Crowned with the spectacular mountains of the great Himalayas, Jammu and Kashmir has garnered the tag of Paradise eon earth through its bountiful natural wealth. The state was once a retreat for the Buddhist monks and Mughals. Several superlatives have been used by various generations to describe the beauty of the state. The backwaters of Kashmir are the favorite respite during summers as people come to while away their time by sailing over the placid lakes in cozy houseboats.
Several monasteries and natural terrains are the essence of Jammu and Kashmir’s beauty. The warm nature of the native people of Jammu and Kashmir is one more significant reason why tourists often revisit this state. The natural terrains in the valleys of Kashmir and Ladakh are favored by adventure lovers for varied opportunities of trekking and safari. While trekking along the passes, tourists witness Buddhists monasteries, which are still in a good state of preservations. The architecture and site of constructions of the monasteries evoke awe as they are tactfully placed within the slopes of mountain. Phugtal monastery or Phugtal gompa is one such wondrous and stately edifice that will surely insist trekkers to halt by its imposing looks. Hemis is a significant place for Buddhist culture in Jammu and Kashmir. The Hemis gompa and Hemis festival hold a special importance in defining the Buddhist philosophy in Ladakh. Tourists find great interest in viewing the giant Thangka at Hemis Gompa. The monasteries of Chemery, Phiyang, Thikse, Likkir and Spituk are of equal pageantry and importance and draws attention of tourists across the world.
The trekking season in the state commences from October and continues till February. Trekkers, both experts and novice, folk at Jammu and Kashmir to take the adventurous paths of trekking.
Trekking experience in Jammu and Kashmir can be of varied kinds as the landscape of the state has diverse gradient. In Kashmir valley, the trekking is quite a lot of fun and novice trekkers and families can easily manage to trek in these passes and mountains. Besides, the duration for trek in Kashmir is short and that serves as another cause of ease for the trekkers. Routes in Kashmir meander through pictorial valleys like Sonamarg, Phalgam, Kalohi glacier and Wangat. Trekking takes the form of pilgrimage when trekkers take the holy route to Amarnath. The scared place opens avenues to some interesting myths and tales about its discovery.
On the contrary, Ladakh has most arduous paths for trekking and expert trekkers find this valley a haven. The grueling routes reach great altitudes and trekkers can view some of the prized summits of Himalayan Range. The vista of valleys from high altitudes offers an eye-soothing view to the exhausted trekkers as they move on towards their destination with zest and zeal. Some of the famous trekking paths of Ladakh are Rupshu Trek, Indus Valley Trek, Chadar Ice Trek, Manali Ladakh Trek and Nubru Valley Trek.
During the time of winter throngs of tourists come to Kashmir valley to entertain themselves by adventure sports like skiing. The trekking season usually gets over by winter and the excitement for trekking gets shifted to skiing. The state gives opportunity of skiing to beginners as well as top level skiers. While the gentle slopes are perfect for beginners, top-level skiers can access the precipitous slopes through heli-skiing. Gulmarg offers some of the great heli-skiing sites as skiers are taken to Apherwat peak to commence their glide on snow.
Natural bounties of Jammu and Kashmir are complemented by the monuments in the state. Leh palace and Amar Singh Palace are some of the beholding structures of Jammu and Kashmir. The Bahu fort, erected on a plateau, is a grand edifice and manifests the powerful army it housed within, decades ago.
The state has so much to show that a single trip to Jammu and Kashmir is not sufficient. However, tour packages nowadays design trips thoughtfully so as to allow tourists to visit a great portion of the state. Yet, tourists revisit the state for more charm.