Jammu and Kashmir

The beautiful mountainous landscape of Kashmir valley, numerous shrines of Jammu and the remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture of Ladakh, justify the exclamation of Emperor Jahangir, If there is ever a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.
The northernmost state of India is home to many beautiful valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Srinagar is the summer capital and Jammu the winter capital of the state. The official language is Urdu, while the main spoken languages are Kashmiri in Kashmir Valley, Dogri in Jammu and Ladakhi in Ladakh. Most people speak at least a little Hindi.
One can arrive here by air to Srinagar and Leh or board a train till Jammu or Udhampur. By road entry is via Jammu upto Srinagar and via Manali upto Leh.
Kashmir Valley is a land of beautiful gardens like Shalimar and Nishant gardens, vast lakes like Dal Lake and Manasbal Lake, pristine streams and friendly people. Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Patnitop are hill stations offering enchanting view of Snow Mountains. Raghunath Temple, Bahu Fort, Mubarak Mandi Palace, Peer Baba, Vaishno Devi, Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat Shankaracharya Temple, Amarnath, Bhimgarh Fort and Ramnagar fort are some of the pilgrimage and historical sites.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh is famous for monasteries. Zanskar Trek is a great adventure tourism destination. Nubra Valley, Lake Moriri and Pangong Lake offer truly amazing landscapes high up in the Himalayas.

SIMPLY AWESOME YOUSMARG…. Meri Kashmir Yatra Part 9

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The meadow of Jesus , yes , as per some oral tradition Jesus lived in Yusmarg for sometime during his visit to Kashmir. Some even believe that Jesus is buried somewhere in Kashmir only. If anyone has read ” Rozabal Line” by Aswin Sanghi, he also has dwelled on this topic in his novel. Yousmarg is a beautiful meadow situated at the height of 2396 m from sea level and Pine and Fir trees are abound at this place. The place is under Yousmarg development authority and lies in Budgam distt. Yousmarg is no doubt, the quietest of all the tourist points of the valley , very suitable who want to enjoy the tourist place away from the tourists. Basically this place is a Trekker’s paradise as we found out after reaching the place.

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Jai Jai Shiv Shankar… Meri Kashmir Yatra (Part 8)

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We can say , a pocket size dynamite that engulfed the visitors with its charm. The garden shows the same Mughal feeling as the bigger gardens around the lake. The spring around which this garden is built bumbles up in a large stone vase that hovers up in a hall like structure and this is specialty of this garden.

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Ladakh Calling… (Part 5) Leh – Pangong TSo – Leh

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Soon to my rescue I saw a Tata Sumo coming from behind. I indicated for some help & it stopped. The driver asked me to stand on the rear footrest and grab the carrier as it was all full from passengers. I was standing out in the open air on the rear footrest. After reaching to our point I thanked the driver for the help extended, in their local language – “Julley”.

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THANDI HAWAYEN LEHRA KE AYYEN… Meri Kashmir Yatra Part 7

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Mr. Bhajji was clever enough to place the vehicle among the local vehicles and we crossed the vehicle only to find a toll office on the left side where a person was noting the number of the vehicle. If it was the local vehicle , those were allowed without paying any tax. If the registration number was outside state and not a tourist vehicle registered in Jammu and Kashmir then tax was levied. So folks no option but to pay that tax to reach the main snow point.

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माता वैष्णोदेवी यात्रा भाग – ७ ( जम्मू – JAMMU – २)

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रघुनाथ मंदिर जम्मू और कश्मीर राज्य के जम्मू शहर के मध्य में स्थित है। यह मंदिर जम्मू कि पहचान हैं.यह मन्दिर आकर्षक कलात्मकता का विशिष्ट उदाहरण है। रघुनाथ मंदिर भगवान राम को समर्पित है। यह मंदिर उत्तर भारत के सबसे प्रमुख एवं अनोखे मंदिरों में से एक है। इस मंदिर को सन् 1835 में इसे महाराज गुलाब सिंह ने बनवाना शुरू किया पर निर्माण की समाप्ति राजा रणजीत सिंह के काल में हुई। मंदिर के भीतर की दीवारों पर तीन तरफ से सोने की परत चढ़ी हुई है।

इसके अलावा मंदिर के चारों ओर कई मंदिर स्थित है जिनका सम्बन्ध रामायण काल के देवी-देवताओं से हैं। रघुनाथ मन्दिर में की गई नक़्क़ाशी को देख कर पर्यटक एक अद्भुत सम्मोहन में बंध कर मन्त्र-मुग्ध से हो जाते हैं।यह कहा जाता हैं कि मंदिर में तैंतीस करोड देवी देवताओं कि स्थापना हैं.  मंदिर का मैं केवल बाहर से ही चित्र दे पा रहा हूँ. अंदर के फोटो लेना वर्जित हैं.

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Disappointing ‘Wular’ – The largest fresh water lake in Asia

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Each year during Amarnath Yatra we try to cover one new place of Kashmir excluding Srinagar. By this method we have covered Aru Valley, Betab Valley, Lidder valley, Pahalgam, Anant Nag, Avantipura, Verinag spring ( the chief source of the river Jhelum) Sonamarg, Gulmarg,  Mansabal lake etc. During 2009 Amarnath Yatra, we had planned to visit Wular Lake. After Darshan we started returned journey from Baltal towards Srinagar early in the morning.

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Yeh Dekh Ke Dil Jhooma… Meri Kashmir Yatra (Part 5)

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This exactly is not a tourist area but one gets to see the actual life of the people away from the gritty nitty of tourism. Common people full of common aspirations wearing tired and sullen faces (a result of not so good economic condition) dominates the scene. Shikara wallah then brings you to Meena market, a group of 4-5 showrooms selling Shawls and other woolen stuffs, carpets, Sarees and all. One argues with them that we do not want to buy anything but the common refrain is EK BAAR DEKH TO LIJIYE…

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Another view of the tree at the complex

Taarif Karoon Kya Uss Kee… Meri Kashmir Yatra (Part 4)

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After about one and a half hour we were in front of the temple. We had been questioned 2-3 times on the way by paramilitary forces as they thought that we were proceeding towards Sri Amarnath Yatra unofficially as the Yatra had not started till then. As we had no plan as such, it was duly told to them.

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Ladakh Calling… (Part 3) Sarchu to Leh

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read it somewhere on a board “Darling I want you but not so fast” so we gripped our nerves & maintained a decent pace. As we started early & wanted to enjoy this particular stretch (Sarchu – Leh) of our ride to the maximum, we took frequent small breaks, enjoyed that heavenly feeling, and experienced the scent in the whistling air. We literally lived those moments, discussing about our bikes, tough terrains & beautiful valleys around.

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Boomro Boomro, Shyam Rang Boomro… (Meri Kashmir Yatra – Part 3)

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The scene was just marvelous and my thought was …. YE KAHAN AA GAYE HUM….. We see pictures of the lake in the news papers or sometimes in television but can not gauge the extent of this lake from those visuals, this is what I think as the mighty DAL which was in front of me had rows and rows of houseboats parked in it . THE HOUSEBOATS WITH EXOTIC NAMES APPEARED TO BE LIFELINE OF THIS LAKE. (Char Chinar, Dreamland, Kashmiri beauty, Gulistan, Gul Gulshan Gulfam and numerous other names ….).

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