Lying on the banks of River Jhelum with deep and mesmerizing valleys cascaded in sky scraping mountains and evergreen beauty, Srinagar blends together the tints of nature, beauty, harmony and romance.
With deep and mesmerising valleys cascaded in sky-scraping mountains and evergreen beauty, this heaven on Earth leaves you absolutely mesmerised. Right from Chashm-E-Shahi to the exotic Shalimar garden, Srinagar offers bountiful of places to visit. Surrounded by mountains for the adventurous lot to lakes for photoholics to shopping markets for the spendthrifts, Srinagar does not disappoint anyone.
The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg.
Srinagar is on National Highway 44 and is connected by the highway network to all parts of the country. Distance from Jammu to Srinagar is 257 kms (approximately).
Bus Service J&K State Road Transport Corporation operates buses from Srinagar to Jammu and New Delhi on regular basis. Tourist Taxis .Taxis (Innova, Tavera etc) operate between Jammu and Srinagar (To & Fro) on shared seat basis. These are mostly run by private Tour operators.
Srinagar has its own airport and all major airlines operate daily flights To & Fro Srinagar City. The airport is located at a distance of 14 kms (approx) from the city centre.
At present, Srinagar is connected by rail from Banihal. The work on Katra – Banihal section is expected to complete in a few years which will connect Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
Situated on the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road, Baramulla has been an epicenter of trade and business for centuries. It is third largest town in Kashmir. The name of the town is derived from two Sanskrit words Boar and Mula, which mean Boar’s Molar Place. According to legends when Kashmir valley was a lake, the Hindu God Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and struck the mountain with his molar at Baramulla and drained the water out. The present day city of Baramulla was founded by Raja Bhimsina in 2306 BCE.
Baramulla is located on the banks of Jhelum river. The river divides the city into old town and new town, both lying on the northern and southern banks respectively. They are connected by five bridges and five more are being constructed. The old town is congested and much smaller than the new town. Government offices, civil hospital, district hospital, bus station and most other facilities are situated in the new town. The railway station is on the eastern end of the new town on left bank of the river. Baramulla district is the largest producer of horticulture products in the state. World-class apples, pears, walnuts and other fruits are grown here in abundance.
One of the famous hill stations in India, Gulmarg is also situation in Baramulla and every year around half a million tourists visit the beautiful meadow. Tourists also enjoy the ride on Gondola cable car, billed as the longest ropeway in Asia. Some other tourism attractions in Baramulla district are: Tangmarg, fresh-water lake Wular Lake, Manasbal Lake and famous bird watching places of Manimarg, Vijimarg and Mahalishamarg.
Baramulla town is located about 55 km from Srinagar and the National Highway NH-1A connects the two places. Taxi and busses to the town are available from Lal Chowk Srinagar and even from Jammu. The town is also connected with railways and one can board the train to Baramulla from Nowgam station in Srinagar. One can visit the district year round to enjoy skiing in winter and greenery and sunshine in summers.
Baramulla is a beautiful place fascinating and traversed by number travelers from ancient times. These include the famous Chinese visitor Heiun T’Sang and the British historian, Moorcraft. Mughal emperors had special fascination for Baramulla and it was a halting station for them during their visits to the valley.
Anantnag or the land of several springs is a beautiful and historic town, situated about 55 kms south of Srinagar on the banks of Jhelum. Backed by a splendid hillock, the town is dotted with serene parks, singing streams and surrounded by lush paddy fields. It also has South Campus of the Kashmir University on the eastern side at an elevated land that caters to the educational needs of the students of south Kashmir.
Being almost centrally located, Anantnag forms the pivot, around which all the economic, social and cultural activities of the south Kashmir revolve. It also acts as a stop- over for the annual Amarnath pilgrims who throng the valley in June every year. Besides, Anantnag is the starting point for various tourist destinations in south Kashmir that include Achabal, Kokernag, Verinag, Daksum and Pahalgam. From here one can easily get a bus or light vehicle to head for Kishtwar area of Jammu division that passes through Sinthan top, a highly pleasant and hilarious addition to the tourist map of the J&K state.
