Jammu and Kashmir Information

Jammu and Kashmir is the northern most state of Indian union.   It is bounded by Afghanistan, Pakistan and China.  The China in the north.  The state can be divided into three regions they are Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh.  It has two capitals Jammu the winter capital and Srinagar the summer capital.
Jammu and Kashmir is famous for its natural beauty and has been described as heaven on earth.  Tourism is very important industry here and some major attractions are Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Leh, Pantnitop and Ladakh.  The city of Jammu is known as the city of temple.  While Srinagar is famous for its Lakes and house boats and Kashmir is known for its magnificent scenery.   In fact, the Kashmir valley is surrounded by some of the highest mountain ranges in the world.  The two most important pilgrimage centers are the amaranth caves and the Vaishnodevi shrine. Agriculture is the most important occupation of the people here.  Even those engaged in other industries depend on agriculture for raw material.  Most of the people follow Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

In the history of Jammu and Kashmir the Maurya dynasty took control of the region around the 3rd Bc.  King Ashoka ruled the land of considerable period of time and Buddhism has widely practiced.  During the time of the Mughals, Islam was widely practiced and Akbar had a strong influence in the region for many years.

Later, the control of the Kashmir Valley was passed to the conquering sikh armies. Gulab singh was made the Raja of Jammu in 1820.  In 1846, Jammu and Kashmir came into existence as a united state. After Independence Maharaja Hari singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir was given the freedom to opt to become a part of either India or Pakistan.  In October 1947 the pasthuns from Pakistan invaded the Kashmir valley and the Raja sought assistance from India.  In return for India’s help the Raja signed the instrument of accession making Jammu and Kashmir a part of India.

Jammu and Kashmir is situated mostly in the Hamalayan Mountains.  Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu, winter capital.  The Kashmir valley, often known as Paradise on Earth is famous for its extremely beautiful mountainous landscape, whereas Jammu's numerous Hindu shrines draw thousands of Hindu and Muslim pilgrims every year.  Ladakh, or 'Little Tibet,' is much popular for its remote mountainous beauty.  It fact, many travelers are afraid to visit Jammu & Kashmir due to terrorist attacks.  Although, these valleys are safer than they have been, it would be better in the interests of travelers to check the security situation before going to Jammu or areas near Srinagar.  Known for its scenic splendor, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, stunning glaciers, splendid monasteries, blue lakes, rivers, rich wildlife, exquisite monuments and a friendly people, Jammu & Kashmir has become an irresistible holiday destination.  Apart from nature, the state has lots to offer by way of local culture and traditions.  Whatever type of holiday you are looking for, this wonderful land will fit the bill and enable you to cherish those memories for a lifetime.

Capital
The capital of Jammu is Srinagar in summer and Jammu in winter.
District
There are 22 districts in this state.  
Principal Languages
The languages spoken by the people are Urdu, Kashmiri and Dogri.
State Bird
Black necked crane is this state’s Bird.
State Animal
Kashmir stag is this state’s animal.
State flower
This state’s flower is lotus.
Major Rivers
 Indus, Chenab, Jhelm and Ravi.

Geography

The total area of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is 2,22,236 sq km.  Situated at an elevation of over 5,000 feet, the Kashmir valley stretches for about 84 miles from the northeast to the southwest and is about 20 to 25 miles broad.  The state has four geographical zones: 1. The sub mountainous and semi-mountainous plain known as Kandi; 2. The Shivalik ranges; 3. The high mountain zone constituting the Kashmir valley, the Pir Panjal range and its off shoots; 4. The middle part of the Indus river comprising Leh and Kargil.

Climate

Jammu has the plains climate with heavy rain and humidity during monsoon (June to August).  The Kashmir Valley has a pleasant mountain climate.  Ladakh is famous for its semi-arctic cold weather. Annual rainfall varies from 92.6mm in Leh to 650.5mm in Srinagar and 1115.9mm in Jammu.

Flora and Fauna

The flora in Jammu and Kashmir ranges from the thorn bush type in the arid plains to temperate and alpine flora in higher altitudes.  Maple, horse chestnuts, silver fir, almond, walnut, willow and cedar are the common trees found here.  The mountain ranges abound in deodar, pine and fir.  Wildlife includes leopard, hangul or Kashmir stage, wild sheep, bear, many varieties of snakes, snow partied, pheasants and peacock.  The fauna in Ladakh consists of snow leopard, yak, Himalayan ibex, Tibetan antelope, wild ass, red bear and gazelle.

