Jammu and Kashmir, India’s fascinating northernmost state
consists of three regions differing in topography and culture.
Jammu was the stronghold of Hindu Dogra kings and abounds
with popular temples and secluded forest retreats. Kashmir’s
capital city, Srinagar offers delightful holidays on the
lakes with their shikaras and houseboats.
Ladakh is the northern most province of the state, with a
bleak terrain of barren mountains. Hilltop monasteries and a
colourful way of life, completely at one with the surroundings,
make Ladakh one of the best living traditions of Tibetan
Buddhism in the world today.
Jammu & Kashmir
Amongst the three regions
of Jammu & Kashmir State, Jammu, perhaps, offers the widest diversity
of terrain and beauty. The entire region is pocketed with lakes and
valleys, some still little explored. The foundation of the settlement
of Jammu is attributed to King Jambulochan of the 9th century BC. In
1730 AD, it came under the Dogra rule of Raja Dhruv Deva and Jammu
became an important centre for arts and culture, now renwned as the
Pahari School. Religion, too, played an important part in its
development, so beautifully evidenced in its various shrines and
temples spread throughout the region.
Area : 20.36 sq.km.
Altitude : 305 metres.
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max.39.9, Min.23.4;
Winter- Max.20.2, Min.4.5.
Rainfall : 107 cms (June to September).
Clothings : Summer- Light cottons, Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages Spoken : Dogri, Kashmiri, Hindi, English.
Best Season : Throughout the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air : Indian Airlines connect Jammu with Delhi, Leh
and Shrinagar. Fare : Calcutta-Delhi Rs.4797 (J), Rs.3445 (Y). Delhi-Jammu Rs.2865
(J), Rs.2065 (Y).
Rail : Jammu Tawi, the railway station to reach
Jammu, is connected by rail to Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, Madras and
other main cities in India. Fare : (Approx) Calcutta- Jammu Tawi Rs.2900 (AC-I), Rs.1300 (I),
Road : Jammu, on N.H.no 1A, is connected by good
all-weather roads to all parts of India. Some of the road distances
are:- Amritshar 243 kms, Chandigarh 436 kms, Delhi 586 kms, Katra 48
kms, Shrinagar 305 kms, Manali 428 kms.
Bus : J & K State Road Transport Corporation as
well as some other State Road Transport Corporations (Delhi, Haryana,
Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh) service Jammu to and from
various major places in North India providing deluxe & ordinary
Local Transport : Coaches, Tourist Taxis, Other
Taxis, Scooter Rickshawas, Tongas, Matador Mini Buses and City Bus
WHAT TO SEE
Ranbireshwar Temple; Raghunath Temple (Raghunath Bazar); Raghunath
Temple (Purani Mandi); Ranbir Canal (3.5 kms); Bahu Fort (5 kms);
Bage Bahu (5 kms); Amar Mahal Palace Museum (Ramnagar, Tel.45676,
Timming: 1000-1200 & 1500-1700 hrs for six days and 1000-1200 hrs only
for Sundays, Closed on State holidays, Entrance Fee: Rs.5); Dogra Art
Gallery (Gandhi Bhawan, Opp. New Secretariat, Timmings: 1100-1700 in
winter & 0730-1300 hrs in summer, Closed on Mondays).
Akhnoor: 32 kms. Regular bus-services available from Jammu. Batote:
113 kms, 1560 metres. Health Resort on the Jammu-Shrinagar highway.
Accommodation is available in huts (Rs.200 for double) and Tourist
Bungalow (Rs.175 for double & Rs.25 per bed in dormitory). Kud: 106
kms, 1738 metres. Resort on Jammu-Shrinagar highway. Accommodation
available at Tourist Bungalow (Rs.175 for double, Rs.250 for suites).
Mansar Lake: 80 kms. Regular bus-services available from Jammu.
Accommodation is available in huts (Rs.325 for double) and in Tourist
Bungalow (Rs.175 for double, Rs.325 for suites). Purmandal (Chhota
Kashi): 39 kms. Religious place connected by bus with Jammu.
