Kashmir which was earlier only referred to as the Kashmir valley is now an important region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It comprises of many important tourist locations and is a significant part of the Indian subcontinent. Though the entire region is distributed amongst India, Pakistan, and China, 43% of land and 70% of the population of Kashmir is a part of India. This place is the world’s most militarized zone and has seen many wars but still, its beauty is quite intact. The region is a host to the biggest Hindu pilgrimage yatra which is widely known as Amarnath Yatra devoted to Lord Shiva. To reach Kashmir, one has to land into the capital city Srinagar that has the largest airport and is connected to all prime Indian cities. Visitors can reach anywhere by hiring taxis from the city.
The ancient period was mostly influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism Which gave the world several spiritual philosophies such as Madhyamaka, and Yogachara which is a combination of Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta. Also, the great Ashoka founded Shrinagari town which is now considered ruins near Srinagar.
Before Kashmir came into the dominance of Hindu and Muslim rulers, Buddhism got well-established in the region between the 1st century to 8th century A.D. According to historians, King Kashishka from Kushan Dynasty even organised the 4th Buddhist Council at Kundalvana in Kashmir in 72 A.D. It was presided by Vasumitra whose deputy was Asvaghosa.
Earlier, the land of Kashmir was greatly influenced by Hinduism and one can still witness the traces of that era in the region. A major section of Kashmiri residents is of Kashmiri Pandits who follows the Hindu religion. During the 9th century, Vaishnavism also flourished in Kashmir. Shivaisim traces from the ancient roots also finds there mention in the Vedic Literature in the form of Vedic Deity Rudra of 2nd millennium BCE.
The period between the 13 and 15 centuries was the time of the Mughal Era in the Kashmir region which led to the downturn of Shaivism. The first Mughal ruler of Kashmir was Shah Mir in 1339. The rule of Mughals continued for the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled Kashmir, including the Mughal Empire, who ruled from 1586 until 1751, and the Afghan Durrani Empire, which ruled from 1747 until 1819. The medieval era was mostly ruled by Mughal Emperors. The first Mughal ruler of Kashmir was Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir of Shah Mir Dynasty who ruled between 1339-42. After that, the Great Akbar conquered Kashmir and ruled between 1585 to 1586. Then, it was captured by Afghan rulers from the Durrani Dynasty who ruled till the invasion of Sikh Dynasty in 1890 who continued to rule the Kashmir until the invasion of British.
Srinagar. Srinagar is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Kashmir. If you are looking for something peaceful, serene, beautiful then Srinagar is the kind of place which you must be visiting with your loved ones. The lush green valleys of this place will simply mesmerize you in all its might. Read More
Sonamarg. Sonamarg is quite an endless route of stunningly mind-blowing flowers throughout the valley. If you ever visit this place then the enchanting and breathtaking views of this place will charm you with their amazing aura. This is the kind of experience which everybody should have at least once in their lives. Read More
Leh. The huge mountains of Leh are out and out amazing. Leh is one of the best and quite a safe place to visit with your loved ones in Kashmir during the summer months. Moreover, this place is on the hit list of every biker’s bucket list. Clad in beauty and owing to the love of nature, Leh offers some of the most iconic and breath-taking views of the place. Read More
Go for Shikara Ride. A Shikara ride can offer you an amazing eclectic beauty of Kashmir. The beauty of these distant mountains takes you through a ride across the whole lake. Moreover, going away from the hustle and bustle of city life will help you relax and rejuvenate.
Visit Gulmarg Golf Club. Now, this is one of the most offbeat things which you could do in Jammu and Kashmir. Interestingly, the Gulmarg Golf Club is coveted as one of the largest clubs consisting of 18 holes altogether. And, playing Golf here will prove to be one of the most satisfying experiences of your life.
Gondola Cable Car Ride. Riding the Gondola cable car is one of the most exciting as well as fun things to specifically do in Kashmir for people of all ages. However, it needs to be seen that the tourists also prefer to specifically travel via the cable car to enjoy some of the best views of the snow-capped mountains.
Eid Ul Fitr. During this festival, Namaz is offered at least six times a day and the fast is broken with feasting. Celebrated on the last day of Ramazan, this festival is very popular across the globe. One reason being the massive Muslim population which is there in the world. Read More
Hemis Festival. Hemis Gompa is one of the largest monasteries situated in Ladakh and it is there that Hemis festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. Moreover, this day has been declared as a state holiday. If you ever visit Kashmir then this should be on the top priority on your list of festivals to attend.
Gurez Festival. Gurez is the name of a valley which is specifically situated in the Himalayas at an elevated height of around 8,000 feet. Moreover, this breathtaking valley has got a plethora of scenic views as it particularly lies on the ancient Silk Route. Furthermore, this place is just the right tourist destination for river rafting. During this festival, everyone assembles for the fest which also specifically involves some of the fun activities like river rafting, trekking, etc. Moreover, there are many competitions such as painting and drawing which take place and witness huge participation from people.
Generally, the best time to visit Kashmir is during the spring months of March to early May. However, you may also visit from March to October when the weather is quite perfect and flowers and alpine meadows blossom quite beautifully.
By Air. The nearest airport is situated in Sri Nagar which is very well connected to all the cities. And after reaching the airport the visitors here can hire taxis for reaching various cities, destinations and the towns of Kashmir.
By Train. The Jammu Tawi Railway Station is specifically situated at a distance of 330km. And the nearest railhead serves the most beautiful valley of Kashmir. Also, the railway station is well-connected to neighbouring states and cities of the Kashmir. There is a direct train named Himsagar Express which departs from Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
By Road. The state of Kashmir is quite well connected by the road networks. So, if you want then you can either take a bus or even travel by your vehicle by road to Kashmir. However, a bus may prove to be a budget-friendly means of transportation for you.