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Jammu & Kashmir
Info | Cities | Historical | Pilgrimage | Hilstations | Adventure | Wildlife

Area : 222,236 sq. kms.
Languages : Urdu, Kashmiri, regional languages like Dogri, Hindi, Dardi, Pahari, English.
Capital : Srinagar
Accessibility : Talk in general about major airports ,major roads, rail heads etc

"The state of Jammu and Kashmir is an agglomeration of territories brought under the political power of one Maharaja" "Kashmir is a geographical monstrosity, a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society"

Jammu & Kashmir are really three regions; the foothills' plains of Jammu; the lakes & blue valleys of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, & the high altitude plains & starkly beautiful mountains of Ladakh which lies beyond those passes. Kashmir shares a sensitive border with Pakistan & so when peace is enjoyed at the border, there is prosperity in Kashmir & when there is unrest at the border, Kashmir's fortunes correspondingly declines.

Kashmir is located in the heart of south-central Asia amongst the most populace countries of the world. It shares its borders with China, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

Area under Indian control: (50513 sq.miles)
a) Ladakh: 33740 sq.miles
b) Kashmir province: 6893 sq.miles
c) Jammu province: 9880 sq.miles

Area under Pakistan control: (33958 sq.miles)
a) Gilgit & Baltistan: 29814 sq.miles
b) Muzzafarabad & Poonch valley: 4144 sq.miles

In 1962 war with India, China occupied 1971 sq.miles from Indian held Kashmir at Aksai-chin and Demchok in Ladakh. In December 1962, 1868 sq.miles were conditionally taken over by China at Shaksgam in Northern.

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 , secluded forest retreats, historical places and sanctuaries. Kashmir’s capital city, Srinagar offers delightful holidays on the lakes with their shikaras and houseboats.

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.

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.

The state of Jammu & Kashmir is a region of widely varying people, great history and geography. In the south, Jammu is a transition zone from the Indian plains to the Himalaya. The rest of the state is Kashmir but in practice this title is reserved for the beautiful vale of Kashmir, a large Himalayan valley in the north of the state. A spell on a houseboat on Dal Lake has always been one of India's real treats and Kashmir also offers some delightful opportunities and unsurpassed scenery. During festivals the state of Jammu & Kashmir is in a colourful mood.

Jammu and Kashmir is a state very famous for handicrafts. The textile and shawls from the state is famous all over the world. It is the bets shopping place.

The cuisine of the state is characterised by three different styles of cooking — the Kashmiri Pandit, the Muslims and the Rajput styles. Though they eat meat, surprisingly, many traditional Kashmiri Pandits don't include garlic and onion to their cooking.

The sheer beauty and grandeur of the Kashmir Valley cannot be captured in plain words. Set at the foot of the awesome Himalayas, with the splendid Jhelum river meandering through it, this land of raw natural magnificence has enticed people from all over the world, for centuries. Aptly referred to as Paradise, Kashmir has been ruled by Emperor Ashoka, the Kushans, Gonondas, Guptas, Karkotas, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs, and finally by the Dogras in the 19th century. Despite all these invasions, the Kashmiris have retained their traditions and innate simplicity. The major chunk of the population is Muslim, followed by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians.

Kashmir is a land crisscrossed by umpteen lakes and rivers, each fascinating in its own way. The Jhelum or Vitasta, as it was called, is not only the bloodline, as it were, of the state, but also poses as the ethereal inspiration for many songs, legends, and poems.

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