Saturday, 26 May 2012

Jammu and Kashmir

heaven on earth kashmir

  ladakh map

The State of Jammu & Kashmir has main three geographical regions known as “The Lesser Himalayas” or the “Jhelum Valley” (Kashmir), “The Inner Himalayas” or “The Indus Valley” (Ladakh & Frontier areas) also called “Trans-Himalayas”, and “The Outer-Himalayas” or “The Southern mountain range” (Jammu). The area of Jammu & Kashmir is 2, 22,236 square kilometers.
inner himalyas and outer himalayas

indus valley ladakh map

 pir panjal range map
Carved tectonically, the valley of Kashmir is a longitudinal depression in the great north-western Himalayan range, situated at an altitude of 1590 mtrs (5209) feet having latitude between 23-4' and 37-6 'North and longitude between 72-31' and 77-30' East. A typical oval shaped valley, its length has a parallel axis to the general direction of the bordering mountains – The Shivaliks, The Middle Mountains, The Pir Panjal, The Himalayas, The Zanaskar, The Ladakh and The Korakaram.
Srinagar: Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m(1530 feet) above sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the salubrious climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year.         
Kalhana, the author of 'Rajtarangini’, states that Srinagar was founded by Emperor Ashoka (3rd Century BC). The present city of Srinagar was founded by Pravarasena-II, and Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kashmir in 631 AD, found it at the same site as it is today. Laltaditya Muktapida was the most illustrious ruler of Kashmir in the Hindu period, which ended in 1339 AD. King Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-70 AD), popularly known as ‘Budshah’, was a great patron of Sanskrit. Akbar captured Kashmir valley for the Mughals, who endowed Srinagar with beautiful mosques and gardens. The Sikhs overthrew the last Muslim ruler in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819. In 1846 the Dogras secured the sovereignty of Kashmir from the British under the Treaty of Amrjtsar, and in 1947 the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Srinagar as its capital, became part of the Indian Union. 


Situated at the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is bound by the mighty Karokaram mountain range in the north and the Great Himalayas in the South. Landscape of Ladakh has been modified and sculpted into the spectacular shape by the wind and the erosion over the centuries. Its altitude ranges from 9000 to 25000 feet. And is traversed by other mountain chains, the Ladakh range and Zanaskar range. It is rightly called “the broken moonland” and “land of endless discovery”.

Today a high-altitude desert, shelter ed from the rain-bearing clouds of the Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalaya, Ladakh was once covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exist on its south-east plateaux of Rupshu and Chushul, in the drainage basins or lakes of Tso-moriri, Tso-kar and Pangong-tso. But the main source of water is winter snowfall.
Dras, Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the Himalaya's northern flanks receive heavy snow in winter, this feeds the glaciers from which melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in summer. For the rest of the region, the snow on the peaks is virtually the only source of water. As the crops grow, the villagers pray not for rain, but for sun to melt the glaciers and liberate their water.

Druk White Lotus School

The Druk White Lotus School is located in Shey, Ladakh, in northern India.
The school was started at the request of the people of Ladakh who wanted a school that would help maintain their rich cultural traditions, based on Tibetan Buddhism, while equipping their children for a life in the 21st century.
The masterplan and school buildings, designed by architects and engineers from Arup and Ove Arup & Partners, combine local building techniques and materials with leading edge environmental design to make them effective in the extreme climate.
The school offers a broad education, initially in the Ladakhi language and English. Residential blocks allow children from Ladakh's remote areas to attend, and a programme of sponsorship ensures that the poorest are not excluded. It is managed by the Druk Pema Karpo Educational Society and financed with money raised internationally.
Druk White Lotus school is being built in stages. The Nursery and Infant Courtyard opened in September 2001, and the Junior School in November 2004.
The school was featured in a 2007 episode of the PBS series Design e2,Cisco Systems "Human Network" advertisement as well as the Aamir Khan movie 3 Idiots. The school was damaged in August 2010 when cloudbursts caused flash floods that washed mud and boulders into many school buildings.The Bollywood star Aamir Khan made a special effort to lend a helping hand

Aamir in Leh-land

amir khan school ladakh image


Set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal range, Jammu marks the transition between the Himalayas in the north and the dusty plains of the Punjab in the south, bridging these two extremities by a series of scrub covered hills, forested mountain ranges and deep river valleys. The southernmost unit of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu region is traversed by the Shivalik hills and quenched by the rivers Ravi, Tawi and Chenab.

The city of Jammu is named after Jambu Lochan, the brother of Bahu, a powerful local chieftain who ruled during the ninth century. During 1730 AD, the Dogra rulers built the city of Jammu as their capital and adorned it with numerous temples and shrines now known as the "city of Temples". It is dotted with some historical temples like the Raghunath Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, Peer Kho Temple, Panjbakhtar Temple which are over a hundred years old. It is the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir.


Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of India and the second largest in the J&K state. Its three sides are surrounded by majestic mountains and a large number of gardens and orchards have been laid along the shores. The campus of University of Kashmir is also located along the shores of the lake. Dal Lake is unique in having hundreds of houseboats, which afford an opportunity for tourists to reside on the lake in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility .

It is difficult to describe in mere words the beguiling beauty of Wular Lake. For one, its formidable size - this is one of Asia's largest fresh water lakes - for another, it changes character with every few miles. The drive from Srinagar will take you to the calm waters of Manasbal , where there is no other sound but birdsong. Manasbal has often been described as the bird watcher's paradise, and as your shikara glides through this mirror of tranquillity, you will experience yet another facet of Kashmir.From Watlab, the Wular Lake stretches away as far as the eye can see, edged by picturesque villages around terraced breeze-rippled fields of paddy, in a riotous burst of colour, the sheer grandeur of the spectacular countryside at leisure.


Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake 
(150 km from Leh/4267 m alt), is about 130 km long 5-6 km wide, straddling across the border between India & China. The ochre hills of the Change-chenmo range surrounding it from the north provide a spectacular backdrop to the blue and green expanse of its brackish water.


Mansar Lake

Mansar Lake
Situated 62 kms from Jammu, Mansar is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. Newly weds consider it auspicious to perform three circumambulations (‘Parikarma’) around the lake to seek the blessings of Sheshnag, the lord of serpents, whose shrine is located on its eastern bank. There are also some ancient temples on the lake’s shores, which are visited by devotees in large numbers. Mansar is also ideal for boating.

National Parks

kashmir himalayas
The State of J&K has enacted Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978 by virtue of which National Parks, Sanctuaries, Game Reserves and Wetlands have been setup to afford protection to the diverse flora & fauna of the Sate .

Kashmiri Stag also known as Hangul (cervus elaphus hanglu) is found alone in the Valley of Kashmir and happens to be distinctly related to the European Red Deer. Dachigam National Park was set up to afford protection to this critically endangered animal.Dachigam National Park is stituated 1 km ahead of Harwon Garden (3 kms ahead of Shalimar Garden) and 18 kms from Srinagar. Permission to visit this National Park requires to be obtained from Wildlife Warden of (Wildlife Department). The rare fauna found in the protected areas of the State include:

Dachigam (Overview)
             Dachigam (Overview) 


Mughal Garden, Shalimar

  Shalimar Garden
                 Shalimar Garden

 Shalimar garden was built by Mughal Emperor Jehangir in the year 1619 AD and called it "Farah Baksh" (the delightful). Eleven years later Zaffer Khan the Governor of Kashmir during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign extended the garden and called it "Faiz Baksh" (the Bountiful). The garden was graded in three sections. The outer garden known as the Diwan-i-Aam, the central porrion the Emperor's garden called as the "Diwan-i­Khas" and the uppermost by far the best garden was meanc for the Empress and her ladies. The romantic effect of numerous fountains in large tanks and central water channel, cascades, and monumental pavilions, mighty chinars, lush lawns laden with colour and fragrance speak volumes for the taste of Great Mughal. The garden covers an area of 12.40 ha.15 kms from the TRC

 Nishat Garden

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

Tulip garden previously named as Model Floriculture Centre, Sirajbagh, Cheshmashahi Srinagar, is spread over an area of about 30 ha situated On the foothills of Zabarwan Hills with an overview of picturesque world famous Dal Lake. This garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by Mr. Gh. Nabi Azad, the then Chief Minister, J&K in the year 2006-07. Main aim of this garden is to boost floriculture and advance tourism in Kashmir Valley. Over 12 Lakh tulip bulbs of 68 varieties of different colours sown during Nov-Dec, 2007 presented a breathtaking view. 



Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant Owner’s Federation (KHAROF)

Naik Building, 3rd Floor, Munawarabad M.A. Link Road ,
Srinagar Kashmir ,190001
Tele: + 91 194 2482695
Fax: + 91 194 2453732, 2455251
Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant Association (KHARA)
Nawa-i-Subh Complex, Zero Bridge,
Srinagar , Kashmir , 190001
Tele: + 91 194 1472249
Fax: + 91 194 2453209
Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK)
Baba Dharam Das Road, Bishember Nagar,
Srinagar , Kashmr, 190001
Tele/Fax: + 91 194 2459568
J&K Tourism Development Corporation (J&K TDC) Accommodation:  
 The J&K TDC’s hutments at Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Patnitop are  furnished and attractive for those with their own transport. J&KTDC also have hotel blocks at the Tourist Reception Centre where rooms are provided for transit visitors. It is necessary to book well in advance, as these rooms are almost always crowded due to their central location. The Corporation has also commissioned its 80-roomed Heemal Hotel, which is conveniently located on the Boulevard.

