Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India locked in Himalayan Mountains. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several Valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi, Chenab Valley, Poonch, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Some major tourist attractions in Kashmir are Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Jammu, and Ladakh. Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit.
Before militancy intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy and Kashmir was the favorite destination for Bollywood. Kashmir had 19 cinema halls, which were closed due to rising Islamic Terrorism. The tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. However, the holy shrines of Jammu and the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh continue to remain popular pilgrimage and tourism destinations. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath, which has had significant impact on the state’s economy.
Tourism in the Kashmir valley has rebounded in recent years and in 2009, the state became one of the top tourist destinations of India Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world’s highest green golf course The decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state’s economy specifically tourism It was reported that 7.36 lakhs tourists visited Kashmir in 2010 including 23,000 foreigners. In 2011, the number of tourist arrivals in Kashmir touched the mark of 10 lakhs.
- Srinagar International Airport
- Flights operate to Jammu, Leh and Srinagar. Air India, Air Asia, GoAir, Indigo Airlines and SpiceJet operated in the state.
Banihal Railway station
The last stop on the railway line north is Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway station, where you can catch onward buses and hire SUVs/MUVs (Tata Sumo / Toyota Innova/ Mahindra Scorpio). However, it is better to get down in Jammu and catch a taxi from there as these are more readily available.
The Jammu–Baramulla line is a railway line being built in India to connect the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. The Project officially coded USBRL (Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link) starts from the city of Udhampur, 55 kilometres (34 mi) north of Jammu, and travels for 290 kilometres (180 mi) to the city of Baramulla on the northwestern edge of the Kashmir Valley. The route crosses major earthquake zones, and is subjected to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, as well as inhospitable terrain, making it an extremely challenging engineering project.
There are two ways to get in by land – via Jammu and up to Srinagar or via Manali in Himachal Pradesh and up to Leh.
Transportation With In
- Sanji Chhat helipad Vaishno Devi
- J&K SRTC operates buses to most points around the state. They offer package tour to Gulmarg, Shonmarg, Yusmarg, Wular Lake, City tour, etc. There is Tourist information center, where one gets the tickets plus info.
- 4 wheel drive jeeps are quicker, a little more expensive and reach more locations. Private hire jeeps are also available.