Jehangir called it the Valley of Paradise and Kashmir is also known as the Alps of India. From breathtaking mountain scenery to a controversial and chequered history, Kashmir will add a dash of excitement to your holidays in India.
Kashmir was founded in the 14th Century BC by Raja Jamboolochan. Through its history this region saw governance by the Kambojas, Panchalas, Ashoka, the Shah Miri dynasty and went through a long and intriguing Sultanate period. In the late 18th century, Kashmir was controlled by Sikh Maharajas and later came under the British raj.
This region has created a strained relationship between India and its neighbor Pakistan, but today, while there are certain sensitive locations towards the border, the rest of Kashmir enjoys peace and calm.
Places worth a visit
This state is blessed with unparalleled beauty and contrasts in landscape. At Jammu, you'll find plenty of temples to explore. Kashmir valley has pristine streams, gardens and beautiful landscape. At Ladakh and Leh you can trek into the mountains and at Srinagar you can relax in a houseboat on Dal Lake.
Gulmarg is great for skiing while Pahalgam has many hidden trail routes waiting to be explored during your vacation in India. Other cities such as Katra, Patnitop, Zab Baihk and Udhampur have much to offer.
You can head to Kashmir to relish 30 different varieties of mutton. Do try their popular meat dishes such as Rogan josh, Matzgand, Syun Oluv, Syun Qaliya, Gushtaba and others. If you're a vegetarian then try the Ladyar Tsaman, Dam oluv, Veth tsaman, Nadeir yakhean or Nadier palak.
Popular drinks are the pinkish noon chai (tea) and kahwah (Arab coffee). During your North India tour in Kashmir, do experience the wazwan, which is a traditional Kashmiri Muslim meal which has about 36 courses.
Kashmir is known for intricately designed Pashmina shawls, carved walnut wood-work and woollen or silk carpets. You will also find Papier Machie in different designs such as Gul Vilayat, Hazara, battle scenes, mythological figures and animal hunting scenes.
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