Kashmir, the land of eternal beauty nestles picturesquely in the lap of majestic Himalayas. This land of lofty snow clad peaks and verdant valleys , of sparkling rivers and serene lakes , of stunning gardens ,stately chinars and flowering meadows was rightly regarded as the ‘paradise on earth’ by the Mughals. Its pristine beauty has inspired artists, musicians and poets since time immemorial.
According to mythological legends, Kashmir was once a large lake. Rishi Kashyap drained off the water of the lake and the beautiful land of Kashmir emerged.
Jammu and Kashmir:
Area: 222,236 km2 (85,806 sq. mi)
Capital: Srinagar (in summer), Jammu (in winter)
Languages: Kashmiri, Urdu, dogri, pahadi, ladakhi, English
The Jhelum River is the only major Himalayan River which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Indus, Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the major rivers flowing through the state. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several Himalayan glaciers. With an average altitude of 5,753 meters (18,875 ft.) above sea-level, the Siachen Glacier is 70 km (43 mi) long making it the longest Himalayan glacier.
Jammu and Kashmir's economy is predominantly dependent on agriculture and allied activities. The Kashmir valley is known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Kashmiri saffron is very famous and brings the state a handsome amount of foreign exchange. Agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, barley, cherries, corn, millet, oranges, rice, peaches, pears, saffron, sorghum, vegetables, and wheat, while manufactured exports include handicrafts, rugs, and shawls.
Also titled as “Crown of India “ and “Heart of Asia“ J&K has many beautiful places to visit like Vaishnav Devi temple- one of the most holiest and divine place where goddess has shown her auspicious presence and every year millions of devotees visit , then there is Bahu fort, Ranbirsingh Shiv temple , Raghunath temple in the “temple city”- Jammu.
Srinagar : scenic set in heart of Kashmir valley at an altitude 1,730 m above sea level , known as “ Venice of east “ sprawls elegantly on both sides of river Jhelum which is crossed by 7 bridges. According to Kalahana – the author of “Rajtarangini”, the city was originally named as Srinagari and was founded by emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) at Pandrethan-about 8 kms from the present town.
The wooden house boats famous all over the world which are the must stay part of Srinagar are the adorable and ethnic traditional boat-hotels found in the Dal lake of Srinagar. The Shikara rides gives peace and sense of appreciation for the beautiful city. The Shankarayacharya temple- ancient, Hindu, holy temple also known as the Jyesteshwara temple is where rishi Shankaryacharya had experienced the divinity is located on Solomon’s throne. The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva, it dates back to 200 BC Cheshme Shahi (the royal spring ) one of the Mughal gardens gives the opportunity to your eyes to experience the most cherish able and gorgeous flowers in the world . The Chashme Shahi originally derives its name from the spring which was discovered by the great female saint of Kashmir, Rupa Bhawani, who was from the Sahib clan of Kashmiri Pandits. The family name of Rupa Bhawani was 'Sahib' and the spring was originally called 'Chashme Sahibi'. Over the years the name got corrupted and today the place is known as Chashme Shahi (the Royal Spring).
Gulmarg( place of roses )-the town within the miles of LOC between India and Pakistan is the popular destination for skiing and to enjoy the cable car ride to the snowy peaks of mountains where the temperature reaches -5 degree Celsius. The old name of Gulmarg was "Gaurimarg", the name of Lord Shiva's wife which got corrupted during the Mughal era.
Likewise other places like Sonmarg, Pahelgaun are also favorite tourist destination spots in the map of Kashmir. The “Heartland of India” as tagged by CNN , Kashmir gives one, a life time experience to enjoy snow , flowers , mountains , nature ,etc like never ever before and to adore and thank God for its amazing creation.