Accommodation is available in pilgrim shelters. Patnitop: 112 kms,
2024 metres. A resort & picnic spot on the Jammu-Shrinagar highway.
Accommodation available in huts (Rs.475 for double, Rs.300 for
single), Tourist Bungalow (Rs.250 for double, Rs.325 for suites) and
Youth Hostel (Rs.40 per bed in dormitory). Ramban: 148 kms.
Accommodation available in Tourist Bungalow (double Rs.150). Ramnagar:
102 kms. Regular bus-services available from Jammu. Sanasar: 129 kms,
2079 metres. 19 kms from Patnitop, slightly away from the National
Highway. Accommodation available in huts (Rs.250), Tourist Bungalow
(Double Rs.150, Rs.15 / head in dormitory without bedding).
Sudhmahadev: 120 km, 1225 metres. Accommodation available at pilgrim
shelters. Surinsar Lake: 42 kms. Picturesque spot. Accommodation
available in huts. Kishtwar High Altitude National Park: 248 kms.
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Beyond the Kashmir valley
lies Ladakh, the land of unsurmountable mountains, and fascinating
monastries. Ladakh is the abode of rare Kiang & highland Yak. Leh its
capital city lies at the Tri junction of the historic silkroute from
Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India.
Altitude : 3500 metres.
Temperature (deg C) : Summer - Max , Min ,; Winter -
Max , Min
Best Season : May to November.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Air : The nearest airport is Leh, which is
connected by Indian Airlines to Delhi, Shrinagar and Jammu.
Fare : Delhi - Leh Rs.2787 (J), Rs.2002 (Y).
Rail : Nearest railhead Jammu (690 kms) is connected
to all parts of India.
Fare (approx) : Calcutta-Jammu Rs.1271 (AC-2A), Rs.1057 (I), Rs.324
Road : Leh-Shrinagar National Highway officialy
opens from 15th May to 15th November every year (depending on
weather condition). By road Leh to Shrinagar 434 kms, Kargil 230 kms,
Manali 497 kms, Keylong 380 kms.
Bus : Jammu Kashmir Road Transport Corp. operates
buses between Srinagar & Leh
Fare (approx) : Super Deluxe- Rs.225, A Class- Rs.125, B Class-
PLACES OF INTEREST
Leh Khar Palace, Leh Monastery, Leh Mosque, Tsamo Gompa.
Kargil has beautiful Imambaras at Trespone and Sankho representing
Turkish architecture. Attached to these Imambaras there are famous
Arabic and Persian speaking Muslim divines known as ghas.
Mulbak Monastary 190 kms, Lamayura 125 kms, Alehi Gompa 135 kms, Likir
Gompa 140 kms, Phiyang Gompa 20 kms, Spitak Monastary 8 kms, Snaker
Gompa 3 kms, Shey Palace Monastary 15 kms, Thiksey Monastary 19 kms,
Hemis 49 kms.
Ladakh is a virtual paradise for Adventure
sports-Mountaineering, trekking White water rafting / canoeing etc.
For mountaineering the Zanskar Range, the Ladakh range and recently
opened Karakoram range offer some of the finest challenges and
schedule for reservation is available with Indian Mountaineering
Foundation, Banito Juaraz marg, New Delhi, Tel: 671211.For Trekkers,
Ladakh has immense possibilities.
Some well known treks around Leh are :
Leh-Lamayuru-Wanla-Ursi-Tar La-Mangyur-Saspol-Leh (7 days)
Padam-Tongde-Zangla-Sher Sher La-Chup Cha-Shang Kong Ma-Kurna
Sumdo-Nari Narsa-Lang Tan-Hankar-Nima Ling-Shakdo-Hemis (14 days)
Trekking equipment can be hired from Leh Tourist Office, on nominal
charges and its recommended that they should be consulted for
information & guidance. Indus and its tributaries provide exciting
opportunities for rafting/caneoing.
POLO : Ladakh has its own version of polo which is
played during the summer months in Leh.
Tourist Information Centre Jammu & Kashmir Department of Tourism,
Leh, Tel: 95/97.
