Kashmir is the essence of everything that is Indian--its culture, history, tradition, people, and natural splendor. The state has a long history encompassing around 4,000 years and there are many prehistoric sites, which give indication of human settlement in this region in those times.
Major Attractions of Kashmir
This capital city of the state is the most famous tourist destination. An ancient city, there are many attractions that can attract even the most unwilling tourists to this magical land. Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashme Shahi are some of the best-known tourist spots here.
The winter capital of the state, the city stands next in importance after Srinagar. Most of the tourists who come to the Jammu region have the close by Mata Vaishno Devi shrine as their destination. However, the spirit of holiness permeates through the entire city, so much so that Jammu is also known as the 'City of Temples'.
The Raghunath Temple Complex is the largest temple in North India devoted to Lord Rama. The temple of Maha Kali (better known as Bahu or Bawey Wali Mata), located in the Bahu Fort, is considered second only to Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power. Other temples in the city include the Gauri Kund Temple, Shudh Mahadev Temple, Shiva Temple, Peer Khoh Cave Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, and the Parmandal Temple Complex.
- Papier Mache
There are three different grades of Papier Mache work, although if looked at a glance all looks quite same. Some are actually cardboard or wood. The idea is to provide a cheaper product for someone who wants the look of Papier Mache at cheaper price. To make a Papier Mache, first paper is soaked in water till it breaks apart. It is then crushed, mixed with an adhesive solution, shaped over moulds, and allowed to dry and set before being painted and given the final touch.
- Copper and Silverware
Craftsmen are often seen engraving objects of household utility - samovars, bowls, plates and trays. Floral, stylized, geometric, leaf and sometimes calligraphic motifs are also engraved or embossed on copper and occasionally silver, to cover the entire surface with fine designs which are then oxidized, to stand out from the background. The work known as ‘naqashi’ and the weight of the object actuates the price of the object.
Willows that grow in abundance in marshes and lakes in Kashmir are the raw materials to make aesthetically quaint items. The items generally made are shopping baskets, lampshades, tables and chairs, all generally inexpensive.
Kashmiri carpets are very well known for their intricate and delicate piece of work. It may well be the single most extravagant purchase during your tour to Kashmir. Kashmiri carpets are world famous for two things - firstly, they are hand made and secondly, they are always knotted, never tufted. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk & wool. Woollen carpets always have a cotton base (Warp & Weft), The carpets are woven with certain motifs in vibrant colours. The finest of Kashmiri carpets are available at major showrooms. The amiable blend of colours makes the Kashmiri carpet a most loved possession.The colour and the design details differentiate it from any other carpet.
How to reach Kashmir
- By Air
The Indian Airlines and some private domestic airlines connect Srinagar, Jammu, and Leh to the major metropolitan cities of India.
- By Rail
A good rail network connects Jammu to various parts of India. The same cannot be said about the other cities. Difficult terrain and unreachable heights make it difficult to create rail infrastructure.
- By Road
There are national highways and a number of other roadways leading to the major cities and important towns. Manali to Leh and Srinagar to Leh highways are considered to be one of the most difficult in the world. Crossing these highways is a challenge that many adventure travelers accept without hesitation.