Facts & Figures :
||222,236 sq km
||Rainfall 619.66 mm
||Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)
||Urdu, Kashmiri, Hindi, Dogri, Pahari, Ladakhi
|Best Time to Visit
||April to June (Kashmir Valley), October to March (Jammu
the northern part of India, Jammu & Kashmir is the essence of everything
that is Indian-its culture, history, tradition, people, and natural
splendor. The state has a long history encompassing around 4,000 years and
there are many prehistoric sites, which give indication of human settlement
in this region in those times.
The state was integrated as a part
of India in 1948, when the then ruler of Jammu & Kashmir agreed to join
the Indian federation and the state was given a special status under article
370 of the Indian constitution. Location.....
Situated in the northernmost part of India, Jammu and Kashmir is
bordered by Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan from West to East. From South
to East, the boundary of the state touches Punjab and Himachal. The state
extends between the latitudes 32°17¢N to 36°58N and
longitudes 37°26¢E to 80°30¢E. Physical
The state can be divided into four major regions: the
sub-mountain and semi-mountain plain known as kandi or dry belt; the
Shivalik ranges, the high mountain zone constituting the Kashmir Valley; Pir
Panchal range and its off-shoots including Doda, Poonch and Rajouri
districts and part of Kathua and Udhampur districts; and the middle run of
the Indus River comprising Leh and Kargil. HISTORY
OF JAMMU & KASHMIR......
The history of Jammu & Kashmir is
quite old. Kashmir is mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. In 250 BC, Ashoka,
the great Mauryan king, established the city of Pandrethan and built many
viharas and chaityas. This says much about the strategic importance that
this region held even in that time. Some sources claim that Buddha also
visited this region, though no proof is available to validate this theory.
Kanishka, the great Kushana king, called the Third Buddhist Council at
Harwan, near Srinagar, in the first century AD. This Council saw the
division of Buddhism in two distinct streams called Hinayana and Mahayana.
Kalhana, the first Indian history writer, gave a vivid account of
the history of Kashmir before the 10th century AD. Local kingdoms ruled
extensively in this region until the 12th century AD when Muslims invaded
the region. The greatest Muslim king of early medieval age in Kashmir was
Zain-ul-Abidin, who ascended the throne in AD 1420 and ruled up to 1470. His
long rule contributed extensively to the spread of art, culture, music, and
every other sphere in the life of Kashmir people. He also created a strong
army and annexed many regions nearby Kashmir. These were the time of golden
rule in Kashmir when peace and harmony prevailed. After the death of King
Zain-ul-Abidin, a period of destruction came calling to Kashmir and many
raiders from outside looted the state and made the people and local rulers
their captive. CLIMATE OF JAMMU &
Although a small state, the climate of this state
varies from one region to another. The climate of Jammu region is tropical
while it is semi-arctic in Ladakh and temperate in Srinagar region.
Accordingly, rainfall also varies from region to region and while there is
almost no rainfall in Ladakh, Jammu receives a rainfall of above 1,100 mm
and Srinagar around 650 mm.TOURIST ATTRACTIONS OF
the state capital, is the most famous
tourist destination in the state. An ancient city, there are many
attractions that can attract even the most unwilling of tourists to this
magical land. Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashme Shahi are
some of the best-known tourist spot in Srinagar.
The best time to visit
the ghats is at the break of dawn, when pilgrims perform the Surya Pranam
immersed waist deep in the waters of the holy Ganges. Jammu
is the winter capital of the state and next in importance after
Srinagar. Most of the tourists who come to the Jammu region have the Mata
Vaishno Devi shrine as their destination, which is quite close by. However,
the spirit of holiness permeates through the entire city, so much so that
Jammu is also known as the City of Temples. If Bahu Mata is the
presiding deity of Jammu, the dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah is the other
shrine that is believed to protect the local people. The other major tourist
attraction is the Raghunath Temple Complex, which is the largest temple in
North India devoted to Lord Rama. The construction of this temple was begun
by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1851 and completed by his son Ranbir Singh six
The temple of Maha Kali (better known as Bahu or
Bawey Wali Mata), located in the Bahu Fort, is considered second only to
Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power. The temple was built shortly
after the coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1822.
temples in the city include the Gauri Kund Temple, Shudh Mahadev Temple,
Shiva Temple, Peer Khoh Cave Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, and the Parmandal
The most stunning site in Jammu is the Sheesh
Mahal. The Pink Hall of the palace now houses the Dogra Art Museum, which
has miniature paintings of the various hill schools. The museum also has the
handwritten Persian manuscripts of the Shahnama and Sikandernama. The palace
was once the royal residence of the Dogra kings. Built as a group of
buildings around a courtyard, the palace has a commanding view of river Tawi
on one side and the city on the other.