For tourists, wishing to stay for night, there are many budget hotels available in Anantnag. Known for its secular credentials, this town is the only place in the country where a Muslim mosque, Hindu temple and Sikh gurduwara share the same compound and no untoward incident has ever taken place here in the recorded history.
To reach Anantnag, light vehicles, cars and buses are easily available throughout Srinagar. Tourists coming by air can hire a Sumo or taxi upto Lal Chowk Srinagar wherefrom Sumo service is available for Anantnag at very low charges. Even one can catch train and reach Anantnag within less than an hour from Srinagar.
The best time to visit the town is between March and October. The locally important festivals include two Eids when the entire town wears a festive look with folk artists performing at different places of the town. Anantnag is home to a large number of folk theatre, Bhand Paether who perform on special occasions, lending more colours to the cultural activities in the town.
Bandipora is a small but beautiful town in Kashmir valley known for Wular, the largest fresh water lake of India. Bandipora is administrative headquarters of the district, carved out from the erstwhile Baramulla district in 2007. The Wular lake is home to many migratory birds. Bandipore has a Nishat Garden very similar to the one at Srinagar. Nishat Bagh means “Garden of Joy or Garden of Gladness in Urdu.
Wular lake is spread through the heart of the district serving as attraction for tourists and source of livelihood for people on peripheries. One of the most scenic places in Bandipora district is Gurez, located at an elevation of 8700 feets above sea level. Gurez is a large Valley lying to the north of Kashmir and is shaped somewhat like letter “W”, the base and the western arm being traversed by the Kishen Ganga River and the eastern arm by the Burzil stream. The valley is surrounded on every side by lofty peaks and mountain slopes. The south east end of the Valley is occupied by superb peaks of Pir Panjal range dividing the Tulail Valley from that of Gurez which provides attraction for adventure trekking.
India’s second largest madrasah Darul Ullum Rahieemiya, is also located in Bandipore. Some other places worth visiting in Bandipora are Salendar, Kudora, Vewan, Mawa and Tresangam ranges in the summer months. There are many streams and rivers where one can enjoy Trout fishing. There is a Hindu temple at Kalusa, the presiding deity being goddess Sharda and Dianishwar, also called as Chota Amar Nath is in a cave in dense forests of Erin. One has to crawl through for about 60 meters to reach the cave.
Bandipora is 55kms from Srinagar and one can visit the place by boarding a taxi or a bus from Batamaloo in Srinagar and from other district headquarters too.
The best time to visit Bandipora is from May to October, when the Wular lake is full and Gurez is also open for traffic.
Ganderbal town is situated north west at a distance of about 8 kms from Srinagar. Upgraded to district status, the town is unique in that it has paddy fields amid sprawling shopping complexes and administrative buildings. Home to the first power station of the state, the outskirts of this beautiful town contain three power stations today that generate hydro electricity. Dotting the two banks of Sindh Nalla, a tributary of Jhelum river, Ganderbal had been an important stopover of the ancient Silk Route.
Surrounded by verdant forest, the area is culturally rich with some famous festivals perfuming the diversity of social gatherings. The best example is that of Mela Kheer Bhawani that takes place in June every year. There is a temple at Tula Mula village in the outskirts of Ganderbal town where a temple, dedicated to the goddess Ragnya Devi and constructed over a spring become hub of festive and religious activities in June to hold the annual festival.
The festival is important in that besides the Kashmiri Hindus, the local Muslims also take part in it by lending helping hand in preparing things for it. After the migration of Kashmiri Pandits, this festival act as the get-together for friends and neighbours, separated for decades now. Emotional scenes are witnessed on the occasion which otherwise is replete with unique and peculiar practices including lighting of thousands of earthen urns containing ghee and butter.
To get there, one can easily catch a Ganderbal- bound Sumo from Soura Srinagar. From Ganderbal, Sumo service is available for Tula Mula which takes less than half an hour to reach the destination.
The best time to visit Pulwama town is between May and November There are hotels at Ganderbal that cater to the needs of visitors, providing them opportunity to enjoy the enlivened evenings on the banks of Sindh Nallah.