& Kashmir Tourist office, 12 Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, Calcutta, Tel:
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The holy cave shrine of
Vaishno devi is situated in a beautiful racess of the Trikuta
Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas as in the state of
Jammu & Kashmir at an altitude of over 5000 feet. In the cave there
are images of three dieties viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and
Mahasaraswati. The shrine can be visited throughout the year, but
during the winter season the route is often blocked by snow-fall.
How To Reach :
Jammu (62 kms) is the nearest airport as well as the nearest railway
Jammu-Katra 48 kms (by road) and Katra-Vaishno Devi 14 kms (on
foot). Route from Katra to Vaishno Devi : Katra - Ban Ganga (1.5 kms)
Ban Ganga - Charan Paduka (1.5 kms) Charan Paduka - Adhkunwari (3
kms) Adhkunwari - Bhavan (8 kms) The 14 kms track from Katra to the
shrine has been relaid and tiled. Railings have also been installed
for protection. The 100 feet cave is very narrow with an average
height of 5.5 feet only and has ankle deep water. The pilgrims are
allowed in batches through the cave. A newly constructed exit makes
the process of going out of the shrine easier. Buses leave for Katra
from the General Bus Stand (Jammu), throughout the day. During peak
season buses are also available from Jammu-Tawi railway station.
Journey time 2 hours. Taxis are also available from Jammu.
What To See
Bhumika Temple, Darshani Darwaza, Ban Ganga Temple, Charan Paduka,
Adhkunwari Temple, Kalika Temple, Ram Mandir, Shiva Goompha.Note: All
pilgrims/tourists require a pass to enable them entre to the shrine.
The pass is to be collected at Katra as it will be required at Ban
Ganga and later at the shrine itself. Tourist Information: Manager,
Dharmasth Trust Durbar, Vaishno Devi, Tel: 23.
FESTIVALS AT JAMMU
Lohri (January), Baishakhi (April), Bahu Mela (March-April and
September-October), Chaitre Chaudash (March-April. At Purmandal Mela
(February-March. 39 km from Jammu), Chaitre Chaudash (March-April. At
Uttar Baihni, 25 km from Jammu), Jhiri Mela (October-November. At
Jhiri 14 kms from Jammu).
TOURIST INFORMATION AT JAMMU
Tourist Reception Centre
(Dept. of Tourism), Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu-Tawi
Railway Station, Tel: (0191) 43803.
Tourist Reception Centre
(Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation), Vir Marg, Jammu-
180 001, Tel: (0191) 49554, 47757.
J & K Information
Centre, 12 J.L.Nehru Road, Calcutta-700013, Tel: 248-5791
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The Mughals aptly called
Kashmir, Paradise, and they journeyed acroos the tortuously hot plains
of India,to summer in the cool environs of srinagar. And here they
laid, with great love and care, Srinagar's many formal, water-front
gardens, now collectively known as the Mughal Gardens. Today's
Srinagar is a pleasure resort for the tourist who can experience, at
first hand, the peculiar beauty of the valley that has attracted the
Chinese, the Mughals and the British to it.
Area : 103.3 sq km.
Altitude : 1,730 metres (approx).
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max.29.5, Min.10.6;
Winter- Max.7.3, Min.-1.9.
Rainfall : 529 mms (Mid June to Mid September).
Clothings : Summer- Cottons/Tropical; Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages spoken : Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, English.
Best Season : Throughout the year, though winter
months are quite cold.
HOW TO GET
foreigners entreing Jammu and Kashmir State are required to register
their arrival and departure with the Foreigners' Regional Registration
Office located at the airport and in the city.
Air : Srinagar Airport (14 kms from the Srinagar city) is connected by
Indian Airlines to Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu, Leh, Chandigarh,
Ahmedabad, Bombay. Fare : Calcutta-Delhi Rs.4797 (J), Rs.3445 (Y). Delhi-Srinagar
Rs.3106 (J), Rs.2238 (Y).
Nearest railhead Jammu Tawi (293 km from the Srinagar city) is
connected to all parts of the country with mail and express trains.
