Known as Heaven on Earth, Jammu & Kashmir is enclosed by the Himalayas and Karakoram ranges; festooned with verdant meadows, lush valleys, dense forests and splendid temples, mosques and monuments. Nothing can beat the beauty of Jammu & Kashmir, and to believe it, one has to see it! Jammu and Kashmir has the distinction of being multifaceted, variegated and unique in its cultural blend, but at the same time speaks volumes of unity and diversity with unparalleled cultural cohesion.
Mouthwatering delicacies of Kashmiri food will leave your stomach full but your tongue still craving for more. The beautiful union territory of Jammu & Kashmir is not only famous for its beauty and serenity but also for its authentic dishes, which are rich in flavor with high use of hot spices like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and saffron. Influenced by Mughals, Kashmiri cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, with mutton, chicken or fish used as prime ingredients but there are a few delicacies for vegetarians too! Rogan Josh is a must try aromatic lamb dish. Modhur Pulav, a sweetened Kashmiri rice prepared using cinnamon, a little saffron, milk, ghee, sugar, cashew nuts, almonds, green cardamom among several other ingredients is another popular Kashmiri dish. Matschgand, a preparation of minced meatballs and Yakhni or yoghurt lamb curry are two more mouthwatering Kashmiri dishes. For vegetarians, the Dum Olav or Dum Aloo is a great tasting potato preparation and Lyodur Tschaman is cottage cheese cooked in creamy turmeric gravy. Kashmiri Muji Gaad is made with a combination of fish and lotus stem. For mutton lovers, Aab Gosht and Goshtaba are both famous Kashmiri dishes worth trying.
Urdu, English, Kashmiri or Koshur and Dogri are the official languages of Jammu & Kashmir. However, Kashmiri and Dogri are the most common languages spoken by the locals.
Fairs & Festivals
Jammu & Kashmir has its charm in the enchanting valley views and snow-capped mountains, but its festivals add an extra flavor to its beauty. Eid Ul Fitr celebrated after the month long fasting in Ramadan and Eid ul Azha or Bakri Eid are the two most popular festivals of Muslims celebrated in Jammu & Kashmir with full-fledged extravaganza. The Urs or Ziarats is an important festival in Kashmir which witnesses participation from Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. It is a huge inter-communal celebration and is celebrated many times in a year. Lohri and Baisakhi are celebrated here pertaining to harvesting season. With hundreds of Tulip gardens all over Jammu & Kashmir, the Tulip Festival in Srinagar garners a lot of international attention. The Shikara Festival which showcases the houseboats on the Dal Lake and the Gurez Festival are amongst some of the festivals celebrated in this region of India.
Located on the banks of the river Jhelum, Srinagar is known for its stationary houseboats and colorful Shikaras on Dal Lake. The Dachigam National Park is another attraction here.
Katra – Vaishodevi
Katra is a small town at the foothills of Trikuta Mountains which is famous as the base camp for visiting the shrine of Vaishno Devi, a shrine that allures millions of devotees from all over the world.
A popular skiing destination, surrounded by snow-covered Himalayas, meadows of flowers, deep ravines, evergreen forested valleys.
The Winter Capital of Kashmir, Jammu is a holy and peaceful city known for its majestic temples, religious shrines, glittering “shikhars”, and cultural heritage. The Kishtwar National Park is another attraction.
A famous hill station in Jammu & Kashmir with its endless meadows and panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
A feast to the eyes and senses, Pahalgam is another beautiful hill station and a popular tourist attraction, with untouched and gorgeous natural beauty.
Sonmarg is a picturesque hill station, known for its snow-laden fields, surrounded by majestic glaciers and serene lakes which casts subtle spells on travellers. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek also begins at Sonmarg.
Anantnag is regarded as the commercial and financial capital of the Kashmir valley and is very popular for the Amarnath Cave, a popular pilgrimage for worshippers of Lord Shiva.
Pulwama is popular for its apple orchards, waterfalls, natural springs and scenic valleys. Also famous amongst adventure junkies for mountaineering and trekking in summers and skiing and snowboarding in winters.