Situated in the lap of the Himalayas, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is known throughout the country and the world for its natural beauty. It has many sightseeing places, tourist spots, temples and monasteries located here.
One of the most popular holiday destinations in India, Jammu and Kashmir is flocked by tourists all the year round. This place lures nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
The famous Mughal emperor Jahangir, after witnessing the beauty of the place, proclaimed that if there is a paradise on earth, it is here.
Magnificent mountain ranges, crystal clear streams, shrines, glaciers, and gardens add up to the grandeur of the place and makes it a must-visit place.
There is no such thing as a best time to visit this region as it retains its beauty throughout the year. You should keep in mind though that the peaks are closed for trekking or any activities during winter and some regions are cut of due to security issues.
If making a travel plan here you should look up and see if the places you intend to visit are open for tourists.
Amarnath, situated at a distance of around 145 km from Srinagar, is considered to be one of the major pilgrimage sites of India. It is popular among the devotees of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, with a naturally formed ice 'shivlinga', a symbol of the deity, as its major attraction. The pilgrimage site received its name from the Hindi words 'amar', which stands for immortal, and 'nath' which stands for god. The Shesnag Lake is another popular attraction of Amarnath.
Photo Courtesy:Nitin Badhwar
Avantipur is a top tourist destination in Jammu & Kashmir which is popular for its two ancient temples, namely Shiva-Avantishvara and Avantisvami-Vishnu. Both these temples were constructed by King Avantivarman. Few artefacts of these temples can be found at the Shri Pratap Singh Museum located in Srinagar. Although the temples of Shiva-Avantishvara and Avantisvami-Vishnu are in a dilapidated condition, certain idols of the deities of these temples, in their different forms, can still be seen here.
Photo Courtesy:Varun Shiv Kapur
Doda is a perfect tourist destination situated amidst nature. The main sightseeing attractions of the destination include, Bhaderwah, Chinta Valley, Seoj Meadow, and Bhal Padri, to name a few. Chinta Valley, surrounded by thick coniferous forests, is a picturesque tourist spot situated at an elevation of 1,107 mt above sea level. The Seoj Meadow is another beautiful place here and is popularly known as 'diamond in the crown' being surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains.
Photo Courtesy: Chanchal Rungta
Hemis is another top tourist attraction in Jammu & Kashmir situated 40 km to the south-east of Leh. This town is the perfect destination for people who wish to spend some time in the lap of nature and is known among tourists for its Hemis Monastery or Gompa. The major attraction of the monastery is a copper idol of Buddha, and images of Buddha can be seen on the many walls of the monastery as well.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Douglas Bramwell
The city of Leh is situated between Karakoram and the Himalayan ranges, on the banks of the Indus River. The scenic beauty of the place attracts tourists from far-flung areas all the year round. Adventure enthusiasts can take up trekking in the different regions of Leh such as the rugged Himalayan terrains where they can enjoy the natural beauty of the place.
Photo Courtesy: Native Planet
Pangong Tso, also known as Pangong Lake, is situated in the district of Leh of Jammu & Kashmir at an altitude of 4,350 mt above sea level. Despite being a salt-water lake, Pangong completely freezes during winters. The water of the lake being brackish allows for very low micro-vegetation and minimal aquatic life. Only a few species of perennial herbs and shrubs are found in the swampland around the lake.
Photo Courtesy: Native Planet
Nubra Valley, originally known as Ldumra which means 'valley of flowers', is situated at an elevation of 3,048 mt. The region is known as the orchard of Ladakh. During summers, tourists get the chance to see the pink and yellow wild roses that grow in this region. The Khardung La Pass is covered with snow throughout the year. The village of Panamik, the Ensa Monastery, and the Diskit Monastery are the prime attractions of Nubra Valley.
Photo Courtesy: Steve Hicks
Ladakh, situated on the banks of the Indus River, is a famous tourist spot in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known as 'the last Shangri La', 'Little Tibet', 'the Moon Land', or 'The Broken Moon'. Beautiful lakes and monasteries, mesmerising landscapes, and mountain peaks are some of the attractive features of this place. Buddhism being the dominant religion of the region, monasteries or gompas are a major feature in Ladakh's list of attractions.
Photo Courtesy: T. R. Shankar Raman
Gulmarg is situated at an altitude of 2,730 mt in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. Tourists must visit the Ningle Nallah, a stream originating from the melting snow of the Apharwat peak. Tourists can cross the stream ending in Khilanmarg over a bridge, which is another popular tourist spot. The ‘Outer Circle Walk' of Kashmir Valley is highly recommended to tourists.
Photo Courtesy: Geetanjali J
Anantnag District, known as the commercial capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is located in the south-western part of the Kashmir valley. It derives its name from the popular folklore according to which, Lord Shiva discarded all his valuables while on his way to the Amarnath Cave. The place where he dropped numerous snakes has been named as Anantnag. Tourists can visit the Martand Sun Temple that is located at a distance of 9 km from the destination.
Photo Courtesy: Kumar Chitrang
Alchi, a top tourist place in Jammu and Kashmir, is a popular village situated in the Leh District of Ladakh. The Alchi Monastery is a noted tourist destinations here. While other monasteries in Ladakh are located on the hill tops, the Alchi Monastery is the only one built on lowlands. It is well known for its unique architectural style, the building complex has three main temples namely, Du-Khang, Sum-Tsek, and the Temple of Manjushri.
Photo Courtesy: Fulvio Spada