Monday, June 11, 2012

Jammu & Kashmir - Tourist Paradise on Earth.

A city blessed by the Gods" - Kashmir Valley is surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world and is a land of immense natural beauty. It is also called 'Tourist Paradise on earth.

Jammu and Kashmir  is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the Pakistan-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan, to the west and northwest respectively.




Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley.

Kashmir Valley:
Kashmir Valley  or The Vale of Kashmir, officially known as Kashmir Division is a valley between Karakoram and the Pir Panjal Range. It is around 135 km long and 32 km wide, formed by the Jhelum River. Jahangir called it "Paradise on Earth."( "Gar firdaus ruhe zaimin ast hamin asto hamin asto hamin asto". Kashmir Valley is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India. The region is not a state but a part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It consists of the districts of Anantnag, Baramullah, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar.

Kashmir Valley borders Jammu to the south, Ladakh to the east, and in the north and the west, the Line of Control separates Kashmir Valley from the Pakistan region called Azad Jammu and Kashmir.












Perfection beyond this world makes Kashmir a paradise. The land of sparkling rivers and sleepy lakes, of startling gardens and regal Chinar trees, Kashmir boasts of some of the most beautiful flowering meadows and snow-capped peaks. The abundance of natural beauty has earned the valley a nickname of the 'Switzerland of the East'. It is mesmerizing to see how this endless beauty never fails to charm the viewers with its changing scenes from dazzling white snow of Winters to blooming fragrance of Spring. The sparkling greenery of Summers are welcome too as the flaming beauty of Autumn. The art house of the Seasons, the beauty of Kashmir is complete to the giggling girls with fair Indian complexion and rosy cheeks and the exquisite handicrafts of the area.


Ladakh :
Ladakh is a cold desert situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayan range and Karakoram Range. This place will entice your heart and mind and provide you with an essence of tranquility. I personally find Ladakh to be a very famous vacation spot and pilgrimage destination among the tourists and devotees of Buddhism. High altitude lakes, thrilling and dangerous passes, monasteries and gompas, and historical sites contribute to the blissful essence of the place.

Pangong Lake in Ladakh

Just about 160 km from Leh is a beautiful lake named the Pangong Lake. A drive to this lake is a wonderful experience. The journey begins at Thiksey village, which is famous for its huge monasteries covering an entire mountain range. And beyond this remote village there is nothing but the vast expanse of extreme mountain ranges for company. An interesting observation of the topography throughout this journey is that they throw off all calculations of distance somewhat like a mirage-effect, what looked to be a ten-minute crossing easily requires an hour or more!




Tsomoriri Lake in Ladakh

Also Known as ‘Mountain Lake’, Tso Moriri is a spectacular site amidst mountain ranges in Leh and thanks to its serenity, is a good place to relax. The Lake measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 4-6 km in breadth and about 100 feet average in depth. Maximum depth of Tso Moriri Lake is 248 feet. Tso Moriri Lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
The water is crystal clear and of a deep blue color. However, since the Tso Moriri Lake has no outlet, its waters are consequently brackish, although not very detectable to the taste. In fact, the Tso Moriri Lake was once a popular source of salt.




Nubra - The Valley of Flowers.


Magnetic Hill in Ladakh

“Magnetic Hill
The phenomenon that defies gravity
Park your vehicle in the box marked with white paint on the road.
Switch it off and leave it in neutral”
Above is a sign board at what has famously come to be known as the ‘Magnetic Hill’ in Ladakh. It invites you to be a part of and experience this mystifying phenomenon first hand. Follow the instructions on the signage and your car actually starts moving on its own at speeds of 10-20 km per hour. And for those of you who are thinking ‘The movement must have been due to the downhill descent and it was just following the rules of gravity.’ Turn your car in the opposite direction and repeat the steps. It will start moving uphill!



 If you are in Ladakh at any festival time, I recommend you to not to miss it at all. Most of the festivals are famous for their beautiful colors, captivating traditions and traditional music. These festivals are soul touching and it carries the conventional culture and unity of Ladakh people. These festivals speak about the unity and togetherness of both humankind and the land itself. Most famous festivals of this holy land are Hemis festival, Losar festival, Monastery festival and Ladakh festival.

Camel Safari in Ladakh

Camel safari in deserts – hot and cold! The snow capped lands of Ladakh is popular for its trekking trails, Yak safaris and breathtaking monasteries. However, contrary to the general belief that camel safaris are available only in the hot deserts region of Rajasthan only, there is camel safaris carried out in the cold deserts of Ladakh also. This is one memorable experience of exploring the rugged mountain region on a camel back.


camels in ladakh 

Before insurgency intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy. The tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. However, the holy shrines of Jammu and the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh continue to remain popular pilgrimage and tourism destinations. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath which has had significant impact on the state's economy.




The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir valley, performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform the Rouff, another traditional folk dance. Kashmir has been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts. Shikaras, traditional small wooden boats, and houseboats are a common feature in various lakes and rivers across the Valley. Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilled winter climate of Kashmir. 



Kawa traditional green tea:


Noon Chai
Noon chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with breads like baqerkhani  brought fresh from the Sufi, or bakers. Often, this tea is served in a large Samovars..

Kashmir Cuisine:

Kashmir cuisine is quite famous for the gracious use of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. Spices used in Kashmiri cuisines give special taste and aroma to the food. However, Kashmiri rice forms an important part of the traditional food of Kashmir, striking a balance with the spicy Kashmiri dishes. Non-veg, consisting of mutton, chicken, fish, etc forms an important part of Kashmiri cuisine. The routine cooking in Kashmir is a combination of non-veg and vegetables in the same dish.

Non-vegetarian dishes consist of an important part of not only the diet of a Kashmiri, rather a banquet (wazwan) also. Considered a sign of extravagant hospitality, non-vegetarian dishes dominate in an official feast (wazwan). A typical wazwan meal consists of not more than one or two vegetarian dishes. Kashmir cuisine does not pay much attention to sweets. Instead, an important part of the meal is Kahva or green tea, used to wash down a meal. Traditionally, food in Kashmir was eaten by hands, without any spoons, forks or knives. Have a look at some of the popular vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes of Kashmir and don't miss to relish the delicacies of Kashmir valley on your trip.

Tasty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dum-aloo: Potatoes, roasted and cooked in a curd-based sauce.

Chaman: Paneer (cottage cheese), fried and cooked in thick gravy.

Rista: Balls made of minced meat, cooked in gravy.

Seekh kababs: Chicken or mutton marinated in spices and grilled on skewers.
Delicious !!!!!!!!

Tabak Maz: Fried flat pieces of meat (cut from the ribs).

Roganjosh: Meat cooked with a liberal amount of spices.

Yakhni: Mutton cooked with curd as a base.

Gushtaba: Balls made of finely minced meat, cooked in thick fresh curd gravy. It is the last item to be served in a traditional wazawan.

During the earlier days, Wazwan used to symbolize a feast of the kings. It consisted of some of the most unique, detailed and complex delicacies of meat and a number of other preparations. It used to comprise of thirty-six courses, with approximately 15-30 consisting of meat preparations. The preparation of the meal used to be the responsibility of Vasta Waza or the head chef, with a number wazas (chefs) to assist him.

Have a Nice time.



  1. Thanks a Lot for such nice information. Jammu Kashmir is my favorite holiday destination. Indian and foreigners as well dream to visit this place and want to experience of "Paradise on Earth"
    Everyone must visit this land of dream once in lifetime. You can have look at, it will help you to plan a tour to Jammu Kashmir.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.