Jammu & Kashmir, India’s 19th largest state is primarily surrounded by Himalayan mountains. In addition, it is India’s only state with a Muslim majority. The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is located in the far north. The state is abundant in high-value cash crops such as walnuts and saffron, and it is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty all year. The Kashmir Valley, Sindh Valley, Lidder Valley, Poonch Valley, Tawi and Chenab Valleys are among the valleys produced by the Himalayas lining it from the north-east side.
The three main regions of J&K are Jammu, Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh. The state offers stunning verdant mountains and valleys, religious shrines, and remote mountains among the three. The people here are kind and polite, and they will happily welcome you into their homes and land. Each of these locations has its distinct culture, which is reflected in their everyday activities as well as their way of life. Due to the low rainfall, there is no distinct rainy season. Summer and winter, or spring, summer, autumn, and winter, are the four seasons. The summer capital is Srinagar in Kashmir Valley, whereas the winter capital is Jammu.
Kashmir and Kashmir Valley
Kashmir, unlike Jammu, is the administrative centre of Kashmir. Parts of it are currently under the control of Pakistan and China. Kashmir Valley, on the other hand, is one of the many valleys in Kashmir. The area between the Pir Pinjal range in the south-west and the Himalayas in the north-east is designated. The sole river that passes through this area is the Jhelum. The Kashmir Valley contains the state’s greatest tourist sites, including Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam, as well as best tourist spots like Shalimar Bagh, Chasme Shahi, and Pari Mahal, and key lakes like Dal, Wular, and Manasbal.
Kashmiris are mostly Muslims, with a few Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists thrown in for good measure. Small Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes exist in the mountains. Kashmiri and Urdu are the most widely spoken languages, while many people speak fluent English as a second language. Staying on a house boat or Shikara is a wonderful experience that is often included in good Kashmir packages. The traditional Kashmiri attire, Pheran, the one-of-a-kind copper kettles known as Samovar, the earthen fire pots covered in woven wicker known as Kangiri, handmade walnut furnishings and trinkets, and so on are all worth seeing.
The holy shrines of Jammu and Kashmir are well-known. There are numerous notable pilgrimage sites around the state for people of all faiths, whether Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist. People travel from far and wide to pay their respects, while others come to marvel at the grandeur of these old structures.
Amarnath Cave, Vaishno Devi, Raghunath Temple, Shankaracharya Temple, Jamia Masjid
The picturesque sanctuaries of Jammu and Kashmir delight nature lovers with views of diverse topography and uncommon wildlife species. Several national parks and sanctuaries exist in the state to conserve some of these threatened species. The hangul (Kashmiri stag), leopard, wild cats, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan marmot, musk deer, and a species of wild goat can all be seen by lucky tourists. Pheasants, golden eagles, and bearded vultures are among the Himalayan birds that can be seen. Include these natural woodlands in your travel plans.
Hemis Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary is Kishtwar High Altitude National Park, Overa National Park, Dachigam National Park, and Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve.
Culture and Art
Jammu and Kashmir’s culture is built on the people’s dances, music, and festivals. Because of its vast and diverse past, its arts and crafts are multi-religious and multi-ethnic. Kashmiris are famous for their handicrafts all over the world. The flowery motifs that are typical of Kashmiri art have a strong Persian impact. Visitors at J&K can purchase mementos such as: Carpets, Shawls, Rugs, Woven baskets, Walnut wood furniture, beaten metal and copper items, Silver jewellery.
Jammu and Kashmiris incorporate dance into all of their ceremonies. The music is melodic, with instruments such as the chhaina, narshingha, flute, and drums being used. Kud, Heren, Fumenie, Jagarana, Benthe are some of the Kashmir dances.
Jammu and Kashmir’s festivals exemplify the slogan “unity in diversity.” Even though the state is separated into three distinct areas, each with its own religion and way of life, festivities bring the many groups together. The excitement and passion are contagious and must be experienced to be fully appreciated. Baisakhi, Eid-ul-Fitr, and Eid-ul-Azha, Hemis Festival, and Lohri are celebrated in Kashmir.
Cuisines: The cuisine of the state is divided into two categories: Jammu cuisine and Kashmir cuisine, both of which are unique and delicious in their own right. Jammu cuisine, unlike the upper parts of Kashmir, is predominantly vegetarian due to the lush terrain. Non-vegetarian meals served in Kashmir include seekh kabab, tabakh maaz (fried lamb ribs), methi maaz, rogan josh, Kashmiri pulao, and palak nadir. Haakh is a simple but important component of Kashmiri life.