The tourist destination of Jammu and Kashmir is another top most Indian state filled with a variety of interesting locations and cultural attractions. It is evident that tourism promotion in the valley of Kashmir is not a recent phenomenon. The promotion of this heavenly setting began right under the Mughal patronship. Even the fourth Mughal emperor, Jahangir while living in a Shikara Houseboat on Dal Lake admired its natural beauty and made it a frequent royal Mughal resort. Once the beauty of this location even inspired him to say, “If paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.” Due to this, the valley is often addressed as the Jehangir’s Valley of Paradise.
This was the first prominent statement on record that established high regard for Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism potentials. And even after three centuries, the regard, admiration and fondness about this Indian state has not subdued. Such is the charm of the mountain hemmed state that bestows calmness and tranquility on every tourist.
Divided prominently into three regions i.e. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; the state is filled with many wonderful surprises, which if utilized properly can usher the era of successful tourism. Each region has its own attraction and potentials which make it a year round destination. It is also the only state to have seasonal capitals. In summers, surreal Srinagar serves as the center of state activities and in winters, Jammu becomes the center stage of action. Ladakh, tucked in remote north opens up its ways for selected summer months for spiritual and adventure tourism.
Amidst its prominent tourist attractions stand out the legendary Dal Lake accommodating the deluxe Shikaras and India’s first floating post office cum museum in Srinagar. Nearby the lake, tourists can enjoy visiting the splendid Mughal Gardens and Char Chinars. Other attractions of the valley feature Tulip Gardens, Saffron Gardens, etc. Besides, the region also features Gulmarg, the center for golfers accommodating the highest golf course in the world, The Royal Springs Golf Course. For other scenic attractions in Kashmir, one can also visit the forested valleys Sonmarg and Pahalgam.
Ladakh opens up in summer months and offers tourists a chance to witness rugged stupas, chant mantras, participate in monastic festivals and experience serene Buddhist culture of Gompas. Jammu, the winter capital hosts a number of Hindu pilgrimage shrines like Vaishno Devi and is visited by tourists and pilgrims throughout the year.
In all, Jammu and Kashmir is a glistening pearl of India tourism and surely one of the topmost attractions of the country. Aspiring tourists can visit this location via the assistance of a trusted tour operator. Some sites in the state require obtaining of a permit prior to visiting.