People have written zillions of words to best describe the beauty of Jammu & Kashmir; however the truth is that the power of words can never comprehend the mysticism that this state possesses. This northern-most state of India has been endowed with nature’s best and that is why it has been an object of interest for many travel enthusiasts. Today many honeymoon couples visit Jammu & Kashmir to seek a perfect romantic getaway, whereas the adventure enthusiasts are often seen here with a determination to create history. Some take it as a challenge, for others it is a dream destination, well… no matter what you are seeking and what your interests are; our list of top 25 places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir can help you learn about your options better.
The capital city Srinagar is the prized possession of the Vale of Kashmir. Imbibing many colors of the state, it reflects the authentic Jammu & Kashmir. The city sits quietly on the bank of Jhelum and contemplates the vivaciousness. The canopied Shikara boats, plush houseboats, snow-capped mountains and the sparkling water of Dal and Nageen Lake come together to bring the picture of authentic Srinagar come alive. The blessing of Prophet Mohammad from Hazratbal Shrine and Jama Masjid, the divinity of Shankarcharya temple, glimpse of floating vegetable market and the bountiful flora and fauna, all honour the capital city with a title of Paradise on Earth. Srinagar also renders great options for activities like bird watching (Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary) water skiing (Dal Lake, Nagin Lake and Bod-dal), golfing (Kashmir Golf Course), trekking (towards Pir Panjal, 89 kms from Srinagar) and boating (Shikara ride on Dal Lake and Nagin Lake) and thus makes holidays in Jammu & Kashmir a successful expedition.
Complimenting the northern periphery, Leh is a land of queer beauty and sheer adventure. The lofty mountains, the alpine lakes, divine Gompas and the quaint settings make Leh one of the best places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Located 434 kms from Srinagar, it majorly intrigues adventure enthusiasts and people with artistic bent of mind. The architectural grandeur of spiritual places like Alchi Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Matho Monastery, Spituk Monastery and Thiksey Monastery dazzles visitors, whereas General Zorawar fort, Stok Palace and Jama Masjid has the potential to surprise spectators. At Leh, one would get a perfect blend of adventure and spirituality, which is of course accompanied by natural scenic beauty. Trekking and Mountain Biking couldn’t excite adventure seekers more; there are several beautiful trails that instigate opportunity for brilliant adventure experience. Clad with beauty of nature, Leh also provide opportunity to witness the Himalayan panaroma.
Protected and blessed by Mata Vaishno Devi, who seems to have found her earthly abode on the Trikuta Hills, Jammu City is indeed amongst the top places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Dubbed as the City of Temples, Jammu invites those seeking peace and tranquility. The unmatched divinity at Raghunath temple, Ranbireshwar temple, Mahamaya temple, Peer Baba and Peer Khoh touches every corner of Jammu invigorates visitors. One must visit the Bahu temple, which is situated inside the majestic Bahu Fort. The temple is dedicated to presiding deity of Jammu, Goddess Kali or Bawe Wali Mata as she is popularly called in the region. Besides the temple, a travel enthusiast can witness architectural grandeur of Bahu Fort and Mubarak Mandi Palace. The Aquarium at Bagh-e-Bahu (Bahu Fort) also catches the eyes of the tourists as it is the largest underground aquarium in the country. A trip to Jammu is no less than an expedition to a holy land.
The refuge of several Gujjars and Bakerwalas, Rajauri is situated around 154kms away from Jammu. The district shares border with Pakistan and thus remain an intriguing travel destination. Rajauri is blessed with many charming places to visit; Dehra Ki Gali, Thanna Mandi and Kotranka Budhal are few places that are apt for sightseeing. One can retire to these remote places in summers as the weather remains pleasant here all year round. The magnificent Rajauri Fort, Balidan Bhavan, Dhanidar Fort and Rama Temple are few places that can be visited in the vicinity of Rajauri. An absolute delight for travel and adventure enthusiasts, Rajauri is amongst one of the top places of interest in Jammu Kashmir.
Dubbed as skiers’ paradise, Gulmarg is indeed amongst the best places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir. Located approximately 52kms away from capital city Srinagar, Meadow of Flowers as it is popularly called Gulmarg is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. Along with prominent skiing options, trekking, snowboarding, golfing, mount biking and fishing are the prime options that Gulmarg overwhelms you with. Visit Kongdori, Shark Fin and Apparwath Peak not only for skiing but also to witness the splendid natural landscape of Gulmarg. Other places to see the blessings of majestic nature near Gulmarg are Nagin Valley (for which you have trek), Khilanmarg, Frozen Lake and Bota Pathri. Baba Reshi and Gulmarg Gondola (Cable car) also makes for a must visit in Gulmarg.
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