The Amar Mahal Palace Museum
is a beautiful palace of red sandstone, which stands amidst the most
picturesque environs of Jammu. It offers a beautiful view of the Shivaliks
in the north and the river Tawi in the south. This was once the residential
palace of Raja Amar Singh, but now it has been converted into a museum. The
museum has a golden throne made of 120 kg of pure gold.
for those interested in history is the town of Akhnoor, 32 km southwest of
Jammu. Standing on the banks of the mighty river Chenab, the town tells the
tragic tale of the lovers Sohni and Mahiwal. Along the riverbank are the
majestic ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization that are of great historical
near the Vaishno Devi Temple, is fast becoming a busy hill station and a
good place to enjoy the nature in its eternity.Ladakh
home to the minority Buddhist community in the state. They have preserved
their unique culture for the past hundreds of years. Leh is the headquarters
of this region. The major points of attraction are the Leh Palace, Namgyal
Tsemo Gompa, Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa, and Soma Gompa. EXCURSIONS
FROM JAMMU & KASHMIR.....
Situated 100 km from Jaipur, Tonk is
an old town dating to the middle of the 17th century. The new town, which
resurrects a forgotten era, is a colorful medley of painted mosques,
mansions and colonial buildings. The Sunehri Kothi (or Golden Mansion) is of
special mention because of its mirror work
Located 15 km from
Jaipur, is Gaitor. This is the place where chhatris of Jaipur's rulers stand
amidst reverential silence. The cenotaph of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the
founder of Jaipur, is the finest. A dazzling structure in white marble, its
elegant dome is supported by twenty carved pillars. Other cenotaphs that are
of note are those of Pratap Singh and Madho Singh II.
drive from Jaipur, Sanganer is famed for textile block printing, papermaking
and Jaipur blue pottery, a must for the avid shopper. For others, there are
several temples and an old palace. Samode
is a small
village famous for its beautiful Samode Palace and Garden. The highlight of
the building is the exquisite Diwan-I-Khas, which is covered with original
paintings and mirror work.
Other important tourist places around
Jaipur are Ramgarh, Abhaneri, Balaji, and Karauli FAIRS
AND FESTIVALS OF JAMMU & KASHMIR....
The Hemis Festival is held
in the month of July when tourists in large numbers converge here from all
over the world to watch the famous masked dances. The music is
characteristically punctuated with sounds of cymbals, drums and long,
unwieldy trumpets. The masked dancers move around slowly, very slowly, and
the most vital part of the dance is the masks and not so much the actual
movements of the dance. The dances end with Good vanquishing Evil and the
evil one is brought into the protective fold of Buddhism.
Hemis festival, monasteries like Lamayuru, Thiksey, Spitook, Likir and many
others also have their individual festivals. Since they follow the lunar
calendar, the actual dates of the festivals vary from one year to another.
Other than these religious celebrations, Ladakh has also been host to a
15-day festival each year to bring forward the many nuances of this rich and
exotic culture that is peculiar to this high part of the world. The Jammu
and Kashmir tourism department organizes the Ladakh Festival in the month of
September bringing forward the regions folk dances, art and craft,
sporting events and rituals. HOW TO REACH .....
The state has three major civil airports at
Srinagar, Jammu, and Ladakh connected to Delhi and other places in the
country. Indian Airlines and its subsidiary Alliance Air operate in the
Delhi-Chandigarh-Ladakh and Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar routes.By
Jammu Tawi is the main railhead of Jammu & Kashmir. It is
connected to most of the important towns and cities of the country.
Moreover, the longest rail route that stretches from Jammu Tawi to
Kanyakumari and touches almost all the main cities and towns of the country
originates from here. By Road
One can easily reach
Jammu by the National Highway 1A that goes from Punjab and runs through this
city, connecting it to the rest of the state, including the capital
Srinagar. The state transport corporation runs several buses to most of the
big towns and cities in north India.
Ladakh is connected to
Srinagar and Manali by some of the most difficult road networks in the
world. The Manali-Leh road is considered as the highest motorable road in