The Kashmir region of the Jammu and Kashmir state in India needs no introduction. Once a Mughal Emperor named Jehangeer wrote about Kashmir in a poetic way. He described the place by the following lines- “If there be paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!” Thus there are no double thoughts about the beauty of the Vale of Kashmir. The district of Kashmir in Pakistan and the northern-most state of India share this piece of land called Kashmir. Since 1948 the place has been in dilemma because of war and violence because of terrorism. For so long the place was considered to be one of the most dangerous place to visit in India. But from the early 90s people were visiting this place regularly without any fear. The main and famous cities of this place are Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Other destinations which people like to visit are Sonamarg, Aru, Verinag and Zachaldor.
Urdu is the official language of the state. But you will find the people of Vale of Kashmir speaking another language called Kashmiri (or Kashur). As a result of the recent developments in the education system many youngsters of Kashmir can speak English very well. English has now become one of the official languages of Kashmir which also includes Kashmiri, Dogri, Gojri and Urdu. The direction boards and the sign boards are now in English. Many people of Kashmir can speak Hindi also. The area from Jammu to Srinagar was very irregular and not safe that’s why there is no train facility provided for the people. People have to take a direct flight of Srinagar from the international airport of Delhi. The whole India is connected by rail with Jammu not Srinagar. After reaching Jammu people can travel in Buses or can hire cabs and taxis. People prefer road trip from Jammu as the landscape of the path from Jammu to Srinagar was very fascinating.
In winters the path is usually blocked as the highway is awfully traitorous. The sweets made in desi ghee are very famous in Jammu. When it comes to the food on the way (from Jammu to Valley) no one can forget the delicious “rajmah chawal” in Peerah and “Pattisa” in Kudd. The whole road trip from Jammu to famous places in Kashmir was of 6 to 8 hours. During the string time millions of colorful flowers blossom in the gardens and form a carpet in the landscape of Kashmir. Most of the tourists like to visit the place in summer to have a break from the intolerably hot temperatures of their respective cities.
At the end of the Hari Parbat Fort, there is a garden of almond blossoms named “Badamvaer”. In 1597, this fort was established by Mughal emperor Akbar and was also known by the names “Koh-i-Maran” and “Faseel-e-Akbari”. Almond trees were planted in the whole garden by Ranbir Singh, the Dogra monarch in 1876. During the 70s the garden was very popular but after the establishment of various other means of entertainment the popularity of the garden declined. In 2007 the garden was restored and became a part of the “Bagh-e-Wariskhan”. But still the beauty was garden is unmatched and distinctly paradise.
In 2009, the work on a new garden named “Tulip Garden” was started. Today the Tulip Garden is one of the largest gardens in Asia. The garden is located on the coasts of the Dal Lake on Boulevard Road. At each season the garden was expanded. And the place is the most visited place during spring. The fresh water brooks in spring are the main attraction of the tourists. There are many adventures things that you can do in Kashmir.
In winters “Gulmarg” is the favorite place of tourists. The name Gulmarg means ‘the meadow of flowers’. The place is located in the south west of Srinagar. In winters skiing is the main tourist fascination. But even if someone missed skiing in Kashmir during winters you can have the pleasure of skiing in Gulmarg till late March. The Apharwat hills of Gulmarg offer the highest ski point in Asia. But in comparison to the famous ski resorts of Austria and France the infrastructure is quite low. The location of Gulmarg is so exclusive that it receives the highest snowfall in the whole region of Himalayan.
Another place which is situated 90 kms on the south of Srinagar is a popular tourist destination. The place is known as the village of Shepherds or “Pahalgam”. Baisaran is one of its outstanding plain where horse riding is offered to people. There are many trekking routes available. Two of those routes are the ones that go to the popular Hindu pilgrimage shrine located in the bottom of the Himalayas and to Amarnath. A spring garden that comes 10 kms before the “Pahalgam” is referred as “Kokernag”. The scene of the whole garden is very amazing as the garden is surrounded by the luxurious pine trees and the garden is actually situated on the foot of the hills. The meaning of the word “Kokernag” is Cockerel and Snake. There is a very long story behind this name. And you can find some snake and cockerels in the hills and bushes. Another famous place of Kashmir is “Sonamarg”. The word “Sonamarg” means “Meadow of God”. The place is famous for its snow-capped mountains. There are many other beautiful places in Kashmir. After seeing these places you will definitely feel that you are in a paradise.