Jammu and Kashmir, a ‘paradise on earth’ is the most scenic destination in the Northern Province of the Indian subcontinent. Nestled amidst the wondrous foothills of the grand snow covered Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Ladakh and Pir Panjal mountain ranges. Given below is a brief description of picturesque destinations and are ideal for trekking, rafting, paragliding, skiing or sledging.
Srinagar is famed for its surreal beauty and halcyon climate. The mere utterance of pristine Dal Lake, decked with elegant shikaras and lofty mountains as a backdrop, instigates a feeling that is difficult to express in words. Get ecstatic by witnessing the amazing kaleidoscopic views of the surrounding areas by embarking on a journey on the shikaras or houseboat. Sprawling gardens and tall conifers offer this destination indelible charm and grace. The city gleams with Mughal style gardens of Chashme Shahi, Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh. These gardens are located on the eastern side of Dal Lake. A leisurely walk on the grassy lawns of these gardens will truly rejuvenate your jaded spirits. The waterworks and fountains embellish the garden and increase its beauty manifold.
Srinagar is embellished with picturesque landscapes and snow-covered peaks that enhance the splendor of this place to unparalleled heights. Winters are marked by heavy snowfalls and quivering frost. Indulge in winter sports like skiing and ice-skating. Invigorate yourself by participating in activities like rafting, aerosports, golfing and trekking which will shoot your adrenaline high enough.
Srinagar offers many other places of attraction other than gardens, shikaraas and snow. The place is emblazoned with museums, temples and mosques. Sri Pratap Singh Museum showcases terracotta products of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Century, copper, brass and green stone models of Hindu gods, paintings, handicrafts, ancient coins and arms. A famous temple called Shankaracharya temple which is located on the Gopadari Hill has an idol of Lord Shiva and provides a picturesque view from the top. Hazratbal Mosque situated on the banks of the Dal Lake commands a splendid view of the lake and the grand mountain as a backdrop. Jama Masjid is yet another mosque in Srinagar where people throng in huge numbers for their Friday prayers. The mosque is built according to Indo- Sarcenic style of architecture.
Pahalgam is Kashmir’s one of the prominent hill stations which is Asia’s only saffron growing area. There are many places to visit around Pahalgam, the first and foremost being the verdant pastures of Baisaran with forests of Pine surrounding it. Betaab Valley, on the other hand is a picturesque picnic spot. Aru, yet another scenic meadow is the take off point for trekking to Kolhai glacier, Lidder Watt, Trasar and Marsar Lakes and Katar Nag. This place is also the starting point for Amarnath Yatra which takes place every year.
Pahalgam offers plenty of recreational activities like skiing, trekking, mountaineering and camping. Trekking is usually carried out to Kolahoi Glacier via Aru village. Sledging is also undertaken at these frozen glaciers. At high altitudes, Alpine Skiing is also undertaken. Trekking routes also include Sonmarg to Pahalgam, Chandanwari and Sheshnag Lake. Besides this, one can go for long walks in the forests in order to explore wild flora and fauna. Trout fishing is a common pastime of tourists at Liddar River.
In spite of politically- maneuvered terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir witnesses footfalls in huge numbers from across the world. With a concoction of major tourist attractions in Jammu Kashmir consisting of sprawling gardens, tranquil lakes, gorgeous valleys and much more, the state still remains one of the most sought-after tourist spots in the world.