This town is situated at a distance of about 30 kms from the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Home to most of the agriculture and horticulture based industries, Pulwama is also a paradise for nature lovers. The town is surrounded on all sides by verdant paddy field and apple orchards, lending the town a serene environment, clear of all pollutions that usually engulf most of the towns of the country. Pulwama also is traversed by a number of small but exquisite streams that teem with a variety of fishes. There are a number of parks in the town. The world famous saffron fields lie to its western side which adds to the beauty of the landscape around the town. Pulwama is situated on the newly opened Mughal road that connects Srinagar with Poonch and Rajouri districts. With this, Pulwama has turned into economic hub as it acts as a stopover for the travelers from either side.
As Pulwama district is the main supplier of milk and milk products to the Valley, the town is also called Anand (Gujarat) of Kashmir. Besides, the vast fruit production, particularly of apples, has made the town a marketing hub with a fruit Mandi already functioning here. One can have any kind of fruit, cultivated in Kashmir environs, from Pulwama town at comparatively cheaper rates.
To get there, one can catch a Sumo at Lal Chowk Srinagar and head for the town. For those who arrive in the valley by air, light vehicles are available at the gate of Srinagar airport that take passengers to Lal Chowk Srinagar wherefrom it is easy to get a Pulwama-bound service vehicle. One more choice is available to those who want to go to Pulwama by train. However, they will have to take a taxi from the Kakapora railway station that will be a little labourious and bothering.
The best time to visit Pulwama town is between May and November when it is laden with all types of seasonal fruits and flowers.
Kupwara is the northernmost district of Kashmir valley and it shares a long border with Pakistan administered Kashmir on one side and by Baramulla district on the other side. Kupwara is known for its lush green and dense forests. It has a wide range of flora and fauna. T he fast moving river Kishenganga flows through the district. Kupwara is a scenic district with number of explored and unexplored places to visit. Dense forests and rich wildlife make it significant from tourism and wildlife points of view. The town is situated at an average altitude of 5300 feet from the sea level.
Kupwara has number of far flung areas which remain cut off from the rest of the district due to heavy snowfall during winters. These landlocked areas include Machil, Keran, Karnah, Kumkadi, Lashdat, Jumgund, Kethanwali and Budnambal. Kupwara is located between Pirpanchal and Shamsbari mountain ranges and is surrounded by snow clad mountains and dense green forests. These mountain ranges have many meadows and pastures in their bosom which provide grazing grounds for cattle and sheep and health resorts and tourist spots for the adventurous souls.
OBangus, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful and plain meadows in the entire state is located here. It is full of wild flowers and charming beauty. One can reach here from Rajwar, Nowgam and Chokibal. It has been earmarked for laying out the highest golf course in the world. It has very high tourism potential, but it is not well connected with road and one has to travel by foot to reach here.
Kupwara is situated 85 kms north of Srinagar. It is well connected by regular bus and Sumo services. One can board the bus or Sumo from Batamaloo in Srinagar and other district headquarters.
The Shopian Hill District is one of the districts of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Its headquarters is located in Shupiyan.Shopian was one out of six Wazarat Headquarters in Kashmir from 1872-1892 A.D. The District is situated in the laps of foot Hills of Pirpanchal range and most of its area is Hilly Terrain.the District is having an area of 30,741.6 hectares. It is at a distance of 51 km from city Srinagar . Shopian has been an ancient Town of Kashmir, which among other factors in the past has historical importance, since it is situated on the ancient imperial road commonly known as Mughal Road. Presently the District Shopian is having 2 assembly constituencies consisting of One Tehsil, One CD Block Shopian and a part of Block Keller,
One Municipal committee with 13 wards, 43 Patwar Halqas and 103 Panchayat Halqas for 231 Revenue Villages. The district is known as ‘Apple Bowl of the State’ as it is famous for Horticulture Sector. The fruit production is Annually Estimated to 2.00 Lac Metric Tons. According to some records its earlier name was Shiv Pavan. Recently, the scholars of history have traced the etymology of this historical town from the Persian word shahpayan where ‘shah’ means ‘Emperor’ and ‘payan’ means ‘stop-over’ as it was the place where different emperors especially mughals used to take rest after coming from a hectic journey through the Pir Panjal Range. Shopian is located at 33.72°N 74.83°E.