Fare (Approx) : Calcutta-Jammu Tawi Rs.2900 (AC-I), Rs.1300 (I),
Srinagar, on National Highway, is connected with all the major
places in India and in the State, viz. Jammu 293 kms, Leh 434 kms,
Kargil 204 kms, Gulmarg 52 kms, Pahalgam 96 kms, Delhi 876 kms,
Chandigarh 630 kms etc.
J.& K. State Road Transport Corporation and other State Road
Transport Corporation and other private bus connects Jammu & Srinagar as well as all the major places in State and in the
J.& K. State Road Transport Corporation's Coaches (at Tourist
Reception Centre); Tourist Taxis (J.& K. State Tourism Deve. Corpn.,
Tourist Reception Centre); Scooter Rickshaws, Matador Mini-Buses;
City Buses and Shikaras are available. Helicopter Service is also
there as Local Transport (J&K Tourist Office)
PLACES OF INTEREST
(Distances are from The Tourist Reception Centre)
Pather Masjid 6kms, Shah
Hamdan Mosque 5 kms, Jamia Masjid 5 kms, Hari Parbat Fort 5 kms, Nagin
Lake 8 kms, Hazratbal 9 kms, Shalimar Bagh 15 kms, Harwan 19 kms,
Nishat Bagh 11 kms, Cheshma Shahi 9 kms, Pari Mahal 11 kms,
Shankaracharya Temple 5 kms, Daal Lake 0.5 km and Shri Pratap Singh
Museum at Lal Mandi (1000 to 1700 hours, Closed on Wednesdays & Govt.
Pampore: 13 kms. The
only place in the world, where saffron is grown.
Mattan : 61 kms on
Pahalgam road. Accommodation available at a Tourist Sarai.
Martand: 64 kms on a
plateau,has the most impressive ancient ruines in Kashmir
Achabal: 58 kms via
Anantnag, altitude 1677 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist
Huts (Rs.100 per hut) and in a Cafteria.
Kokernag: 70 kms,
altitude 2020 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist Hut (Rs.225
per hut), Tourist Bungalow (Rs.125 Double) and in Cafteria.
Verinag : 80 kms,
altitude 1876 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist
Bungalow (Rs.100 Double)
and in Cafteria `Qahwa-Khana'.
Daksum : 85 kms,
altitude 2513 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist Bungalow
(Rs.100 Double) and in a Cafteria.
Yusmarg : 40 kms,
altitude 2377 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist Bungalow
(Rs.100 Double) and Rest House (Rs.75 per room).
Acharbal: 51 kms,
altitude 2400 metres. Famous for Waterfall falling from a hight of
24.4 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist Bungalow (Rs.100
Double) and PWD Rest House. Kounsernag Lake,11 kms away from
Acharbal, remains frozen and covered with icebergs till late June.
Manasbal: 32 kms,
altitude 1560 metres. Lake with flowering lotus plants and is a
bird-watchers paradise. Accommodation available at Tourist Huts
(Rs.225 per hut) and Rest House (Rs.75 per room).
Burzahon: 24 kms.
Excavations reveal settlements dating back to about 2500 BC.
Ganderbal : 19 kms.
Situated on the bank of the River Sindh (Indus).
Wular Lake: 60 kms,
altitude 1580 metres, area 125 sq.km. Lagest in India.
Charari-Sharif: 30 kms.
On the road to Yusmarg.
Dachigam National Park:
21 kms, altitude 2400 metres. Accommodation available at Tourist
Huts (Rs.125 Double, Rs.40/bed dormitory).
Permits and Reservations from Chief Wildlife Warden, Tourist
Reception Centre, Srinagar, Tel: 75411.
J & K GovernmentTourist
Reception Centre, Shervani Road, Tel: 77303/05, 73468.
J & K Government Tourist Reception Counter, New Airport, Tel:
J & K Tourist Development Corporation, Tourist Reception Centre, Tel:
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Altitude : 3880-4218 metres.
Season : Mid-June to Mid-October.
Grade : Modarate.
HOW TO REACH
Air : The nearest airport Jammu is connected with
Delhi, Shrinagar and Leh. Fare : Calcutta-Delhi-Jammu Rs.5510 (Y).
Rail : The Nearest railway station Jammu is
connected with all the main cities in India.
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Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Government of India.