Thinking about a Hill station then what a better place to visit than Indian Paradise Jammu & Kashmir. This state has renowned culture, snow covered mountains, sparkling lake, wide spread wildlife sanctuaries and lot more to explore. Find here 15 Most Famous Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir:
Recognised as the largest city and capital of Indian union territory, Srinagar is one of the best tourist destinations in India. It is known for its natural environment, houseboats, waterfall, crystal clear lakes, etc. and thus known as “Heaven on Earth”. This city is also known for its traditional handicrafts that reflect the Kashmiri culture and dried fruits.
Srinagar is surrounded by various lakes that include Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake, Wular Lake and Manasbai Lake. Dal Lake is famous for their houseboats and most visit lake in the world. Apart from Lakes, the capital is surrounded by seductive nature, majestic mountains, blossoming gardens and orchards that can leave you speechless. Srinagar is popular for its spices and native people are fond of several rice dishes.
Also known as “Heartland of Winter sports”, Gulmarg is one of the popular skiing destination, located in the Pir Panjal Range in the western Himalayas. If you love winter sports then you can join their training school and learn. Located at an altitude of 2730 m above the sea level, this town is covered in snow for majority of the year. Best time to visit this tourist spot is between October to June.
This destination is the home to Khelo India Winter Games. You can also take a visit to world’s highest situated green golf course, located in your very own Gulmarg. This destination offers a wonderful slope of flowers and grassland. Gulmarg is popular for handicrafts and there is a downhill market where you can buy carpets, mats and several handmade metal items.
If you are keen for trekking and camping then Aru is the best place to visit. Situated in the Anantnang District, this place is best known for its meadows, lakes and mountains. Peaks covered in the snow with golden sun rays falling from the blue sky and the Lidder River all together forms the identity of Aru. This place is considered as a base camp for trekking to the Tarsar Lake and Kolhoi Glacier.
Activities practiced by tourist at Aru are fishing of trout in the Lidder River, hiking, horse riding and a lot of photography. This valley also has a wildlife sanctuary giving home to various rare and endangered species. Best time to visit this station is either in the month of May to September during summers or from November to February in winters.
4. Dah and Hanu
Dah and Hanu are the only two villages out of many in villages which can be visited by tourist. The tribe settle here are different from Ladakhi tribe known as Drogpa tripe. The people residing there are formally Buddhists but they worship their own god also. This tribe is originally belong to the descendants of original Aryan race and are quite different from others.
Tourists are often attracted towards the cultural diversity of the tribe and their ornamentals and head gear. This town is best suitable for those tourists wants to spend a quite vacation. Many tourists are attracted towards the great Hindukush Mountains.
Kishtwar is a hill station known for its rich history, natural beauty and art. This hill station also has largest production of saffron and is popularly known as “the land of fine Saffron”. It is located between the Chenab River and Nagin Sheer Glacier. This station is also known for its trekking route that connects the hill station to Srinagar. This trekking route goes through Banderkot, Dadhpeth, Mughal Maidan, Chhatru Sinthan and Daksum.
Patnitop is a perfect destination to ensure endless adventure. If you are an adventure person then this is the right place for you. This destination is equipped with widespread adventures starting from trekking & skiing to paragliding. Enjoy a joyride of paragliding at Billoo Di Powri point and Nathatop. Upon trekking from Patnitop to Nathatop, visitors enjoy yummy roadside food to fill their tummy. This place is covered with snow in winters whereas snow is replaced with lush green grass in winters.
Patnitop is located in the Udhampur district which is best enjoyed by travellers in winters. Snowboard lovers should definitely visit here in the month of December to march as heavy dense snowfall occurs during this time. Enjoy the traditional restaurants, roadside shops and dhabas serving wide range of food cuisines.
Another beautiful hill station of Jammu and Kashmir is Sonmarg. This is a tourist spot enhanced with masked Thajiwas glaciers which attracts majority of the visitors. The tourists visit the vantage point for the beautiful view of snow covered scenery and picturesque Kashmir valley. Just a little outside this station, there is a sparkling lake surrounded by alpine flowers and green lush. This lake is known as the Vishansar Lake. This lake is habitat to various species of fish. You can even take the joy of White River Rafting in Sonamarg initiating from Baltal and ending at the Shutkari Bridge.