It has an average elevation of 2057 meters (6748 feet). Shopian has the honour to had Imam Shahi Hamadan entered via it into the Kashmir valley to spread the message of Islam. A major development in Kashmir was the establishment of the first branch of the Ahl-i Hadith in Srinagar, in 1925, by Sayyed Hussain Shah Batku, a Kashmiri student of the Madrasa Miyan Sahib in Delhi, a seminary set up by one of the pioneers of the Ahl-i Hadith in India, Maulana Anwar Shah Shopiani was a notable member of the Jamiat Ahl-i Hadith. Maulana Anwar Shah Shopiani (d.1969).
Anwar Shah was a close disciple of Batku, and played a major role in spreading the message of the Ahl-i Hadith in Shopian and Srinagar. He served as the president of the Ahl-i Hadith jama’at in Kashmir for several years, as well as the Imam of the Central Jamia Ahl-i Hadith Masjid in Srinagar. Many of the Great Ulema of Jamate Islami have had their origin from Shopian. The most influential and prominent among them are Moulvi Mohmad Amin (Shopian), Maulana Ghulam Ahmad Ahrar (Shopian, d. 2004) and Maulana Hakim Ghulam Nabi (Chittragam, d. 2002).
According to the 2011 census, the Shopian district has a population of 265,960, roughly equal to that of the nation of Barbados. This gives the Shopian district a ranking of 577th in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a population density of 852 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,210/sq mi) .Its population growth rate over the 2001–2011 decade was 25.85%.Shopian has a sex ratio of 951 females for every 1000 males,and a literacy rate of 62.49%.importance from the time of Mughal rulers.It was previously known as ‘Sheen-e-van’ meaning ‘forest of snow’.
Kulgam : Kulgam District is a district of Kashmir valley. The name is from Sanskrit, kul for ‘clan’ and gram for ‘village’. The district contains the block, tehsil and town of Kulgam. Town Kulgam is situated about 68 km (42 mi) from Srinagar and about 17 km (11 mi) from Anantnag. Roads connect to the neighboring districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, and Ramban. The main source of livelihood in the district is agriculture and horticulture. The low-lying areas of Kulgam are very fertile for rice cultivation, and are considered as the ‘Rice Bowl of Kashmir’. The higher elevations are known for production of apples. Livestock and sheep-rearing is a subsidiary occupation among the rural population, particularly in the higher elevations. own Kulgam is situated about 68 km from Srinagar and about 17 km from Anantnag. Aside from places of spiritual interest, the district has tourist spots like Ahrabal water fall on Veshev Nallah which is a place of sight-seeing in the extreme south-west. High pastures and meadows are also places of tourist attraction in the area from Kund to Ladigasan (ahead of Aherbal clefts). The District also has an abundance of natural water from springs such as Kounsernag, Waseknag, Khee Nag, etc
Budgam : Budgam District is a district of the Kashmir valley. Budgam district is the closest district to capital Srinagar (11km). Budgam district came into existence in 1979, prior to which it was part of Srinagar district. ccording to the 2011 census Badgam district has a population of 735,753.
Budgam contains the only airport in Kashmir valley. The district’s main tourist attractions are Doodhpathri, Yusmarg, Tosamaidan, Nilnag, Khag Mt Tatakuti, and Pehjan.District Budgam offers many stunning locales and has tremendous tourism potential that has largely remained untapped so far. The attractive places that can be visited are Doodpather, Yousmarg, Tosmaidan, Nilnag and Khag. The revered shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali can also be found in the Charari Sharief Tehsil of Budgam district .Worlds biggest chinar is in District Budam (Chatergam). The Budgam railway station is located in ompora village. It is the biggest railway station in Kashmir division. This railway station has administrative head controlling the rail service in Kashmir valley.