir Valley are largely Muslims, with a few Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. Small groups of Gujjars and Bakarwals live along the mountains. Commonly spoken languages are Kashmiri and Urdu, though many speak decent English, like a second language.
The houseboat or Shikara stays are a unique experience highly recommended and usually included in good Kashmir packages.
Items to Watch Out for
The traditional Kashmiri dress, Pheran, the unique copper kettles called Samovar, the earthen fire pots wrapped in woven wicker called Kangiri, handcrafted walnut furniture and souvenirs, etc. are some uncommon things to check out.
lndia’s Longest Railway Tunnel
The Pir Pinjal railway tunnel or the Banihal railway tunnel is 11,215 km or 7 miles long, 8.4m wide and 7.39m tall. It’s India’s longest and Asia’s fourth longest railway tunnel.
The common name for the syncretic culture of Jammu and Kashmir is popularly known as the ‘Kashmiriyat’, which is a mixture of ideas taken from Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. As the state is contiguous to the Afghan lands, it might have formed some links with the legendary silk route. Srinagar, the capital city was founded by Emperor Ashoka, the patron saint of early Buddhism.
The main tapestry of Kashmiriyat is the oneness of all the Kashmiris, that they are one irrespective of creeds. Founded on this social brotherhood, it united generations of Kashmiris under the flag of a united Kashmir.
It derives ideas from Kashmiri Shaivism, Sikhism, Islam (even the Sufi variant), and Buddhism (which still flourishes in the Ladakh region). This syncretic belief actually transcends all the religions to say that all the roads will eventually lead to the same path.
Drass 2nd Coldest Inhabited Place in the world
Geographically this is a very diverse state. You can see the elevations in wide ranges, and because of it, its biogeography is very diverse. Among the major Himalayan Rivers, only the Jhelum River flows through the Kashmir valley.
There is a place named Drass, which is the coldest inhabited place in India, with temperature lowering down even to -45 degrees Celsius? Drass is also the second coldest inhabited place on earth.
Kashmir is a strategic vantage point as well, as it is a trijunction that played an important role during the great game. It has got so many passes as well.
Zoji La is one of the famous passes in Kashmir. It is always frequented by the soldiers. This is a strategic pass between the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. This is why it gets important.
Gulmarg Gondola Largest Ropeways in India
It is one of the largest ropeways in India. It covers a distance of 5kms. What would you think about the vast Indira Gandhi Tulip garden? It is the largest Tulip garden in Asia itself.
The library in Raghunath Temple in Jammu