Tulip Park

The Indira Gandhi Tulip Park in Srinagar is the largest of its kind in Asia.  The tulips cover an area of over area of over 12 acres and the garden remains in full bloom for a month.  Row upon row of tulip beds, 50 metres long and 2.5m wide, stretch far into the horizon, pick, yellow and red tulips are followed by blooms in all colours imaginable even black.  It is truly a breathe taking sight.

The state of Jammu Kashmir is mainly hilly and mountainous with valleys and stretches of plains.   The area is full of natural beauty with thick forests, fast flowing rivers and winding streams.  The main rivers are Thelum, Neelum and Poonch.  The state can be divided into four major regions.  They are the sub mountainous and semi mountainous plain known as kandi or dry belt, the shivalik ranges, the high mountainous zone and the middle run of the Indus River.
In Jammu, the flora ranges from the thorny bushes type of the arid plain to the temperate and alphine flora higher altitudes.  Kashmir is also resplendent with forests.  The most magnificent of the Kashmir trees is the chinar.  The mountain ranges in the valley have dense deodar, pine and fir.  The highest elevations have no vegetations just snow and ice.

History

Kashmir's history can be traced back to the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka introduced Buddhism. Subsequently, Kanishka and Mihiragula patronized Buddhism.  Around 7th century AD, the Karokota, a local dynasty came to power.  Lalitadita, the most famous king of the Karkotas, is believed to have defeated Kanauj, the Tibetans and even the Turks in the Indus area.  This dynasty ended around 855.  Then came the Utpalas, who were later challenged by the Tantrins, a powerful military faction.  The Hindu rule over Kashmir came to an end in the 14th century.  In around 1339 or 1346, a Muslim adventurer named Shah Mirza seized power and assumed the title of Shams-ud-din Shah.  The Sultanate of Kashmir ruled until 1540 when a relative of Humayun, Mirza Haidar, annexed Kashmir.  He ruled Kashmir virtually as a sovereign although in theory he ruled on behalf of Humayun.  Kashmir ultimately became a part of the Mughal Empire during Akbar's reign.

In 1819, Kashmir was annexed to the Sikh kingdom of Punjab and later on the Dogra kingdom of Jammu in 1846.  In 1846, the treaties of Lahore and Amritsar which were signed at the conclusion of the first Sikh war made Raja Gulab Singh, the Dogra ruler of Jammu, the ruler of an extensive Himalayan kingdom. The state was under Dogra rule till 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed an accord in favor of joining the Indian union.  Angered at this, Muslim tribesmen backed by Pakistan, invaded Kashmir on October 20, 1947.  India took the matter to the United Nations and the latter passed a resolution asking Pakistan to vacate the occupied areas.  Pakistan's refusal to vacate, and many other reasons, eventually resulted in three wars I Kashmir, namely the Indi-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and the Kargil War in 1999.  whild 60 per cent area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is under the control of India, Pakistan controls 30 percent of the region.  In 1959, Chinese troops occupied the Aksai China area of Ladakh.  In 1963, the Sino-Pakistani agreement defined the Chinese border with Pakistani Kashmir and ceded Indian-claimed territory to China.

Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir

Makar Sankranti or Lohri, is a festival which heralds spring.  It is celebrated on 13th January every year.  A unique dance called 'Chajja' is performed during Lohri.  Baisakhi, also known as the harvest festival is celebrated either on the 13th or 14th of April. a week later, the 9-day Parsi Navroz festival is celebrated with great fanfare n the State.  The Urs (or Ziarats) is a typical Kashmir festival usually held at the shrines of Muslim saints on their death anniversaries.  The Hindus and Sikhs also celebrate these Urs with equal enthusiasm.  Muslims attend the anniversary of Rishi Pir, a Hindu saint, held on the fifth day of the full moon of Baisakhi, at his home in Srinagar also. Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the most famous Muslim festivals in Jammu and Kashmir.  While Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Azha is known for the Qurbani (sacrifice). Ramadan the annual Islamic month of fasting starts on 11 August 2010, 1 August 2011, 20 July 2012, 9 July 2013, and ends 30 days later with the feast of Ramadan.

Eid ul-Fitr

The Tourism department from 1-15 September organizes the Ladakh festival.  The celebrations mainly at Leh and Nubra, comprises Buddhist dances, polo, archery, music, sword dancing and other events. Muharram marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the prophet's grandson. Huge taziyas made of paper and wood are taken out in procession.

Jammu Distance Guide

Jammu Anantnag 249 Km
Jammu Baramula 366 Km
Jammu Kathua 84 Km
Jammu Leh (Ladakh) 739 Km
Jammu Muzaffarabad 500 Km
Jammu Punch 240 Km
Jammu Riasi 73 Km
Jammu Srinagar 305 Km
Jammu Udhampur 66 Km