Jammu & Kashmir – Paradise on Earth

J&K is famous as a tourist spot throughout the world. Jammu called “The city of Temples” attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country. The people here are sweet & soft spoken. Kashmir is famous for its scenic beauty. The lakes, valleys, high mountains covered with snow can easily mesmerize anyone. A night spent in Shikara in Wular lake is impossible to forget. The hospitality of people of Ladakh is unmatched. A visit to Leh Palace, Pangong Tso lake, Tsomoriri lake, Zojila pass altogether feeds your travel appetite for the entire year. Snowfall in the months of June & July is quite surprising for the rest of the country, but a matter of routine or properly called as cycle of nature for Leh. The elevation starts from lower Shivalik, increases through lesser Himalayas upto trans Himalayas. Other ranges such as Pir Panjal range which separates Kashmir from Jammu, Zanskar range, Ladakh range etc, are some of the prominent ranges of Indian Himalayan region. The elevation ranges from 300-8600m. The geography of J&K is unique. The northern most part of the state witnesses snowfall throughout the year(Siachen glacier, Leh, Ladakh) while the southernmost areas such as Samba, Kathua, Billawar are called Kandi areas(Dry & rain-fed agricultural areas) while R.S.Pura adjoining it which fall under Jammu district is totally independent of rain for cultivation. Bore-wells and canal-irrigation are common irrigation systems, for the areas being plane.

Geography

Temperature Difference
No other state in India has such vast temperature difference of nearly 40 degree Celsius.
(0 degree Celsius for Leh and 40-42 degree Celsius for Jammu)

Elevation
No other state has such elevation difference of approximately 8000m.
(K2 peak being the highest and R.S.Pura having the lowest elevation)

kashmir-stag
Hangul Deer

Dachigam National Park

The Dachigam National Park situated at a short drive from Srinagar, is house to the famous deer specie, the Hangul. Kashmir stag or Hangul is found exclusively only in Kashmir. A major attraction for the tourists, the park houses several other species of flora amid the breath-taking panorama.

Demography

Kashmir
A Mosque in Kashmir – Source Wikipedia

It is the only state with Muslim majority in Union of India. The blend of three completely different cultures sharing common living-space is enthralling. Kashmir’s culture is based on Sufism, and Saints across the nation had a deep fascination for this place. The hospitality of Ladakh is unmatched, and the fervor and sweet-language of the Dogras is mesmerizing.

The Mammoth DEAL of Kashmir

Kashmir
Maharaja Gulab Singh

Many deals have been inked in the past. But the deal signed by Maharaja Gulab Singh and the East India company was surely unprecedented and still unbeaten. The entire division of Kashmir was actually bought by Maharaja Gulab Singh for a mammoth sum of 7.5 million Nanakshahee Rupees from East India company equivalent to 220 crore Rupees today. Never in the history such deal had happened where an entire division was bought or sold.

Dual Citizenship

The only state to have dual citizenship, i.e of J&K and Union of India. No other state enjoys such status. The state has various provisions for partial autonomy. With the enactment of article 370 such amenities were bestowed on the state.

Monuments and Memorials

Kashmir

Balidaan Stambh
The state has the country’s tallest war memorial “The Balidaan Stambh“. An epitome of sacrifice, courage, and selfless service. The memorial stands tall commemorating the supreme sacrifices made by the heroes. The structure is an inspiration to those who seek to join the Armed Forces to serve the Nation.

Kashmir

Hari Niwas Palace
The Hari Niwas Palace situated on the bank of river Tawi is a French colonial architectural structure erected by Maharaja Hari Singh. The most prominent structure being Amar Mahal, which was commissioned by Raja Amar Singh, now hosts a library and is converted into a museum.

Leh Palace
The ruins of Leh Palace have been mentioned by various writers in accounts of their visits to the Palace. Once abode of the royal family of Leh, the Palace was abandoned after the Dogra rulers took over. The Palace houses sooth paintings which are over 500 years old.

Legends and Beliefs

Devika River.
The elder sister of the holiest river Ganga is in Jammu. It is believed that when Ganga is overburdened by the sins of evil, it bathes in river Devika to purify itself. The river originates from Udhampur and flows all the way from there to the other regions of the state such as Samba, etc.

Purmandal 
Popularly known as “Chotta Kashi”, the place holds immense importance for the Hindus. Located in the remote regions of lower Shivalik mountain range, the ancient “Shiva” temple is a place of high sanctity. The river “Utterbehni” or the “North-flowing” defies the generalization of the direction of flow of rivers in the mountain region. Generally the rivers flow from North to other directions, but during its course the “Utterbehni” turns around 180 degrees and flows towards North against the general course of flow. Therefore the river is also called “Gupt-Ganga” and holds high reverence among the locals.

Several other interesting folk-tales and interesting facts are waiting to be revealed. Stay tuned for more on this.

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