This is not a popular hill station of J&k but you might know this hill station as a starting point for annual amaranth yatra, a Hindu shrine in which thousands of people walks to the Amarnath cave temple. This hill station has a rich cover of vegetation and home to many rare, endangered and protected flora and fauna.
Some of the main rare and endangered species is brown bear and musk deer that are protected in Pahalgam. The central flow of Lidder River originating from Kolahoi glacier flows through the Pahalgam which forms a peaceful picnic spot for visitors. It acts as a perfect spot to relax and distress all the city chaos.
Sanasar is well known for its Wilderness adventure camps. In collaboration with department of tourism, Sanasar organise an adventure camp for hundreds of participants dedicated in promoting adventure sports experience to the participants. One can experience the beauty of Sanasar while gliding over the landscape of the town. This is a low flying rides starts from a mountain, gliding over the lakes and ending in the meadows.
Sanasar also have various temples for worship with main attraction of Naag temple where hundreds of Shiva devotees pays the respect and worship the snake king cobra. Wilderness Adventure Camps also offers Rock climbing, abseiling, trekking, etc.
10. Vaishno Devi
Speaking of the temples, here is the main attraction of Jammu, the temple of Mata Vaishno Devi. This Temple is opened to all throughout the year. Millions of devotees trek 15 km starting from Katra bazaar to the top of the mountain till they reach Mata Vaishno Devi temple. Many devotees hike on foot while some uses horse or palki’s to climb the mountain. There are multiple vendors sitting and offering refreshment, tea, drinking waters, comfortable sitting, etc. for the trekking devotees.
11. Nubra Valley
With amidst and divine greenery, Nubra valley is considered to be one of the most romantic hill station. This valley is covered with beautiful flowers, fertile lands for cultivation of grains and fruits. It offers a view of pink and yellow wild field of roses in summers and a carpet of lavender in post monsoon season.
Tourists are often attracted to the bactarian camels in the sand dunes. Nubra valley is rich in Monasteries. One of the best monasteries located in Nubra valley is Diskit Monastery. Best time to travel here is between June to September.
In the southernmost part of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu is the major tourist attraction in winters. The best time to visit Jammu is considered to be October to February. It offers a divine natural beauty of shivalik range. It is popular for wood items and shrines of God and Goddesses. Tourist have popularised this place for their handicraft items. In terms of cuisine, Jammu is specialised in Rajput dished. They offer wide array of spices and fried Rajput dishes. Other viewpoints of Jammu include Ranbir Canal, Bahu forts and gardens, Akhnoor, etc.
It is a district lies on the LOC, serve are an important trade centre. Apart from the terrorism prevalent from the other side of the LOC, Kargil has a glorious past with amazing nature and adventure. The city is small but offers wide range of adventure and fun. The Dras war memorial build by Indian government and maintained Indian army is a perfect place to show Patriotic Indian within You. The Memorial overviews the war photos and explores the stories and difficulties faced by Indian soldiers during Kargil war.
Another attraction here is a sandstone wall that has enlisted all the Indian army personals who have sacrifices their life during Kargil war. Another attraction in Kargil is the 9 m tall idol of Maitreya Buddha. This sculpture is situated in Mulbekh Monastery on National Highway 1D. The main street of Kargil offers a variety of delicious food with amazing folk music which is souvenirs for visitors. Another Beautiful attraction for kargil is Suru valley with green landscape and dense plantation.
Amarnath is one of the most important destinations for the devotees of Lord Shiva. This holy place is an Amaranth cave with naturally formed ice Shivaling which resembles Lord Shiva. Every year millions of tourists all across the world visit the destinations to participate in what is called as Amarnath Yatra. Every year this yatra starts from Pahalgam valley. Best time to visit this destination is between May to September.
Lamayuru is a small village on Leh-Kargil road. This place is prominent for its oldest and largest monasteries. Lamayuru Monastery is believed to house more than 400 monks within the premises. About 150 monks are still permanent resident to the monastery. According to a myth, a dying king was revive by a monk made this monastery and declared the entire space of monastery as place where no one can be arrested. This monastery is still known as “Place of Freedom”. Many tourist visiting Leh Ladakh, comes to pay a visit to this place.