Jammu & Kashmir Package

Jammu & Kashmir Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir revolves around the ancient cultural heritage of Hinduism & Buddhism, the unparalleled natural beauty of Himalayan hills & valleys, and the Islamic way of life. The detailed information like history, legends, landscape, lifestyle, shopping, geography, monuments, gardens, top activities and things to do, etc will serve as a Jammu & Kashmir travel guide. The region named after sage Kashyap, Kashmir had been the seat of Hindu spiritualism. Scriptures from the era of Emperor Asoka (third century BC) confirm thriving Hinduism and the land to be ruled by brave and morally conscious Hindu kings like Lalitaditya. Kashmir was converted almost completely to Islam from the fourteenth century due to the indescribable barbarism of the Muslim invaders. It was ruled thereafter by different rulers and dynasties: The Mughal in the sixteenth century, the Afghans in the eighteenth, the Sikhs, and the British in the nineteenth. In fact, in the colonial era, Muslim Kashmir retained a degree of autonomy under the authority of its Hindu ruler until 1947, when India and Pakistan became independent. The raid of Pathan tribes from Pakistan forced the Maharajah to formally request joining India in October 1947.

With Afghanistan on the north-west, Russia on its further north, Sinkiang province of China on the north-east, Tibet on the east, and the Pir Panjal Range between the state and the rest of India, Kashmir is variously described as “the Paradise on Earth,” “the Land of Celestial Charms” and “Oriental Super Switzerland.” No doubt, Kashmir is unrivaled for its beauty. The snow-clad hills of the Himalayas protect it from the heat of the plains and the blast of the cooler regions further north. The valley is endowed with rich alluvial soil, lofty and glacial mountains, crystal streams, expansive lakes, and grand forests of pine and firs keeping, the breeze descending from the snowy peaks always cool. Beauty and healthy climate apart, the valley is splendidly rich with orchards yielding delicious fruits, and gardens and meadows flooded with colorful flowers.

India’s ancient chronicler Kalhana belonged to Kashmir. In his celebrated work, the Rajatarangini, he gives an account of the origin of Kashmir. A mythical account though, it establishes the antiquity of the land. The legend says that long long ago Kashmir was a vast stretch of water. A demon called Jalodbhava lived in it. He went out from time to time and lay waste the lands around the lake. He had obtained a boon: nobody could harm him as long as he lived in the water. Kashyapa, the great sage of the mythical times, who knew the secret of the demon, was determined to rid the earth of him. With the help of gods, he had the lake struck by a mighty plow. The water was drained out. The demon lost his power and was vanquished. Thus emerged the wonderful land of Kashmir. It was called Kashyap-mir or Kashyapa-mar from which is derived the name Kashmir.

Hindu kings ruled Kashmir from the very beginning and the valley came under the rule of the great Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C., when Buddhism became its dominant religion. Scattered all over the valley are the remains of ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines. The most famous of the rulers of Kashmir after Ashoka is perhaps Lalitaditya Muktapid belonging to the late 7th or early 8th century. A century later Avantivarman, another famous king, founded the city of Avantipur. The last Hindu king Udiana Deva was killed by his minister Amir Shah who ascended the throne. Emperor Akbar conquered it in 1586 and the region became a part of the Mughal Empire. In 1757 it was conquered by Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. With popular support, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab took it over in 1819. Soon after the death of Ranjit Singh the British East India Company won a war with the Sikhs, and came to be its master, but sold it to the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, for a price of rupees seventy-five lakhs.

Jammu and Kashmir became one state. Despite political and social upheavals, Kashmir remains one of the most enchanting regions of India. An English travel writer, Department Noms in his book Kashmir: The Switzerland of India, wrote in the thirties holds good to this day: “The European will find Kashmir delightful, not only because of its pleasant climate, but also for the variety of amusements that it has to offer. If he is an artist, there is work for his brush at every turn. There is no day in the year on which the sportsman will not be able to amuse himself. The botanist has ranges of upland which are studded with scores of varieties of wildflowers.

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