For more information &booking, visit

80-roomed heemal hotel, which is conveniently located on the boulevard. Ladakh


In the newly opened areas of the region –
Nubra, Changthang and the Drok-pa area - tourist infrastructure is not yet adequately developed. The State Tourism Department has guest house in their homes under a State Government sponsored incentive scheme. For visitors to Tso-moriri Lake, accommodation is available near Korzok village in tented camps, which spring up every season. Similar camps are available in various parts of Nubra valley.started development of accommodation facilities like tourist complexes and hiker's huts at various places in these areas. However, in some of these places, especially in the Nubra Valley, tourists can stay as paying guests with some families who have set up paying
During the peak tourist season i.e. early June to mid-September, it is advisable to book hotel rooms in advance. By late September, hotel rooms are easily available as the tourist rush declines. However, tourists planning winter trips may have to book accommodation in advance so as to ensure provision of heating arrangements during the period of their intended stay.
All Ladakh Hotels & Guest House Owner's Association , Leh
Tel: +91 01982 256234
Mobile : +91 0941978560

How To Reach 

By Road
National Highway, 1-A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu (300 kms) is an all-weather road. Jammu in turn is connected to many parts of Northern India, including New Delhi. Buses and all types of Taxis to Srinagar are available from Jammu railway station and city centre. Various Tourist Taxi Strands, in the Srinagar City, have recently upgraded their fleet, and taxis can be hired for touring Srinagar city or various resorts in Kashmir.
Also visit

By Rail
Jammu Tawi, a major railway junction of North India, and Udampur in Jammu province, Srinagar’s nearest railhead (202 kms) receive a large number of trains from most parts of India. Trains are operating within Kashmir valley from Anantnag to Baramulla. Kashmir is being connected by rail with Jammu and the project is expected to be commissioned within the next 5-7 years.

By Air
Srinagar now has an International Airport and direct weekly flights are operating from Dubai. All major airlines operate regular daily flights to here from New Delhi and other major cities in India. Srinagar Airport is 14 kms from the city

By Road
Jammu is on National Highway 1-A and is connected by the highway network to all parts of the country. Some important road distances from Jammu are:
Amritsar- 243 kms Chandigarh- 436 kms Delhi- 586 kms
Katra- 48 kms Srinagar- 305 kms Manali- 428 kms
Patnitop - 108 kms Mansar - 62 kms

By Rail
Jammu Tawi is an important railhead of the Northern India. The main trains operating to/ from Jammu are:

Malwa Express, Super Fast, Jammu Mail, Jammu Express, Shalimar Express, Sealdah Express, Jhelum Express, Himgiri Express, Himsagar Express, Lohit Express, Sarwodaya Express, Sarvodaya Rajkot Express, Happa Express, Navyug Express, Gorakhpur Express, Barauni Express, Madras Express, Rajdhani Express and Ferozpur Express.
Railway Station, Jammu (Tawi):General Enquiry & Reservation, Tel: (0191) 2470212, 2471916, 2470029, 131, 132, 2453029, 2471844, Complaint : 2470314-17

By Air
Jammu airport is 8 kms from the city centre.Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfishers operate scheduled services between Jammu & Delhi and Jammu & Srinagar/Leh. 


By Road
The main overland approach to Ladakh is the 434 Kms Srinagar-Leh highway (open May/June to October). This historic road passes through Kashmir’s picturesque countryside till Sonamarg (86 Km) before ascending the Zojiala pass (3,529m). It connects the most populous parts of Ladakh including Kargil Town (205 Km) where the journey has to be

broken for the nigh. The other land approach is the 473 km Manali-Leh road (open July-September) which runs across 5 passes, the lowest being Rohtang-La (3,878 m) and the highest Taglang-la (5360-m). J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K STRC) operates regular bus services between Srinagar and Leh/Kargil while HP Tourism Operates coaches on the Manali-Leh route. Taxis are easily available from Srinagar and Manali for visiting Ladakh.

By Air

Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate regular flights to Leh from Delhi and Shuttle services to Srinagar & Jammu (thrice weekly to each city) and to Chandigarh (twice weekly). Leh airport is 6 kms. away from City centre.
Helplines No

Airports contact numbers  
Srinagar +91-194- 2303635
Jammu   +91-191- 2431917
Leh (Ladakh)  +91-1982- 253076
J&K State Road Transport Corporation
Srinagar +91-194- 245510
Jammu +91-191- 2473245
New Delhi +91-11- 23934232 / 32965527
Leh(Ladakh) +91-1982- 25208
 Railway Station Jammu Tawi                   
 +91-191- 2476078
 Tourist Reception Centers
TRC, Srinagar +91-194- 2452691
TRC, Jammu +91-191- 2548172  /2520432 


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