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The great Persian poet Amir Khusrau said “Agar firdous baroye zameen ast, hami asto, hami asto hami ast”… “If there is Paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.”
Words fall short while describing Jammu & Kashmir. One of the most beautiful places in India, the state is truly a paradise on earth. Majestic snow-capped mountains, sparkling rivers and lakes, and charming alpine woods, it is a place rich in culture, nature and pure old world charm.
If you are thinking of having a magical trip with memories that last forever, you must plan a visit to J&K. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why this one has to be ticked off your bucket list like NOW!
1. Soak in the beauty of Nature:
This is your chance to rejuvenate the soul with the healing touch of nature - one of the prime reasons why a visit to Jammu and Kashmir is a must. The natural beauty of this place is absolutely incomparable, and it’s been hailed as the Switzerland of India. Soak in the tranquility of the azure skies and the splendour of nature and momentarily lose yourself in this mesmerizing paradise.
2. Get a taste of authentic Kashmiri culture:
Enhance your trip by exploring the richness of Kashmiri culture, which truly stands apart with its age old traditions and ethnicity. Music, dance, cuisine, lifestyle, festivals all highlight the diversities prevalent in this state. Explore the streets and shops, check out the wonderful artisans at work, have a taste of wazwan or simply have a chat with some of the locals and savour in some authentic Kashmiri flavours. Don’t forget to try the local kahwa – a variation of green tea topped with almonds and other dry fruits. Kashmiris love to have it with a piece of sheermal and you will love it too!
3. Be ready for an adrenaline rush:
Jammu and Kashmir is fast emerging as a popular spot for adventure seekers. You can choose from a plethora of activities like trout angling, horse riding, trekking, mountaineering, skiing, sledge-riding, tobogganing and more. The slopes of Gulmarg are considered to be one of the best places for skiing. There are also many options for river rafting in the Beas, Indus, Sutlej and Kali Ganga rivers.
4. For seekers of spirituality:
For those who are spiritually inclined, J&K can be an exhilarating experience. Jammu and Kashmir is renowned for its holy shrines, and it has been a meeting ground for many religions since time immemorial. The famous Charar-e-Sharif mosque and the Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar, the Sun Temple in Pahalgam, Kheer Bhawani temple in Tulmul, Vaishnodevi temple, Amarnath, the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh are some of them. There are also numerous dargahs, like the Hazratbal Dargah, reflecting the richness of Sufi mysticism.
5. For a lake-side story:
Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with a number of lakes, the most popular being the Dal Lake or the ‘Jewel of Kashmir’ as it’s popularly known. Other names include the Alpather Lake, the Nagin Lake, the Manasbal Lake, the Wular Lake – all of which have their own splendour. So don’t miss an opportunity to spend some memorable time by these serene lakes.
6. Try a shikara ride:
When in Kashmir, a shikara ride is a must. One of the trademarks of Kashmiri life, these gaily coloured boats from the lifeline of activities for many people. Whether it’s for ferrying travellers or school children, or the floating bazaars selling flowers and vegetables, the Dal lake is always teeming with shikaras. A selfie on the Dal is mandatory!
7. Mughal Gardens:
Providing a panoramic view of the Dal Lake, the three Mughal Gardens of Chashmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are beautiful reminders of the glory and beauty of Kashmir. These lush and well maintained gardens are steeped in rich historical flavours. They are decorated with terraced lawns, fountain pools and myriad flower beds combined with mighty chinar trees and pavilions.
8. A gondola in Kashmir? Yessir!!!
One of the prime attractions of Gulmarg, gondola rides are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The cable car is called a ‘gondola’ here and it is the world’s second highest operating cable car since the closure in 2008 of the Mérida cable car in Venezuela. Even if skiing is not your thing, the gondola rides are definitely worth trying.
9. Shopaholics rejoice!
For all the shopping lovers, Jammu & Kashmir is an exquisite location. With a range of things to choose from, shopping in Jammu and Kashmir is an experience in itself. Kashmir is well known for its dry fruits and spices, the exotic Pashmina shawls and silk carpets, antique silver jewellery, papier mache products and a variety of handicrafts.
10. Hit The Highway:
If you’re an adventure enthusiast or simply looking for a solitary experience, untouched by the chaos of the city then try making a road trip on the Leh highway. Whether on a motorbike or a car, this expedition is an exhilarating experience which entails crossing some of the highest motorable roads in the country, and promises an astounding view.
The beauty and allure of Jammu and Kashmir is truly unmatched, so don’t miss a chance to enjoy a memorable and soul stirring vacation this year. Come visit Jammu and Kashmir, the paradise on earth, and get some of the best deals for accommodation and tour packages.
Always wanted to visit Jammu and Kashmir or already witnessed the magic of the valley…either way, Come share your stories, memories and trivia about the magic of this valley.
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